Archive of iMac Rumors

Mentions of new iMac models are buried inside the OS X Mavericks 10.9.4 beta that was seeded earlier today.

There are three new resource files for power management that mention three new iMacs with model numbers beginning with 15, according to some digging done by Pike's Universum (via TonyMacx86). The current iMac line is made up of models 14,1 and 14,2.

The most interesting part is the addition of three new resources (plist) files for power management:

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)
Rumors have suggested that new iMac models could make an appearance at WWDC next week after shipping estimates for the machine began to slip on the Apple Online Store.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated earlier this year that a lower-priced iMac was expected in mid-2014.

Update 3:30 PM PT: Apple appears to have pulled the 10.9.4 beta from the Mac App Store and Developer Center four hours after it was released. No reason was given for the removal.
Ahead of WWDC 2014, shipping estimates for Apple's iMac models have slipped to 3 to 5 business days, fueling speculation of a possible announcement of new iMac hardware next week. As noted by AppleInsider, dwindling inventory is also evident at authorized Apple resellers, with some retailers selling the latest iMac models with steep discounts.
As we have seen with Apple may be clearing out inventory Amazon is completely sold out of the base-line 21.5-inch and 27-inch models, relying on third-party resellers who only have a handful of units left in stock. MacMall is also down to its last units on the 2.9-gigahertz 21.5-inch model, and the 3.4-gigahertz 27-inch model.
While movement in product shipping estimates is historically a hit-or-miss indicator of imminent updates, the slip to 3-5 days over the weekend is not the only factor contributing to speculation of iMac updates. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has been predicting for some time that Apple will launch a "low-priced" version of the iMac, and his extensive product roadmap published last month showed the new iMac debuting at the end of the second quarter, which would be next month. Kuo argues that this new iMac with cost-efficient hardware to keep the base price low would offer Apple a way to increase its market share in Asia and other critical foreign markets.

Mac updates have generally been somewhat in flux as Intel has experienced delays with its next-generation Broadwell chips. While the company has been releasing interim "Haswell refresh" chips in recent months, these chips offer minimal improvements over their predecessors. Just last month, Apple released a minor MacBook Air update using one of these new chips, but more importantly reduced pricing by $100. The company could make a similar move with the iMac in the coming weeks.

Exact timing for iMac updates remains uncertain, as it is still a bit early for a launch based on historical update cycles. The iMac has also not played a role in recent WWDC product launches, perhaps due to its consumer focus compared to the professional/developer emphasis for the conference. Consequently, an iMac price drop with minor spec bumps could come in the weeks after WWDC, similar to the quiet MacBook Air update last month.

Apple last refreshed the iMac in September 2013, following a major redesign in 2012. The current iMac model features Intel Haswell processors, faster PCI Express-based flash storage and 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity. Prices start at $1299 for the entry-level 21.5-inch iMac and climb to $1799 for the base 27-inch model.
French site MacBidouille revives rumors that Apple is actively developing ARM processor based Macs. According to a source that they describe as reliable, Apple has prototypes of several ARM-based machines, including an iMac, Mac mini, and 13" Notebook with 4-8 64-bit ARM Quad-core processors.

These machines are reportedly far along in development, and come with a new keyboard that incorporates a large-format Magic Trackpad. Apple might even be ready for an announcement but is reportedly hesitant to make the move.

MacBidouille isn't a frequent source of rumors, so its hard to gauge its source's credibility, but rumors of ARM-based Macs have been circulating for years. It seems likely that Apple has prototyped such devices, but many have doubted the feasibility of moving forward with such a plan.

The first inklings of such a plan might have come when Apple threatened to abandon Intel's chips if they didn't work to slash power consumption. While AMD might have been one way to go for Apple, the first rumors of an Apple migration from Intel to ARM processors appeared earlier that year. Later, a report claimed that Apple already had an ARM (A5) powered MacBook Air in their labs back in 2011.

An analysis in 2012 suggested that Apple shifting from Intel to ARM wasn't implausible but it faced several hurdles. The most significant one was Apple's own ARM chips being able to keep a pace with Intel's future roadmap.

