Two unreleased iMacs referenced in macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited March 24
Apple's beta releases continue to yield clues about unannounced hardware, with Tuesday's macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta including references of two new iMac designations.

iMac


Spotted by 9to5Mac, the macOS Big Sur beta issued to developers today includes hardware identifiers for an "iMac21,1" and "iMac21,2," both of which do not match existing iMac models.

According to the site, "iMac21,1" and "iMac21,2" correspond to iMacs codenamed J456 and J457. In January, Bloomberg outed those designations as next-generation replacements for the current 21.5-inch iMac and 27-inch iMac, which are due for a refresh this spring.

Today's discovery comes about a week after a developer found references of an unannounced Apple Silicon Mac in Xcode's Crash Reporter.

Apple is widely expected to soon unveil a new iMac line powered by a variation of its M1 chip. Previous reports point to a redesigned chassis that borrows features from Apple's angular iPhone and iPad devices. New color options are also rumored.

It is unclear when Apple plans to announce the new hardware, but the company officially discontinued the iMac Pro and ceased production of some 21.5-inch iMac configurations earlier in March.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,846member
    Does the code mean 2021 or does it mean 21 inch?
  • Reply 2 of 15
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,326member
    entropys said:
    Does the code mean 2021 or does it mean 21 inch?
    Neither.
    fastasleeprandominternetperson
  • Reply 3 of 15
    I would expect the low-end models to have the M1 chip and the higher end models the M1x, so this is confusing, unless all the iMac models will only have one chip.
  • Reply 4 of 15
    tonghitonghi Posts: 6member
    Two model numbers either means 2 different clock speeds or CPUs with the same screen size OR 2 different screen sizes with possibly different clock speeds or CPUs. Hoping that both the new 23-24" and a larger 29-30" come out next month. Likely with higher resolutions so maybe 4.4K and 5.5K? Not like Apple to reduce screen resolution.
    Apple may decide to eliminate the performance differential of the 2 iMac sizes now, making the future iMac Pro 6K model THE HIGH PERFORMANCE iMac. Coming in Fall '21 or Spring '22 perhaps?
    Anyway, happy to have Apple add another 2 Mac models and allow more of us to move to Apple Silicon!

    patchythepiratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 15
    DetnatorDetnator Posts: 136member
    The 21 means generation 21. It’s mostly just coincidence that it’s the same as the year number. 

    As for a 6K iMac Pro, I highly doubt it. The iMac Pro was a 2017 stopgap while we waited for the 2019 Mac Pro after Apple admitted they’d kinda screwed up with the 2013 cylinder. 

    They haven’t updated it in nearly 4 years and the standard high end iMacs are faster (except for the high core count iMac Pros where the pricing compares with the Mac Pro anyway.  And now it’s pulled without any song of replacement.

    I expect the iMac Pro is discontinued for good.  

    But I do hope the iMacs grow (in physical size) like Tonghi is suggesting. 30” and 6K at today’s iMac pricing would be really nice. 
    StrangeDayspatchythepiratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 15
    This is great news — Apple does this on purpose, and it means these will be available in April. 

    Interesting how it shows Bloomberg’s modus operandi — they get a leak of the two model numbers, and then jump to their own conclusions about what those mean. We’ll see, but I tend to think they may be right, and we’re looking at 24-inch Retina 4K and 30-inch Retina 5K. I don’t see them stepping on the toes of the 32-inch Retina 6K Pro XDR display, though I do think you’ll be able to run it as a second display from either of these new iMacs.

    However, I also wonder if we could see a return to discreet graphics. We could be looking at two 24-inch models, one with integrated graphics/memory and one with additional, discreet graphics. Anyhow, LOL, that’s my fantasy. I’ve noticed AMD is very quiet and conciliatory with regard to Apple Silicon, unlike Intel’s bluster. 
    patchythepiratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 15
    thedbathedba Posts: 539member
    Detnator said:
    The 21 means generation 21. It’s mostly just coincidence that it’s the same as the year number. 

    As for a 6K iMac Pro, I highly doubt it. The iMac Pro was a 2017 stopgap while we waited for the 2019 Mac Pro after Apple admitted they’d kinda screwed up with the 2013 cylinder. 

    They haven’t updated it in nearly 4 years and the standard high end iMacs are faster (except for the high core count iMac Pros where the pricing compares with the Mac Pro anyway.  And now it’s pulled without any song of replacement.

    I expect the iMac Pro is discontinued for good.  

    But I do hope the iMacs grow (in physical size) like Tonghi is suggesting. 30” and 6K at today’s iMac pricing would be really nice. 
    You are probably dreaming in technicolor with that last statement. If Apple does go to 6K it may be just an alternative to the iMac line but will begin at around $5000. 
    Chances are you will get 5K for the bigger iMac option starting at today's prices. 

