After the unveiling of a new cheaper iMac on 18 June, there's already chatter about the next iMac update from Apple, which 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 - none of which saw a specs change. It wasn't the update we've been waiting for but it does make the iMac much more affordable, which has to be a good thing. You can find out more about the new, cheaper iMac for 2014 in our 2014 iMac review.
The last time the iMac saw an update was 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, 2014 iMac with Fusion Drive review and 2014 budget iMac review . You can read all our iMac reviews here.
We were pretty 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 - which are delayed (read more about this below). However, now reports are suggesting that an update could be on the way, despite Broadwell chips not being available. Read: iMac reviews
When will Apple update the iMac range for 2014?
There are now rumours that Apple will launch a new iMac, with a Retina display, at an event on 21 October.
Young blogger Jack Marsh, who has made a name for himself with claims that sources have revealed to him that the new MacBook Air will come in gold, silver and space grey finish, like the iPhone, has a new rumour to add to his portfolio.
Marsh’s source tells him that the Retina iMac will be launched at the next Apple press event – rumoured to take place on 21 October.
Will the new iMac have a Retina display?
According to Marsh, Apple will launch a 27in iMac with a 5K ‘Retina display’ screen. The screen will have a 5120 x 2880 resolution. This resolution is mentioned in the OS X Yosemite code.
The source doesn’t suggest that the 21-inch iMac will get a Retina display, apparently this won’t get the high res display until Broadwell ships next year.
Earlier this year, French site, MacBidouille claimed that the developer preview of Yosemite 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.
As a point of comparison, Dell UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD 5K Monitor also has a resolution of 5120 x 2880 at 218 pixels-per-inch. That's seven times the resolution of a typical 1080p display and more than a Retina MacBook Pro. The 15in MacBook Pro Retina offers 2880x1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch.
The new iMac may have 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 - in order for the Retina display resolution on that model to hit 5,120 x 2,880 pixel it would require a lot of processor power.
There were previously suggestions 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 may also prove prohibitive, resulting in higher prices. Below you can see the current iMac prices compares to the prices in 2013.
Read: What is a Retina display
New iMac specs: processor, graphics card, USB Type-C?
According to Marsh’s source, the new iMac will not feature the new USB Type-C port (rumoured to appear in the super-thin MacBook Air).
The processor will be the Haswell i7-4790K, with a base clock speed of 4.0GHz. Everyone is waiting for the Broadwell processor to arrive in the Mac, but those new Intel processors will “likely be added in an update next year,” according to Marsh’s source.
The new iMacs will also have AMD graphics, according to Marsh, rather than the Nvidia graphics of the current generation.
What is going on with Broadwell
Intel's next generation of processors, Broadwell, have faced major delays.
Back in July, Intel did confirm that it was shipping the Broadwell chips to its customers, with Intel's chief executive Brian Krzanich promising in a conference call about Intel's second-quarter results that 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. There are some rumours that these chips are being used in the new 12-inch MacBook Air, but they certainly won't be used in the new iMac.
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.
New Retina iMac release date: When is the Retina iMac coming out?
We expect Apple to make an announcement in October and start shipping that month.
Wondering which Mac to buy? Here's our 2014 Mac buying guide.