Mac developers who got an early peek at upcoming OS X Mavericks 10.9.4 software noticed a tidbit suggesting new iMac hardware is on the way soon. 9to5 Mac called out three specific references to iMac models in the code showing the iMac 15 designation. Apple’s current iMac hardware models start with the number 14; the company increments the model number by one with each new hardware revision.
Here’s what the preview code shows in a power management module:
Mac-81E3E92DD6088272.plist / iMac15,1 (IGPU only)
Mac-42FD25EABCABB274.plist / iMac15,n (IGPU/GFX0/Apple display with id 0xAE03)
Mac-FA842E06C61E91C5.plist / iMac15,n (IGPU/GFX0/Apple display with id 0xAE03)
What does this code suggest? Aside from three distinct iMac variations, it appears that only one will have a graphics module integrated with the CPU. The other two will have both integrated graphics and a discrete or separate graphic processor, which is better for visually intensive applications and games. This is actually how the current iMac lineup is offered: The entry level 21-inch iMac has Intel Iris graphics only while all other models add an Nvidia GeForce graphics chip.
Noted KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo suggested in an April research note that Apple would add a low-cost iMac to its 2014 product line, so it’s possible that the first code line references that model. It’s not possible to tell from this snippet, however.
It’s also a bit of a stretch but it’s possible that Apple introduces its first iMac with a 4K screen, bringing its “retina display” technology to the desktop. The company added better scaling support for high DPI monitors, such as external 4K displays powered by a Mac Pro and the 15-inch MacBook Pro retina display, in the last OS X Mavericks update. To date, however, the iMac doesn’t qualify as a high DPI screen. Perhaps the next one, likely a 27-inch model, will.