Studio Display firmware file reveals that a new Mac mini model could be imminent

The top of the Mac mini on a table

Enlarge / The 2020, M1-equipped Apple Mac mini. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Apple’s Mac Studio just came out, but there’s some good news for anyone waiting on a refresh to Apple’s cheapest Mac desktop. Developer Steve Troughton-Smith uncovered a reference to an as-yet-unannounced “Macmini10,1” model identifier in a firmware file for the Studio Display, implying that Apple is testing a new Mac mini internally and that it could be released sooner rather than later.

The presence of an unreleased Mac mini model identifier in a firmware file actually tells us very little about the machine itself, beyond the fact that the hardware physically exists somewhere inside Apple. But we can say with some confidence that it’s meant to be a new generation of Mac mini, rather than a revision of the current design—Apple uses “Macmini9,1” for the current mini, and “Macmini8,1” for the final Intel model from 2018.

Apple is expected to refresh the MacBook Air, Mac mini, and 13-inch MacBook Pro with a next-generation Apple M2 processor sometime this year. The M1 and all its variants use the CPU architecture from 2020’s A14, codenamed “Firestorm” for the performance cores and “Icestorm” for the efficiency cores. The M2 will likely update that architecture and could possibly add more GPU cores as well. 

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