Supply of Apple's 27" iMac drying up as Ivy Bridge upgrade awaits

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
With the last iMac update having arrived more than a year ago, third-party resellers are now starting to see limited availability of Apple's big-screen 27-inch desktop Mac.

As of Wednesday, AppleInsider noticed stock-outs of the 3.7-gigahertz 27-inch iMac at Best Buy and J&R, while only a handful of units remain available at Amazon, where it is advertised that more are on the way (Update: Amazon's listing no longer indicates limited stock). In addition, MacMall is currently sold out of the 27-inch iMac with a 2.7 gigahertz processor.

The lack of availability at Best Buy is particularly noteworthy as the retailer's website simply states the all-in-one computer is "not available" both online and in store, with no indication of a restock. In contrast, Apple's newly released MacBook Pro with Retina display is advertised as "backordered," with new orders expected to ship between 7 and 30 days from Best Buy.

Limited availability at Mac resellers is often one of the first signs that Apple is drawing down inventory ahead of a product update. And the iMac line is due for an update, with the most recent refresh released over a year ago, in early May of 2011.

However, it should also be noted that Apple's iMac desktops are a popular choice for education institutions. Last month, Apple kicked off its annual back to school promotion, offering a $100 iTunes gift card with the purchase of a new Mac, which could explain limited availability of the 27-inch iMac.

Patent 2


Just this week, a new report out of the Far East claimed that Apple's supply chain is currently gearing up to begin production of the next-generation iMac. However, that report suggested the updated all-in-one desktop won't become available until October.

The new iMacs are expected to feature Intel's latest-generation Ivy Bridge processors. Apple's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineups were upgraded to Ivy Bridge with a product refresh last month.

It remains unclear whether the next-generation iMacs will feature Retina displays like Apple's new MacBook Pro. Reports from earlier this year suggested the new iMacs would in fact have new high-resolution displays, though more recently doubt has been cast that the addition will make the cut for Apple's 2012 models.

Other rumors from this year claimed that the 2012 iMac refresh will feature new anti-reflective glass displays. That would be a first for the iMac, as Apple has until now only offered anti-reflective solutions as build-to-order options on its MacBook family of notebooks.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 78
    AppleInsiderAppleInsider Posts: 36,457administrator
    With the last iMac update having arrived more than a year ago, third-party resellers are now starting to see limited availability of Apple's big-screen 27-inch desktop Mac.

    As of Wednesday, AppleInsider noticed stock-outs of the 3.7-gigahertz 27-inch iMac at Best Buy and J&R, while only a handful of units remain available at Amazon, where it is advertised that more are on the way. In addition, MacMall is currently sold out of the 27-inch iMac with a 2.7 gigahertz processor.

    The lack of availability at Best Buy is particularly noteworthy as the retailer's website simply states the all-in-one computer is "not available" both online and in store, with no indication of a restock. In contrast, Apple's newly released MacBook Pro with Retina display is advertised as "backordered," with new orders expected to ship between 7 and 30 days from Best Buy.

    Limited availability at Mac resellers is often one of the first signs that Apple is drawing down inventory ahead of a product update. And the iMac line is due for an update, with the most recent refresh released over a year ago, in early May of 2011.

    However, it should also be noted that Apple's iMac desktops are a popular choice for education institutions. Last month, Apple kicked off its annual back to school promotion, offering a $100 iTunes gift card with the purchase of a new Mac, which could explain limited availability of the 27-inch iMac.

    Patent 2


    Just this week, a new report out of the Far East claimed that Apple's supply chain is currently gearing up to begin production of the next-generation iMac. However, that report suggested the updated all-in-one desktop won't become available until October.

    The new iMacs are expected to feature Intel's latest-generation Ivy Bridge processors. Apple's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineups were upgraded to Ivy Bridge with a product refresh last month.

    It remains unclear whether the next-generation iMacs will feature Retina displays like Apple's new MacBook Pro. Reports from earlier this year suggested the new iMacs would in fact have new high-resolution displays, though more recently doubt has been cast that the addition will make the cut for Apple's 2012 models.

    Other rumors from this year claimed that the 2012 iMac refresh will feature new anti-reflective glass displays. That would be a first for the iMac, as Apple has until now only offered anti-reflective solutions as build-to-order options on its MacBook family of notebooks.
  • Reply 2 of 78
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I'm holding out for a Retina iMac but I think 2012 is too soon for that to happen.
  • Reply 3 of 78


    I want a 33" iMac/TV with a 7" iPad/iPod remote.  But what OS would it run?  Is M$ on to something with the dual OS or should iOS run OSX styles apps with a keyboard and mouse also?

