Brace for it, this post is long. I've been thinking a lot on the very intentional lack of incorporation of the iMac into the update line at WWDC and think it actually is signaling apple's intentions of the future iMac. All lines got updated besides the Mac Mini (clearly a very minor concern for apple) even the Mac Pro! When the iMac is their best selling desktop and still sells in high volumes this got me thinking. It would have been VERY EASY to just do a minor spec bump like with the MBA and the non-retina MBP's incorporate Ivy Bridge, and USB-3.0 and go on with business as usual but they didn't do that, well why not? I think it signals that they have plans to refresh the line with something of note (either a 'retina' quality display [Although the 27" iMac is already very close, maybe it will just adopt the Retina MBP's resolution to make scaling apps easier], or more likely a change in form factor and more standardization of parts like the SSD (At least through their already present Hybrid Drive option). I'm willing to take this a step further (I know this is all speculation but I'm really speculating on this) and I think they are signaling that the technology that is within our reach now (Retina display, SSD's, advanced voice control and potentially things like the incredible Leap Motion device as new ways to control the device) is very hard to standardize because of compromises necessary to handles (With retina you sacrifice potential battery life [without cutting the OD on the MBP the life would probably been down to something like 4-5 hours or so in my uneducated guess based on photo observation], with SSD's there is cost and total storage space, with New mechanisms to control the computer we are just not used to it and have to be trained (as we have been with Siri to learn to communicate to our technology with voice for the Apple TV Set to come out). IMO because of this difficulty they are artificially introducing a new segment in their product lineup, this is the role filled by the MBP Retina. The technology they want to build that they know if they make standard NOW many people will be pissed and some will be forced onto PC's against their will (Disk Storage Size for people who need a portable with internal storage big enough for their files, Cost, etc.) They are pretending to market this as a "high end" product in the lineup but this is all really a facade, the MBP is already high end, they would make this standard if they could but it's just not doable for now so they've artificially segmented their product line FOR NOW. Remember THIS IS APPLE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, when have they ever been for huge product lineups and confusing subsections of devices like Dell or most PC makers. Remember Steve Job's famous 4x4 Matrix he said to simplify products when he first came back to Apple. A consumer laptop, a consumer desktop, a pro laptop and a pro desktop. This has rang true most since than (besides minor snafus that were later fixed [Canning MB for MBA and thus making the MBA their consumer laptop]. But the MBP retina doesn't fit in this matrix (well really its the MBP 13-15 non-retina that don't fit but that just means eventually when they can make the tech standard the MBP Retina will be poised AND DESIGNED IMO to replace both and they will add a 13' model when they can cheaply) Just think about it - it makes things more complicated, no 13' model only 15' doesn't fit with other product lineups, makes the matrix uneven. It is because of this and their lack of any iMac upgrade that I think Apple will temporarily do the same to their Desktop lineup by introducing a high end model that represents the tech they want to make standard but just can't yet. AND MAYBE it will incorporate something new and big like Motion Gestures that their saving for it's own event and to train us like they've been doing with their Beta product Siri so we can get used to their blockbuster release of an iTV setbox with motion and voice controls. Remember all new interfaces take take for a user to get used to which where Apple's genius really kicks in. They know they need to train us without us knowing to make these things natural. Like they did with the trackpad on the MB's for the touch interfaces for their mobile lines. Just think before Siri, despite how much you'll like to pretend this isn't true, for MOST people it was just not natural or at least part of our daily routine to talk to technology. It was Alien to us and that's why it was so exciting for people to talk to her [If you can really call it a her?] because it was really groundbreaking (not so much in the technology used, Nuance had this for years. But in the making of this all so simple, friendly, and most of all non-threatening. That is why Siri has a somewhat spunky personality, so it doesn't just come across as a technological dystopia with your very own robot slave but rather as if you're talking to an equal, a friend always there to help and maybe to crack a joke every once and a while or quip about the meaning of life). My personal speculation is that this new 'magical' feature will be gesture controls similar to Leap Motion (if it is not just Leap Motion that they have a partnership with?). My reasoning behind this