Availability of Apple's 27" iMac dwindles ahead of expected Ivy Bridge upgrade

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
With Apple's iMac lineup due for an upgrade to Intel's Ivy Bridge processors, stock of the larger 27-inch all-in-one desktop has become even more depleted ahead of a possible refresh.

Availability of the 27-inch iMac is now limited at most retailers seen in the AppleInsider pricing guide. In particular, the low-end 2.7-gigahertz model is currently out of stock at Amazon, MacMall, MacConnection, Best Buy, and J&R. For now, the desktop remains in stock at B&H.

Availability of the high-end 3.1-gigahertz model is slightly better. That configuration is currently sold out at Best Buy and J&R, while limited stock is available at Amazon.

A shortage of 27-inch iMacs was also noted on Friday by MacRumors which found that the base-level machine is currently sold out at 120 of Apple's 249 U.S. retail locations, while the high-end configuration is unavailable at 135 retail stores.

While supply of the 27-inch iMac has dwindled, there are no such signs of constrained inventory for the 21.5-inch model. Both Apple's retail stores and authorized resellers show the smaller iMac model to have adequate availability.

Supply of the 27-inch iMac first began to dry up last month, as resellers started to see limited availability of the big-screen desktop. Supply constraints at Mac resellers is often one of the first signs that Apple is drawing down inventory ahead of a product update.

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And the iMac line is due for an update, with the most recent refresh released over a year ago, in early May of 2011. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in July that he expects Apple to refresh its iMac lineup with Intel's Ivy Bridge processors as soon as September.

Earlier this month, internal configuration files in Mountain Lion were discovered to make apparent references to unreleased new generations of the iMac, as well as the Mac Pro. The new iMac was labeled as (iMac13,0), while the Mac Pro was identified as (MacPro6,0).



In addition, a new 13th-generation iMac identified as "iMac 13,2" has already appeared in Geekbench benchmarks. That machine was seen running Mountain Lion with an Intel Core i7-3770 processor clocked at 3.4-gigahertz with 4 gigabytes of 1600-megahertz DDR3 RAM.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    allenbfallenbf Posts: 993member


    Does anyone expect this to be a redesign or just a spec bump?  

  • Reply 2 of 57
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member


    Hopefully with a matte display option. Or else it is a deal-braker, since it is a serious health and productivity issue. MacMatte.

  • Reply 3 of 57


    It's not a serious health issue, relax. Talk about hyperbole.


     


    (EDIT: If it IS a health issue for you, that's a different story. Your post made it seem as if it's a health issue for all, which is unnecessary.)


     


     


    And I literally bought a 27-inch Thunderbolt Display yesterday. I knew it was due for a refresh, but I don't seriously expect (nor does anyone else, it seems) a Retina-upgrade in the relatively near future. A 27-inch Retina-quality monitor would be far more expensive than the current $999 price tag, and I don't think manufacturers are ready to pump those out quite yet in the masses needed for both iMacs and Thunderbolt Displays. At most, I would expect upgraded ports, like USB 3.0, maybe an additional TB. It will probably be a quiet update alongside a higher bump in the iMac. So I'm fine with that.

  • Reply 4 of 57


    Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

    Does anyone expect this to be a redesign or just a spec bump?  


     


    Since it has taken them so long to release something that should have been out months ago, the optimist in me wants to say 'full redesign', but then the pessimist in me comes back from the bathroom and kicks the optimist back into his torture room. 


     


    They'll have no optical drives and be slightly thinner. Two Thunderbolt on the 21.5" and maybe three on the 27". That's it.


     


    I don't even think retina, but they surprised me last time.

  • Reply 5 of 57
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    They'll have no optical drives and be slightly thinner. Two Thunderbolt on the 21.5" and maybe three on the 27". That's it.


     


    I don't even think retina, but they surprised me last time.



    If they redesign- I agree wholeheartedly.  I would hope they wouldn't make it thinner as it gets crazy hot as it is.  I'd like for them to put a small sdd boot drive in place of the optical and add an extra fan and push air right to left as well as bottom to top.


     


    I would be shocked beyond belief if they had retina- I'd bed my house payment against it.


     


    Although I, too, hope for a redesign... my gut tells me that won't happen until retina... which means we won't see it until late next year.  Ivy Bridge, updated GPU, and 1666 ram... I think that's all we see (much like the macbook pros).


    That said- if the base 27" is as fast or faster than my BTO 27" 2010 i7s- I'll upgrade one of them.

  • Reply 6 of 57
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member


    I'm expecting the optical drive to be removed. I already use an external BD-Rom so not a big deal. I also expect it to have an additional drive bay, and possible RAID options, which would be very nice.



    Thunderbolt is a given.


     


    I would think the display might receive a PPI bump to something in the 200 range. Possibly a 4096x2304 res, but probably wishful thinking.


     


    Mine's 3 years old now, so I doubt I'd upgrade just yet as I bought top of the line back then (Quad i7 @ 2.8Ghz) with 8GB of memory and a TB drive.


