New Apple Mac Mini Coming at Macworld 2009, Built by Asus?

Online website Wired has been tipped by an insider at Apple that a new version of the popular Mac mini desktop will be unveiled at next year's Macworld Expo which will be held in San Francisco.

Although Apple has kept mum about Mac mini sales figures, figures released today by research firm NPD group shows that Desktop Mac sales (which includes the Mac mini) dropped by a whopping 35 percent year on year.

Hints that a new Mac Mini could be launched next year emerged back in October when two major retailer in Europe confirmed to Gizmodo that they couldn't order Apple Mac mini any more.

The nearly four-year old device is well due an update and Apple could well introduce a cheap $500 version to help its sales figures and extend its influence beyond its usual Karma-sensitive customers.

It is likely that the new Mac mini will be built by Asus using broadly the same components as the Asus EEE Desktop B203. An Intel subsystem with integrated graphics module, 250GB memory, 2GB RAM, 802.11n and a few more bits and bobs.

You may get Nvidia 9400 chipsets thrown in for good measure (and at a price) as well as a full aluminium chassis, although that will push up the price.

Given that the B203 retails for around £180, it is safe to assume that Apple would still make a tidy profit selling $500 desktops.

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