takes a few paths but arrives at the same conclusion. First Apple is all about making the finest technological devices with unique elements (not just features like the newest CPU, more cores or Graphics card) on the cutting edge. They are about being on the blade of the razor or in reality just before it, not playing whims far out in the future like Google's Project Glass or dweling in legacy technology like over zealous fidelity to performance and legacy technology (OD, HD, etc.) over form like some soulless packed to the brim, thick as a car Alienware laptop or computer. We are starting to see a shift in how we relate to computers (voice control, natural gestures, AI like elements like Siri are changing how we communicate with, work with and think of computers) Apple has already come out pioneering voice and I think a gesture based input seems to be their bread and butter. It's right up their alley, literally changing the role of the computer and how we can more naturally and simply engage with it. This technology is starting to proliferate with the Wii, Kinect and soon to be the Leap. And let's face it - it's just natural! Now why a Desktop. This part is just simple, a laptop is has a constantly shifting physical presence. It doesn't just stand there and say this is me talk to me, it is partially moved or shifted frequently by it's user. This has a very important effect psychologically IMO on how we would relate to communicating with it. It would force us into a relationship with our computer where we feel we are communicating with simply just ourselves since we manipulate both ends of the computer (both the motion gestures to communicate with it, and the computer itself, constantly shifting and moving it making us part of the receiving end as well). Finally on a less psychological note, it would just be odd for an object that is constantly in motion to have a state of calm, a basis, and being that it's frequently manipulated it would make it more difficult for the technology to assess what is moving (the persons hand or the computer itself?). Imagine it on your lap, what a nightmare to process! A desktop has a clear presence and identity on the desk or table or whatever yours is on. This is crucial both technologically and IMO psychologically with how we interpret our device and making it easier for us to communicate with it being that it has a stable referent identity in a clear location we understand and can map and process. In terms of gearing up for an Apple TV set or iTV I think gesture technology seems a natural evolution of the technology available and counterpart with Siri. While Retina display and voice controls would be very incredible at an event for an iTV unveiling I think it would actually be underwhelming. Not necessarily because it isn't incredibly but because we've been taught to expect the impossible and for the most part they deliver it. There really isn't a wow to the TV that just has those two main features that hasn't been pointed for at least a year, AND many high end TV's have these now. Not necessarily Siri or Retina but definitely incredibly high quality screens and Samsung has smart TV's with voice AND basic gesture controls. I think since Apple isn't the first in this market (for the most part) like they were with the iPhone, they really need to wow people to shed them off an already good and VERY expensive product that people refresh MUCH LESS FREQUENTLY. To me at least Gesture technology or a new native and natural way to interact with our technology would be that amazing WOW. Anyways this is just an un-organized stream of consciousness of what I've been thinking for a while. Let me know what you all think, let's talk about it! EDIT: Oh and as for why end of Summer, we're already very late into an update cycle (over 400 days with the average in the high 200's) and I think the reason they pushed the notebooks so early was because shopping for back to school starts right around now and it's hard to miss out on that market even by a week or two but most students aren't getting desktops so they could have some time to tweak the design now that they got the MBP Retina which was a totally new design (pretty much, new unibody, looks similar but mainly new, new vents, fan, thinner, etc. Plus: the soul of the product is completely shifted from the clunky old Desktop wannabe MBP, it has really refined what it means to be a laptop beyond just being portable so thats a totally new design IMO) Edit 2: Also think back to the benchmarks on Geekbench that showed up a while back. The MBP one showed up with 8GB RAM, the processor config in the high end MBP Retina and scored very well (while it could have been the high end MBP non-retina I suspect they were checking out their new baby's score and knew the likely results and didn't care as much of the non retina MBP) Likewise the other computer was a 27' iMac with a decently highly spec'd CPU if I remember which actually scored slightly lower than the MBP. Why did they only test these two high end machines and not the more likely device to be purchased (the 13' MBP or the 21.5 entry level iMac)? Maybe it's because these are fundamentally different devices e.g. MBP Retina, potential future iMac that also disposes of legacy technology.