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Apple preparing to introduce Sandy Bridge iMacs early next week - sources

post #1 of 120
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Apple as early as next week will deliver a much-needed refresh to its iMac line of all-in-one desktops, adopting Intel's newest family of Core processors and the latest in personal computing I/O technology, AppleInsider has learned.

More specifically, people familiar with the matter say Apple plans to introduce the new models on Tuesday, May 3, swapping out the systems' first-gen Core i processors and miniDisplay ports for second-generation Core i chips and the company's new high-speed Thunderbolt port. However, rumors that 2011 would see changes to the iMacs' display panel size (1, 2) and the inclusion of 6000-series AMD Radeon HD chips, could not be confirmed with any degree of certainty.

In the days leading up to major product launches, Apple routinely makes certain requests of its various operating segments to assure the rollout goes as smoothly as possible. This week saw several of those measures put into place, according to those same people, who've continually provided accurate information when it comes the Mac maker's future plans.

In addition, people familiar with the Cupertino-based company's retail operations confirmed to AppleInsider that a "visual night" is similarly slated for the early morning hours of May 3rd. "So it is highly likely that whatever new product that is going to be refreshed or introduced will be done on [that day]," one of those people said.

These visual nights see several Apple retail employees in each location work throughout the evening and early a.m. hours, making significant modifications to the product layouts on the showroom floors, often removing previous generation products in favor of newly introduced models.

For Apple, next week's launch will mark the first time the company has refreshed its flagship desktop line in over 9 months. It also comes at a crucial time for the iMac -- and Mac desktops in general -- which are rapidly approaching an all-time low when it comes to their share of the Mac's product mix.

As Apple slowly transitions into a full-fledge mobile company, desktops have seen their share of Mac shipments slip into a slow but inevitable decline, falling from more than 50% of the company's Mac product shipments in the first quarter of 2006 to just 26% of the total units Mac units shipped during the second fiscal quarter of 2011 (see graph below).



As consumers increasingly grow accustomed to mobile computers, Apple faces a tall order in attempting to keep the desktop relevant in today's climate. As such, the company is said to be exploring designs that could shed as much as 50% off the footprint of future models by 2012, mirroring a pattern that's become evident in the big-screen TV market.

Thunderbolt iMacs are just the first of several Mac product refreshes Apple has planned for the months leading into and through this year's educational buying season. Versions of the company's hot-selling MacBook Airs are next to receive the Thunderbolt while adopting Intel's latest low-voltage Core i chips.

Those notebooks, which are slated to go into production near the tail end of May, should hit the market sometime in June.
post #2 of 120
I am definitely in the market. I need to find a good home for this perfectly fine core duo 20". I would keep using it except it is EOL since it can't run Lion.

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post #3 of 120
In the last earnings conference call, Tim Cook said he saw a future for both the iMac and Macbook Pro form factors. I personally buy iMacs because I don't like the cramped keyboard, lack of ports and slower graphics of laptops. Also the price on the iMac is more attractive. If the computer will just sit on your desk anyway, you can save a lot by getting an iMac instead of MBP + Cinema Display.
post #4 of 120
Definitely getting one of these. Thunderbolt is a fabulous I/O port and I can't wait until Lacie puts out their new drives with it. Sandy Bridge is the speed update I've been waiting for to make the base end model good enough for my needs. Money's strapped as a college student, so I've been waiting to make the most out of my purchase.
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post #5 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

As Apple slowly transitions into a full-fledge mobile company, desktops have seen their share of Mac shipments slip into a slow but inevitable decline, falling from more than 50% of the company's Mac product shipments in the first quarter of 2006 to just 26% of the total units Mac units shipped during the second fiscal quarter of 2011

Will it eventually end up being that most purchases will be from iOS developers??
post #6 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

In the last earnings conference call, Tim Cook said he saw a future for both the iMac and Macbook Pro form factors. I personally buy iMacs because I don't like the cramped keyboard, lack of ports and slower graphics of laptops. Also the price on the iMac is more attractive. If the computer will just sit on your desk anyway, you can save a lot by getting an iMac instead of MBP + Cinema Display.

