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skylar3

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 7, 2022
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0
The iMac was once the desktop device that put apple back in the game of computing, the first major product design by Jony Ive and since then it has been one of apple's most iconic products.

It has been widely used by creative professionals (whole architecture offices have been equipped with iMacs for years, as well as graphic designers) and in office environments as a sleek device which sits beautifully on a desk.

Yet now, it seems that it has been completely neglected by Apple. It has been re-positioned (see the campaigns) as a home device for the family, and the 27 inch model which has been used mostly in the professional world has been discontinued. The Mac Studio kind of replaces it, yet it is not the same. Having a sleek iMac on your desk was a different experience than a box + a screen, let alone the price difference.

Furthermore, the smaller model has not been updated since the m1 cpu, so it is basically slower than the m2 iPad Pro..

Do you think the iMac won't play any significant role in Apples lineup in the future?
 

casperes1996

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2014
7,030
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Horsens, Denmark
In the original quadrant of Apple Macs, the iMac was always the "consumer desktop". The current generation of iMac reflects that role very well. The older generations of iMacs in the later years had a hybrid role, as was also made very evident by the eventual existence of an iMac Pro. Before, there was space for both an entry level BYODKM device in Mac mini, and a low end iMac with not too dissimilar specs. Perhaps now there is space for both low and high end BYODKM in Mac mini and Mac Studio as well as equivalent AIOs with iMac and iMac Pro. With only the consumer tier iMac yet released
 

kirbyrun

macrumors regular
Jul 26, 2009
194
226
I think the market has shifted considerably since the original iMac all those years (decades!) ago. Most consumers buy laptops now (which seems so weird to me -- I haven't owned a laptop since 2010!) and so the focus is on that form factor. The iMac's role has been subsumed by the MacBook Air. I miss the attention lavished on it, too -- typing this right now on my trusty 2015 27", which has no replacement in the current line-up.
 

theluggage

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2011
6,667
6,125
Perhaps now there is space for both low and high end BYODKM in Mac mini and Mac Studio as well as equivalent AIOs with iMac and iMac Pro. With only the consumer tier iMac yet released

Time will tell, but I think that the Mac Studio + choice of Studio Display, Pro XDR or third party display is your new mid/high end5k iMac/iMac Pro.

The market has been shifting towards laptops for a while. One thing limiting that has been that, with Intel, iMacs had desktop class CPU and GPUs which significantly outperformed the mobile chips in MBPs. With Apple Silicon, the MBPs are running the self same Pro and Max SoCs that would go into midrange iMacs - no great performance difference, so if you need a laptop at all it now makes more sense to get a MBP and a desktop display. If the desktop market wasn’t significant enough to support both iMacs and Headless in the past, it’s probably even thinner now.

Hence the Studio Display - which (quibbles with the design and price aside) Apple can potentially sell to owners of any current Mac or MacBook. Plus, higher-end desktop Mac buyers now have the choice of Studio, XDR or 3rd Party, after Apple pretty much dropped the ball on displays while high-end iMacs we’re the thing.
 
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skylar3

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 7, 2022
7
0
I think the market has shifted considerably since the original iMac all those years (decades!) ago. Most consumers buy laptops now (which seems so weird to me -- I haven't owned a laptop since 2010!) and so the focus is on that form factor. The iMac's role has been subsumed by the MacBook Air. I miss the attention lavished on it, too -- typing this right now on my trusty 2015 27", which has no replacement in the current line-up.

Time will tell, but I think that the Mac Studio + choice of Studio Display, Pro XDR or third party display is your new mid/high end5k iMac/iMac Pro.

The market has been shifting towards laptops for a while. One thing limiting that has been that, with Intel, iMacs had desktop class CPU and GPUs which significantly outperformed the mobile chips in MBPs. With Apple Silicon, the MBPs are running the self same Pro and Max SoCs that would go into midrange iMacs - no great performance difference, so if you need a laptop at all it now makes more sense to get a MBP and a desktop display. If the desktop market wasn’t significant enough to support both iMacs and Headless in the past, it’s probably even thinner now.

Hence the Studio Display - which (quibbles with the design and price aside) Apple can potentially sell to owners of any current Mac or MacBook. Plus, higher-end desktop Mac buyers now have the choice of Studio, XDR or 3rd Party, after Apple pretty much dropped the ball on displays while high-end iMacs we’re the thing.
I agree that that the market has been shifting towards laptops in the recent years, especially with the introduction of m1/2 chips.

