In what can only be seen as a completely expected turn of events, it turns out that the new Mac Mini released by Apple will have its RAM soldered onto its motherboard. This means you can’t swap out the RAM and upgrade it, leaving you locked to the amount you have been given.
The news came in the form of a tweet from Brian Stucki, the owner of Mac Mini Colo, a colocation hosting company focused on providing hosting services to Mac aficionados.
Confirmed: RAM in the new Mac mini is not user accessible. Hard drive can be replaced/upgraded, though not keeping warranty.
— Brian Stucki (@brianstucki) October 17, 2014
According to Apple’s website, the new Mac Mini comes at a starting price of $499, which includes a 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel i5, 4 GB of memory, a 500 GB hard drive, Intel on-board graphics, and OS X Yosemite. To those who feel that the 4 GB option is a bit too underpowered for them, they will have to throw in another $200 to get an 8 GB version, which also includes a 1 TB hard drive and a 2.6 GHz Intel Core i5 CPU.
While some people may be upset, it is possible that a large portion of Mac consumers will be unaffected by this change. Still, this falls into a more troubling trend with Apple. To cite an example, there were numerous reports of the new model of its flagship phone, the iPhone 6, bending in people’s pockets. Ouch!
Granted, the lack of upgradability is probably not going to kill the Mac Mini. Despite this, it is probably time for Apple to consider the consequences of losing its savvy customer base. Pickier (and more computer-literate) consumers will easily find out that they can buy upgradable PCs for a much lower price and use a free operating system (I’m pointing at you, Linux) that, in some distributions, operates similarly to Mac (and that’s no surprise, considering that the entire Macintosh operating system line is based on UNIX).