1) I think the iPad will bring a surge back to iMac, which seems to be holding its ground against other vendors desktops sales in comparison to notebooks.

2) What is cramped about the keyboard or are you not comparing it to Apples BT keyboard but some 3rd-party keyboard?

3) Do you use the Magic Trackpad?
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #7 of 120
One of the beneficiaries of cloud based itunes might be the iMac, which will enable iTunes users to stay synchronised between iMac, Macbook Pro, iPhone, Apple TV and iPad.

Also, the halo effect of iPad and iPhone seems to be holding Apple desktop sales at a flat level, whilst PC manufacturers are in decline.

I believe the market is now between;

i. low end mobile laptop users, who opt for low end Windows machines or tablet format devices.
ii. high end mobile laptop users / users who use a mobile with screen, keyboard, mouse as a combo desktop / mobile device. More often, these users are turning to Macbook Pro's / Airs
iii. low end desktop users, who use very basic desktop machines running Windows
iv. mid to high end desktop market, with a growing percentage of users opting for Apple machines
v. High end gamers / hobbyists who like to optimise their hardware and therefore opt for windows based machines

Given Apples strengths are in the mid to high end markets, I don't see them worrying too much about the percentage of sales swinging towards mobile devices if overall sales of desktops can be maintained flat, or even decrease to say 500,000 units per quarter. It would still be a multi-billion dollar business in it's own right. Given the the OS, and many software / hardware design elements are shared between the mobile and desktop machines, it does help to manage the cost base.

If the drive is to making the footprint smaller, then the lessons of the Macbook Air and iPad will be of great benefit.

Phil
post #8 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Will it eventually end up being that most purchases will be from iOS developers??

In case you missed it:

  • iPhone OS is now simply “iOS”;
  • Mac OS X is now simply "iOS Development Platform”.

~

dsandler, June 7th, 2010
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #9 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Will it eventually end up being that most purchases will be from iOS developers??

What do you think caused the decline of desktop? You can develop for iOS on a MacBook just fine. I personally have at least one of each computer they make, but I think a desktop is more comfortable to use than a notebook.

I'm curious why many people choose the notebook instead of a desktop. Is it because they don't have enough room for it or that they can only have one computer so they want it portable?

Maybe iPad + iMac will become a popular setup. Personally I wouldn't want to give up any of my Apple form factors.

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post #10 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) I think the iPad will bring a surge back to iMac, which seems to be holding its ground against other vendors’ desktops sales in comparison to notebooks.

Yes, iMac + iPad is my setup actually.

Quote:
2) What is cramped about the keyboard or are you not comparing it to Apple’s BT keyboard but some 3rd-party keyboard?

I don't like keyboards that don't have separate cursor keys and the page up/page down/home/end keys. When I buy my iMacs I BTO to get the wired keyboard. The numeric keypad is largely useless but not those other keys.

Quote:
3) Do you use the Magic Trackpad?

I own one but can't get used to it, so use the mouse. That is probably another reason I don't like laptops.
post #11 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I personally have at least one of each computer they make, but I think a desktop is more comfortable to use than a notebook.

Maybe iPad + iMac will become a popular setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) I think the iPad will bring a surge back to iMac, which seems to be holding its ground against other vendors desktops sales in comparison to notebooks.

This is true. I was planning of buying a MacBook Pro, but with my purchase of an iPad (which fits my mobile needs better than a MBP) I'm now looking to pick up an iMac. The combo fits each situation far better than just a MBP and costs the same too.
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post #12 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I own one but can't get used to it, so use the mouse. That is probably another reason I don't like laptops.

I couldnt go back to a desktop until a trackpad became an option. Now its just a matter of preference since I travel with my 13 MBP. When I settle down Ill probably get an iMac and finally get some real use of my iPad (outside of playing chess, Words with Friends and Angry Birds on the toilet ).
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post #13 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Angry Birds on the toilet

Is that a new title?

