Unnamed sources in Apple's upstream supply chain indicated to DigiTimes that mass production of the new all-in-one PC is expected to begin this month. Supply chain chatter also indicated that Apple wishes to expand high-resolution Retina displays to its entire Mac lineup, and that the next iMac has a "high chance of featuring a Retina Display."
The main obstacle for a Retina display in the next iMac is cost: Apple's high-resolution screens are more expensive than the "Full HD" panels that Windows PC makers have been pushing for their own products.
But the cost of Retina displays could also be to Apple's advantage in competing with cheaper Windows PCs that carry lower margins. Tuesday's report indicated that Apple is pushing for quick adoption of Retina displays in all of its Mac products, as the company is "hoping to surpass its competitors in terms of screen resolution."
The report also indicated that a newly designed iMac could also arrive in 2013 along with a redesigned Mac Pro. In response to criticism, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook confirmed last month that the company is planning to update its Mac Pro desktop with a new, "really great" model next year.
Apple's iMac is the most popular all-in-one computer in the world, with estimated sales of 1.22 million units in the first quarter of this year. The iMac lineup, available in screen sizes of 21.5 and 27 inches, was last updated in May of 2011 with quad-core Sandy Bridge processors and high-speed Thunderbolt ports.
Various rumors throughout 2012 have suggested the next iMacs will feature high-resolution Retina displays. However, one recent report suggested Apple's 2012 iMac refresh won't feature a Retina display, and that the new screen will instead debut in 2013 when costs are more reasonable.