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Apple's Mac mini an 'important product,' staying in lineup

Despite being one of Apple's most neglected lines, the Mac mini is an "important" product and won't be cancelled anytime soon, according to Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller.

"On that I'll say the Mac mini is an important product in our lineup and we weren't bringing it up because it's more of a mix of consumer with some pro use," Schiller said during a Tuesday press gathering revealing new iMacs and Mac Pros, attended by outfits like Daring Fireball. "The Mac mini remains a product in our lineup, but nothing more to say about it today."

The comments could imply that Apple is finally planning to refresh the Mac mini, which was last updated in 2014 and yet still starts at $499. It's nevertheless the cheapest Mac, and has found a niche as a server and/or a media set-top.

Schiller's comments align with those from an AppleInsider source saying the Mac mini is still alive within Apple, but without news on how the company will take a step forward.

Since it lacks a built-in display, Apple will presumably concentrate on upgrading to modern processors, RAM, and storage, for instance adding an SSD option. The company might also add USB-C and/or Thunderbolt 3, which would be useful for extending the Mac mini given its size.

While little is known about the upcoming iMacs, 2018 Mac Pros will have a modular design enabling more regular upgrades. They'll be joined by a new Apple-branded display, which might be compatible with an upgraded Mac mini as well.