Apple 2012 iMac Refresh to Come this Fall, but No Retina Display - Rumor

By Alexandra Burlacu , Jun 23, 2012 11:22 AM EDT
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Back in May, ABC News reported that Apple was planning to bring its high-resolution Retina displays to its next-generation iMac line, stirring great anticipation for new Retina iMacs. Instapaper developer Marco Arment, however, heard this Retina update might not come as soon as expected.

After Arment speculated in a June 22 blog post that Apple would release Ivy Bridge-powered Retina display iMacs in October or November, "multiple sources" contacted the developer and said the iMac update will come later this year, but without the rumored Retina displays. "I've now heard from multiple sources that while the next iMac update is indeed coming this fall, it will not have Retina displays," reads the developer's update.

It is, however, likely that a standalone high-resolution monitor will follow the iMac refresh. There is no word on how much a large 21.5-inch or 27-inch high-dpi panel would cost, but rumors indicate Apple is paying at least $150 for the panel found in the new 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display.

Arment also speculated on why Apple chose not to launch new desktop models at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), although it had access to the necessary CPU and graphics tweaks usually found in a minor refresh. "My core theory: Apple believes that Retina displays are the only way to go from this point forward, and they're waiting to update each family until it can be Retina-equipped," he wrote.

According to Arment, some of the issues regarding Retina displays at the large size needed for the 27-inch iMac include production yield and insufficient bandwidth. What remains unclear, however, is why would Apple delay the iMac update until the fall if Retina displays will not be in the mix, added the developer. Even without such a major hurdle like Retina displays, updated iMac models could still sport Ivy Bridge processors, enhanced graphics chips, and USB 3.0, and these updates could be added in new model before the fall.

After the keynote address at Apple's WWDC 2012, initial reports quoted company representatives as saying the updated Mac Pro and iMac designs would come "later next year." Apple, however, clarified that the 2013 timeframe in fact refers only to the Mac Pro, indicating that iMac updates will come sooner.

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