However, this is for me an argument that iMac should be focused more on midrange business uses, such as an office workstations, where computers usually just sit on a desk and a laptop does not have any advantage. Because yes, it is true that for private/home use a 14 MBP with a screen is a much better and versatile deal.

I recently visited an office where they previously relied solely on iMacs, and it was weird to see some replaced by Mac Studios and studio Displays. For the one, they didn't look so nice and then they were s bit of overkill for the desired use. However, with the current line-up, there is no other alternative.
 

theluggage

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2011
6,667
6,125
For the one, they didn't look so nice and then they were s bit of overkill for the desired use. However, with the current line-up, there is no other alternative.
Well, there's the 24" iMac - which has a better screen and better performance than the old 21.5" iMac. Presumably that will eventually get an M2 or better - but it's looking increasingly like the M2 was a stop-gap just for the MacBook Air redesign and 13" MBP (most likely the biggest selling Macs by a large margin - I'm guessing the 13" MBP has a bunch of big government/corporate contracts/approvals).

YMMV but for me, having switched from a 5k iMac to a Studio + 3rd party displays, being able to choose your own display (even Apple now offer a choice), and upgrade the computer and display separately outweighs the iMac looking slightly neater. There's a much better desktop "product ramp" leading up to the Mac Pro (assuming that gets replaced with something similarly powerful & expensive) now.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
25,310
10,328
OP wrote:
"Do you think the iMac won't play any significant role in Apples lineup in the future?"

I believe the iMac's "role" will become as you have speculated:
It will be marketed primarily "as a home device" (wasn't this one of the design concepts behind the original iMac... an "appliance"?), and also as a Mac to be used in educational environments.

There may be another "larger screen" (27" or even a bit larger) iMac in development -- even if it may not be released.

I would think that for anyone who might previously have been a candidate for an "iMac Pro", Apple will now ease them towards The Studio model, and either a Studio Display or the Pro display.

I'm wondering if manufacturing and warranty considerations have played a part here.
iMacs seem to have a higher rate of "problems", than do the Mini. Thinking that the Studio will have about the same high level of reliability as does the Mini before it.

Fewer warranty and reliability issues by selling the customers "boxes" such as the Mini and Studio.
Let them then buy either an Apple Studio display, or go 3rd-party for the monitor (and let somebody else deal with warranty problems)...
 

Boidem

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2022
87
80
[Reads thread on M1 iMac. Doesn't understand OP.]

The original iMac was designed as a easy to use 'consumer' level home computer, to do stuff like surf the internet, store digital photos, edit digital video, play music, etc. As well as use apps like Word and Excel to do stuff. It was aimed very much at the non 'techy 'amateur' user, rather than professionals. That iMacs became popular with design professionals etc, wasn't because they were aimed specifically at that market sector, but because they were good at that role as well. Many people found all manner of uses for iMacs. The beauty was that you didn't have to knowmuch about computers, to be able to use them. They were a game changer; open the box, plug it in and away you go. so many people working in industries that weren't computer techy nerds, could use iMacs easily for their jobs. The lack of the constant need for IT support meant that they worked out better value than most PCs, in the long run, for businesses.

Another reason for their popularity in a lot of industries is that Apple didn't really do great 'pro' level machines; the early G3/4/5 machines were very expensive, and not that much better than iMacs, plus you still needed to buy displays etc for them. The Intel MacPros were similarly very expensive, massive, and totally overkill for most people's needs really, so you tended to see them kore in places like pro audio and video editing suites etc. The 2013 MacPro was an utter failure in terms of marketing, as it was way too expensive and too proprietary for most people, and the latest MP is just mental. So iMacs have filled the 'gap', hence the iMac pro range.


Yet now, it seems that it has been completely neglected by Apple. It has been re-positioned (see the campaigns) as a home device for the family, and the 27 inch model which has been used mostly in the professional world has been discontinued. The Mac Studio kind of replaces it, yet it is not the same. Having a sleek iMac on your desk was a different experience than a box + a screen, let alone the price difference.
It hasn't been 'completely negelected by Apple'. There's a perfectly good 24" model, which replaced the 21.5" Intel models. That the older Intel 27" iMacs have only just been discontinued, probably indicates that models' replacement in the not too distant future. The Studio bridges the gap between the 'consumer' level Macs and the ridiculous MacPro range. So I think it very likely you'll see a new larger screened iMac fairly soon. Which will probably be very popular with the very same types of professional users as the previous models. So don't fret.


