Intel Inc started shipment of the Core i7-3770 found in the iMac 8 months or so ago. If it wasn't for the redesign of the iMac and the rumor that Apple wanting to (unsuccessfully) incorporate a Retina Display into the 2012 model then this year's model would have been shipped earlier. I would say as late as June. The Retina MBPro was a redesign to incorporate significant changes in parts used while the 2012 MBPro with Superdrive still used the the original unibody design. Like the MBPro this year's iMac is basically the same with the 2011 model with USB 2 being updated to USB 3 and the omission of FW800 and Superdrive. If the Retina Display wasnt a real option I would have expected the 2012 iMac to still sport a Superdrive and maybe even a FW800 port. Even though I am waiting for my 2012 iMac shipment to arrive I am still a ticked off that I had to wait this long just for USB 3.