Mac mini tipped to skip the M3 for a 2024 M4 upgrade

The M2 Pro Mac mini is likely to remain Apple's most powerful mini until the M4 arrives late this year

Apple Mac Mini M2
(Image credit: Apple)

As we reported last week, Apple is planning to launch a stack of M4-powered Macs later this year – including the Mac mini. And it seems that the Mac mini is among the desktop Macs that will be skipping the M3 processor: according to a new report the Mac mini, which was updated to the M2 and M2 Pro last year, is going to go straight from M2 to M4.

The report comes from Bloomberg's well connected Mark Gurman, who says that with the M4 imminent there simply isn't enough room to squeeze in an M3 refresh before the M4 Mac mini arrives. It's a prediction rather than a cold hard fact but Gurman says that "it's probably safe to say that those Mac desktops will skip the M3 generation."

This wouldn't be the first time that a desktop Mac has waited out a processor generation. The iMac did it too, jumping from M1 to M3 processors when it was updated last year.

Is the Mac mini a safe buy in 2024?

I really rate the Mac mini, and I bought the M2 Pro model to run apps such as Logic Pro – which it does without breaking sweat. But while it's as tremendous as it is tiny, I think it would be wise to look for pretty impressive discounts before buying one of the current M2s. 

The jump between single processor generations isn't usually very large, so upgrading from an M2 to an M3 isn't going to make a big difference to much beyond your bank balance. But there's going to be a more significant gap between M2 and M4, especially in the machine learning and AI department that Apple appears to be prioritising. The processor itself is expected to deliver significantly improved performance too.

Given that we're already one-third into the year it's not that long before the M4 Mac minis emerge. Unless you really need a Mac right now, it might be wise to wait: when the new mini appears you can then choose between getting more power or getting more of a discount on the outgoing models, so it's a win either way.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (