Using nothing but a historic release of Mac mini release dates and Apple’s recent introduction of Thunderbolt, the Three Guys And A Podcast have made a fairly compelling argument that new Mac minis are due soon.
Noting that Mac minis have tended to be released every eight months on average and that the last major update was in summer, the eponymous Three Guys think that Apple will roll out a Mac mini revision replacing the Mini DisplayPort with a Thunderbolt port.
They also theorize that the Mac mini will make the jump to Sandy Bridge along with last month’s MacBook Pros, with the $699 Mac mini getting a 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 processor, and the Mac Mini server getting the Intel Core i7 CPU.
This all seems fairly likely to me, but the interesting part isn’t the specs, it’s the when. The Three Guys speculate that the new Mac mini will be rolling out this month, but honestly, who knows? The average update in the Mac mini line happens eight months apart, but that average is skewed by extremes: a 19 month window between August 2007 and March 2009 where there were no updates, coupled with a microscopic two month gap between updates from July to September 2005.
Sandy Bridge Mac minis are coming, no doubt about that. But I wouldn’t lay any money down on when.