High End iMac - End of Summer

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MacForum55, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. MacForum55, Jun 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012

    MacForum55 macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2012
    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.
  2. boto macrumors 6502


    Jun 4, 2012
    Very detailed post. My thoughts are that they are implementing the new GTX 680m and it has been yet to announce the projected released date to pc vendors so they are delaying until it finally is available. I got a feeling Apple has plans to shift to Nvidia to all of their mac lineups this year to utilize some sort of feature exclusively for Nvidia users. Also, Apple stated they use the best available graphics card in the market between AMD and Nvidia, so I guess Nvidia was the more preferred choice. Otherwise, I highly doubt there will be retina displays. The digital max resolution supported by the highest end graphics cards is only at 2560 x 1600 resolution, whereas the current Retina display 15" MBPs GT 650m support 3840 x 2160 resolution. Either way though, I would love to adopt the new iMac that may possibly release in the July timeframe, coinciding with ML.
  3. MacForum55, Jun 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012

    MacForum55 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2012
    That is interesting. I agree with you that a Retina display could cause many problems and probably pass a huge cost on to the buyer. That being said I think it can be retina without doubling the pixels. Since desktops tend to be viewed from a distance larger than a laptop I think they could comfortably increase the resolution to that similar to the MBP - Retina (the 27' already being very close to it) and not do the same doubling of pixels both the iPad and MBP have done but still keep a screen without the ability for the human eye to distinguish pixels at a relatively low cost point.

    Thinking about what you said with the GTX 680M I wonder what the use would be for such a high end graphics card. Maybe it could have to do with motion sensing and processing live 3d imaging of your hands and body? Or perhaps a 'retina' screen?

    What do you think?
  4. necromorph macrumors regular


    Jun 5, 2012
  5. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    That's one hell of a leap of faith...But having said that, I do think we will see something before the year is out. As you point out, it's a volume selling machine, I don't think it will be abandoned...Some of your specs look a little ambitious though.

    I hope for the sake of all Apple desktop users that something does come through....Not my upgrade year really, so it's wait and see.
  6. gbredneck macrumors member


    Oct 11, 2010
    Truly a great post mate, sounds like you've actually thought about it before writing.
  7. lannisters4life macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2012
    Yeah this is a good point. If you can trust Apple with anything, it's that they're purposeful.

    Apple has changed, I can see it already. Jobs was far too arrogant to care about people getting pissed, and to be honest, that's why we loved him. Ive will keep building insane equipment, but as for things like Jobs's 4x4 matrix, I think they're gone. I'd love to be wrong, and for your transition roadmap to be right, but I'm not enormously optimistic.
  8. Vandefilm macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2012
    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. [/QUOTE]

    We all know what happend the last time steve jobs left apple. Apple isn't a company that is magically different, it was different because of steve jobs. Adding product is a standard way of thinking of modern managers to gain value. In the long run it's devastating for a company, but they don't care.

    You could already see it in de Ipad 3. Yes, it has a great screen, but wouldn't Jobs roll over in his grave when he would see that it's actually thicker than the ipad 2? Compromises have been made and will be made more and more in the future.
  9. MacForum55 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2012
    Just curious, what parts do you think are particularly ambitious? Do you have any ideas or speculation on a reasonable future of the iMac lineup?

    I'm hoping to be able to pick one up soon! The sooner the better haha I'm running on a Core 2 Duo that's crawling for me now
  10. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    Trouble is as you so rightly point out...This is Apple we are talking about here...I'm in a bit of a quandary myself, not for me, but for a buddy who wants an iMac now.

    It's a best guess, but I don't think we are going to see anything dramatic like a retina screen...I could. be wrong, but maybe CPU bump, Higher capacity SSD options,mand MAYBE a better GPU. Certainly nothing more than that before 2013, but don't quote me on it. They would have to have anything more than that virtually in production NOW in order to bring it to us before the end of the year, and I just don't see it. If you are in the market now, or if I was, I think I'd buy top spec now, or maybe a refurb. If you can wait until next year, that's probably the best option if you want to see some of the radical new features such as retina screens etc.

    Just a guess...:)
  11. marcolino macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2012
    i really don't see gesture controls to enter desktops or any other computer.
    why would you control your computer by twirling around with your arms and hands (which is very tiring btw) if you can simply sit there and talk to it???
  12. IPlayFair macrumors member

    May 12, 2012
    Slashgear Article Says.......

    new Imacs and Mac Pros in 2013.
  13. HurryKayne macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010
    An executive tolds...sit and wait.
    Can you?**** off apple.
    You are sat on too many money.
    Windows8 will make me play as i want,with the card
    i need ,and with the ability to install Osx Snow Leo on it.
  14. MacForum55 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2012
    I really disagree. First it is the most natural way for us to communicate on par with voice, these are natural processes of communication that machines have been taught to interprete and understand. That is what user interface is all about, having the simplest and most natural way to communicate with your device.

