Apple's unreleased Mac mini with built-in iPod dock is as bad as it sounds

Mac Mini with iPod Dock Prototype
Mac Mini with iPod Dock Prototype (Image credit: @DongleBookPro)

What you need to know

  • Apple worked on the idea of adding an iPod dock to a Mac mini.
  • New images of the prototype have been shared on Twitter.
  • Apple ultimately – correctly – decided against releasing the product.

We've said it time and time again, but Apple patents everything its engineers can think of. And sometimes it prototypes some of those things, too. But not everything that is prototyped is made available for sale. That's a good thing, because bringing this Mac mini with an iPod dock to market would have been insane. Apple ditched it, and now we get to check out some photos of it.

Shared to Twitter by anonymous account @DongleBookPro, the images show an old Mac mini that had space for an iPod to slot into. It would then charge and, presumably, sync. And no, we don't know why that would be a think people needed, either.

It's all the more strange when you consider a Mac mini probably doesn't have pride of place on a desk. So how would you even get to it to retrieve your iPod?

This is a great example of Apple following the design process to a conclusion, whether that's one that results in a product coming to market, or not. It's easy to see why Apple decided against this product and now I'm wondering what else is going on inside Apple that we never get to see.

Like, maybe a mouse that you can only charge when it's laying on its back so you can't use it. How crazy would that be?!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.