Apple’s redesigned 24in iMac is exciting; it boasts a slimmer build, bigger display, Apple’s M1 processor and a raft of hardware improvements, and it’s available in a variety of eye-catching colours too.
But now it’s more than a year old, so we’re waiting for an updated version powered by Apple’s more recent M2 chipset – not to mention a big-screen successor to the 27in iMac.
Hopes for a larger version were fuelled by the introduction of the Mac Studio and its accompanying 27in Studio Display, and the subsequent discontinuation of the standard 27in iMac in March 2022.
Here’s all there is to know so far, including release date rumours, pricing speculation and the latest leaks.
When will the new iMac release?
Apple first released the redesigned 24in iMac in 2021, so it’s now been almost two years since we last got a new version – we’re overdue.
That iMac was powered by the M1 processor, which has since been supplanted by the M2, first announced in June 2022 and now available in the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini.
That suggests we should be getting a new version soon, but it’s not quite so simple – BGR and other sites report that Apple analyst Mark Gurman wrote in Bloomberg that Apple might skip the M2 iMac – though curiously the comment is no longer found in the Bloomberg blog post. Here’s what he wrote, as quoted by BGR:
I haven’t seen anything to indicate there will be a new iMac until the M3 chip generation, which won’t arrive until the tail end of this year at the earliest or next year. So if you want to stick with the iMac, you’ll just have to sit tight.Mark Gurman for Bloomberg
That means we shouldn’t expect a new iMac until late 2023 at the earliest, and quite possibly later – and it won’t have an M2 when it arrives.
How much will the new iMac cost?
Considering we don’t yet have anything approaching a solid release date, we can only speculate about potential pricing of the redesigned larger iMac. And that, of course, means looking at the 24in iMac release to give us an idea of what to expect – and that could mean good news.
Despite the redesigned form factor, increase in display size, and introduction of new tech including Apple’s M1 and an upgraded webcam, the 24in iMac pricing reflects that of its older 21in counterpart – though has increased slightly since thanks to inflation.
If Apple can stay at the same price, we should expect any updated 24in iMac to start at around $1,299/£1,399. Apple’s consistency also hopefully means that if it brings back the bigger model, it will stay close to the old 27in variant’s price – which in its last iteration kicked off at $1,799/£1,799.
What will the new iMac’s specs and features be?
Despite the possibility that the next iMac may not make an appearance until 2024, the rumour mill is in full swing, giving us a decent idea of what to expect from the next-gen iMac.
New Apple Silicon chip
Of course, a new iMac means a new processor. The last version featured the M1 processor, which debuted in the late 2020 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro range, and has since made its way to loads of devices, including the iPad Pro.
The M1 has since been succeeded by the M2, which already has its own M2 Pro and M2 Max variants. For a while that seemed the likely candidate for the next iMac, but Gurman’s report mentioned above suggests that instead we might go straight to the M3.
That chip – not yet announced – is expected to move to a 3nm process, a major improvement from the current 5nm form factor. That could mean another generational jump in power efficiency and performance, rather than the relatively modest improvement from the M1 to M2.
Unchanged form factor
The key feature of the smaller 24in iMac, aside from the transition to Apple Silicon, was its redesigned form factor, offering an all-in-one thinner than most alternatives in a variety of colours that reflect the old Apple G2 from the early noughties. The bezels shrank dramatically, allowing Apple to expand screen size without much of an impact on the overall form factor, making way for a sleeker, more modern-looking iMac.
It’s the latest in a long line of product redesigns as Apple looks to unify the design of its range, and since it’s so recent it seems unlikely that Apple will be in a rush to go back to the drawing board. Instead, expect the next iMac to look identical to the 2021 model, except perhaps with updates to the range of colours available.
Larger display option
Apple use to offer two sizes of iMac: 21.5in and 27in. The updated 24in sounds like a halfway house, but really it was a redesign that fit a bigger screen into a similar sized body to the old 21.5in model – leading many to question why the 27in didn’t get the same treatment.
With the 27in now discontinued – and Apple offering a 27in Studio Display monitor to go along with the Mac Mini, Mac Studio, and Mac Pro – it’s possible that Apple has just decided to axe the form factor.
Plenty of tipsters and analysts have suspected otherwise though. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman suggested as much in an early July 2021 edition of his Power On newsletter, claiming that there will be a new model with a “jumbo” display, although he doesn’t go into specifics.
That echoes earlier claims from leaker l0vetodream, who suggested that there would be a larger iMac, where the “screen is really big, bigger than the biggest one.”
Some of the more enthusiastic pundits suggest Apple could increase the display to 32in to reflect that of Apple’s Pro XDR monitor, a display that is said to share its design language with the new iMac. However, if l0vetodream is accurate, it could measure slightly bigger than the existing 32in monitor – the biggest Apple currently manufactures.
It’s worth noting, however, that there are conflicting rumours when it comes to the display department. While several leakers are confident that something bigger is coming, analyst Ross Young suggests that a 27in MiniLED screen is headed to an iMac in the future, complete with ProMotion tech ranging from 24Hz to 120Hz.
Young has a pretty good track record when it comes to display tech – he correctly predicted the iPhone 12 would skip ProMotion, and he was on the money with his Mini-LED MacBook Pro prediction too – but as with all leaks and rumours, it’s worth taking with a pinch of salt.
With Apple’s obvious desire to unify the design of its products, it’s safe to assume that if the 27in iMac gets a redesign it will look similar to the 24in iMac, featuring a reduction of bezels and the slimming of the overall form factor alongside other hardware improvements.
What’s unclear is whether it’ll be available in the same bright colours; while standard products like the iPhone 14 and iPad Air are available in a variety of fun colours, Pro-level products like the iPad Pro and iPhone 14 Pro are considerably more muted.
The colour scheme likely depends on who Apple thinks will use the iMac – while the 24in iMac is for everyday use, the expected use of the larger model in offices and other professional environments may limit just how bright and vibrant the finish will be.
Face ID for iMac
Face ID was first rumoured to be a feature of the 24in iMac, but as we now know, that never arrived. Bloomberg reported that Apple had initially planned to include Face ID on the new model, but that it was eventually pushed back.
In the report, Mark Gurman explains that, unlike iPhones and iPads, Mac displays are significantly thinner, making it harder to include the tech required for Face ID to work.
That said, Gurman is confident that Face ID will make an appearance on the Mac within the “next couple of years”. Given the current suggestion that the larger iMac may not make its debut until 2024, it’s possible that Apple could take the extra development time to successfully implement Face ID on the upcoming model.
If it does feature, it’s also unclear if this would be within the computer’s bezel or in a notch – something Apple has now introduced to the MacBook Pro range, so it may be willing to extend to its iMacs.