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post #14 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I'm curious why many people choose the notebook instead of a desktop. Is it because they don't have enough room for it or that they can only have one computer so they want it portable?

For me, it's the latter. I also often use the computer in the liunge, whilst watching TV, which is a lot easier than using a desktop.

Also, 99.5% of the time, the tasks I need to do, can easily be completed on either a notebook or desktop. It is only about 0.5% of tasks which would benefit from being on a desktop environment.

Phil
post #15 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Apple should include matte displays, at least as an option. Otherwise (all glossy displays), no purchase!

Yeah, they should totally include an option for INFERIOR displays, with an added filter that REDUCES the optical clarity and diffuses the image, just for that minority of people that can't control the lighting at their home/work environment and can't stand a few reflections...
post #16 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by womble2k2 View Post

I also often use the computer in the liunge, whilst watching TV, which is a lot easier than using a desktop.

I used to do that too, however since acquiring my iPad, I rarely use my MBP now except when traveling or giving a presentation. I just leave the iPad on the coffee table. Very handy to quickly look up a sports stat while watching TV.

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post #17 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I couldnt go back to a desktop until a trackpad became an option. Now its just a matter of preference since I travel with my 13 MBP. When I settle down Ill probably get an iMac and finally get some real use of my iPad (outside of playing chess, Words with Friends and Angry Birds on the toilet ).

Good luck with that. I am useless at Angry Birds, I get frustrated and quit the app.
post #18 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Is that a new title?

Yep, new title, Angry Birds on the toilet, but instead of the birds saying "ahaaa" as they are slingshot to their target. It is more of a "uuuuuuggghhhhh" and if you hit a pig, instead of the "poof", it's more of a 'kerplunk - splash'!

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post #19 of 120
I like how they call this thread 'Breaking News'. Theres no substantiation, no details or features listed not even the usual glimmer of a mention of anything other than next tuesday. Well being that this story is so bland it's probably true.
post #20 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Apple should include matte displays, at least as an option. Otherwise (all glossy displays), no purchase!

It'd be great if Apple uses non reflecting museum glass displays for the new iMac (and their Macbooks later on in the year)!
post #21 of 120
Your words talk about 'the decline of the desktop' yet your graph shows number of desktop sales doubling over the 5 years your graph runs. That hardly sounds like a decline and sounds like business is booming compared to many other manufacturers!
Personally I look at a 3 year refresh cycle on my iMac - as long as the machine hasn't failed I wait for the next big hardware update. The graph seems to show this is a common philosophy.
post #22 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) I think the iPad will bring a surge back to iMac, which seems to be holding its ground against other vendors desktops sales in comparison to notebooks.

2) What is cramped about the keyboard or are you not comparing it to Apples BT keyboard but some 3rd-party keyboard?

3) Do you use the Magic Trackpad?

I didn't like the Magic Trackpad when I first got it. But just after a few days of use, I love it. And with the new gestures from Lion it will be indispensable for me.

As far as the iMacs...my original intel 20" is still going strong. Next purchase will be an iPad2 and when the iMac kicks the bucket, I'll most likely get the MBA 11"

Along with my iPhone 4 am good to go. I do love the iMacs though and if I come into some cabage probably will get the 2012 thinner iMac!
post #23 of 120
I wonder how easy will it be to replace the hard drive or other major components on these new iMacs? I've lost two drives on Mac desktops, so I've stuck with my white iMac in part because replacing the hard drive on it, while not easy, is at least doable. For the aluminum family of iMacs, I hear it's a terror.

Come on Apple. How hard can it be to make an iMac where removing four screens opens up the entire back, with every major component easily accessible? If you did that, you've save money on your own warranty repairs.
post #24 of 120
This sounds like a nice machine I may get one 6 months after it comes out when all it's problems are worked out. They always have problems when a new thing is added.

I need a desktop personally. I work in audio apps and even though I do some audio work on the ipad it really is too small for me to do most of what I need. I also sometimes need many apps open at once (and the see them at the same time) and the iOS can't do that so well.

