The iMac was last updated on 24 September 2013 when Apple added the Haswell processor, new graphics, next generation Wi-Fi and faster PCIe flash storage options. It seems likely that Apple will update the iMac at some point this year so in this article, we will explore some of the rumours about Apple’s new generation of iMacs, including the Retina iMac said to have been referenced in the developer preview of OS X Yosemite, as well as the rumoured low-cost iMac that the company is said to be about to launch. This article will be regularly updated so you can stay up to date with the latest iMac release date rumours.
Read our review of the 2013 iMacs here.
When is the new iMac coming out?
KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had predicted that Apple will launch a range of new iMacs including a new, low-cost iMac at WWDC 2014 on 2 June, however, no new Macs were launched at the event. This didn’t surprise us as we were sceptical about this release date, as it would be less than a year after Apple last upgraded the iMac.
One reason why the new iMac may not launch until much later this year is that Intel has announced further delays for its new Broadwell processor, which is the successor to the current chips in Apple’s Macs.
Will Apple launch a Retina iMac?
Apparently there is evidence that Apple is building an iMac with a Retina display in the developer preview of Yosemite.
French site, MacBidouille claims that the developer preview includes a file that refers to a display scaling resolution option for the iMac. Apparently, the file includes a collection of scaling resolution options for the new iMac. They max out at 6400 x 3600 pixels, or 3200 x 1800, which is a Retina display.
Will there be a low-cost iMac?
The Mac mini is currently Apple’s lowest priced Mac at just £499, but it is long overdue an update. There has been some speculation that Apple might discontinue the Mac mini. Given this speculation, the rumour that Apple will introduce a low-cost iMac may cause concern – what place is there for the Mac mini if the iMac is more affordable? Read more about the Mac mini here.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was predicting that Apple will launch a low-cost iMac in June. Kuo believes that the low cost model could help Apple reach into emerging markets such as China. He also believes that the low-cost iMac will help Apple increase iMac shipments by 23%. He thinks that Apple will sell 4.8 million units.
How much will the low-cost iMac cost?
The current entry-level iMac costs £1,149. The entry-level Mac mini costs £499. The entry-level MacBook Air costs £849. We would expect a new low-cost iMac to be priced somewhere in the middle of these prices, perhaps at around £949.
How much will the new iMacs cost in the UK?
There are currently two different sized iMacs: the 21.5in and the 27in model. The 21.5in iMac traditionally costs less than the 27in but this is mainly because Apple tends to use more advanced processors and graphics in the 27in model.
In 2013 a number of different iMacs were available at different prices, we expect the prices of the new range of Macs – with the exception of the new entry-level model to remain the same. It is possible that the prices could decline across the range – there is currently a big difference between the 21.5in and the 27in models as you can see below.
– The 21.5-inch iMac came with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.2 GHz), and Intel Iris Pro costs £1,149
– The 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz) and NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M costs £1,299
– The 27-inch iMac is with a 3.2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz) and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 755M is £1,599
– The 27-inch model with a 3.4 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.8 GHz) and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M costs £1,749
Will Apple redesign the iMac?
Apple significantly redesigned the iMac in 2012, slimming it down for an even thinner design. The design aesthetics are currently very similar to the Apple MacBooks so we don’t expect Apple to make further changes to the design for the time being.
What features and specs will the new iMac have
It seems likely that the new iMacs will feature the latest Intel chips: Broadwell. However, should Apple wish the new iMac to feature Intel’s new Broadwell chip the iMac may not launch as soon as June. The Broadwell processor has been delayed due to manufacturing problems.
Intel revealed in its financial results last October that Broadwell was delayed due to a manufacturing defect in the new 14-nm process being used for the Broadwell chip. Due to this Broadwell won’t launch until the second half of 2014 – a quarter later than originally planned.
Will the new iMac have a Retina display?
Apple might launch an iMac with a higher-resolution screen, but this may not be a true Retina Display. One reason why it is unlikely that the display will be Retina is that as screen sizes get larger, the graphics card requirements also increase. For example, the 27in iMac currently has a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 – the Retina display resolution on that model would need to be 5,120 x 2,880, although it has been suggested that to qualify for the ‘Retina display’ definition the resolution would only need to be 3,840 x 2,400 if Apple used ‘pixel doubling’.
The cost involved in producing a 27-inch iMac with Retina display would also prove prohibitive.