After two years, Apple updated its iMac and iMac Pro line quietly today, with a handful of improvements under-the-hood. On the outside, however, the iMac still looks exactly, with big features and an even bigger chin at the bottom. This means that it is now seven years since the latest iMac reconstruction.
When can Apple transfer the iMac design? It is someone's guess at this time, but I see a logical explanation …
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Apple first introduced the iMac iMac in August 2007, making it available in 20-inch and 24-inch variants . This was a major update compared to the previous iMac plastic design, available in 17, 20 and 24-inch screen versions between August 2004 and August 2007.
That means there were three years between when Apple introduced the white plastic iMac G5 and aluminum iMac 2007 – a fairly fast conversion time for a great conversion of a Mac. But in mid-2007, the iMac was just a stepping stone. Although it was an aluminum front, it still had a black plastic rear housing, which was a sharp difference from the sleek aluminum front.
In 2009, Apple restored its iMac series with aluminum unibody design in 21.5 inches and 27-inch variants – introducing the two screen sizes still in use today. This design has ended up in the future for the iMac, with Apple focusing on iterating it instead of completely reshaping.
In October 2012, Apple redesigned the iMac with an extremely slim page profile and removed the SuperDrive. While the thinnest point measures 5 mm, there is still an uneven bulge in the back to accommodate the iMac's interior and cooling system. In 2015, the iMac was upgraded with a Retina display.
Through these changes, the overall appearance of the iMac has become the same: an aluminum building with black elements and an aluminum hook. The latest significant update to the iMac was the introduction of unibody aluminum design 2009, but even though the transition actually started in 2008.
At the time of 2012, Apple was sure to make the iMac ultra-slim side profile a good looking, and hyped as one great redesign. In actual use, however, that change has been much less remarkable, with the iMac front appearance remaining unchanged.
Currently, we are in the largest design in iMac's history, having been seven years since the introduction of 21-inch and 27-inch unibody aluminum design in 2012. That is not to say that the iMac is necessarily dated – it has received semi-timely special updates and is not a moment of any imagination, but the design really begins to show its age.
So when can Apple finally reorganize the iMac? I have the feeling that it will correlate with the release of the new Mac Pro and Apple standalone display.
Generally reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in an investor listing earlier this year that Apple would release its new modular Mac Pro along with a 31-inch stand-alone display this year.
Last month, our own Jeff Benjamin and Michael Steeber imagined what Apple's 31-inch 6K display might look like. This is the concept:
Apple's latest stand-alone display was the Thunderbolt Display, which contained a design very similar to the iMac, but was a bit slimmer because it didn't "I No need to host a whole computer. I expect the same principle to continue with the company's standalone display as indicated in the eventual reconstruction of the iMac.
As for what an iMac redesign could consist of, the obvious assumption is that it will contain much slimmer elements and hopefully a smaller chin. While there is much hope that Apple will include Face ID for the Mac line in some form, there is no indication that such a move is in the cards.
That's also the question of whether Apple will move towards ultra-wide screen technology that so much of the market has, Kuo's report certainly meant that the 6K 31-inch screen would be extr emt wide so it would not necessarily be a surprise for the iMac to also move in that direction.
Previously, Kuo claimed that Apple was working on an iMac with an upgraded display panel, but ultimately never came to reality. Given that Kuo's reports are based on supply chain indicators, he may have missed the early signs on the 31-inch screen to become an iMac update. However, it is also possible that Apple returned a larger iMac update to focus on the Mac Pro and 31-inch screen.
It's hard not to assume that Apple pays all the attention to the new Mac Pro and the accompanying screen. There is a lot of pressure on the company to do well with both products after the poorly received trashcan Mac Pro and the interruption of the Thunderbolt screen. It's a little incentive for Apple to overshadow its rumored 6K 31-inch screen and Mac Pro with a consumer iMac update, at least right now. Especially when converting the iMac, it would almost certainly provide at least one frame for what Apple's stand-alone display will look like.
Despite its aging design, the iMac is a popular choice among general consumers. Personally, however, I hold out the hope of an iMac conversion in 2020 – after this year's launch of the Mac Pro and its display. When we just see the new iMac will come down to when the Mac Pro and 31-inch screen are released. The earlier we see these products, the earlier the updated iMac will be announced, and vice versa.
What do you hope to see when the iMac is eventually redesigned? Let us know in the comments below.
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