AppleInsider says the Mac Mini is dead

Well, we're getting closer to another Stevenote and the Apple rumor mill is at full tilt, so take this one with a huge grain of salt, but the team over at AppleInsider says they "sincerely believe" that the Mac Mini is about to be discontinued. Citing sources for whom they have the "utmost respect," AI says that Apple management was only bending to shareholder demands for a sub-$800 Mac when it developed the Mini, and that the recent release of the Apple TV all but spells the end of significant updates to the lil' bugger. We can see what they're getting at, we suppose: the Mini has never gotten a lot of attention, but the similarly-discontinued products AI compares it to -- the Cube, the PowerBook 2400, and the 12-inch PowerBook G4 -- were all higher-end machines, while the Mini sits at the very bottom of Apple's product line. On top of that, the description of the Apple TV as the "next-generation Mac Mini" strikes us as a little odd, since the Mini was never sold as a media extender (even though you can use it that way) and the Apple TV was never sold as a general-purpose computer (even though you can use it that way). AI does seem pretty confident in the case it's laid out -- but as with all things Apple, only time will tell.