The world of technology has suddenly gone Mini Mad. Apple has launched a smaller version of its iPad tablet, called the iPad mini. And arch-rival and convicted Apple copyist Samsung has a Galaxy S3 Mini smartphone for Apple lawyers to scrutinize. See: iPad mini review and Samsung Galaxy S3 mini specs
In honour of these new tech Minis we’ve collected a bunch of other legendary Mini things, and tried – often rather/very tenuously – to link them to Apple. We didn’t bother trying to find links to Samsung. Sorry.
The first Apple mini was 2004’s iPod mini, and it was a roaring success – so much so that for much of its existence it was sold out. Apple just couldn’t make enough of them. It was both physically smaller than the iPod (hardly a giant itself) and had a reduced capacity (originally 4GB). But maybe the reason for its success was not its size but its range of metallic colours: Silver, Blue, Green, Pink, and Gold. So what did Apple do next to its super-successful iPod mini? It dumped it the very next year, replacing it with the slimmer but monochrome iPod nano. See: Apple iPod reviews
After the commercial failure of the Power Mac G4 Cube Apple shied away from little Macs for half a decade before slicing the Cube by a fifth and creating the Mac mini (5cm high, compared to the Cube’s 25cm). Released on the same day as the even smaller blind iPod shuffle the Mac mini was meant to lure iPod-using PC owners over to the bright side. See: Mac mini reviews
Sadly, unlike the iPod mini, the Mac mini was never a roaring success. As with the Cube it looked so small that its price-tag appeared too high, especially as you had to buy a monitor, keyboard and mouse for it, too. The original Mac mini also had a power brick that was a third of the size as the computer itself. And, bizarrely, to add memory you needed to prise the top off with putty knives.
Surely the most famous mini is 1960s British auto icon the Morris Mini car, as seen in movies such as The Italian Job and The Italian Job (so Jobs, geddit?). Designed by Sir Alex Issigonis the spartan Mini redefined the family town car, and was rushed into production following fuel rationing caused by the Suez Crisis.
It was so small compared to other cars of the time that on its 1959 launch it was dubbed not just the Mini but the Mini Minor. Often seen as a symbol of Britain as much as Big Ben, bowler hats, double-decker buses, red telephone boxes, and the rain the Mini was later revamped by German car maker BMW.
Apple links: Unlike Apple products the Mini car was an economy model. But, as with Apple’s iPhone, its designer was later knighted. Think Different cover star and idol of Steve Jobs John Lennon, whose Apple Corps fought Apple Computer many times in the courts, was a famous Mini owner – which is another weird co-incidence as the Mini was inspired by the VW Beetle.
Another icon of 1960s Britain was the miniskirt, named by Mary Quant after her favourite car (see above). This mini caused much controversy for its outrageous revelation of the female leg.
Apple links: None that I can think of. And, believe me, I’ve been scouring the web searching through images of miniskirts for at least a day now.
The "City of Lakes" is the 48th largest city in the United States. In 2005 Popular Science named it the "Top Tech City" in the US.
Apple link: This US city is sometimes known as The Mini Apple (for obvious reasons), and so must be bracing itself for an imminent multi-billion-dollar lawsuit from Tim Cook and co.
The most famous human Mini character is Mini-Me from the Austin Powers movies.
Apple link: Mini-Me was played by 2ft 8in actor Verne Troyer, who later starred in Apple’s TV ads for the 12- and 17-inch G4 PowerBooks with 7ft 6in basketball player Yao Ming.
Launched in 1992 Sony’s MiniDisc was a brave new storage format that could store up to 74 minutes of digitized audio – just like a CD-R, which of course won the audio-storage war by being half the price of a MiniDisc.
Apple link: Apple used a Sony storage format from the original Macintosh right through to the mid 1990s, with the 3.5-inch floppy disc. But Apple had nothing to do with Sony’s MiniDisc – a trend matched by just about every other device maker outside of Japan.
How could Disney follow the success of its iconic cartoon rodent Mickey Mouse? Why, easy – by giving him eyelashes, an even higher voice and female clothing.
Apple link: When he sold his animation studio Pixar to Disney for $7.4 billion in 2006 Apple CEO Steve Jobs became Disney’s largest shareholder.
The star of Good Will Hunting and various lesser movie and TV shows since then started her acting career in a 1991 TV advert for Right Guard deodorant.
Apple link: I always thought she starred in TV hospital show ER, but that was Alex Kingston, who I can’t tell her apart from. So the link to ER’s Noah Wyle who played Steve Jobs in the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley is not the strongest I’ve pulled together here.
Minnie the Moocher
"Hi De Hi De Hi De Hi". Cab Calloway’s scat hit Minnie the Moocher is probably best remembered from the singer’s comeback in the Blues Brothers movie but has been a classic since its original release in 1931.
Apple link: Minnie the Moocher was once sung by Apple mega-fan Stephen Fry on TV show Jeeves and Wooster. Like I said, some of these Apple/Mini links are tenuous…
Minnie the Minx
Basically Dennis The Menace for girls, Beano cartoon character Minnie the Minx is regarded as one of the icons of the Golden Age of British comics.
Apple link: She, er, looks a bit like the Special Edition U2 iPod... No?
The Mini was the inspiration for this Jeep-like car thing that became a hit mainly as a beach buggy, and achieved cult fame with its appearance in The Prisoner. The Moke stands for ‘donkey’, and was originally designed as a light military vehicle.
Apple links: With its easily swappable parts and lack of curves the Mini Moke is nothing like a modern Apple product.
Can’t get your child to drink milk? Worried said child will never grow taller than 4 foot and will have bones as fragile as champagne flutes? Then tempt them with with a Mini Milk, disgusting cow milk craftily disguised as a lovely ice cream.
Apple link: I bet Jony Ive has had a Mini Milk.
If your child has drunk a decent quantity of milk he or she might be robust enough to have a go on a little motorbike, which is known as a Mini Moto. Adults also love riding these little bikes, and often injure or kill themselves while looking ridiculous.
Apple link: The very first Apple smartphone was the iTunes-friendly ROKR, made by Motorola (also known as Moto).
Surely there’s no finer game on Earth as Mini Golf – which, with its windmills, castles and gaping clown’s mouths, beats the tartan pants off proper golf.
Apple links: While golf should be the Apple of Sports, with its high costs, premium brand and die-hard fanatics I can’t think of any sport less likely to tempt the likes of Steve Jobs or Jonathan Ive, except maybe badminton or Rugby League. Phil Schiller, on the other hand…
The Blue Meanies were buffoonish, music-hating creatures in the 1968 Beatles movie Yellow Submarine.
Apple links: In the movie the Blue Meanies warred against Pepperland – named after one of Steve Jobs’ favourite albums. Jobs was also a known meany, and always wore blue jeans. Coincidence? The tallest, thinnest Meanies were known as the Apple Bonkers.
Not to be confused with Cadbury confectionary stable-mate gooey-centred Cream Egg, mini eggs are small (hence the name) chocolate eggs with a hard candy shell. Bouyed with this double hit of choc egg success Cadbury later produced Micro Mini Eggs, which were, you guessed it, even smaller.
Apple link: Like Apple’s iPod and iMac, both of which are occasionally available in a range of colours, Mini Eggs come in white, yellow, pink, and light blue hues. In Canada one of the Mini Egg colours is turquoise – just like the original Bondi Blue iMac!
Read our full Apple A-Z