Is Apple’s iMac Next Up for Some Makeover Treatment?

Those rumors of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) upgrading its entire Mac lineup in June didn’t quite pan out, but the Mac maker did give its notebook families a lot of love, with the MacBook Pro, in particular, getting a major makeover with a high-resolution Retina display.

Apple’s popular iMac all-in-one consumer desktop hasn’t been refreshed this year and is overdue. One of the usual suspects that an update is in the pipeline is that supplies at third-party resellers begin to dry up, which we’re now seeing signs of. AppleInsider has noticed that supply at retailers like Best Buy, J&R, Amazon.com, and MacMall are running thin, a possible hint that this overdue update may be imminent.

The same thing happened in April with MacBook Pros, and while the update was a little later than I personally expected, it still proved to be an accurate hint. As far as what to expect inside, Intel’s (Nasdaq: INTC  ) new Ivy Bridge chips are a lock, and NVIDIA’s (Nasdaq: NVDA  ) newest Kepler GPUs are also highly likely. Both of these chip transitions have begun and should spread throughout Apple’s Mac lineup, although NVIDIA is subject to supply constraints at manufacturing partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE: TSM  ) that don’t apply to vertically integrated Intel.

To Retina or not to Retina? That is the question
The real question is whether or not this year’s iMac will feature a Retina display. Dubious Digitimes thinks the answer is “yes,” and even believes that mass production is beginning this month for an October launch. On the other hand, developer of the popular app Instapaper, Marco Arment, doesn’t believe it will happen this year, according to his “multiple sources.”

Panels of this size with such high-resolutions are bound to see manufacturing challenges. For example, a 27-inch display with its pixel dimensions doubled would be a monstrously excessive 14.7 million pixels. That’s over seven times as many pixels as in a full-sized 1080p HDTV, and almost three times as many in the new MacBook Pro with Retina display.

We may only have to wait a couple of months to find out.

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Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Apple and Amazon.com, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Best Buy, Amazon.com, and Intel. The Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Intel, Apple, NVIDIA, and Amazon.com. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended writing puts on NVIDIA. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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  • Report this Comment On July 07, 2012, at 1:38 PM, lowmaple wrote:

    Of course there is no guarantee but AAPL is in the business of Blow out innovations.

  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2012, at 4:52 PM, haysdb wrote:

    There is no way there will be retina iMacs this year. Next year, perhaps. Eventually, definitely.

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