With its last update coming more than a year ago, the Mac community is running wild with tales of the Minis imminent death, and still others are coming up with complex scenarios in which the Mini is radically changed to fit some specific need.
First some reality, it is almost certain that Apple will introduce an updated, Nvidia MCP79 based Mini in the near future, if not at Macworld 2009 then soon after. As Apple Insider and others have noted, strings have been found in specific files in a recent build of OS X that indicate a newer Mini is in the works, the current Minis model identifier is Macmini2,1, the plist indicates that a Macmini3,1 is coming.
Lending more credibility to Apples commitment to the Mini is a phone call a fan of the machine received after firing off an email to Mac hardware engineering chief Bob Mansfield, saying to just be patient. So it appears that Apple isn’t about to let the “Most affordable Mac ever” die out so quickly, especially when refurbished units quickly disappear on Apples site immediately after showing up, and the machine routinely appears on the Amazon.com best seller list.
As noted by MacMinicolo, Apple will probably adopt the new Mini DisplayPort on this new Mac Mini, they have already stated they intend to transition their machines to using this connection and have put their products where their mouth is by releasing 3 notebooks and a new LED Cinema Display that all adopt the new port. So will Apple put a Mini DisplayPort on the new Mini? Perhaps, it would save some space and bring the machine in line with Apples plans. However one of the attractions of the Mini has always been that users would bring their own display, keyboard and mouse so to speak. Most users don’t have a screen with a Mini DisplayPort connection, or even a normal DisplayPort connection, so a converter would have to come with the machine.
So with the safe bets out of the way, on to some speculation. Mini fans have always been able to come up with some wild plans for the machines, users frequently use the machines for home media servers, home theater PCs, car PCs, and as servers in places such as Macminicolo. It is certainly one of the most versatile Macs ever if nothing else.