Apple has stopped producing 512GB, 1TB SSD iMac 4K models, claim sources

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2021
Apple has reportedly stopped production of the 512 gigabyte and 1 terabyte flash media configurations of the 21.5-inch iMac, which may signify an update is coming sooner rather than later.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


Long-time AppleInsider sources familiar with Apple's supply chain have told us that Apple has stopped producing the 512GB and 1TB SSD configurations of the iMac 4K. Additionally, both models are newly listed as "currently unavailable" on Apple's website. The 256GB SSD model and the 1TB Fusion Drive model remain available for purchase as of writing, albeit with some lead time.

Given that other iMac 4K models are currently available, it's unclear precisely why Apple has stopped production on the two models, but the production stop may herald a refresh sooner in 2021 than previously thought. Apple has been repeatedly said to be working on redesigned iMacs for 2021, including models to replace both the 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac.

A new iMac could have a design reminiscent of the Pro Display XDR and could come in new color options. Historically, for both the shift to Intel from PowerPC and the early days of the Intel to Apple Silicon shift, Apple has stuck with existing enclosure designs for the first model, before modifying the exterior to better accomodate new technologies.

In theory, Apple could keep the Fusion Drive and 256GB models available for education and enterprise customers, while refreshing the iMac. There's currently no solid release timeline for the updated iMacs other than sometime in 2021.

Apple last refreshed the 21.5-inch iMac in early 2019 with faster processors, beefier storage options, and improved graphics capabilities. The 27-inch iMac, on the other hand, was updated in August 2020.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,942member
    What date(s) in March are potential announcement dates?
  • Reply 2 of 24
    CuJoYYCCuJoYYC Posts: 73member
    "sooner rather than later"
    PLEASE, PLEASE, 
    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE,
    Scot1iqatedowatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 24
    aderutteraderutter Posts: 533member
    24 inch iMac with M1X soon?
    and 30 inch iMac with M2 later this year? 

    h4y3sScot1JWSCn2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 24
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,599member
    It'll be interesting to see how well the M1 manages to push the 15 million pixels on the 5K iMacs, which some of the discrete GPUs struggle with. That's quite a few more than the ~3m on the 13" MBP. 
  • Reply 5 of 24
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    elijahg said:
    It'll be interesting to see how well the M1 manages to push the 15 million pixels on the 5K iMacs, which some of the discrete GPUs struggle with. That's quite a few more than the ~3m on the 13" MBP. 

    It will be a problem for M1 but at a minimal I would expect an M1X.    Actually we could just ask a Mini owner with a 4K screen.   

    Personally I don't see Apple giving up on discreet GPU's this year.   What would be interesting is if they have a program with AMD to produce an optimized GPU for the high end machines.   In this case I could see AMD & Apple implementing AMD's fabric interface instead of PCI-Express.  


    n2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 24
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,170member
    elijahg said:
    It'll be interesting to see how well the M1 manages to push the 15 million pixels on the 5K iMacs, which some of the discrete GPUs struggle with. That's quite a few more than the ~3m on the 13" MBP. 
    I believe I read somewhere that M1 for iMacs will have quite a lot more graphic units for that so I think it will be very capable. 


    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 24
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,741member
    CuJoYYC said:
    "sooner rather than later"
    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE,
    Responding on my 2009 27" iMac, I agree. (I hope for the 27" or larger too.)
    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 24
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 624member
    wizard69 said:
    elijahg said:
    It'll be interesting to see how well the M1 manages to push the 15 million pixels on the 5K iMacs, which some of the discrete GPUs struggle with. That's quite a few more than the ~3m on the 13" MBP. 

    It will be a problem for M1 but at a minimal I would expect an M1X.    Actually we could just ask a Mini owner with a 4K screen.   

    Personally I don't see Apple giving up on discreet GPU's this year.   What would be interesting is if they have a program with AMD to produce an optimized GPU for the high end machines.   In this case I could see AMD & Apple implementing AMD's fabric interface instead of PCI-Express.  


    The M1 Macs support up to [email protected] right now. I don't think it is going to be a problem. Having to support 2 5K monitors is something that the current M1 Macs can't do but a single display at 5K is not a problem.
    repressthisseanjcgWerksn2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 24
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,102member
    elijahg said:
    It'll be interesting to see how well the M1 manages to push the 15 million pixels on the 5K iMacs, which some of the discrete GPUs struggle with. That's quite a few more than the ~3m on the 13" MBP. 
    Considering the mini can run the 6K XDR at 60Hz just fine, I don't think that'll be a problem. 
    repressthisseanjn2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 24
    This is pretty much what I think... the iMac (high-end) model is the most difficult to pick out

    WINTER 2020 = M1 MBA/MBP 13"
    SPRING 2021 = M1 iMac (low-end)

    FALL 2021 = M1x MBP 14"/16" and M1x iMac (higher-end)
    SPRING 2022 = M1x iMac Pro and Mxe MacPro


    repressthisMplsP
  • Reply 11 of 24
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,795member
    What date(s) in March are potential announcement dates?
    Mondays and Fridays are generally avoided by all large corporations for product announcements since those days are often holidays in the company's own country or abroad.

    That leaves Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Historically Silicon Valley used Tuesday as the main announcement day to accommodate weekly trade periodical deadlines.

    Apple generally gives 7-14 days of lead time to journalists about an impending marketing event. It is late Tuesday 2 March 2021 (Pacific Time Zone) so next week (starting Sunday 7 March) is effectively wiped out for a media event. 

