Tuesday, June 23, 2020

There's a new Mac Mini with Apple Silicon – but you can't buy it

A new Mac Mini has been announced, but unless you're part of the Apple app developing elite, you probably can't get it.

As revealed during the WWDC 2020 keynote, macOS 11 Big Sur brings some big changes with it – not least the fact that future Macs built on Apple's own silicon will be able to run iOS mobile apps natively. Though it's designed to be a seamless porting transition, some tinkering may still be required – and Apple has new kit to help developers through the process.

The new Mac Mini however is part of a 'Developer Transition Kit' that's shipping this week, but will not be available to the average consumer, only developers. In fact, even the developers won't own the kit – it'll be part of a $500 Universal App Quick Start Program, at the conclusion of which the test Mac Mini must be returned to Apple.

ARM Mac Mini specs

The mini Apple computer does give an indication of what to expect from future Macs powered by Apple Silicon however.

It uses Apple's A12Z chip, as can already be found in the 2020 iPad Pro, and comes complete with a 512GB SSD and 16GB of RAM. Beta versions of macOS Big Sur and Xcode come pre-installed, so that developers can test their apps across devices ahead of the consumer launch of the new machines.

The first Apple Silicon Macs should be ready by the end of 2020, but CEO Tim Cook stated that the complete Intel-to-Apple transition will take around two years.

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