Apple launches cheaper iMac model at $1,099, the most affordable AIO in the lineup

Apple has updated its iMac lineup of all-in-one (AIO) PCs to add a more affordable, lower-end model priced at $1,099 in the U.S. or £899 in the UK.

Up until now, the cheapest, lowest-end iMac available came with a $1,299 price tag. For that price, interested buyers can now get the mid-range iMac version, which packs a quad-core i5 processor clocked at 2.7GHz.

"Apple today introduced a new 21.5-inch iMac starting at just $1,099, making the world's leading all-in-one desktop even more affordable," reads the press release on Wednesday, June 18. "Featuring a stunning ultra-thin design, brilliant display, Core i5 processors and the world's most advanced operating system, the new iMac is the perfect entry-level Mac desktop."

The new iMac comes with a 21.5-inch screen and a dual-core Intel Core i5 processor under the hood, clocked at 1.4GHz with Turbo Boost speeds of up to 2.7GHz and paired with 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. This model is immediately available from Apple's Store.

Configure-to-order options, meanwhile, include a 1TB hard drive, a 1TB Fusion Drive, as well as up to 256GB of flash storage.

The new iMac option comes shortly after Apple wrapped up its WWDC 2014 event. While last year the company introduced a new MacBook Air with an Intel Haswell processor and a dramatically redesigned Mac Pro at WWDC, this year Apple focused on software and made no hardware announcements at the conference.

The company unveiled its new OS X 10.10 Yosemite desktop software, the highly-anticipated iOS 8 mobile operating system, and plenty of other software goodies at this year's WWDC, but no sign of any new device until now.

The new iMac option will likely be welcomed by Apple fans looking for a more affordable alternative, and the immediate availability is an added bonus. In terms of design, the new iMac sports absolutely no changes. In fact, the design of the iMac has been pretty much the same since September 2012. It did get a refresh under the hood in September 2013 with the addition of Intel's Haswell, NVIDIA graphics, and Wi-Fi 802.11ac, but the external design is the same.

As previously mentioned, the new 21.5-inch iMac is available immediately, and you can make your purchase through the Apple Online Store, Apple's retail stores, as well as select Apple Authorized Resellers.

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