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I'm a college student and aspiring Apple developer. As such, I am trying to find an intel Mac Mini for as cheep as possible. I've noticed that there is quite a price gap between the models that can support Mountain Lion (late 2009 and later), and those that can't. Since Lion supports the App Store, do I really need Mountain Lion?

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closed as off topic by Daniel Apr 15 '13 at 19:48

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Questions about what you should buy ("let's go shopping") are off-topic. – Daniel Apr 15 '13 at 19:47
Depends on what you want to develop... – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Apr 15 '13 at 22:20

Mountain Lion versus Lion is one thing, but it's worth considering that, with Apple's apparent intention of releasing a new major version of OS X every year, a machine that can only run Lion will rapidly fall far behind the baseline. This may make it hard to develop against new SDKs that require the latest version of Xcode.

Buying an older Mac mini may mean saving money now only to have to spend it sooner than you'd like to remain productive.

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Which is why I'm amazed used Macs hold their value so well! – Sean W. Apr 15 '13 at 19:19
For a pure end user the situation is a bit different, we are using a bunch of laptops from 2009 still without problems. – patrix Apr 15 '13 at 19:22
For end users, agreed. As advice to an aspiring developer, we often end up wanting or needing to stay close to the bleeding edge. :) – Dan J Apr 15 '13 at 19:40

All depends on the version of XCode you wish to use.

I believe Lion is currently the minimum requirement for Xcode iOS 5.1

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You're confusing the version of XCode (actually 4.6.1) and the version of iOS. – Matthieu Riegler Apr 15 '13 at 20:10

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