    Looking at today's monitor prices starting at 5K I can only find LG's option and that is going for $1200. Just a monitor. I imagine that another manufacturer, if they decide to offer a 6K monitor, they will begin pricing them at at least $2000. So you can imagine how much an iMac will cost. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 15
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,607member
    Choices are good; but there is an established floor of prices here with the recent M1 mac minis. A Mac Mini driving a third party 4K monitor is the obvious alternative to an iMac (one I've been contemplating for years.) Curious to see how this pans out. 
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 15
    This seems incomplete. Two models is a very narrow range. Does that mean each will come with only one RAM configuration? 21" 16GB and 27" 32GB? Or will it just again be 16GB all the way around?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 15
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,236member
    I would expect the low-end models to have the M1 chip and the higher end models the M1x, so this is confusing, unless all the iMac models will only have one chip.
    They said "powered by a variation of its M1 chip" — and Apple has not announced any other variant yet named "M1x" or anything else, so anything beyond that is speculation at this point.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 15
    Detnator said:
    But I do hope the iMacs grow (in physical size) like Tonghi is suggesting. 30” and 6K at today’s iMac pricing would be really nice. 
    30" is pretty big. I have had 27" iMacs since they came out andsitting in front of one now, I can say that the edges of the 27" screen are just about in peripheral vision land, in that I have to move my head significantly to see the image. Great for video editing where I have a lot of stuff (and an additional monitor), but will 30" really be more useful or just bigger. I will buy one if I can :-) 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 15
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,236member
    tonghi said:
    Two model numbers either means 2 different clock speeds or CPUs with the same screen size OR 2 different screen sizes with possibly different clock speeds or CPUs.

    This seems incomplete. Two models is a very narrow range. Does that mean each will come with only one RAM configuration? 21" 16GB and 27" 32GB? Or will it just again be 16GB all the way around?
    I don't think that they've ever used different model numbers for clock speeds or RAM configurations. There's not necessarily a set precedent here, looking over the past few years of iMacs.

    They have for GPU configuration though:
    2020 27" 5K iMac is either iMac20,1 or iMac20,2 — the latter if it has the Radeon Pro 5700 and 5700 XT, so I'm assuming there's something on those models differentiating the motherboard from those with the Radeon Pro 5300 and Radeon Pro 5500 XT.

    2019:
    4K = iMac19,2
    5K = iMac19,1

    2017:
    21.5"(non-4K) = iMac18,1
    4K = iMac18,2
    5K = iMac18,3

    2015: 
    Mid:
    5K = iMac15,1
    Late:
    21.5 = iMac16,1
    4K = iMac16,2
    5K = iMac17,1

    So it's not certain but one would reasonably guess this round is two sizes, potentially the rumored 24" and 30". It could also be two variants of the 24" with different motherboard designs (ie GPU as in 2020 with the 5700) but I think that's far less likely.
    edited March 24 tenthousandthingsmuthuk_vanalingamtechconcthtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 15
    This seems incomplete. Two models is a very narrow range. Does that mean each will come with only one RAM configuration? 21" 16GB and 27" 32GB? Or will it just again be 16GB all the way around?
    No, it doesn’t work like that. Each model number [e.g., A2115] and device identifier [e.g., iMac20,1] applies to multiple configurations. 

    The current iMacs are:

    iMac19,2 = A2116 = iMac 4K 
    iMac20,1 = A2115 = iMac 5K with Radeon Pro 5300/5500
    iMac20,2 = A2115 = iMac 5K with Radeon Pro 5700

    Unfortunately, as far as I am aware, the history of Apple’s use of these numbers/identifiers doesn’t help much, but I can’t say I myself have studied it. 

    So, the official iMac21,1 and iMac21,2 device identifiers could refer to different graphics capabilities in two otherwise similar models, or they could be two different iMacs. We don’t know, but we do know, historically, that they don’t refer to differences in memory configurations. The leaked J456 and J457 model numbers are unofficial — we don’t know what they refer to. It’s possible that only one of them applies to both iMac21,1 and iMac21,2 while the other won’t be released next month.

    EDIT: Ninja’d by Fastasleep. 
    edited March 24 watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 15
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,236member
    martinxyz said:
    Detnator said:
    But I do hope the iMacs grow (in physical size) like Tonghi is suggesting. 30” and 6K at today’s iMac pricing would be really nice. 
    30" is pretty big. I have had 27" iMacs since they came out andsitting in front of one now, I can say that the edges of the 27" screen are just about in peripheral vision land, in that I have to move my head significantly to see the image. Great for video editing where I have a lot of stuff (and an additional monitor), but will 30" really be more useful or just bigger. I will buy one if I can :-) 
    I've been working with a 30" ACD for like 12 years at home and office and I can tell you, you're sitting too close to your screen if you have to move your head at all to see the edges. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 15
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,394member
    This seems incomplete. Two models is a very narrow range. Does that mean each will come with only one RAM configuration? 21" 16GB and 27" 32GB? Or will it just again be 16GB all the way around?
    I agree with this theory

    2 Redesigned iMacs are COMING in April - What to Expect! - YouTube
    watto_cobra
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