Apple, however, has been making great strides in performance in their ARM processors. The A7 is described as desktop class even in an independent analysis. In fact, the A7 chip is currently being underutilized in Apple's iPhone and iPad devices, leaving some of its power untapped.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has stated that Intel's next-generation Broadwell processors will launch during this holiday season, reports Reuters (via MacG).
"I can guarantee for holiday, and not at the last second of holiday," Krzanich said in an interview. "Back to school - that's a tight one. Back to school you have to really have it on-shelf in July, August. That's going to be tough."
Originally expected to launch in Q3 2014, Krzanich noted that new manufacturing technologies are responsible for the delays surrounding Broadwell, but maintained that Intel is now on schedule to ship its new chips to manufacturers later this year. The statement comes after a leaked Intel roadmap surfaced this past February, which appeared to show an uncertain timetable for Apple's 2014 Mac updates.

A leaked Intel roadmap for 28-watt chips appropriate for 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro

With Intel's Broadwell chips launching near the end of this year however, it is possible that Apple could either choose to wait until next year to integrate Broadwell chips into the Retina MacBook Pro or launch updated models with slightly faster Haswell chips. Apple updated its standard models of the MacBook Air last month with a faster 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel i5 processor while cutting the price by $100.

It is also possible that Intel's new Broadwell chips could be used in the rumored 12-inch MacBook Air, which may coexist alongside or replace the current MacBook Air line. However, it is uncertain which specific chips Apple would use for the new notebook, as prior reports have pointed to the machine coming out towards the end of the third quarter.

As far as a next-generation iMac goes, Apple could also choose to hold off on an update until the appropriate Broadwell chips are out. However, a report last month claimed that Intel's faster Haswell desktop CPUs could arrive in May, with Apple perhaps launching updates sooner rather than later.

Apple is also rumored to have a low-cost iMac in the works, which could utilize more cost-efficient chips. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the low-cost desktop computer could boost sales in critical foreign markets and increase shipments by up to 30 percent.
Intel may release an update to its desktop Haswell processors in May, according to a report in TechPowerUp that cites Hermitage Akihabara as its source. The report claims Intel will launch its new processors, including its flagship Core i7-4790K, on May 10th in most markets. These next generation Haswell chips will include Intel's Z97 chipset, which provides support for faster and larger M.2 SATA Express drives.

The new Haswell desktop processors will offer a 100 MHz bump in clock speeds and will be a direct successor to most of the chips currently used in the iMac, with the exception of the low-end 21.5-inch iMac, which uses a special i5-4570R chip enhanced with Intel's Iris 5200 integrated graphics. Intel may have a compatible replacement processor under development, but leaked information has not yet revealed this corresponding model.

These chips may lay the groundwork for an iMac refresh that Apple is planning in 2014. Apple allegedly has a low-priced iMac model in the works, claims KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a research note published this week. This less expensive model may be Apple's first major product launch in 2014 and could boost iMac shipments by up to 30 percent.
Our surveys indicate that Apple’s last iMac model, released at end-2012 with an all-new-design, shipped fewer-than-expected units in the worldwide market. We think the price was set too high and the model failed to make an impact in critical foreign markets like China. We thus think Apple may offer a budget iMac model to push shipments among non-US markets in the face of solid competition from Levono (CN), HP (US) and other rivals.
Though Intel's desktop processors may be slated for a refresh as early as next month, the timing for the release of the mobile processors used in Apple's MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are not yet known. The latest information leaked earlier this year by VR-Zone suggests low-end models of Intel's next-generation Broadwell processor may debut in Q3 2014, with the roadmap for high-end processors compatible with Apple's MacBook line still up in the air.

Speed bumped versions of the current Haswell chips in the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro may appear at the end of 2014, but that release date still is uncertain at this point and would only provide a small upgrade heading into Broadwell next year.
In an extensive research note covering Apple's product roadmap for 2014, KGI Securities Ming Chi Kuo reiterated expectations that Apple is working on a ultra slim 12" MacBook Air but also revealed a new low-cost iMac in the works.

Kuo's predictions for the 12" MacBook Air match what was leaked in March from a reliable Chinese forum source. The new 12" MacBook Air will "redefine notebook user experience":

- Thinner than current models
- No fan
- Buttonless trackpad
- Higher resolution Display

Kuo first predicted this ultra thin 12" MacBook Air late last year.
We expect the unprecedented 12” model will boast both the portability of the 11” model, and productivity of the 13” model. The high resolution display will also offer the outstanding visual experience of the Retina MacBook Pro. The offering will likely be lighter and slimmer than the existing MacBook Air to further highlight ease of portability in the cloud computing era. We think the form factor will showcase a much improved clamshell structure, and that it will redefine laptop computing once again following the milestone created by the MacBook Air.
Besides the 12" MacBook Air, Kuo reiterates his earlier claim that a "low-priced" version of the iMac is coming. The new model will help compete with companies such as HP and Lenovo as well as grow market share in Asia.

