After the unveiling of a new cheaper iMac on 18 June, there's already chatter about the next iMac update from Apple, which we expect could involve the introduction of a Retina display to the all-in-one desktop Mac. Here, we bring you the new Retina iMac's release date, features, specs and price, so you'll know the latest iMac news. Read on for all of the new iMac news and future iMac rumours.
Didn't Apple just announce a new iMac?
On 18 June Apple launched a new, cheaper iMac and reduced pricing for its other iMac models. It wasn't the update we've been waiting for but it's still exciting news that makes the iMac much more affordable. You can find out more about the new, cheaper iMac for 2014 in our 2014 iMac review.
The iMac was last properly updated in September 2013 when Apple added the Haswell processor, new graphics, next generation Wi-Fi and faster PCIe flash storage options. Read our review of the 2013 iMacs here. You can read all our iMac reviews here.
When will Apple update the iMac range for 2014?
We can be quite confident that the reason why Apple hasn't yet updated the iMac for 2014 is that it is waiting for Intel to release its new Broadwell chips.
The good news is that despite rumours of major delays, Intel has confirmed that it is finally shipping the Broadwell chips to its customers, like Apple. In a conference call about Intel's second-quarter results on 15 July, Intel's chief executive Brian Krzanich confirmed Intel’s hardware partners will have Broadwell systems on store shelves in the run up to Christmas. He said: "We said we would have products on shelves for the holiday season and we continue to work with our partners and we’re on schedule to have product on shelf in the holiday."
However, anyone awaiting the new Retina MacBook Pro, Retina MacBook Air, iMac and Mac mini should note that there are various Broadwell chips being developed by Intel, and the chips that Intel confirmed are shipping now are the M variety, destined for fanless two-in-ones. The new MacBook Air is likely to use the U Broadwell processor, which may not ship until 2015.
When it does ship, Broadwell, which uses the 14nm manufacturing process. It is said to consume 30% less power than it's predecessor Haswell, and that should be good news for battery life on the portable Macs, especially those with power hungry screens.
However, in a conference call about Intel's second-quarter results on 15 July, Intel's chief executive Brian Krzanich confirmed Intel’s hardware partners will have Broadwell systems on store shelves in the run up to Christmas, so it is still possible that we could see new iMacs before the end of the year. Even winter seems a long way away to those who have been waiting for updates to Macs for so long. We are sure that Apple is equally frustrated with Intel.
Evidence that the iMac will have a Retina display
Apparently there is evidence that Apple is building an iMac with a Retina display in the developer preview of OS X Yosemite.
French site, MacBidouille claims that the developer preview includes a file that refers to a display scaling resolution option for the iMac. Apparently, the file includes a collection of scaling resolution options for the new iMac. They max out at 6400 x 3600 pixels, or 3200 x 1800, which is a Retina display.
Apple might launch an iMac with a higher-resolution screen, but this may not be a true Retina Display. One reason why it is unlikely that the display will be Retina is that as screen sizes get larger, the graphics card requirements also increase. For example, the 27in iMac currently has a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 - the Retina display resolution on that model would need to be 5,120 x 2,880, although it has been suggested that to qualify for the ‘Retina display’ definition the resolution would only need to be 3,840 x 2,400 if Apple used ‘pixel doubling’.
The cost involved in producing a 27-inch iMac with Retina display would also prove prohibitive.
New Retina iMac release date: When is the Retina iMac coming out?
Now that Intel is shipping the chips you may be hoping that a new iMac will launch soon, but it is unlikely to be available before the autumn. We expect Apple to make an announcement in October and start shipping that month.
[Wondering whether to buy a MacBook or a Mac desktop? Find out if you should buy a Mac laptop or Mac desktop here.]