Supply Constraints Portend iMac, Mac mini Updates

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AppleInsider is reporting on a supply advisory from Apple to its retail stores stating certain Macs have “entered a period of constraint,” suggesting that hardware updates may be imminent.

The specific models include all configurations of the iMac, as well as the low-end Mac mini, whose SKU has reportedly been discontinued. While the low-end Mac mini is still listed as shipping within 24 hours at the Apple Store online, Amazon.com is currently listing the model with a “1 to 2 month” wait.

At $599 for a Mac with a measly 1GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive, perhaps Steve Jobs has realized that what he once praised as the “most affordable way to enjoy Mac OS X” has become something of an embarrassment. This could mean the company is about to make the high-end Mac mini, at $799 with 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive, into the low-end, offering a single model at $599. Those specs would still be anemic by PC standards, but would nonetheless be an improvement. Such a move would also make sense in light of rumors about the iMac.

Current speculation suggests the next iMac will sport “slimmer aluminum enclosures, and that they will indeed be cheaper than their predecessors, ” as well as the possibility of Blu-ray. Certainly, reducing the price on the low-end iMac to $1099, or even $999, would put downward pressure on the price of the Mac mini.

As for a Mac mini with Blu-ray…

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