I am new to Mac. If I want to start a iPhone development, what is the basic hardware I require? Would Mac Mini be good enough?

  • 2
    Don't forget a Mac keyboard if you get a mini. Nov 14, 2010 at 22:44

4 Answers 4


A Mac mini will serve you just fine. I taught a course last semester that did iPod touch programming (another college had iPod touches available for educational use, so I figured programming them would be educational). The only thing I needed was to buy four Mac minis to put in the lab. The Macs didn't need to be advanced, just new.

One note: Prepare for some major headaches getting your first "Hello, World!" app over the wire and onto your iPhone. Doing so requires the proper public/private keys and certificates. I used a university license program, but you will probably need to spend the $100 on the single developer kit. The development tools themselves are free, and you can work on the simulator right away.

  • Yes, I remember that headache! :) Nov 14, 2010 at 22:41

You need a Mac. Almost any Intel based Mac will do, if it has memory enough, where "enough" depends on how willing you are to wait.

At least 2 Gb RAM and better if more.

You will need to download the appropriate iPhone SDK from Apple to write code. For any non-trivial application you will need a physical device too, as the emulator is not 100% accurate.


I currently use a MacBook Air with the 258GB SSD, 1.8GHz, Intel Core 2 Duo with 2GB and it's been serving me very well. I've also found compile time to be a lot faster with an SSD.

As for the basic hardware, obviously you need an Apple-labeled system running Mac OS X and a the latest version of Xcode (4). I would also say the minimum amount of RAM to use would be 2GB as Xcode sure knows how to eat up memory! If you can splash some extra cash then I'd also suggest investing in an SSD as they really do increase compile times.


Almost any Intel Mac that can run OS X 10.6 will do (even used Macs 2 or 3 years old). You will need around at least a dozen or so GB of free storage just to download and install the SDK. An Mini on a KVM will work just fine. Display size real estate is probably the most valuable hardware spec, but I've even been using an MBA 11 for iOS apps development.

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