Merrill Lynch vice president Steven Milunovich is predicting that Apple is about to unveil its latest generation in iMac models at the Apple Worldwide Developers conference next week.

Apple last updated its iMac range in November 2003. The eMac was updated in April. Sales of iMacs in Apple's second quarter were down 15 per cent when compared to the same quarter the year before, bringing in 17 per cent less revenue.

Some analysts are hoping that a low-cost machine will join the line up. A recent report suggested that Apple was missing out on Mac sales, with 50 per cent of people seeking a Mac buying something cheaper like a Dell.

TechnoMetrica technology analyst Constantine Kambanis told MacNewsWorld: "Apple can probably make significant headway in capturing more of the overall market – provided it can introduce a product that will be on par with low-end offerings from Dell or eMachines."

Merrill Lynch reiterated its buy rating on the company, raising the target price from $32 to $38.