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Summary:

The last iMac upgrade occurred in May 2011. A new report says that Apple’s plans to upgrade the all-in-one desktop are “imminent.” Feature-wise, we’ll reportedly get a high-resolution display, faster processors, and an even thinner design that nixes the optical drive.

new-imac-feature

Apple’s sure taking its sweet time updating its desktop computers, isn’t it? Lightweight notebooks like the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are clearly Apple’s priority these days, but there is still a contingent of people who badly want to upgrade their all-in-one Apple desktops. For those of you who fit that description, it looks like good news is on its way. On Friday, Fox News’ Clayton Morris says he’s heard from “multiple” people that upgraded iMacs are “imminent.”

The last iMac upgrade occurred in May 2011.

What will see see in these new models? They could have Retina displays or something very close to it. Here are the other features Morris is told will be in the new desktops:

A few things we can count on in the new iMacs are new Ivy Bridge processors, improved graphics chips, USB 3.0, and expanded SSD capacities. Also look for a new slimmer design with Apple finally removing the optical drive from the side.

The lack of an optical disk drive might be surprising to some, but there have been clues this was coming. Eagle-eyed developers looking at OS X Mountain Lion code last month saw hints that Apple was heading this direction. The argument for no optical drive in laptops like the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro with Retina display was that it eliminated extra bulk. The argument for not including them in a desktop like the iMac? Apple considers it legacy technology. And Apple’s not the only one — Sony also plans to get out of the optical drive business.

When will we see these new devices? I don’t think Apple will take time away from a new iPhone/iOS 6 or smaller iPad event to talk all-in-one desktop refreshes. My best guess is the announcement will come via unceremonious press release with plenty of time  before holiday shopping picks up.

  1. Well… No optical drive is kind of a wacky thought. It is a desktop. Desktops are for productivity in house essentials. Desktops are for people that need to run their offices with printers, scanners, archives, records, multiple backups, client aprovals, music editing, video production, graphic design file convertions and most of the time a CD or DVD needs to be burned. If they are going to get rid of optical drives then they should eliminate the iMac completely and offer better prices for displays so you can use your laptops as desktops then.

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    1. External disc drive?

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    2. not sure where you get your awesome definition of what a desktop absolutely is. on my desktop, which I work at full-time every day, doing a wide spectrum of tasks (not just a ton of MS Word and browsing) … I use my optical drive very rarely. 4x a year. totally valid for it to be external.

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    3. davidlmobleymd Monday, October 29, 2012

      Exactly! So I save 8 pounds. My desk will really appreciate it. But wait, I can show everyone how thin it is.

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  2. Michael W. Perry Friday, September 7, 2012

    A thinner iMac? Someone needs to tell the silly artsy types at Apple that thin in a desktop doesn’t matter.
    Not all of us draw Apple-sized paychecks or can get our Macs at a hefty company discount.

    What does matter is how easy it is to get inside and upgrade or repair them. And thin almost always mean hard to get inside.

    And I know personally just how frustrating this can be. I’ve not been able to play DVDs on my iMac for about three months because I dread going inside it to remove a stuck DVD.

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    1. Is it physically stuck? If it just won’t come out for simple reasons, hold the mouse button down on a boot up and it should eject.

      Both you and Albert Kinng do know that you can hook just about any external CD/DVD writer to the USB bus? Also, if you have a network of Macs on gigabit, you can share CDs and DVDs over a network to optical diskless Macs.

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    2. You could take it to an Apple retail store.

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    3. I have had the guys at the apple store pull one out with tape and a tongue depresser when my daughter inserted a second cd.

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    4. the “thinner” concept comes from the GigaOM writer above… you jumped the gun with your tirade against the artsy apple staff. Actually, if something’s on my desk full-time, I definitely like the idea of a thinner, lighter appearance.

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    5. Getting inside and upgrading/repairing may matter to *you*, but it does not matter to everyone. A thinner device may not matter to *you*, but it does to some. In short, you are not representative of everyone.

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  3. People cried when they got rid of the floppy on the desktop as well. Most people I know now carry around a USB stick to transfer stuff. I haven’t used my DVD drive in a while on my Mac Pro/iMac and Xserve.

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  4. hy there guys,tomorrow i was going to buy a mac retina display,but now i m not sure to buy it of wait the new imac.i ve always used windows since 17 years,but now i would to change.i like to play with photos and video and sometimes i play just to the blizzard games.what do you suggest??the price of the new imac with the same configuration fo retina display will me less then 2300 euros??

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  5. Will they/can they make a USB 3 Super Drive?

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  6. Apple is moving the football and the rest of the PC industry will follow as usual but not without crying first also as usual.

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  7. I have been using a Mac Mini for 8 months. I bought an external superdrive but the only thing I use it for is watching DVDs on my computer. All software is now available by network download and all backups are done to external or networked hard drives or the cloud. There isn’t really much of a need for internal DVD drives anymore. If an office environment needs on , they can buy an external Superdrive and share it.

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  8. talesfromvancity Monday, September 17, 2012

    I haven’t used my optical drive on any of my system’s since installing their operating systems years ago. It’s called a flash drive. Who needs CD/DVD.

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    1. People who use them?

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  9. So now i have to buy an iMac for 1200$ and then buy an optical drive for 80$ i don’t care about weight or thinness i just want a fast computer

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