The Mac Mini is Apple Computer Inc.s low-end desktop computer; models range in price from $499 to $699.
Apple is not re-labeling the Mac Minis—even with last-minute stickers—so buyers have no way of knowing if they are getting whats marked on the box, or if its something better.
"Some Mac Mini systems may contain components that slightly exceed the published specifications," Apple hardware spokesperson Teresa Weaver said. "There are no changes to the published specifications or part numbers."
Mac enthusiast Web site ThinkSecret.com reported that "one source received a 1.5GHz Mac Mini Tuesday, although the box still featured the old 1.42GHz label." ThinkSecret.com also said some models were shipping with a faster DVD burner, more video memory and improved Bluetooth wireless abilities.
Apple would not confirm any of the ThinkSecret details to eWEEK.com.
"Of course, if I were buying a Mac Mini and I got an upgrade right there in the box, Id be very happy about it. Id consider it a present from Apple," said Bernard Golden, CEO of Navica, an open-source and IT consulting firm in San Carlos, Calif.
"Its better than what some companies do frequently as inducements to buy. Dell often says it will double the memory or upgrade the monitor size if you buy right now. Dell at least discloses what its doing to the customer, but with Apple, I guess sometimes the improvements are already in the box," Golden said.
Isnt at least a modicum of trust lost when a company doesnt deliver what it says it will deliver—even if the product is a better one than advertised?
"I dont necessarily see this as a trust issue," Golden told eWEEK.com. "I see it as more of an Apple administrative issue. It looks as though they had lots of [computers] lying around and needed to find a way to get rid of them."