iMac Next Re-Design: Predictions

Thunderbird

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 25, 2005
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Just a thread to speculate on the next redesign for the iMac.

1. When do you think it will be?

2. What do you think they will change?

I'm thinking that, given the sluggish international sales of the current iMac, and the rumor of a lower priced model, plus no new processors from Intel in 2014, that they will redesign the iMac in a bold unexpected way to shake things up and entice more sales.

One change I think we might see is a thinner bezel, and possible elimination of the 'chin'.

I think a new redesign will come out late 2014 or Spring 2015.
 

fastlanephil

macrumors 65816
Nov 17, 2007
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Well, the iMac has had a pretty good run but maybe it's time for Apple to move beyond the all-in-one with monitor form factor that has been copied by Windows PC makers.
 
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Moonjumper

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Jun 20, 2009
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Lincoln, UK
I think the next redesign will bring a retina screen. I hope that comes is 2014, but maybe not.

The rest of what I would like to see in the iMac are hopes rather than predictions.

I would like to see a more adjustable screen. I loved the design of the iMac G4. The lamp style arm allowed fingertip adjustment of height, angle and direction. I would also like to see rotation so that it can go to portrait orientation.

Putting the components in the base like the iMac G4 make them more accessible. Replaceable drives (for avoiding downtime during repairs mostly, but also for upgrading) as well as RAM would be brilliant. It would also be better for cooling. And the screen would look amazing with how thin it could be.

I'm imagining this as a very short new Mac Pro style body with an adjustable arm coming out the top and connecting to a very thin screen. The arm could be very elegant as it would carry a fraction of the weight that the current iMac foot does. And there would be room in the base for very good speakers.
 

deconstruct60

macrumors 604
Mar 10, 2009
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I'm thinking that, given the sluggish international sales of the current iMac, and the rumor of a lower priced model, plus no new processors from Intel in 2014,
Intel taking a year long holiday in 2014? Since when?


http://www.macrumors.com/2013/10/16/intel-delays-next-generation-broadwell-chips-until-2014-due-to-manufacturing-issue/

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2056183/pcs-using-intels-broadwell-processor-expected-in-second-half-of-2014.html

even if talking about the revised 1150 socket versions... still 2014

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/9-series-broadwell-k-intel,24767.html

Q4 isn't a particularly big deal for the iMac since in 2012 revised in Q4 and in 2013 revised late in Q3.


If the prices come down on the incremented Broadwell Iris line with BGA then the whole iMac line up could go BGA. At this point the higher end Haswell Iris graphics are priced in the "CPU + discrete GPU" range in price. If Intel moves that down then can both move the base iMac price down a bit and also still have component budget to add dGPUs where they make a significant difference.


Just a thread to speculate on the next redesign for the iMac.

1. When do you think it will be?
Doubtful there is a major change in outer design coming. Three major changes are coming internal.

a. maybe in late 2014 and much more likely by 2015 that will get higher dpi screens ( essentially "4K" at 21.5 and 27" sizes ) instead of having to chase the current 30" and upcoming in 2014 24" sizes.

b. more PCI-e lanes inside so that upcoming Mac Pro SSD speeds trickle down to iMac without neccessarily kneecapping either TB v2 or dGPU.

c. Depending upon where HDD capacities are, could see a merge of both models to 2.5" drives.



that they will redesign the iMac in a bold unexpected way to shake things up and entice more sales.
Lower prices would boost more sales than visual gimmicks.


One change I think we might see is a thinner bezel, and possible elimination of the 'chin'.
That is just superficial. The bezel isn't all that large and with the reverse side pinched down not particularly going to be buying much.
The chin serves a purpose of holding some stuff that probably don't want to cram behind a LCD panel.


I think a new redesign will come out late 2014 or Spring 2015.
Same October 12 (+/- 1-2 month ) cadence as now is likely. They aren't going to skip 2014 with the best selling desktop they have by far. The market is just not that uncompetitive.
 

Thunderbird

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 25, 2005
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Intel taking a year long holiday in 2014? Since when?
http://vr-zone.com/articles/long-live-haswell-with-broadwell-only-in-2015-a-midterm-refresh-is-on-the-cards/33920.html

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/display/20130829163840_Intel_Changes_Plans_Core_i_Broadwell_Processors_Will_Be_Available_in_LGA_Packaging_But_There_Is_a_Catch.html

From xbit labs:
What remains to be seen is how Intel’s desktop roadmap will look from now on. It is logical to assume that Haswell Refresh platform will be the best desktop offering from Intel in calendar 2014, whereas Broadwell chips will emerge in 2015. Quite naturally, this places Intel’s Skylake micro-architecture powered CPUs into 2016, a delay from originally expected 2015.

Even if Broadwell chips come out in late 2014, by the time they make their way into the iMac, it will be 2015.

