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Monday, March 02, 2009, 10:45 am PT (01:45 pm ET)

Photo may show next-gen Mac mini retail box [Updated]

A new photo claiming to show the retail packaging for Apple's long-awaited Mac mini refresh has surfaced online, adding to speculation that March will serve as launch pad for several new desktop Macs.

The new image (below), published by OneMoreThing.nl, depicts what could be the backside of a shrink-wrapped Mac mini-sized retail box.

Shown on the box is a photo of Mac mini with ports for Ethernet, FireWire 800, Mini DVI, and Mini DisplayPort, as well as 5 USB connectors. All of these ports match up with descriptions (1, 2) of a next-generation Mac mini published in early January by AppleInsider.

The image of the Mac mini in the photo also appears identical to the system that cropped up last month in a still photo and video walk-around.

While the authenticity of the latest image remains suspect, it joins rumblings this week that six new Apple product part numbers have recently turned up in the inventory system of a large overseas reseller. Obvious speculation would suggest these could represent 4 new iMac configurations and 2 new Mac mini configurations.

Mac mini


The source of the photo also told OneMoreThing.nl that the mini refresh would arrive alongside new iMacs that support up to 8GB of RAM and 1TB of hard disk space.

It's long been rumored, and corroborated twice over (1, 2), that new Mac mini and iMac desktops would surface sometime in early 2009 with chipsets from NVIDIA. A NVIDIA graphics icon on the rear of the purported Mac mini box would seem to be consistent with those claims.

Update: Here's a much larger version of the photo, provided to us by MacFreak.nl, which also received the image this morning. They claim it was taken with an HTC Touch Diamond in a low-light setting. The image does not appear to be edited, leaving suspicion to surround only the original item that was photographed.