updated 02:33 am EDT, Thu September 26, 2013
Currency correction, or prepping for updated models?
Not noticed immediately -- but apparently at the same time as it introduced new Haswell-powered iMacs -- Apple has quietly raised the price on Mac mini systems in a variety of non-US markets for no clear reason. Though the adjustment may possibly be to bring prices in line with currency changes in other countries, the costs have been hiked higher in every region where the changes have taken place.
So far, the confirmed affected countries include Brazil, Malaysia and Australia. The price differences vary, but the listed Mac minis are not in any way different from before the iMac update. Apple may have leaked new prices for existing Mac mini models expecting to replace them with updated models, which would more readily explain the pricing changes -- the iMac's price was also adjusted slightly as the new model was introduced.
Reports are that Apple is planning to bring many if not all of the same improvements to the next Mac mini update as it has to the iMac. These include a new Haswell processor, faster PCIe SSD drives, faster RAM and 802.11ac support. If the Mac mini were redesigned to eschew traditional hard drives and rely solely on SSDs, it might explain the new pricing, which have risen as much as A$150 in Australia.
Brazillian prices on the Mac Mini (in its two standard configurations) and the Mac mini Server version have risen by R$300, R$400 and R$500 respectively, while Australian prices have jumped A$50, A$100 and A$150 respectively. Prices on other Mac products in the respective countries' stores haven't changed, leading to the speculation about a slip-up in pricing that reveals forthcoming revamped models.