Analyst now says iMacs likely in both dual- and quad-core

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
A Wall Street analyst who recently reported that Apple was torn between using dual-core processors and quad-core processors in its next-generation iMac line now believes the company will adopt both.



Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu told clients on Monday that AppleInsider's latest report on iMac shortages is "consistent" with comments from his supply chain sources that the iMac is due for a refresh in the March or June quarters.



"In our experience, when Apple sends an advisory to its channel partners of limited availability and inventory of existing models are drawn down, it is highly likely that a product refresh is within a few weeks," he said.



Wu generate some headlines exactly one week ago when he reported that new iMacs were almost ready for prime time but were being held up for "business reasons and a potential small technical hurdle."



Specifically, he said Apple was in the "midst of figuring out whether to power the new iMac with Intel quad-core processors or more high-powered dual-core processors with larger caches."



In his note to clients today, Wu now claims to be hearing from his sources "that both types of processors will likely be used," which would "makes sense as this helps Apple create better tiers within the iMac family, utilizing quad-core for the high-end, and dual-core for mid-range and low-end."



Still, it's unclear from precisely what information the analyst is drawing his conclusions. Historically, Wall Street analysts sport a lackluster track record in predicting Apple's future hardware directions, and therefore readers may want to take the latest predictions with a grain of salt. That said, Wu has on at least one occasion defied the odds.



Nevertheless, the Kaufman Bros analyst emphasized to clients the crucial rolled played by the iMac in Apple's Mac story. He estimates sales of the all-in-one desktops comprised 25 percent of the Cupertino-based company's Mac business during the December holiday quarter, adding that the systems can at times represent as much as 36 percent of Mac sales during strong periods immediately following a product refresh.



"We believe having both strong portables and desktops will help the Mac sustain its above-market rate growth rates and maintain its momentum in this tough macroeconomic environment," he said.



Should iMacs go quad-core, Wu speculates the move would also spark an update to the Mac Pro, which is currently offered in both quad- and eight-core configurations.



"As Apple mentioned briefly on its earnings call, Mac Pro sales have become less important and less attractive in this tough economic environment," he told clients. "However, we think a refresh utilizing upcoming Intel 'Nehalem' 8-core processors (and with two enabling a 16-core) would bring it better price performance and help jump start this highly profitable segment."



Wu maintains a Buy rating on Apple shares with a $120 price target.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 143
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,675member
    I'll believe it when I see it....



    Oh and FW or no sale!
  • Reply 2 of 143
    pbpb Posts: 4,228member
    OK, analyst says... but, what AI says?
  • Reply 3 of 143
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,097member
    I wish Apple would get their butts into gear, I have been waiting to buy a refreshed iMac for 6 months now, its like they skipped a whole product cycle release, how hard can it be, place a different intel chip in change the rubbish underpowered gpu and send it out!
  • Reply 4 of 143
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,675member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by saarek View Post


    I wish Apple would get their butts into gear, I have been waiting to buy a refreshed iMac for 6 months now, its like they skipped a whole product cycle release, how hard can it be, place a different intel chip in change the rubbish underpowered gpu and send it out!



    If it was easy they would have done it ages ago. Most likely they were waiting for something, like the proper new chip to be released or something, development of the new NVIDIA chipset like the MacBook and MacBook Pro has. Its not like Apple is just sitting on their asses all day.
  • Reply 5 of 143
    I think they should be using that new 8 core Intel for their Mac Pro, and make the iMac a Quad Core machine!
  • Reply 6 of 143
    xflarexflare Posts: 199member
    LOL these analysts make me laugh.
  • Reply 7 of 143
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,097member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    If it was easy they would have done it ages ago. Most likely they were waiting for something, like the proper new chip to be released or something, development of the new NVIDIA chipset like the MacBook and MacBook Pro has. Its not like Apple is just sitting on their asses all day.



    But in the mean time they could/should have released a refreshed model with a new CPU and GPU, they did not have to wait for the new nvidia chipset for that.
  • Reply 8 of 143
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,129member
    Shaw



    Who in their right mind is going to spend $1299 on a dual core computer when they walk through Best Buy and see $700 Quad Core setups with monitor?



    I don't know where this abtraction from reality comes from. Apple competes indirectly with PC and in some cases directly with PC. They just can't magically find success by pricing their computer at a %50 with lesser hardware to boot (no pun intended)



    I'm trying to understandy any analysis that suggests that a high volume product like the iMac should come is some watered down flavor when compared to the going rate for computer hardware.



    There's little reason to put a dual core processor in an iMac. If Apple has to redesign the case that's what they should do. I don't remember the consensus saying "geez I really like this iMac but if it were only a couple of inches thinner"



    If there's a problem with the case it's a problem wholly created by Apple and frankly as a consumer I don't have to give a flying rip.



    Today's market doesn't mean that consumers feel that midrange computers are unattractive it means that dubious value is unattractive for consumers. We're all re-assessing what value we expect from computers. Some will find a dual core iMac worth paying $1300 for while many others will realize that that is simply not a good value and pass.
  • Reply 9 of 143
    ...and he's pulling pure speculation out of his behind.



