Mac Mini Heading for Update Amid Drying Supplies?

The Mac Mini is just the latest model of Apple computer that has seen some sort of drying supplies in the retail channel, following the footsteps of the iMac. To a certain extent, this could signify that a refresh to the small form-factor computer is waiting in the wings, but we’ve been burned on that prediction with the iMac over the past few months, so it should be prudent not to read too deeply into this.

According to AppleInsider, Amazon, MacConnection and J&R are out of the 2.3GHz model of the Mac Mini, while all three retailers plus MacMall are out of stock of the 2.5GHz version. Tight supplies are also observable with respect to the Mac Mini Server: MacMall and MacConnection report having zero units available Amazon says it only has a handful of units remaining.

Across the Atlantic, German retailers are also reporting of tight supplies of the Mac Mini.

Significantly, a new version of this computer wasn’t among the list of Apple products that are expected to get an update for the 2012 holiday season. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and refreshed 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs are due for release in the last quarter of the year, but left out the Mac Mini and Mac Pro.

An updated version of Apple’s professional workstation-class offering has been confirmed for a release sometime next year, but there hasn’t been news of the lowest-end member of the Mac product line.

The current Mac Mini is over a year old, and it runs Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor, which is a generation older than the current Ivy Bridge architecture. Any refresh to this product line should include Ivy Bridge CPUs, and Intel has already released the complete range of products based on this architecture, with the exception of server-class silicon.