The compromise would be a 22" LED backlit iMac then, as the main desktop Mac line.
Lower end with 9400M integrated graphics* and DualCore, Higher end is 9400M with 9600M GT and QuadCore.
Then, there is the 28" iMac for ... well ... 20% desktop computing, 80% iTunes Store watching. Also, 50% of these iMac buyers will be those doing "Pro/Prosumer work". Those absolutely not in favour of glossy will simply get an external 30" or smaller/bigger "Pro calibrated etc" monitor or a Mac Pro with 30" display. Remember the 23" Apple Cinema Display has been discontinued for several months now.
No more 24" then.
By March 2009 the demand for bigger and bigger screens is growing rapidly. There seems to be some sort of price/manufacturing/consumer-demand "sweetspot" at 22 inches, I feel, somehow. For customers looking for value, a big-ass 22" LED backlit 1680x1050 iMac at a roughly-$1000+ USD price point is rather impressive and can combat negativity on lack of being a Core i7, etc. etc.
So 22" and 28" iMacs announced by the middle of March.
Based on the above predictions, and the AppleTV survey, it would suggest by the middle of the year the AppleTV and MacMini will somehow be merged. [Convergence, if you will? Such a dirty word.] ... Which means only iMac update by end of March, no AppleTV or Mac Mini update until middle of the year.
*Edit: If it's a 22" 1680x1050 then Apple will have to play ball and put a 9600M GT in both of the two models (lower end gets 256MB VRAM, higher end gets 512MB VRAM). Or Radeons... The desktop 4870 and 4850 Radeons go toe-to-toe with Nvidias quite well. Some slimmed down versions but still dedicated GPUs at a good price may entice Apple even though the iMac would use the 9400 chipset.
Originally Posted by Marvin
Sure but what I mean is that due to the lower priced desktop chips, the 24" would be at the same price as the 20". They did this with the 17" version at one point, although they used a cheaper panel in the 20" that replaced it.
Yeah, I wouldn't like to see them doing that again but I'd be content to see an improvement in even specific cases. It's another selling point really.
My concern there is that the Macbook used to be the ibook:
ibook, powerbook, iMac, PowerMac. The Mini was added on as a new product.
Originally Posted by backtomac
I suspect, as another poster here has suggested(mjtiex?) that the imac will get LED backlit displays and that will soak up some of cost savings of a cheaper cpu.