I use the iPad as an addition to my iMac. I need the screen space, processor power, ram, hard drive space and so on of the iMac. I do find I don't need a tower. I can do 99% of what I need using almost no cpu and under my current 4GB of ram. I'd be mostly upgrading to get a 27" with the newer specs as a bonus.

The iPad is extremely useful to me in many ways that my iMac can't be and my iMac is useful in many ways the iPad can't be.

BTW, I original bought an archos 101 10.1" tablet with Android 2.3 and found it extremely lacking compared to the iPad. Mainly due to its OS and apps. They were truly low budget, buggy, spyware-ish, ugly and lagged.
post #25 of 120
It's not many, but our small office needs to replace 4 desktop pro units / monitors, and imac's don't cut it.

I'm sure others are in the same boat as us.

Skip
post #26 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I didn't like the Magic Trackpad when I first got it. But just after a few days of use, I love it. And with the new gestures from Lion it will be indispensable for me.

I am glad to hear about your experience. My iMac 7,1 still works great, and I should be able to install Lion (32-bit kernel on a C2D), and purchase a Magic Trackpad to take fuller advantage of the gestures available in Lion. I am guessing that the subsequent iMac with Ivy Bridge will be the time to replace my current machine.

The way I envision using the iMac in the future is to take advantage of Bluetooth for the front end components, and Thunderbolt for the back end components, and a connection to an iPad n. This should provide for a powerful and reliable system setup combining mobility with a home dock.

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Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

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post #27 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by foljs View Post

Yeah, they should totally include an option for INFERIOR displays, with an added filter that REDUCES the optical clarity and diffuses the image, just for that minority of people that can't control the lighting at their home/work environment and can't stand a few reflections...

Wow, Sorry to see you fell for the marketing ploy. Those of us who know better would like the option.
post #28 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

In case you missed it:

  • iPhone OS is now simply iOS;
  • Mac OS X is now simply "iOS Development Platform.

~

dsandler, June 7th, 2010

No it's not.
post #29 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I am definitely in the market. I need to find a good home for this perfectly fine core duo 20". I would keep using it except it is EOL since it can't run Lion.


A few people got Lion to run on Core Duo's, so its not like they dropped code support entirely, since it seemed to run fine. Still not sure what the final requirements will be.
post #30 of 120
Looks like my iMac will be hitting Craigslist next week.
post #31 of 120
does anybody know if they are they going to change the overall look of the monitor as well? that is the only thing holding me back from making my iMac purchase (currently have a MBP). the current version has been tweaked a few times, but a real overhaul of the look (like how they changed from the white desktop to its current chrome look) has not happened since i think 4 years ago. thanks for any insider info!!!
post #32 of 120
Seriously Kasper what is up with all this negativity with respect to iMacs or desktops in general? First it makes no difference what the Mac line up is as a percentage of sales. The only thing that really counts is that Apple is steadily increasing sales while the rest of thue markets are stalling. Second; I can actually see a resurgence in Mac sales, especially desktop machines when people start to realize that an iMac and an iPad make for an excellent combo. Laptops are extremely compromised on the desktop yet many people don't need a full blown laptop for their portable needs. For those people an iPad 2 is now enough machine ot handle their portable needs.

In any event if Apple delivers what I think they will deliver in the iMac update we should see a pretty massive uptick in sales as it will be a compelling upgrade for many. The combo of Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt implies a whole new generation of machine in my mind, one that many have been waiting for.

In any event please get a grip, as long as the Mac line is profitable and out growing the market in general desktop machines will still be part of the line up.
post #33 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by tipoo View Post

A few people got Lion to run on Core Duo's, so its not like they dropped code support entirely, since it seemed to run fine. Still not sure what the final requirements will be.


It reads "Ensure you are using a 64-bit, Intel-based Mac" which is why I think it is a no go on Core Duo.

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post #34 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

It reads "Ensure you are using a 64-bit, Intel-based Mac" which is why I think it is a no go on Core Duo.