Because yes, it is true that for private/home use a 14 MBP with a screen is a much better and versatile deal.
Well, maybe for some people, but not all. As for some of us non-techy-nerd types; we need desktops too. I am very happy at Apple's 'return' to the iMac as a 'consumer' level home computer for less demanding work. I don't need the power of a Studio or MP, but I still want something with a screen larger than 14". 24" is perfect, perfect for my needs.


Yes it’s a bit sad that they have repositioned it to mostly a home computer.

That's how it started out. I'm happy it's returned to its roots.
 
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kpcboopathi

macrumors newbie
Sep 22, 2011
23
12
With the powerful processor, high end MacBook Pros can replace iMac. In my current and previous office, there is no permanent seat for an employee. All seats are equipped with dual monitors + USB C hub setup. So, an employee can simply connect Macbook anywhere in the office. This also supports WFH / Hybrid work. (My new company just ordered #100 16 inch Macbook Pros and retired all iMacs recently)
 
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ericwn

macrumors G4
Apr 24, 2016
11,021
9,114
That's how it started out. I'm happy it's returned to its roots.
I'm well aware of that, although there were always plenty other use cases, even with the original iMac and it's less than professional cheap CRT monitor - I've seen them in plenty offices, schools and other corporate settings. As an enthusiast home user in 2022 though, a screen that small ain't going to convince me, in addition to a couple other things I dislike about the current design. At least the previous generation had options.
 

Boidem

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2022
87
80
As an enthusiast home user in 2022 though, a screen that small ain't going to convince me, in addition to a couple other things I dislike about the current design. At least the previous generation had options.
24" is the second largest display seen on an iMac model. The originals were only 15". Until very recently (like a couple of weeks ago?), you could still purchase a 27" iMac. As I've said, and as many rumours suggest, a larger Mx iMac model is probably imminent. So people probably will still have a choice, it's just that you might have to wait a little bit. Is that such a hardship? There are plenty of computers put there for you to buy if you need something right now. Or; you could buy a 24" iMac and attach a larger display to it, they can run up to 6k!

I really don't understand the moaning.
 
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ericwn

macrumors G4
Apr 24, 2016
11,021
9,114
24" is the second largest display seen on an iMac model. The originals were only 15". Until very recently (like a couple of weeks ago?), you could still purchase a 27" iMac. As I've sadi, and as many rumours suggest, a larger Mx iMac model is probably imminent. So people probably will still have a choice, it's just that you might have to wait a little bit. Is that such a hardship? There are plenty of computers put there for you to buy if you need something right now. Or; you could buy a 24" iMac and attach a larger display to it, they can run up to 6k!

I really don't understand the moaning.
Perfect that you’re happy with the current offerings. Plenty users of bigger iMacs are also probably not as amused by the current situation. Yes, there are other computers out there to purchase, who would have thought. You do you, I find the current design absolutely boring compared to the predecessors and won’t purchase another until my requirements are met.
 
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Boidem

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2022
87
80
Another very important factor that many on here seem to miss, is price. The first iMacs were I think starting around £600-700, so around £1050-1250 now. The base M1 iMac is currently £1250. The most recent base model 27" iMac was £1799. So significantly more. A lot more than the average amount people spend on a computer. The iMac was originally placed to compete with a huge number of home PCs, which at the time ranged from around £500-1500, although obviously more people bought the lower priced models. So a 24" iMac will probably sell better than a larger screened version.
 

skylar3

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 7, 2022
7
0
Another very important factor that many on here seem to miss, is price. The first iMacs were I think starting around £600-700, so around £1050-1250 now. The base M1 iMac is currently £1250. The most recent base model 27" iMac was £1799. So significantly more. A lot more than the average amount people spend on a computer. The iMac was originally placed to compete with a huge number of home PCs, which at the time ranged from around £500-1500, although obviously more people bought the lower priced models. So a 24" iMac will probably sell better than a larger screened version.
that is true, but still.. you can get an iPad for the money the 27inch used to cost. It was simnifically cheaper than an current 16inch MacBook.
(I am not trying to compare different devices, just putting the price into perspective :)
 

skylar3

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 7, 2022
7
0
24" is the second largest display seen on an iMac model. The originals were only 15". Until very recently (like a couple of weeks ago?), you could still purchase a 27" iMac. As I've sadi, and as many rumours suggest, a larger Mx iMac model is probably imminent. So people probably will still have a choice, it's just that you might have to wait a little bit. Is that such a hardship? There are plenty of computers put there for you to buy if you need something right now. Or; you could buy a 24" iMac and attach a larger display to it, they can run up to 6k!

