Apple is reportedly gearing up to move the production lines of its Mac Mini computer to the U.S., along with its manufacturing partner Foxconn, according to Digitimes.
While Digitimes has had a rocky history with Apple rumors (mainly because it reports every single thing it hears), this news makes a lot of sense. Mac Mini shipments are on the rise, after climbing more than 40 percent this year to around 1.4 million units. It’s also quickly becoming a powerful little device: This year’s Mac Mini upgrade includes an option for a fast quad-core Intel Core i7 processor running at 2.3 gigahertz.
Apple announced earlier this month that it will spend more than $100 million to bring some Mac production back to the U.S. next year, but it didn’t specify which models would get the special treatment. Previous speculation pointed to the Mac Pro, Apple’s massive desktop, though that model hasn’t received a major design upgrade in some time (and it’s been overshadowed for years by innovations in Apple’s iMac and MacBook lines). It makes more sense for Apple to focus on a device that’s on the rise for its triumphant U.S. return instead of one that’s on the decline.
Digitimes notes that Mac Mini shipments are expected to rise another 30 percent in 2013 to 1.8 million.
While desktops are falling out of fashion, an inexpensive and tiny computer like the Mac Mini could end up being a worthy alternative for many. It’s already packing a fast processor — now all Apple needs to do is give it better graphics capabilities to satisfy gamers and media professionals.