New iMacs Before The Holidays?

Apparently not content with an entirely revamped notebook line, rumors are circulating that Apple will also introduce refreshed 20 and 24-inch iMacs before year’s end. If true, new iMacs would be in keeping with earlier rumors that they would see spec bumps alongside the introduction of the new MacBooks.

While details remain scarce on what specific updates will be forthcoming, it is fairly safe to assume that no major design changes will be introduced, since the aluminum iMac has provided the template for the new look of the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and 24-inch Cinema display. Some sources, though not reliable, are suggesting a new 30-inch form factor that would retain the black-framed look.

More likely, however, are internal upgrades for the existing 20 and 24-inch models, including processor bumps in keeping with the updated Montevina-based chips currently shipping in new MacBooks. Another likely change is the move to better, Nvidia-branded graphics cards in all models, replacing the ATI Radeon 2400 and 2600 HD cards currently in use. Nvidia has clearly become a supplier of choice for Apple, and their presence in all Apple notebooks provides strong evidence that we’ll see them in Apple’s desktops, as well.

Mini DisplayPort, the royalty-free new video connector present on all new Apple notebooks will likely also make the jump to the desktop in new iMacs. Steve Jobs has already said that DisplayPort technology would replace existing video connectors on all suitable Apple products, and since it supports Dual-DVI it can provide higher resolutions than the mini-DVI port used in current model iMacs.

If the changes to the notebook line are followed, expect to also see bigger capacity hard drives provided in base configurations, with improved upgrade options, including SSD alternatives.

The iMac was last updated in April, so a spec upgrade is in keeping with Apple’s hardware release cycle. It will be interesting to see if the Mac mini receives the update it was originally rumored to be getting the last time the iMac was improved. The Mini has remained untouched for well over a year, leading many to suspect Apple is ending the line. News of any changes will likely come soon, before the holiday shopping season gets into full swing.