Blog Post

At long last: new iMacs almost here?

Apple’s(s AAPL) 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(s SNE) 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.

18 Responses to “At long last: new iMacs almost here?”

  1. 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.

  2. 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??

  3. johnmeister

    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.

  4. Michael W. Perry

    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.

    • 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.

    • estephan500

      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.

    • 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.

  5. Albert Kinng

    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.