Apple Launches Mac Mini Redesign -- Could Mac Pro and MacBook Air be Far Behind?

Apple's (AAPL) major overhaul to its Mac mini computer launched Tuesday with kudos going to its new aluminum unibody design. (Much of the media spotlight, meanwhile, was focused on iPhone 4 pre-order sales.) Wall Street analyst Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros took note of the mini's beefed-up looks, applauding such additions as a new HDMI port, which makes it easier for consumers to connect the computer to a television.

But despite the new bells and whistles -- such as graphics that run at twice the speed of earlier versions and the addition of an SD card slot for transferring photos and videos -- Wu panned Apple's increase of the Mac mini's price by $100 to $699.

Perhaps Apple can reduce Wu's sticker shock when it tackles its next product redesigns on the Mac Pro and MacBook Air. Based on talks with Apple parts suppliers, Wu expects updated versions of these two products very soon.

For Apple, all three models contribute a sizable portion of overall revenues. According to Wu, the Mac family accounted for roughly 28% of Apple's $13.5 billion in second quarter revenues. And that ain't mini potatoes.

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