iMac Update, After two years, Apple today gently updated its iMac and iMac Pro line with a handful of under-the-hood improvements. On the outside, however, the iMac still looks accurately the same, featuring X-large bezels and an even better chin along the bottom. This means it’s now been seven years since the last iMac redesign. And looking from the front, the design hasn’t changed in over a decade.
When might Apple overhaul the iMac design? It’s anyone’s guess at this point, but I see one logical explanation…
Apple first introduced the aluminum iMac in August of 2007, making it accessible in 20-inch and 24-inch variants. This was a key update compared to the previous plastic design of the iMac, which was obtainable in 17-, 20-, and 24-inch screen variants between August of 2004 and August of 2007.
That means there were three years between when Apple introduced the white plastic iMac G5 and the aluminum iMac in 2007 – pretty quick turnaround time for a major redesign of a Mac. That mid-2007 iMac, however, was only a stepping stone. Despite featuring an aluminum front-face, it still featured a back casing made of black plastic, which was a stark difference from the sleek aluminum front.
In 2009, Apple overhauled its iMac lineup with aluminum unibody design in 21.5-inch and 27-inch variants – introducing the two screen sizes that are still in make use today. This design has ended up shaping the future of the iMac, with Apple focusing on iterating it rather than totally redesigning it.
In October of 2012, Apple redesigned the iMac with an ultra-slim side profile and uninvolved the SuperDrive. While the thinnest point measures 5mm, there’s still an unsightly bulge in the back to accommodate the iMac’s internals and cooling system. In 2015, the iMac was upgraded with a Retina display.
Through these changes, the overall look of the iMac has stayed the same: an aluminum builds with black bezels and an aluminum chin. The last important update to the iMac was the introduction of the unibody aluminum design in 2009, but even that changeover essentially started in 2008.
At the time in 2012, Apple making the side profile of the iMac ultra-slim was surely a sleek look and hyped as a major redesign. In real-world use, however, that change has been far less distinguished, with the head-on appearance of the iMac remaining unchanged.
Currently, we’re in the biggest design lull of the iMac’s history, with it has been seven years since the introduction of the 21-inch and 27-inch unibody aluminum design in 2012. That’s not to say the iMac is essentially dated – it’s received semi-regular spec updates and isn’t an eyesore by any stretch of the imagination, but the design is surely starting to show its age. And can Apple continue to charge its legendary premiums on a design that is efficiently 10 years old?
So when might Apple lastly redesign the iMac? I have a feeling it will associate with the release of the new Mac Pro and Apple’s standalone display.
Generally dependable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in an investor note previous this year that Apple would release its new modular Mac Pro alongside a 31-inch standalone display this year.
Last month, our own Jeff Benjamin and Michael Steeber imagined what Apple’s 31-inch 6K display might look like. Here’s that concept regarding iMac Update:
Apple’s last standalone monitor was the Thunderbolt Display, which featured a design very alike to the iMac, but was somewhat sleeker since it didn’t have to house a full computer. I’d wait for the same principle to carry on with the company’s standalone display hinting at the eventual redesign of the iMac.
In terms of what an iMac redesign might consist of, the understandable supposition is that it will feature much slimmer bezels, and with any luck a lesser chin. While there’s a lot of hope that Apple will bring Face ID to the Mac line in some form, there’s no indication as of yet that such a move is in the cards.
There’s also the question of whether Apple will move towards ultra-wide display technology like so much of the market has. Kuo’s report surely implied that the 6K 31-inch display would be ultra-wide, so it wouldn’t of necessity be a surprise for the iMac to also move in that direction.
Kuo beforehand claimed that Apple was working on an iMac with an upgraded display panel, but that eventually never came to fruition. Given that Kuo’s reports are based on provide chain indications, it’s possible that he mistook the early on signs of the 31-inch display to be an iMac refresh. It’s also possible; however, that Apple pushed back a major iMac refresh to focus on the Mac Pro and 31-inch display.
It’s hard not to suppose that Apple is putting all of its attention towards the new Mac Pro and supplementary display. There’s a lot of pressure on the company to do well with both products after the inadequately received trashcan Mac Pro and discontinuation of the Thunderbolt Display. There’s a little inducement for Apple to overshadow its rumored 6K 31-inch display and Mac Pro with a consumer iMac refresh, at least right now. Particularly when redesigning the iMac would almost surely provide at least a framework of what Apple’s standalone display will look like.
Despite its aging design, the iMac remains a popular choice among universal consumers. Personally, however, I’m holding out hope for an iMac redesign in 2020 – after this year’s launch of the Mac Pro and its display. When precisely we see the new iMac is going to come down to when the Mac Pro and 31-inch display are released. The sooner we see those products, the sooner the refreshed iMac update is announced, and vice versa.
What do you hope to see when the iMac is finally redesigned? Let us know down in the comments. This is a really helpful article for Apple users about iMac Update.