    That would leave the following week and beyond. However, this is March, the third month of the quarter and Apple rarely makes product announcements right before the quarter is up. Note that Apple's quarters are typically thirteen weeks long (always ending on the last Saturday of the period in question). That rules out the week of March 21-27.

    Thus we are left with the week of March 14th. Any product announcements would have a higher chance of occurring on Tuesday 16 March or Wednesday 17 March. It is important to stress that Apple is under no obligation to hold a media event. New product launches have been done by written press release only.

    There are two other factors that might reduce the chances of a March announcement. One is the recent squeeze in semiconductor supply. That's not a problem that will go away next month but delaying an announcement by a couple of weeks would increase launch inventory. This is coupled with the recent supply chain hiatus due to the lunar new year. Factory output was curtailed for 2-3 weeks in February which would impact a major product release.


    edited March 2021 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 24
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,942member
    mpantone said:
    What date(s) in March are potential announcement dates?
    Mondays and Fridays are generally avoided by all large corporations for product announcements since those days are often holidays in the company's own country or abroad.

    That leaves Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Historically Silicon Valley used Tuesday as the main announcement day to accommodate weekly trade periodical deadlines.

    Apple generally gives 7-14 days of lead time to journalists about an impending marketing event. It is late Tuesday 2 March 2021 (Pacific Time Zone) so next week (starting Sunday 7 March) is effectively wiped out for a media event. 

    That would leave the following week and beyond. However, this is March, the third month of the quarter and Apple rarely makes product announcements right before the quarter is up. Note that Apple's quarters are typically thirteen weeks long (always ending on the last Saturday of the period in question). That rules out the week of March 21-27.

    Thus we are left with the week of March 14th. Any product announcements would have a higher chance of occurring on Tuesday 16 March or Wednesday 17 March. It is important to stress that Apple is under no obligation to hold a media event. New product launches have been done by written press release only.

    There are two other factors that might reduce the chances of a March announcement. One is the recent squeeze in semiconductor supply. That's not a problem that will go away next month but delaying an announcement by a couple of weeks would increase launch inventory. This is coupled with the recent supply chain hiatus due to the lunar new year. Factory output was curtailed for 2-3 weeks in February which would impact a major product release.


    Thanks muchly. I notice that "March Break" occurs in early April this year, at least where I live. I wonder if March Break has a negative or positive effect regarding Apple announcements.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    Hoping for more ports than on the M1 Mac mini.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 24
    robabarobaba Posts: 226member
    Hoping for more ports than on the M1 Mac mini.
    Not with the M1.  That’s why I’m guessing even the low end iMac will have an M1X.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 24
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,647member
    Not surprising - the only questions are what processor will they use and what case?

    it’s generally assumed that Apple will release a upgraded ‘M1x’ processor at some point. They may use that for the lower end iMac, or they may simply release the low end iMac with the M1 and give the 5k version the beefier processor. 

    As far as the form factor goes, my bets are that they keep the current design. Aside from the inconvenient location of the ports, there’s nothing wrong with it and using the existing case dramatically reduces the development times, letting them focus on internal architecture. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 24
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,683member
    I wonder if we will initially see a "low-end" M1-based 24" iMac, with "higher-end" Intel-based configs hanging around for a while. Kinda similar to what we see with the Mac mini. 

    Then later, perhaps we'll see higher-end configs with M1X and more RAM.
  • Reply 17 of 24
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,581member
    This is pretty much what I think... the iMac (high-end) model is the most difficult to pick out

    WINTER 2020 = M1 MBA/MBP 13"
    SPRING 2021 = M1 iMac (low-end)

    FALL 2021 = M1x MBP 14"/16" and M1x iMac (higher-end)
    SPRING 2022 = M1x iMac Pro and Mxe MacPro


    I would agree with your prediction if it wasn't for the fact that it's the high-end of the 21.5" iMac lineup that has stopped being produced.  It's also the lineup with discrete GPU's.  So at the very least I would think Apple would want to put in an SoC that has graphics capability which is on par with the Radeon Pro 555X or 560X.  I'm not sure an M1X would qualify but an M1X would.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 24
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,840member
    I'm really hoping (though I doubt it) that they'll re-think the lack of video inputs on the next iMac. I'm not sure how many they are like me, but that would make another sale for them (and my first M-series Mac) if they did so, even though my 2018 mini is doing just fine.

    I love the iMac, and have owned them in the past. But, I simply won't have a single-use display in the mix any longer. I guess I'm not the target market for the iMac, then, but I easily could be. And, since Apple has no reasonably-priced display, it would be an easy win for them as well. Buy this new Apple monitor, and get an M1 Mac thrown in as well.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 24
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,102member
    MplsP said:

    As far as the form factor goes, my bets are that they keep the current design. Aside from the inconvenient location of the ports, there’s nothing wrong with it and using the existing case dramatically reduces the development times, letting them focus on internal architecture. 
    Dunno why you'd think that considering all the signs pointing to a new 24" design this year, colors, etc. that have been covered here and elsewhere.
    canukstormwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 24
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 844member
    CuJoYYC said:
    "sooner rather than later"
    PLEASE, PLEASE, 
    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE,

    Later rather than sooner would be better.

    I'm advising all my clients who are considering new Mac purchases to buy Intel Macs now, while they still can.

    The M1 Macs are NOT as fast as the benchmarks would suggest, the Intels are faster in the real world, they can hold more RAM, and for at least some models they can still be upgraded.

    And given that many users need x86 Windoze virtual machines, the M1s are utterly worthless to them.
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