Over half (56 per cent) of the Macworld online readers taking part in this week's poll do not think that Apple needs to make major changes to the design of the iMac when the next generation arrives in September.
This figure is made up of 46 per cent who say the company should make "just a few tweaks", and 10 per cent who say Apple should not change the design at all.
While Apple has confirmed that the new iMac will include a G5 processor, the company has given no hints of a changed form-factor, although the heat generated by the new IBM chip may require some changes to the computer design.
More than a third of readers (35 per cent) think that Apple should take the opportunity to change the lampshade-like design – because they "never liked it". Another 10 per cent are undecided, choosing the opt-out "don't know" option.
Forum readers have been debating possible re-designs for the Apple's consumer-targeted computer. One reader asks: "Well we've had toilet-seat shape, toaster shape, kettle shape... what's left in the kitchen and bathroom to inspire Apple designer Jonathan Ive?"
Off with his head
For many readers the idea of a "headless iMac" seems popular. This concept of an iMac that would cease to be an all in one machine seems to go against Apple's philosophy for the machine, but many readers think that this may enable Apple to produce an affordable computer and therefore grow market-share.
One reader explains: "I think the time is now right for a sexy low-cost Cube-style machine, but I think Apple should bundle it with a monitor to maintain the iMac's out-of-the-box experience."
Regarding the Cube, which Apple introduced in July 2000 and withdrew a year later following poor sales, the reader says: "I think the Cube concept was a good idea, just poorly positioned at the time. If Apple did an updated version with some real media-centre capability I think it would work now."
He also suggests: "Fully integrated boxes don't appeal to lots of potential customers, but a Cube could if the aesthetics were good. The downside of the current iMac is that if the screen breaks you're up the creek without a paddle. The recent Gadget Show experiment demonstrated the problems getting Macs fixed, both in time and money."
However, another reader suggests that taking the head off the Mac may not be wise. "I think it would put off your average consumer browsing in PC World if they thought they had to pay extra for a monitor."
Apple's recent introduction of aluminium-style Cinema Display Units, wireless keyboards and other new products, has got some Macworld online readers thinking that these designs and technologies may filter through to the iMac. One reader predicts: "Looking at what Apple currently out, I reckon it will use the new displays – 20-inch and 23-inch versions – as the core of the system. It should all be wirelessly connected using the technology it has in the wireless mouse and keyboard."
Another reader's suggestion is a "flat, touch-screen keyboard that also doubles as a graphics tablet on a voice command, and an LCD monitor with various mounting options including the option to project the desktop onto a wall via Apple's new iPod-size iProjector".
If it ain't broke'...
For a number of readers, there is no need to change the design of the iMac. One writes: "I think the current iMac design is still a fantastic concept. It was pretty much this that tempted me to switch in the first place."
Whether the design is changed, or not, there are a number of features that readers are keen to see included. These include Bluetooth and AirPort Extreme out of the box.
One reader lists his requirements thus: "Integrated Bluetooth and AirPort Extreme as standard; the moveable angle-poise screen (surely one of the greatest innovations in a home computer); a removable graphics module; and FireWire 800."
The new iMac could be a make-or-break deal, predicts another reader: "Apple can't afford to get it wrong after the problems with the current iMac's availability. The iMac, after all, is traditionally the face of Apple computers."