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. Best of all? It gives us a glimpse at what to expect from the successor to the 27in iMac, with rumours suggesting a screen increase possibly up to 32in alongside its dramatically thin new form factor.
With Apple’s deadline of transitioning its Mac range to Apple Silicon drawing ever closer, it’s possible that we could see the reveal of a new big iMac in the coming months. Here’s all there is to know so far, including release date rumours, pricing speculation and the latest leaks.
New iMac (32in, 2021) Release date
When Apple initially revealed its transition to its own Apple Silicon back in June 2020, the company claimed the process would take two years. With that in mind, it’s safe to assume that the upgraded big iMac will make an appearance by June 2022 at the latest.
Of course, the larger 27in iMac hasn’t been updated since August 2020, and fans have had a taste of what’s to come with the reveal of the redesigned 24in iMac, so it’s safe to say that fans are keen to get their hands on the upcoming model.
But while many assumed the larger iMac would follow on months after the 24in model, leaker @Dylandkt claims that the high-end iMac isn’t due for release until 2022.
The high end iMac will release in 2022. 🙃— Dylan (@dylandkt) July 23, 2021
While the leaker doesn’t go into any detail as to why this might be the case, production issues allegedly plaguing the yet-to-be-announced redesigned MacBook Pro could force the company to delay the launch of the new iMac until it’s confident it can keep up with demand.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t set in stone, and Apple could announce the new iMac later this year, possibly with limited stock at launch, but we’ll keep our ear to the ground and update this section with more details as they become available.
New iMac (32in, 2021) pricing
Considering we don’t yet have a solid release date, it’s a little early to hear anything about potential pricing of the redesigned larger iMac. What we can do, however, is look at the 24in iMac release to give us an idea of what to expect – and it looks like it could be 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.
If Apple decides to do the same with the larger model, we could see the new iMac come in at the same price as the existing 27in range. For reference, here’s how much the current 27in iMac range costs:
- 27in iMac (3.1GHz, i5, 256GB SSD, Radeon Pro 5300) – £1,799 / $1,799
- 27in iMac (3.3GHz, i5, 512GB SSD, Radeon Pro 5300) – £1,999 / $1,999
- 27in iMac (3.8GHz, i7, 512GB SSD, Radeon Pro 5500 XT) – £2,299 / $2,299
What will the new 32in iMac offer?
Despite the possibility that the larger iMac may not make an appearance until 2022, 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, the main driver behind the update is Apple’s commitment to transition its Mac range from Intel to its own Apple Silicon chipset. It started with the M1 processor in the late 2020 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro range, and it has since made its way to the 24in iMac – and the iPad Pro (2021) too!
Following that trend, you might assume the M1 is the chip of choice for the larger iMac, but Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman thinks differently. In an early July 2021 instalment of his Power On newsletter, Gurman doesn’t think "that Apple will launch the larger model with the same M1 chip that’s in the smaller model".
Instead, Gurman suggests a more souped-up version of the M1, dubbed the M1X, or possibly an M2X. With rumours suggesting the new MacBook Pro range could also feature an upgraded M1X chipset, it’s likely that the iMac range will follow suit – albeit with more graphics cores than the laptop range, as is the case with the M1 in the 24in model.
Redesigned 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. The industrial angular look originally exclusive to the iPad Pro has expanded to the iPhone 12 and iPad Air, and the iPad Mini 6 and Apple Watch Series 7 are expected to follow suit later this year.
With Apple’s obvious desire to unify the design of its products, it’s safe to assume that the 27in iMac will get a redesign in a similar vein to that of 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 12 and iPad Air are available in a variety of fun colours, Pro-level products like the iPad Pro and iPhone 12 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.
With Apple shrinking the bezels of the 21.5in iMac to make way for a larger 24in display, it’s safe to assume that the same will happen with the 27in iMac. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman suggested as much in an early July 2021 edition of his Power On newsletter, claiming that the new model will have a "jumbo" display, although he doesn’t go into specifics.
That echoes earlier claims from leaker l0vetodream, who suggested that the larger iMac’s "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 in slightly bigger than the existing 32in monitor – the biggest Apple currently manufactures.
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 2022, it’s possible that Apple could take the extra development time to successfully implement Face ID on the upcoming model.
What would you like to see from the next-gen iMac? Let us know on Twitter.