The 12" MacBook Air is not expected until late 2014, while the low-cost iMac may come mid-year.
Apple is set to release a slew of new products during the third quarter of 2014 according to KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, who often provides reliable information on Apple’s product lineup.

In a 2014 product roadmap, Kuo suggests Apple will introduce its first new product of the year, a lower-cost iMac, during the second quarter. Soon after, during the third quarter, Kuo predicts Apple will introduce an upgraded iPad Air and iPad mini, followed by an iWatch in two separate sizes, and a 4.7-inch iPhone.

An upgraded Apple TV set-top box will come somewhat later, as will the rumored 12-inch ultra slim MacBook and upgraded Retina MacBook Pros. Later, in the fourth quarter, Apple will introduce the 5.5-inch iPhone, which is said to be delayed due to issues with in-cell display technology. Along with his roadmap, Kuo also gives specific information on each of Apple’s upcoming products.

- iWatch: Kuo believes the iWatch will ship during the end of the third quarter, offering biometric functionality, integration with the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and a "fashionable appearance." As has been previously suggested, he predicts the device will come in two sizes, with a 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch flexible AMOLED display. It will also include a sapphire cover lens, biometric recognition, an NFC chip, wireless charging, a 200 to 250 mAh battery, and a slim and light design. Kuo also believes that Apple will offer the iWatch at multiple price points, with the most expensive version costing upwards of $1,000.

- iPhone 6: Supporting previous iPhone 6 rumors, Kuo believes the device will come in two sizes: 4.7 and 5.5-inches, with resolutions of 1334x750 (326ppi) and 1920 x 1080 (401 ppi), respectively. Both models will come with an A8 processor, 1GB of RAM, LTPS display panels, optical image stabilization, and Touch ID. Kuo points to a 10 to 20 percent narrower bezel, a 6.5–7.0mm thickness, metal casings, and NFC integration. Mass shipments of the 4.7-inch version are expected in September, with the 5.5-inch version shipping later. Kuo suggests that only the 64GB 5.5-inch version will use sapphire displays.

- iPad Air 2: The second-generation iPad Air is expected to adopt Touch ID, an A8 processor, and an improved camera with a resolution of eight megapixels. Kuo believes the second iPad Air could come earlier in the year than the previous iPad Air, which was released in October.

- iPad mini with Retina Display: Like the iPad Air, a new Retina mini could gain an A8 processor and Touch ID, but Kuo believes it will retain the same form factor. He also suggests that the older iPad mini with Retina display could be sold at a lower cost.

- 12.9-inch iPad Pro: Kuo believes that Apple is indeed working on a 12.9-inch iPad, but he does not expect it to be launched in 2014.

- 12-inch MacBook Air: As rumored, Apple is believed to be preparing an ultrathin MacBook Air that incorporates a touchpad without buttons and functions without a fan. It is also expected to include a higher-resolution display.

- iMac: A lower-priced iMac is believed to be on the horizon, which Kuo says could help boost iMac shipments by up to 23 percent. It could be Apple’s first product launch of the year.

- Apple TV: Apple is not expected to launch a full television set this year, but an upgraded set top box with an App Store and motion control technology is expected.

While Kuo’s predictions do include many rumors that have previously surfaced over the past several months from a variety of sources, his roadmap gives a solid overview of what we might expect from Apple in 2014. We've also broken out several of his predictions into individual posts that can be found here: iWatch, iPad, iPhone 6, MacBook Air.
mavericks_macsWith Apple's Mac lineup beginning to show signs of aging, consumers are no doubt starting to wonder when they can expect updated models to hit the market. Apple's product update cycles are in large part driven by availability of new processors, so it pays to take a look at Intel's roadmap to see what might be coming when to give Apple new options for upgrades.

The MacBook Air is currently the older of Apple's two current notebook lines (setting aside the non-Retina MacBook Pro that has been reduced to a single 13-inch model and hasn't been updated since June 2012). Apple's ultrathin notebook currently offers a choice of two low-power 15-watt Haswell chips to help achieve remarkable all-day battery life. Entry-level models include a 1.3 GHz i5-4250U chip, while higher-end models bump up to a 1.7 GHz i7-4650U processor. Both chips include Intel's "Iris 5000" integrated graphics that offers reasonable everyday performance in a power-efficient design.