  • Reply 4 of 78
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I want a 33" Imac/TV with a 7" iPad/iPod remote.  But what OS would it run?  Is M$ on to something with the dual OS or should iOS run OSX styles apps with a keyboard and mouse also?

    I don't think MS are onto something but they are certainly on something up in Redmond.
  • Reply 5 of 78
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,423member
    Sadly no mention of the Mini. It is however about time, Apple has been dragging feet for rear to long now
  • Reply 6 of 78
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member


    One thing is having a retina display 9.7" iPad and a retina 15" Macbook, but I don't think that huge sized displays with retina is something that is coming out anytime soon. 

  • Reply 7 of 78


    I think the resolution is fine on the iMacs for now.  Would love to see a spec bump of course.  Faster RAM, CPU, GPU etc.  It's a solid machine.  Not sure if Apple can put much WOW factor in it.  I don't need it to be any thinner.  Most people sit further away from a desktop monitor then a laptop screen.  At least I do.  Therefore, a higher resolution screen won't do as much for me in a desktop environment as it would a laptop.    

  • Reply 8 of 78
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    I think the resolution is fine on the iMacs for now.  Would love to see a spec bump of course.  Faster RAM, CPU, GPU etc.  It's a solid machine.  Not sure if Apple can put much WOW factor in it.  I don't need it to be any thinner.  Most people sit further away from a desktop monitor then a laptop screen.  At least I do.  Therefore, a higher resolution screen won't do as much for me in a desktop environment as it would a laptop.    

    I agree that it's fine at 2560x1440 for a 27", but that doesn't mean it can't be improved. Keep in mind that at the distance you view an iMac, it doesn't have to be all that much greater than it is now to meet the definition of 'retina display'. I haven't done the math, but something like 3200x2000 might easily be enough.
  • Reply 9 of 78
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,241member


    I'm waiting until Mountain Lion comes out before buying. I'm inclined to believe we'll see a spec bump sooner rather than later and don't expect to see a retina iMac until this time next year.

  • Reply 10 of 78
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    jragosta wrote: »
    I agree that it's fine at 2560x1440 for a 27", but that doesn't mean it can't be improved. Keep in mind that at the distance you view an iMac, it doesn't have to be all that much greater than it is now to meet the definition of 'retina display'. I haven't done the math, but something like 3200x2000 might easily be enough.

    The math is easy. Just plug in the values and let Google calculate it for you. Would you say that 2' is about the average one sits from a desktop monitor?

    3438 * (1/24") = 143 PPI

    The PPI is currently 102 and 109 for the 21.5" and 27" iMacs, respectively. Doubling the PPI to 205 and 218 would mean you could sit a little more than one foot away and someone with 20/20 (6/6) vision couldn't discern the pixels.

    3438 * (1/205 PPI) = 16 3/4"
    3438 * (1/218 PPI) = 15 3/4"

    That's overkill but I wonder if Apple's OS can scale well by going only 50% resolution increase instead of doubling and if even then the GPU can handle the increased load well.
  • Reply 11 of 78
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    I agree that it's fine at 2560x1440 for a 27", but that doesn't mean it can't be improved. Keep in mind that at the distance you view an iMac, it doesn't have to be all that much greater than it is now to meet the definition of 'retina display'. I haven't done the math, but something like 3200x2000 might easily be enough.


    The iMac will have to be doubled, meaning 5120 x 2880. That's exactly what Apple has done with their two existing retina devices so far.

  • Reply 12 of 78
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Other rumors from this year claimed that the 2012 iMac refresh will feature new <a href="http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/04/02/apples_redesigned_2012_imacs_rumored_to_feature_anti_reflective_glass_displays.html">anti-reflective</a> glass displays. That would be a first for the iMac, as Apple has until now only offered anti-reflective solutions as build-to-order options on its MacBook family of notebooks.

    I thought the current BTO option for MBP was a matte surface. Anti-reflective treatment is not matte.
  • Reply 13 of 78
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    The math is easy. Just plug in the values and let Google calculate it for you. Would you say that 2' is about the average one sits from a desktop monitor?
    3438 * (1/24") = 143 PPI
    The PPI is currently 102 and 109 for the 21.5" and 27" iMacs, respectively. Doubling the PPI to 205 and 218 would mean you could sit a little more than one foot away and someone with 20/20 (6/6) vision couldn't discern the pixels.
    3438 * (1/205 PPI) = 16 3/4"
    3438 * (1/218 PPI) = 15 3/4"
    That's overkill but I wonder if Apple's OS can scale well by going only 50% resolution increase instead of doubling and if even then the GPU can handle the increased load well.