     


    Will be interested in the refresh that hits this one though, especially if it offers a raid-0 which would allow much faster read/writes even with the older platter drives.

  • Reply 7 of 57
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,994member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Since it has taken them so long to release something that should have been out months ago, the optimist in me wants to say 'full redesign', but then the pessimist in me comes back from the bathroom and kicks the optimist back into his torture room. 


     


    They'll have no optical drives and be slightly thinner. Two Thunderbolt on the 21.5" and maybe three on the 27". That's it.


     


    I don't even think retina, but they surprised me last time.



     


    Taking out the optical drive and making it thinner definitely qualifies as a 'full redesign'. Anything that alters the exterior casing is a redesign. And no, there won't be retina display yet. It just is still too much of a technical hit at this point. 

  • Reply 8 of 57
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member


    I hope they don't try to make it thinner. Who cares. You never see the back, and this insane drive to get thinner on devices that it just doesn't matter on concern me for a non-portable desktop, especially when it comes to heat dissipation and heat related performance issues.

  • Reply 9 of 57
    winterwinter Posts: 1,238member
    djrumpy wrote: »
    I hope they don't try to make it thinner. Who cares. You never see the back, and this insane drive to get thinner on devices that it just doesn't matter on concern me for a non-portable desktop, especially when it comes to heat dissipation and heat related performance issues.

    Agreed. Remove the optical drive though keep it as is. How thin can you possibly make something?
  • Reply 10 of 57


    The long wait is interesting.


     


    Currently, I am on an iMac 27" 3.4 with SSD, the current model that  bought last year.  Fantastic machine; it replaced a two-year old MacPro and I have never regretted what many might call a down-grade.  The SSD is likely the key to that.


     


     


    The current machine has Thunderbolt and USB 2.  I can see the addition of another TB port and an upgrade to USB 3.  


     


    Like the poster above, I burn BluRay to an external drive.  I do, however, still use the internal for music CDs, so I don't see it being completely eliminated.  Base model without OD with an option?  Doesn't sound very Apple to me.  I recall my first iMac way back; Apple took the plunge and got rid of the floppy.  It might be time for them to delete the OD...  They do have the external for the MBA, but the cable is rather short.


     


    No optical drive would make it slightly slimmer, perhaps.  But I figure on some newer configuration for the display that will make it thinner.


     


    Now that Dictation is built in to the OS, I think the iMac needs a slightly better internal microphone, but I'm not sure.  I use a USB mic with Dragon Dictate.


     


     


     


    Base RAM may be increased.


     


    Better display.  Retina would be nice.


     


    - - -


     


     


     


    That said, I think it's about time for a new accessory to make an appearance, like the Mighty Mouse and Scroll Mouse did.  Or a new keyboard.

  • Reply 11 of 57
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member


    Removing the optical drive just to make a DESKTOP, I repeat, a DESKTOP a few mm thinner is insane. They should be making it thicker so they can cram more stuff in there and stop it over heating. The iMac could certainly use a high end GPU, even if it's a BTO option.

  • Reply 12 of 57


    It will probably have USB3, no cd-dvd, bump in speeds and no retina.


     


    Why is everyone so obsessed with Retina iMac? Retina works on closely controled walled garden, with applications specifically designed for it. Half of the apps on iPad still don't support retina resolutions and their products show that. Time Inc. are you listening?


     


    15' MBP was a great choice to start with introducing retina, because it's a tool of choise for photo community where resolution and clarity matters. Most photographers won't touch iMac with 100ft pole.


     


    So, my guess is we will see retina ACD way before we see the iMac. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the first retina wouldn't come in 24' size, instead of 27'.


     


    What I hope to see instead is the screen advancements of retina MBP less resolution bump (removing the extra layer of glass to make it less reflective).


     


    So, Apple, if you improve the screen, deliver USB3, remove CD rom drive and slim down the chasis (unlike what you've done with mac mini when you removed the cd drive), I'll upgrade. If not, I'll wait and see. My purchase decission clearly have no impact on your stock price.

  • Reply 13 of 57


    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

    Taking out the optical drive and making it thinner definitely qualifies as a 'full redesign'. Anything that alters the exterior casing is a redesign.


     


    This isn't a full redesign by a long shot. Click to embiggen.







    Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

    The iMac could certainly use a high end GPU, even if it's a BTO option.


     


    Not when desktop GPUs require twice the power draw to get anything close to an acceptable performance increase over mobile chips.


     



    Originally Posted by jw2003 View Post


    Why is everyone so obsessed with Retina iMac? Retina works on closely controled walled garden, with applications specifically designed for it. Half of the apps on iPad still don't support retina resolutions and their products show that.



     


    Because it's how all future displays will be. Blah blah walled garden. 


     



    Most photographers won't touch iMac with 100ft pole.



     


    Photographers, care to chime in here?


     




    Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the first retina wouldn't come in 24' size, instead of 27'.




