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Tuesday, March 01, 2005, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Web posting corroborates reports of Mac mini iPod Dock

The first real evidence corroborating reports that a built-in iPod dock was destined for Apple's Mac mini has surfaced on the Web.

Leo Bodnar, who is known for creating a series of hardware-related hacks, has noticed something quite interesting while dissecting Apple's new Mac mini. In fact, his findings corroborate a previous AppleInsider report, which cited sources in saying that Apple's Mac mini was originally slated to ship with a built in iPod dock.

"I have noticed a missing unpopulated connector on a vertical CD/HDD interconnect board," Bodnar said. "There are also a few components that were left out during assembly. There is surprisingly big (by mini standards) empty space around that area inside the mini case."

Bodnar also notes that the connector has a full Firewire bus and extra control signals. He speculates that this may imply that Apple had intended to integrate an iPod dock at the top of Mac mini case. He's exactly right.

On December 29th, 2004, over a week before Apple introduced the Mac mini, AppleInsider published a report based on information provided from extremely reliable sources. The report noted that Apple developed the Mac mini with the intent of shipping it with a build-in iPod dock, but for some unknown reason the dock feature was scrapped at the last minute.

Sources told AppleInsider the iPod dock would likely reappear in a future revision to the Mac mini, but offered no further details. Apple is currently working on the first revision to the Mac mini, which will debut much later in the year. Sources added the new Mac mini would possibly debut alongside iPods that may match its aluminum color-scheme, but said it is too early to report on the subject with any accuracy.

If you have any further details on any of these related tips, we are all ears.