    That's a bit closer to a foot an a half than a foot. That's a realistic distance for many desks these days.
  • Reply 14 of 78
    drdazdrdaz Posts: 9member

    Quote:


    The iMac will have to be doubled, meaning 5120 x 2880. That's exactly what Apple has done with their two existing retina devices so far.



     


    Retina is about pixel-density, and means pixel-doubled really. So they wouldn't have to double the resolution of the current iMac... they'd have to double *some* acceptable resolution. (Like the new Retina MBP has a working resolution of 1440x900 or whatever it was.)


     


    When looking at the current 27 inch iMac I've found myself wondering if there isn't actually too much screen real-estate. I could imagine a lower working resolution than the current 2560x1440 being quite acceptable. At that point getting a panel and a gfx card to drive it isn't completely beyond the realm of possibility...


     


    Just a thought.

  • Reply 15 of 78
    jollypauljollypaul Posts: 328member


    If not a retina display, I would like to see a 16:10 aspect ratio with 2560x1600 on a 27" model. The room is there on the front if you are willing to shrink the Apple logo. I'm very attached to my current 27" iMac, but the extra vertical space would prompt me to get a new one.

  • Reply 16 of 78
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    jollypaul wrote: »
    If not a retina display, I would like to see a 16:10 aspect ratio with 2560x1600 on a 27" model. The room is there on the front if you are willing to shrink the Apple logo. I'm very attached to my current 27" iMac, but the extra vertical space would prompt me to get a new one.

    I'm fine with 16:9 on a desktop because the display is large enough to allow for a wider display. On a 15" or smaller notebook... not so much. That's why I could never get the 11" MBA. The 12" PB was great because it was 4:3 which allowed for display height close to the 13" MB/MBA/MBPs.

    As we move into larger iMac displays I'd actually like them to get widescreenier more widescreen. A 2.35 aspect ratio 32" iMac would be nice... at least for me.
  • Reply 17 of 78
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    As we move into larger iMac displays I'd actually like them to get widescreenier more widescreen. A 2.35 aspect ratio 32" iMac would be nice... at least for me.


    I'd like to see an Apple tv at that ratio.


     


    16:9 is not good for movies, it's made for tv shows, you still get black bars.

  • Reply 18 of 78
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    drdaz wrote: »
    [SIZE=12px]Retina is about pixel-density, and means pixel-doubled really. So they wouldn't have to double the resolution of the current iMac... they'd have to double *some* acceptable resolution. (Like the new Retina MBP has a working resolution of 1440x900 or whatever it was.)[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12px]When looking at the current 27 inch iMac I've found myself wondering if there isn't actually too much screen real-estate. I could imagine a lower working resolution than the current 2560x1440 being quite acceptable. At that point getting a panel and a gfx card to drive it isn't completely beyond the realm of possibility...[/SIZE]

    What was wrong with the 21" iMac? I agree that not everyone needs the 27" model, but I'm glad it's there. That said, a good part of my need for the bigger display might go away with retina, my screen-intensive work being largely vector graphics. A 21" screen at 3840 x 2160 might serve pretty well.
  • Reply 19 of 78
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drdaz View Post


     


    Retina is about pixel-density, and means pixel-doubled really. So they wouldn't have to double the resolution of the current iMac... they'd have to double *some* acceptable resolution. (Like the new Retina MBP has a working resolution of 1440x900 or whatever it was.)


     


    When looking at the current 27 inch iMac I've found myself wondering if there isn't actually too much screen real-estate. I could imagine a lower working resolution than the current 2560x1440 being quite acceptable. At that point getting a panel and a gfx card to drive it isn't completely beyond the realm of possibility...


     


    Just a thought.



    If they don't double the 2560x1400 res, then I think that it would be a doubling of 1920x1080, which would put the retina iMac at 3840 x 2160.

  • Reply 20 of 78
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    jeffdm wrote: »
    What was wrong with the 21" iMac? I agree that not everyone needs the 27" model, but I'm glad it's there. That said, a good part of my need for the bigger display might go away with retina, my screen-intensive work being largely vector graphics. A 21" screen at 3840 x 2160 might serve pretty well.

    If they updated the 21.5" and 27" iMacs today and only the smaller model got a Retina display do the several reasons why a smaller display would come first I'd settle for the smaller iMac without hesitation.
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