Rumor: Apple's 2012 iMac refresh won't have Retina display

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Instapaper developer Marco Arment reportedly received word on Friday that Apple won't be releasing a Retina display-equipped iMac model in 2012 and will instead wait until 2013 to bring the high-resolution screen to more of its computers.

According to "multiple sources" who contacted Arment through his blog, Apple will debut an iMac refresh later this year, possibly in the fall, but the new all-in-ones will be missing a screen comparable to the recently-released MacBook Pro with Retina display. The report is contrary to persistent rumors that say Apple will unveil Retina display iMac in 2012.

The sources reached out to Arment after the developer posited Apple would be releasing Ivy Bridge-powered Retina display iMacs in October or November. He guessed that Apple would be able to gather enough large Retina display panels to fill the relatively lower demand seen by the iMac and offset the new technology's price with the computer's already high margins. It is likely that a standalone high-resolution monitor will come following an iMac refresh. While the cost of a large 21.5-inch or 27-inch high-dpi panel is unknown, Apple is rumored to be paying at least $150 for the part found in the new 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display.

Arment explained why he believes Apple didn't launch new desktop models at WWDC 2012 in June despite having access to the necessary CPU and graphics bumps usually seen 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," Arment writes.

iMac


He goes on to say that the MacBook Pro was the only laptop to get the Retina display treatment because the popular MacBook Air and Pro models can't support the high pixel density screens without raising the price for the hot-selling units. Apple couldn't wait for the tech to come down in price before the lucrative summer season so it pushed out incremental changes ahead of a Retina display refresh. Arment also pointed out that the high-resolution panels Apple uses are in short supply and there simply aren't enough to go around save for a single high-end Mac model.
«1345

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 94
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    It certainly doesn't seem like a consumer display with about 14 million pixels was going to be feasible in 2012. I certainly hope it comes along sooner rather than later now that I'm holding out for an iMac but even 2013 seems a big iffy for a 27" Retina Display.
  • Reply 2 of 94
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 713member


    I think there's massive pent up demand for a new iMac. IF Apple were able to pull this rabbit out of its hat, it would be mind blowing. I know many people, myself included, just dying for an iMac upgrade. The Retina display would make that a pre-order event.


     


    Without the retina display....I'm going to hold out. I suspect a sizable chunk of iMac devotees will do the same.


     


    I'll continue to use my iPad for web browsing and my iMac for.....what the hell do I use it for again?

  • Reply 3 of 94
    winterwinter Posts: 1,238member


    Just go for the Ivy Bridge desktop processors, decent graphics, and SATA III SSDs.

  • Reply 4 of 94
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,584member
    I would rather the MBA's get them first. But I'm selfish.
  • Reply 5 of 94
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member


    I don't think you'll see anything this big until yields look really really good. You could still see a smaller one, but it's a problem with Apple's taste for anorexic hardware. They have everyone trained to think that thicker = ugly even though it sits on your desk and is viewed dead on.

  • Reply 6 of 94


    Are there even panels available at a high enough pixel density at 21.5 and 27 inches to qualify as a Retina display based on the typical placement of the display? 

  • Reply 7 of 94
    pik80pik80 Posts: 148member


    I don't see why it has to be 27". I still use a 20" monitor and I couldn't imagine what I would do with anything bigger. I just care about increasing the screen resolution; the size of the screen doesn't have to be any bigger.

  • Reply 8 of 94
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,720member
    Interesting article. However I just can't see what would make Apple wait until fall. It is kinda un Apple like in that they usually have new hardware available for back to school. A retina panel would be worth the wait, but if they aren't coming then what else could be the hold up?

    So I don't doubt that Retina isn't ready. But if that is so why the wait?
  • Reply 9 of 94
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    aplnub wrote: »
    I would rather the MBA's get them first. But I'm selfish.

    That's certainly possible form a technical standpoint when looking at only the display and I bet it's also possible from a yield standpoint, too, but I question whether it's feasible for both the Intel 4000 GPU and battery life for a single charge to double the resolution on those machines.
  • Reply 10 of 94
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member


    The other reason they could be waiting is they are determined to stop using spinning disks, and are waiting for the price of 1GB SSDs to fall.


     


    I agree with the 27" comment. My ideal iMac would be 24" with 3840x2400 (1920x1200 point) display. But I know Apple has stopped making 24" and prefers wide (1920x1080) resolutions.

  • Reply 11 of 94
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,205member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by eselqueso View Post


    Are there even panels available at a high enough pixel density at 21.5 and 27 inches to qualify as a Retina display based on the typical placement of the display? 