And some people got it to run on Core Duo's despite that requirement.
post #35 of 120
I'm in the market to replace my iMac which is the first Intel version. It had half a gig of memory and ran tiger and iMovie HD just fine. Leopard ran fine also. But it has struggled with Snow Leopard and I wouldn't think of running Lion on it.

I too wish there were a Matte screen option, but they seem to have come a long way from the first aluminum iMac which apparently had issues of color change when viewed from different angles. They have made improvements with LED backlighting and IPS technology, whatever that is. Besides, after all these years of glossy only, I don't see Apple bending on this issue in the consumer space.

Wouldn't mind Blu Ray, but I guess we'll be lucky if they don't delete the optical drive all together. Hope to get a hi def iSight camera at least.

I'd go for the I5 processor with 8 gigs of memory. That should keep the spinning beach balls at bay.
post #36 of 120
I never use my laptop anymore... never really liked them.

A desktop and an iPad suits my needs fine.

I am about ready for a new iMac, but I think I'll wait until July when the FCPX situation clarifies.

I am hoping that I can hand down my C2D to my granddaughter & hoping she'll be able to run the new FCPX as opposed to the current FCP Studio.
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post #37 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by BertP View Post

I am glad to hear about your experience. My iMac 7,1 still works great, and I should be able to install Lion (32-bit kernel on a C2D), and purchase a Magic Trackpad to take fuller advantage of the gestures available in Lion. I am guessing that the subsequent iMac with Ivy Bridge will be the time to replace my current machine.

The way I envision using the iMac in the future is to take advantage of Bluetooth for the front end components, and Thunderbolt for the back end components, and a connection to an iPad n. This should provide for a powerful and reliable system setup combining mobility with a home dock.

Great, Bert! The biggest thing that took time to get used to was that all you have to do is "touch/tap" the magic pad to get it to do a drop down menu as opposed to a "click." You can do the click but now I love the touch aspect as opposed to clicking on a mouse all the time.

I do also have a magic mouse too, but find myself preferring the trackpad. Anyway, good luck!
post #38 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by niklassaers View Post

I expect it'll be based on Intel's Z68 chipset that will be available for the rest of the world in a week or two:

I really hope not as I see this as a design regression. Caching to flash makes no sense at all if you need as much flash a common SSD these days. Further unless that flash is removable for repair or expansion who would really want the feature. Considering that a cache would be hit constantly there is a reasonable fear that wear out will be a problem. Of course they could implement wear leveling and all the other life extension tricks of the SSD world but then why not use SSD tech?

Think about it this way if a real SSD was used for system and app storage we would get all the benefits of a cache without the limitations. You would still need a drive for the bulk storage of user data but that isn't much different than a caching system.

The difference here is that one can tailor the SSD to their individual needs. For example most people can get by with 64GB for system and apps. A developer can't as easily so in that case they might want a 200GB SSD drive. The point is a soldered in SSD cache is just that soldered in! The whole approach strikes me as pointless.

In my estimation it would make for far more sense if Apple and Intel where to work on an affordable PCI-Express standard for solid state storage. This would get rid of the low speed SATA legacy port and have enough bandwidth to be viable for a few years.
post #39 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Great, Bert! The biggest thing that took time to get used to was that all you have to do is "touch/tap" the magic pad to get it to do a drop down menu as opposed to a "click." You can do the click but now I love the touch aspect as opposed to clicking on a mouse all the time.

I do also have a magic mouse too, but find myself preferring the trackpad. Anyway, good luck!

You can configure the Magic TrackPad:

-- 2 finger tap == show dropdown (like right-click or control-click)
-- 1 finger tap == select item (like left-click)

You don't need the click at all -- but it works, if you forget and revert to the old way.
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post #40 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

You can configure the Magic TrackPad:

-- 2 finger tap == show dropdown (like right-click or control-click)
-- 1 finger tap == select item (like left-click)

You don't need the click at all -- but it works, if you forget and revert to the old way.

Yep, Dick. I've been doing that and not even realizing it!
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