I really don't understand the moaning.
Truly, maybe a bigger, more "pro" iMac is on the way, but I suppose it will be much more expensive than the old 27inch and will appeal only to "real pros", whereas the old 27inch iMac appealed also to "prosumers", or just people who had more money to spend on a larger screen+more powerful pc.
 

Boidem

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2022
87
80
Truly, maybe a bigger, more "pro" iMac is on the way, but I suppose it will be much more expensive than the old 27inch and will appeal only to "real pros", whereas the old 27inch iMac appealed also to "prosumers", or just people who had more money to spend on a larger screen+more powerful pc.
Well, I think it would make sense for Apple to release a larger iMac in the £2000-2500 sort of price range, as they currently don't have any desktop options in that zone. The 2020 27" iMac started at £1799, so what with inflation and covid supply issues etc, I'm thinking a new model would probably come in at at least £2000 or very close. Then of course there's the upgrade options, so the average larger iMac sold would probably be a good bit higher. But still some way off the price of a Mac Studio plus display.

But I still think some people are forgetting what the iMac is all about; an affordable, easy to use all-in-one home computer. It has never really been aimed at the 'prosumer'/pro market, although it's perfectly capable of being used professionally, of course. As I've said before; the iMac Pro was a blip that was released to provide a less expensive option to the MacPro. With the Mac Studio now, that gap has been filled. So the iMac can go back to being what it was originally meant to be.
 
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ian87w

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Feb 22, 2020
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Yup, they do. The fact that the redesigned iMac was only happened for the original M1, and that's it. Apple is an iPhone company first, and a laptop company second.

It's sad that the iMac is actually Apple's "face" for the desktop, but it gets the lowest spec (the same as the mini). Apple doesn't even have a pre-configured model with 16GB of RAM. But it figures. I mean Apple was selling iMacs with spinning platter hard drive for the longest time despite everything else had moved to SSD. Seems like it hasn't been their priority for ages.
 
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Boidem

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2022
87
80
Yup, they do. The fact that the redesigned iMac was only happened for the original M1, and that's it. Apple is an iPhone company first, and a laptop company second.

It's sad that the iMac is actually Apple's "face" for the desktop, but it gets the lowest spec (the same as the mini). Apple doesn't even have a pre-configured model with 16GB of RAM. But it figures. I mean Apple was selling iMacs with spinning platter hard drive for the longest time despite everything else had moved to SSD. Seems like it hasn't been their priority for ages.
I don't think you really understand Apple's marketing strategy...
 

skylar3

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 7, 2022
7
0
Yup, they do. The fact that the redesigned iMac was only happened for the original M1, and that's it. Apple is an iPhone company first, and a laptop company second.

It's sad that the iMac is actually Apple's "face" for the desktop, but it gets the lowest spec (the same as the mini). Apple doesn't even have a pre-configured model with 16GB of RAM. But it figures. I mean Apple was selling iMacs with spinning platter hard drive for the longest time despite everything else had moved to SSD. Seems like it hasn't been their priority for ages.
well I suppose it will get the M2 eventually 😅
But I would bet any more than this, meaning not M2 pro/max
 

Gudi

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2013
3,244
1,820
Berlin, Berlin
Yet now, it seems that it has been completely neglected by Apple. It has been re-positioned (see the campaigns) as a home device for the family, and the 27-inch model which has been used mostly in the professional world has been discontinued.
There will be a professional 6K XDR iMac with a larger than 30-inch display and incredible graphics performance coming soon. The smaller 21.5-inch iMac was always positioned as a consumer device. Now it even looks that way.

PS: Wait. There was a repositioning! The 24-inch iMac now beats every i5 i7 i9 Intel iMac in cpu-performance.
 
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coffeemilktea

macrumors newbie
Nov 25, 2022
10
6
I think the issue is that the iMac is marketed as a consumer desktop and NOT some kind of powerful workhorse machine. The M1, even if it's a generation old, is more than enough to handle the computing needs of the intended audience... well, that's probably how Apple sees it (and how they market it).
 

Boidem

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2022
87
80
I think the issue is that the iMac is marketed as a consumer desktop and NOT some kind of powerful workhorse machine. The M1, even if it's a generation old, is more than enough to handle the computing needs of the intended audience... well, that's probably how Apple sees it (and how they market it).
Precisely. I think some people want it to be all things to all people, and are frustrated it isn't. I think the 24" iMacs will prove very popular, and sell loads. Completely anecdotal, but I've seen far more 21.5" iMacs in people's homes, offices etc, and I suspect that price has a large part to play in this. I think the 24" machine will be welcomed by lots of people (for me, it was the perfect size), as it's clearly a fantastic product.
 
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