     


    The 27 inch would only have to go up from the current 109 ppi to 122 ppi to be Retina and yes it is possible that such a display could be very possible. We haven't seen it perhaps because Apple, in typical fashion, secured all the resources and rights to the first units while they were still in R&D. So the announcement that such a display is exists will be when Apple announces the new iMac. 


     


    it's also worth nothing that Arment believes, not that he has any sources. His beliefs could be very wrong

  • Reply 12 of 94
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,205member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



    Interesting article. However I just can't see what would make Apple wait until fall. It is kinda un Apple like in that they usually have new hardware available for back to school. 


     


    The Back to School promo is only for college students and they typically get notebooks not desktops. 

  • Reply 13 of 94
    sandyfsandyf Posts: 42member


    If retina display's are indeed constrained...and the Apple TV will very likely be retina...then a fair argument could be made to launch the Apple TV before a 27" retina iMac.


     


    Or perhaps...Apple offers the 27" retina iMac upgrade with an option to be configurable as an entry level Apple TV...!


    That's my:


     


     2 cents.jpg

  • Reply 14 of 94
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    sandyf wrote: »
    ...and the Apple TV will very likely be retina...

    Apple won't be making a $100,000 TV. Apple very likely won't be making any sort of TV.
  • Reply 15 of 94
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    ascii wrote: »
    The other reason they could be waiting is they are determined to stop using spinning disks, and are waiting for the price of 1GB SSDs to fall.

    I agree with the 27" comment. My ideal iMac would be 24" with 3840x2400 (1920x1200 point) display. But I know Apple has stopped making 24" and prefers wide (1920x1080) resolutions.

    I d like to see them trying to pull some custom flash shit on the iMac line, if anyone here stands and defends them should they do this they ll need slaughtering.

    Anyway, I want a retina imac very very much, it's the only reason I am holding out these past few months and not switching to windows, what with my failing eyesight and the nice clear type they have as well as their dpi/resolution independence settings. Of course I am not happy that even with retina I will have to go with apple's "solution" of less real estate for larger ui elements. But at least that will be something...

    Also as someone else said I really don't like and odn't get the obsesion with ever increasing screen sizes (i get it from a financial standpoint not a usability one) I 've always found that a screen at about 22" to 23" (or even 24") pretty much regardless of the aspect ratio is far more relaxing to use. For example in my 24" imacs there's just far too much screen there (for my uses of course) and what with the screen and the poor (well, non existent pretty much) ergonomics and the huge chin you strain to use one.

    Something that's not being mentioned enough if they don't release a properly ergonomic imac finally they should at least provide vesa support for the 21.5" or whatever their smaller one is. It's such a huge sham currently (another one of apple's recent f. u's to the pro or business users, or at least the more discerning/demanding ones) that the smaller models currently dont have vesa support and you have to lift the whole thing up with the foot with a workaround, which anyway defies the whole point, that of being able to lower the monitor to proper eye level, a monitor that's already high enough with the foot and the chin.

    Oh and of course there's the glare issue, finally treated glass should appear. The aesthetics came first and for so long the imacs have in that respect too been glare nightmares unlike anything we 'd seen before. And it's not about matte, it's about sticking that damn glass to make them look expensive and shinny. They could have well opted for a nice semi gloss coating a la air, the one already on the screen. Hence many campuses and businesses are barring them due to glare usability issues. The current imac to me is just a shit mainstream product, period, they better hurry up and update: retina screens so os x can finally get some larger ui elements and not have the ridiculously small font as seen on the 27" imac, some proper ergonomics in height adjustability or vesa mountable across the board, and finally some treated glass that's either part or very tightly fused to the screen.
  • Reply 16 of 94
    bigdaddypbigdaddyp Posts: 811member
    bugsnw wrote: »
    I think there's massive pent up demand for a new iMac. IF Apple were able to pull this rabbit out of its hat, it would be mind blowing. I know many people, myself included, just dying for an iMac upgrade. The Retina display would make that a pre-order event.

    Without the retina display....I'm going to hold out. I suspect a sizable chunk of iMac devotees will do the same.

    I'll continue to use my iPad for web browsing and my iMac for.....what the hell do I use it for again?