    Still, this does seem fairly plausible. The most likely scenario, if this is true, would be to offer 2 versions each of the 20" and 24" models; something like:



    20" dual core: $999

    20" quad-core: $1,299

    24" dual core: $1,499

    24" quad-core: $1,799



    with, perhaps, a super-duper "ultimate" speculated 28" uber-iMac for $2,199 or whatever.
  • Reply 10 of 143
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PB View Post


    OK, analyst says... but, what AI says?



    I thought they were in bed together. Regurgitate what was already said months ago to generate hits and gain exposure for Wu.
  • Reply 11 of 143
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,571member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by saarek View Post


    I wish Apple would get their butts into gear, I have been waiting to buy a refreshed iMac for 6 months now, its like they skipped a whole product cycle release, how hard can it be, place a different intel chip in change the rubbish underpowered gpu and send it out!



    Your comments highlight you ignorance with regards to computer manufacture. Apple are moving their products to an Nvidia mainboard chipset AND will accomodate new intel CPU's. Also Its pretty difficult to design and test hardware when the CPU supplier has not shipped final hardware to your labs.



    Would you rather Apple shipped a slightly upgraded iMac last October with a slight CPU upgrade and better GPU, which you then buy and then in Feb/March release a quad core system with far superior GPU which you then piss and moan about as you just bought a new iMac. (BTW, this happened with the 2.1ghz G5 isight Mac which was only out for a few months before the intel iMac hit and lots of buyers were well pissed off.)



    By looking at the way Apple have been extending the life cycles of all of its computer products I can see that in the future there will be a significantly longer period between major hardware revisions.



    Hardware predictions:



    Base iMac 20" - intel 2.4 dual core, NV9400 gfx

    Mid iMac 20" - intel 2.6 dual core, NV 9600 gfx

    Base 24" - intel 2.6 quad core, NV9600 gfx

    Top 24" - intel 2.8 - 3.00 quad core - NV9800GTS/X
  • Reply 12 of 143
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,675member
    With Apple putting all this time and effort into Grand Central for SL, it would be silly to not make a quad-core iMac. I can't see how much of a difference GC would make with just a dual core processor over a quad-core CPU.
  • Reply 13 of 143
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Shaw



    Who in their right mind is going to spend $1299 on a dual core computer when they walk through Best Buy and see $700 Quad Core setups with monitor?



    I don't know where this abtraction from reality comes from. Apple competes indirectly with PC and in some cases directly with PC. They just can't magically find success by pricing their computer at a %50 with lesser hardware to boot (no pun intended)



    I'm trying to understandy any analysis that suggests that a high volume product like the iMac should come is some watered down flavor when compared to the going rate for computer hardware.



    There's little reason to put a dual core processor in an iMac. If Apple has to redesign the case that's what they should do. I don't remember the consensus saying "geez I really like this iMac but if it were only a couple of inches thinner"



    If there's a problem with the case it's a problem wholly created by Apple and frankly as a consumer I don't have to give a flying rip.



    Today's market doesn't mean that consumers feel that midrange computers are unattractive it means that dubious value is unattractive for consumers. We're all re-assessing what value we expect from computers. Some will find a dual core iMac worth paying $1300 for while many others will realize that that is simply not a good value and pass.



    I agree totally.



    I can see Apple putting a dual core cpu in the lowest priced iMac but if they try that on the midrange machine I will pass and wait for the next upgrade.
  • Reply 14 of 143
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,675member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by saarek View Post


    But in the mean time they could/should have released a refreshed model with a new CPU and GPU, they did not have to wait for the new nvidia chipset for that.



    There really wasn't much to upgrade from as far as the CPU without going quad-core. I mean going from a 2.4 GHz to a 2.6GHz or something like that isn't going to amount to anything to the eye. And the general consumer going into buy a new computer doesn't give a rats ass about whether the iMac is using a Penryn or Merom Intel chip. Remember the iMac is a desktop computer using notebook parts too, so things like a Core 2 Duo Extreme or Core 2 Quad wasn't viable at this point until recently. So why release it? GPU, well Apple is always behind on the GPU end.
  • Reply 15 of 143
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,129member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BlueDjinn View Post


    ...and he's pulling pure speculation out of his behind.



    20" dual core: $999

    20" quad-core: $1,299

    24" dual core: $1,499

    24" quad-core: $1,799




    I like this. I don't see a DC iMac being worth anything more than $999
  • Reply 16 of 143
    It makes sense that the top-end iMac would have quad-core processors.
  • Reply 17 of 143
    Actually, I think we will see a bump in the quality of the GPUs, now that SL is coming around. OpenCL takes advantage of the GPU's number crunching power, correct? It might make sense for Apple to stick in some actually decent GPUs to get the most benefit when they show off the performance improvements of SL.
  • Reply 18 of 143
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    So what are the current rumors for a release date for Snow Leopard? If we are talking about it being as late as next quarter for the new hardware, then perhaps I'll just wait until I can get SL included instead of paying extra for it later.
  • Reply 19 of 143
    Isn't this the same 'analyst' that everyone concluded last time didn't have a clue what he was talking about? Why are we even wasting bandwidth commenting on this?
  • Reply 20 of 143
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Who in their right mind is going to spend $1299 on a dual core computer when they walk through Best Buy and see $700 Quad Core setups with monitor?



    These numbers sound like they were pulled straight out of your rear end. Please post an actual detailed comparison with links to the $700 computer that's the equivalent of the $1299 iMac. (or STFU)
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