    Second, it's not tiring at all, I thought the same thing for a bit before I realized how much gesturing I do in general both in front of the computer and in life in general without noticing it. I made an effort to attempt to simulate extended periods of use with gesturing to see if I get tired when I pre-ordered a Leap. I did not. Also it is NOT COMPLETELY REPLACING traditional input forms, you will also have dictation and typing and a mouse or trackpad if you want so it's just a supplement.

    Third, just 'talking to it' doesn't create the same experience for certain things. Obviously gesture based communication isn't the way to go for getting it to type text, speech is clearly the way to go for this, however speech isn't the way to go for looking and rotating a 3D model, engaging in immersive gaming, embracing new immersive web technologies, etc. The use of hand gestures for these type of features is really leaps and bounds ahead of current technology because it is thousands of times more natural to pick up your model and rotate it by hand than take a mouse move artificial selector to the rotate button, click and drag said fixed point instead of the object moving, release fixed point upon desired rotation. This gets you with inaccurate selections and a lot less intuitive system than simply grabbing your object and moving it or pinching to zoom or panning your webpage with a swipe. It's time we throw of the restraints and shackles of the helpful tools (very much so, once) we needed at one point like the mouse and start embracing technologies and inputs that are natural, intuitive and can be learned in our undisturbed environment (e.g. touch like the iPhone/iPad, voice like Siri, and gesture like the hopeful new iMac/iTV).
  15. DeF46, Jun 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012

    DeF46 macrumors regular

    May 9, 2012
    That was my hunch too after WWDC. It just makes sense.

    The GTX 680M has only very recently been launched:


    EDIT: OH man I hope it's true:

    NVIDIA also made mention of FXAA (sample based anti-aliasing), which is a full scene shader technique that can help remove jaggies with a very minor performance hit (around 4%). New with their latest drivers is the ability to force-enable FXAA on all games.

    2560 fullscreen AA here I come :)

    Perhaps the NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M will also go in the low end iMac?
  16. MacForum55 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2012

    Yeah the GTX 680M is a total beast, I hope it is introduced in the entry level 27' or as part of a higher end iMac to mirror the MBP lineup.

    The GT 650M though is still a really great card and would be well suited in the 21.5' one and even the base 27' if the 680M is too much $
  17. Occamsrazr macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2012
    So the nvidia graphics chip has been announced... when will it be purchasable in real life?
  18. Scythe5 macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2012
    Last I heard....End of summer. So....July/Aug - ish.
  19. boto macrumors 6502


    Jun 4, 2012
    Origin PC has access to it already, but it will most likely be available in July-August timeframe. One thing to keep in mind is the partnership with Nvidia this time around. I'm pretty sure Apple will be one of the few vendors who receive it early and may be already in production as we speak, although I may be wrong. Otherwise, my intuition tells me that it will release alongside ML to restore the huge hype after the retina MBPs. In addition, WWDC seemed to cover only notebooks and when ML comes out, it will feature the desktop computers (iMac & Mac Mini).
  20. jedolley macrumors 68000

    Sep 18, 2009
    That's been updated and corrected... Mac Pros for 2013, iMac have not been mentioned, but speculation is that it will see a sooner release.

    I really don't think an end of summer release is out of the question. I think the only reason it was not announced at WWDC is because it was not ready to ship. As we have seen from Apple lately (iPhone 4S, iPad 3, and now the new MacBooks), their not leaving much (if any) wait time from the announcement to launch.
  21. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    It's looking a little like we MIGHT get something when ML is released. I have an iMac to spec up for a friend and he's impatient, but I've told him...Hang on until ML then we can make a better informed decision...I'm still sticking with my guess above though...better SSD's, and the GPU upgrade is being rumoured now as well...Just a few weeks and we will know.
  22. MacForum55 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2012
    If it were to come out when ML is released would it be an event the day it's released or a few days before? Is there precedent for this type of event in the past?
  23. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    I think those expecting the Retina display to soon make it's way across all Macs may have underestimated the side effects it could have. We don't yet know how your run of the mill non-optimized apps are going to look yet but early reviews don't sound promising, that could cause some serious headaches for your typical consumer (or your typical pro for that matter).
  24. sw29m macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    I think that new iMac will be introduced with new iPods in September.
  25. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    Not a chance. That's an iPhone event.

    There won't be a party. Just a press release. I'm not sure if they would do it on the exact same day or not.

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