At one point, it looks like Apple was considering releasing a Mac mini with a built-in iPod dock.
Twitter user @DongleBookPro (what a stellar name, right?), posted three images of the cancelled device, giving a rare glimpse at one of Apple’s defunct hardware projects.
EVT Mac Mini, with iPod dock. Totally scraped project that never saw the light of day pic.twitter.com/fSm1m31fhX
— Dongle (@DongleBookPro) August 22, 2020
In a follow-up tweet, @DongleBookPro says the old school 30-pin Lightning connector syncs the “iPad” — though they likely mean the iPod — directly to the Mac mini without the need for an additional cable.
The Twitter account says the Mac mini with an iPod dock is a “totally scrapped project that never saw the light of day,” and that the images are a prototype in the “Engineering Validation Test stage of development.”
The prototype Mac mini seems to be the pint-sized desktop computer’s first-generation design, which means it was being worked on sometime between 2005 and 2010. Both the PowerPC G4 and Intel-based versions of the Mac mini featured this look until 2010.
Though this a fascinating look at a product that never saw the light of day, it doesn’t really make sense. For example, not everyone keeps their Mac mini in a location where they’d be able to plug an iPod into it. In fact, the majority of people probably don’t even have the Mac mini sitting on a desk, making the addition of an iPod port useless.
There is a mac in there and it works. Dock works to sync iPad to iTunes with no issues
— Dongle (@DongleBookPro) August 24, 2020
While it’s impossible to know for sure, it’s likely the project was cancelled because Apple came to a similar conclusion.
That said, the prospect of a modern Mac mini with wireless Qi charging capabilities could be interesting.