     


    Why would they bring back a display they discontinued?

  • Reply 14 of 57
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,994member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post


    Removing the optical drive just to make a DESKTOP, I repeat, a DESKTOP a few mm thinner is insane. They should be making it thicker so they can cram more stuff in there and stop it over heating. The iMac could certainly use a high end GPU, even if it's a BTO option.



     


    No, it's not insane. iMacs are now commonly set up in living rooms, kitchens, etc and are part of the decor of the room instead of being relegated to the basement in shame as other desktops are. Anything that makes it even take less space, weight, and generally add to the attractiveness of the environment is a good thing. I agree that thinness shoudnt be an absolute priority like their portable machines, but I'm not going to complain if they do make it thinner without compromising other things. Taking out the optical drive should help a lot in that, as it will free up a ton of space. Also, their reason for removing the drive would be primarily because they want to wean everyone off optical media, not because of thinness.  In terms of overheating, I've never had an iMac overheat, so no clue what you're talking about. 

  • Reply 15 of 57

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Since it has taken them so long to release something that should have been out months ago, the optimist in me wants to say 'full redesign', but then the pessimist in me comes back from the bathroom and kicks the optimist back into his torture room. 


     


    They'll have no optical drives and be slightly thinner. Two Thunderbolt on the 21.5" and maybe three on the 27". That's it.


     


    I don't even think retina, but they surprised me last time.



    I think there will be one retina.  If not on the iMac, then the MacPro... but I lean to the iMac 21.5, with SSD as well.


    The Pixel count of the 27 pixels 'squeezed' into  the 21.5 is over Retina threshold (which is about 122 DPI, and a 27->21.5 would be 137, 11% 'over' retina threshold... the iPad 3 is 23% 'over' )


     


    Given that a 21.5 at that size would use the same graphics as the iMac 27, this would be a developer non issue.  Manufacturing may have an issue, but apple has so many PPIs it must not be much of one.


     


    Other ways to do this is to 'double' an existing display as well (MBA 11 and MBA 13 are both 'Retina ready' as either a 22diag or a 27 respectively)


    But 27" of Retina is a lot of pixels. ~20MP's worth.   Would be stunning, but I can't see that in the price point the iMac (or a Cinema Display) needs to hit.

  • Reply 16 of 57
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,994member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    This isn't a full redesign by a long shot. Click to embiggen.




     



     


    It's basically a screen with a black bezel. There's not that much room for it to be 'redesigned. Might get a bit sleeker/thinner, which would definitely quality. Doesnt look like they plan to get rid of the aluminum/glass aesthetic anytime soon. Do you not agree that the Retina MBP was a full redesign? The thing was rebuilt from the inside up, yet apart from the thinner is looks pretty much identical. These products have reached a stage in maturity, which includes the iMac. Considering recent updates have been purely spec bumps, yes, removing the drive and modifying the physical enclosure is absolutely a redesign. You can't compare this to a 'box' which has infinitely more flexibility. The only way the iMac can change substantially is thinness. What can you realistically expect from an iMac 'redesign'? Your comparison is Apple to oranges. 

  • Reply 17 of 57


    Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post


    Would be stunning, but I can't see that in the price point the iMac (or a Cinema Display) needs to hit.



     


    So they'll keep the non-retinas around at an even LOWER price. Marvin had some numbers I loved, but I don't remember them. I think he put the non-retina 27" at $1,299. THAT is impressive. The 21.5" would be $1,099, and then education discounts would be kick it to $999.


     



    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

    Do you not agree that the Retina MBP was a full redesign? The thing was rebuilt from the inside up, yet apart from the thinner is looks pretty much identical.


     


    I don't. It was a redesign, certainly, and greater in scope than the one I've put up. But it was in no way a 'full' redesign. A full redesign would be "white iMac to aluminum iMac", not "thickness of the G5 iMac to thickness of the Core Duo iMac" or "thickness of the Core Duo iMac to thickness of the Core 2 iMac".

  • Reply 18 of 57


    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

    Do you not agree that the Retina MBP was a full redesign? The thing was rebuilt from the inside up, yet apart from the thinner is looks pretty much identical.


     


    I don't. It was a redesign, certainly, and greater in scope than the one I've put up. But it was in no way a 'full' redesign. A full redesign would be "white iMac to aluminum iMac", not "thickness of the G5 iMac to thickness of the Core Duo iMac" or "thickness of the Core Duo iMac to thickness of the Core 2 iMac".

  • Reply 19 of 57
    This isn't a full redesign by a long shot. Click to embiggen.
    LL
    LL
    The slotless Mac mini design is not new. It existed two years ago in the Mac mini server (Mid-2010), side-by-side with the single-HDD Mac minis.

    In 2011, Apple just switched to the slotless design which had already been around for an entire year.
  • Reply 20 of 57
    winterwinter Posts: 1,238member
    Of course back in 2010, if you wanted a non optical drive model you had to pay $1,000 and you had no SSD option.
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