According to an Intel roadmap leaked by VR-Zone [Google Translate], a successor to the current low-end chip is set to launch in the third quarter in the form of an i5-4260U Haswell refresh, presumably carrying just a small speed bump compared to the current chip. Another alternative for Apple could be the 1.4 GHz i5-4350U or its just-announced successor 1.5 GHz i5-4360U. The 4350U chip has been available since last year, but Apple elected not to use it in the current MacBook Air. The high-end MacBook Air situation is less clear, as leaked roadmaps have not yet shown a direct successor to the current i7-4650U chip.

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According to new a survey done by market research firm Parks Associates (via CNET), Apple desktops have become the most sought after desktop computers this holiday season, beating out longtime holiday desktop leader Dell and other competitors such as HP and Acer. This marks the first time that Apple products have taken the top spot in the history of the survey, as the company was ranked 3rd in the category in 2011 and 2nd in 2012. The Apple TV also remained at the top spot for the most sought after streaming media device, topping the Roku TV.

“Apple topped the list of intended brands for desktop purchases for the first time this year,” said John Barrett, director, Consumer Analytics, Parks Associates. “In 2011 and 2012, Dell was the top desktop brand, but Apple has displaced it, making Apple now the most popular brand across even more key CE categories.”
Apple quietly updated the iMac this past September with Intel's Haswell processors and faster PCI-Express based flash storage, which followed a major design revision to the desktop in 2012 that brought a thinner and lighter design. The company also currently sells its lower-priced Mac Mini and is getting ready to launch the high-end Mac Pro sometime in December, with a German retailer stating a possible availability date of Monday, December 16.
Yesterday, Apple began offering refurbished models of the current 27-inch iMac in its online store for the first time, and while two of the three available models quickly sold out, the company is clearly working to expand availability by adding not only another 27-inch configuration but also a pair of 21.5-inch models today. The newly listed models, all of which ship in 1-5 business days, include:

- 21.5-inch iMac 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with 8 GB RAM, 1 TB hard drive, and Intel Iris Pro graphics: $1099 ($200 savings)

- 21.5-inch iMac 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with 8 GB RAM, 1 TB hard drive, and NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M: $1269 ($230 savings)

- 27-inch iMac 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with 8 GB RAM, 1 TB hard drive, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M graphics: $1699 ($300 savings)
Apple today added three separate models of the current 27-inch iMac to its online store for refurbished products, marking their first appearance in the store since their September launch. The three models, all of which are listed as shipping in 1-5 business days, include:

- 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with 8 GB RAM, 1 TB hard drive, and NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M graphics: $1529 ($270 savings)

- 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with 8 GB RAM, 1 TB hard drive, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M graphics: $1869 ($330 savings)

- 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with 8 GB RAM, 3 TB Fusion drive, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M graphics: $2289 ($410 savings)

Other configurations of the latest 27-inch iMac and all configurations of the current 21.5-inch iMac have yet to appear in Apple's refurbished store.
imac_2013_colorApple has a released a new firmware update -- iMac SMC Firmware Update 1.1 -- for the new iMacs released in September.

Simultaneously, Apple also released a supplemental update for OS X 10.8.5.
iMac SMC Firmware Update 1.1

This update is recommended for iMac (late 2013) with flash-only storage. This update improves the Power Nap feature in Mavericks on your flash based iMac by allowing it to perform silently, without spinning up the fan.

Power Nap periodically updates apps, such as Mail, Contacts, and Calendar, and will download software updates while your iMac is sleeping.


iMac 10.8.5 Supplemental Update 1.0

The iMac OS X v10.8.5 Supplemental Update 1.0 is recommended for iMacs (Late 2013) using NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M graphics and running OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.5.

This update:

- Fixes an issue that may cause external drives to be ejected after the computer goes to sleep
- Fixes an issue that may prevent certain USB Bluetooth adapters from working
They aren't the first updates for the new iMacs -- when they were first released, Apple released an EFI update to address Boot Camp installation issues.

iMac SMC Firmware Update 1.1 and iMac 10.8.5 Supplemental Update 1.0 are available for download through Apple's support website or through the Mac App Store's software update mechanism.