    I use my iMac every day, the screen maybe once a week. I call mine home base. All my files are on there or mirrored on there. It runs 24/7 and never complains.
  • Reply 17 of 94
    rnb2rnb2 Posts: 47member


    I'm not sure that I even buy that 'Retina' is worth the bother on the desktop displays - even at the numbers quoted above (122dpi vs. current 109), it doesn't seem that worthwhile for a gain of just over 10% in resolution. Interestingly, though, this would put it in the neighborhood of the Retina MBP resolution (for the 27"), so maybe they go to a 2880x1620 screen for both the 27" iMac and the Thunderbolt display (or 2880x1800 if they go back to 16x10), which would make some sense for Retina MBP owners who now take a resolution hit when using an external display.


     


    The main thing that a lot of people seem to be getting wrong at this point is the assumption that Retina = twice the resolution (4x the pixels). While that has been the case so far with the iPhone/iPad/MBP, it won't hold true for the iMac because of the typical viewing distance. This is probably a good thing, since it may be very difficult to get decent yields on 27" panels at 5k x 3k.


     


    I'm really hoping that the next iMac is fairly ambitious, but it may not be anything more than an Ivy Bridge + GPU refresh, with the larger change coming next year. I'm wondering if Apple may do something similar to the MBP with the iMac when they are ready to release the 'future-facing' update, and keep the current version on the market (with CPU/GPU refreshes) for a year or two as well. This might give them the freedom to do a very thin Retina iMac with all-flash storage (from 512GB to 1TB+) - they might be able to keep the optical drive (as they shouldn't be space-constrained), though may get rid of it on principle, and it may also do away with upgradable RAM (though again, they wouldn't have the same space-constrained reason for doing so as on the MBP).


     


    I have a 2009 i7 27" iMac, and it's still a fantastic machine - I'm leaning toward having an SSD installed in the optical bay in the near future (I've been booting from a FW800 SSD since I got the machine) to tide me over for another year or two. I'd really like to see a MUCH more efficient, cooler-running iMac when I'm ready to upgrade. Lacking that, I may end up going with a high-end mini with Thunderbolt Display instead. I'm a professional photographer, and seeing the writing on the wall over the last year, I've switched from the ridiculously expensive and heavy Canon equipment I was carrying to the smaller, less expensive, but no less capable Olympus OM-D (two of them, actually). When I see what I can do with these small cameras and the 'new' iPad, the iMac starts to feel like an awful lot of expense, size, and weight for an incremental (but important) increase in capability. Lighter (if not much smaller - once you get used to the 27" screen, it's hard to go back, though maybe a Retina 21" would work) and more efficient feels like the future to me - I honestly don't need anything much faster than what I currently have, but I'd like to see the same performance with less heat, lower power usage, and less weight.

  • Reply 18 of 94
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    rnb2 wrote: »
    I'm not sure that I even buy that 'Retina' is worth the bother on the desktop displays - even at the numbers quoted above (122dpi vs. current 109), it doesn't seem that worthwhile for a gain of just over 10% in resolution. Interestingly, though, this would put it in the neighborhood of the Retina MBP resolution (for the 27"), so maybe they go to a 2880x1620 screen for both the 27" iMac and the Thunderbolt display (or 2880x1800 if they go back to 16x10), which would make some sense for Retina MBP owners who now take a resolution hit when using an external display.

    Where are getting a 10% gain for Retina when so far Apple has does a 400% gain in pixels for the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and MacBook Pro?
  • Reply 19 of 94
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member


    good luck with that less heat thing, apple is going for slimmer they don't give a crap about less heat apparently, look at the thermals of the new retina pro, gets warm even on light usage...

  • Reply 20 of 94
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,116member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post


    good luck with that less heat thing, apple is going for slimmer they don't give a crap about less heat apparently, look at the thermals of the new retina pro, gets warm even on light usage...



     


    In your 1,500 posts here, I have yet to read a single post of yours where you mention a single positive thing about Apple or its products. You have such vitriolic hatred and viciousness towards everything the company does, to the extent of making such an effort into twisting positives into negatives, like thinness. I've read quite a few reviews on the MBP, and not a single one mentioned that heat was an issue. My question is why the hell are you here, if you despise Apple so much? I've seen you go on frothing, rambling, hate-filled rampages on even the tiniest, most insignificant stories, and not once have I read a word of positivity from you towards Apple. Theres a million other options, but instead you choose to troll here and somehow you get away with it, maybe because of your username. Apple isn't making computers with matte screens, get the **** over yourself and your petty little vendetta. To you, every single thing Apple does is a sham and every single product a scam. You manage to shit up every thread I've seen. You must lead an incredibly unhappy life to insist on chronically posting on a fansite for a company you despise. 

Sign In or Register to comment.