If the prices come down on the incremented Broadwell Iris line with BGA then the whole iMac line up could go BGA. At this point the higher end Haswell Iris graphics are priced in the "CPU + discrete GPU" range in price. If Intel moves that down then can both move the base iMac price down a bit and also still have component budget to add dGPUs where they make a significant difference.
Good points.

Lower prices would boost more sales than visual gimmicks.
I don't disagree. Only that they would have an incentive to make aesthetic changes for any planned refresh as well.

That is just superficial. The bezel isn't all that large and with the reverse side pinched down not particularly going to be buying much.
The thinning of the outer edges was a superficial design move too, but they did it anyway.

The chin serves a purpose of holding some stuff that probably don't want to cram behind a LCD panel.
Yes, but they may do it anyway, just to change it.
 

Tanax

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2011
940
96
Stockholm, Sweden
The next big thing for the iMac would probably be retina. Other than that I really don't think they will add anything "big" or "revolutionary" to the next updates. Possibly make it even thinner, seeing how that seems to be their trend?
 

deconstruct60

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Mar 10, 2009
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Those aren't technically articles about Broadwell. Those are really articles about 1055 socket subset of the Broadwell line up. Apple doesn't have to use 1055 sockets in the iMac at all. It isn't like Apple encourages folks to flip what is in the CPU sockets. If there are BGA Broadwell solutions earlier Apple can simply just use them; just like they use a BGA solution in the entry iMac in the 2013 line up.

Right now it is a slightly different motherboard design for the entry model. Apple is likely to make that a much more uniform design if Intel simply supplies the parts to do it that way.


The confusion is that socket 1055 equals "desktop" with Broadwell. It doesn't and won't going forward. I There are going to be "desktop" class solutions in BGA packaging starting with Broadwell. In the initial roadmaps Intel wiped out all of the socket stuff. I'm sure the tech spec porn journalism outlets will continue to cling to the notion that socket == desktop but that is going to increasingly disconnect from reality.

Similar to the now dated perception that "desktop" CPUs don't have embedded GPUs. Going forward they generally will.






Even if Broadwell chips come out in late 2014, by the time they make their way into the iMac, it will be 2015.
Even if Apple just rolled out BGA v4 (Broadwell) solutions only to the 21.5" solutions and left the 27" board on socket 1055 they could still be consistently move to the 9-series PCH with by bumping the 27" line to "Haswell Refresh" if the Broadwell socket solutions hit a speed bump sometime in 2014 and slide into 2015.


The thinning of the outer edges was a superficial design move too, but they did it anyway.
Not really. Once they decided to drop the ODD drive having flat side edges didn't really serve any purpose. So those too got dropped. They edges were "thinned out" just to thin them. They were largely now empty. There is little purpose to simply enclosing empty space just to enclose empty space. If they can cut the weight all the more so.


Yes, but they may do it anyway, just to change it.
Not likely. Change simply for change sake isn't a core Apple design philosophy.... at least in the Mac space.

" .. .Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. " -- Steve Jobs

If the chin has a function ( a "jobs" that works ) , until they either replace or no longer need the function, it will stay.

The chin can displace some of the vertical load in holding up the panel/glass. Can also "hide" hotter power supply and heat dissapting ports down there too. It likely also helps with the structural rigidity of the frame without having to lean on the glass as much.

The bezel is edge lights , wifi/bluetooth windows , and panel attachment can "work". You can possible balloon squeeze those somewhere else but the bezel isn't just superficially there. So not really a purely cosmetic knob to tweak for some yearly iMac fashion trend.
 

blanka

macrumors 68000
Jul 30, 2012
1,549
3
I think it will fuse with the Mini in a coffee-mug design, and that the screen will become a stand-alone 4K screen, either 30 or 50 inch or so. iMac as a line will die. The Mini will die. It will be just "Mac" and "Mac Pro". The time of highly difficult to manufacture in China designs will end soon. Apple will turn to more simple extrusion like designs capable of being built with US wages.
 

Nightarchaon

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,393
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If Jonny Ive has his way, it will be an aluminum thin frame around a polished glass mirror, 1 micron thick.

It will be a revolutionary work of art, and not function as a computer in anyway at all, because, you know, its a post PC world so you just want an art piece on your desk, not a functional system.


as you may have guessed, im not a fan of JI and the direction he is taking apples hardware, from usable computer systems to throwaway "artwork", im assuming Steve was the only person in apple who stood up to him and his device anorexia.

Thinner isn't better JI, sometimes a little thicker to accommodate better hardware and bigger batteries is better, sometimes a removable battery can still be accommodated (i see no reason why the back of the iPhone 5 and 5S couldn't "slide" to allow battery replacement, why the iMacs couldn't have a door on the back to allow a 2.5" drive to be slid into a bay, or why the macbooks don't have removable batteries anymore , other than JI device anorexia coupled with corporate greed pushing to make devices you HAVE to replace every three years , thus guaranteeing a revenue stream)

I loved apples products, up until the first "sealed" macbook pros, finally the last iMac refresh and the Mac Pro finished it for me, had to build a PC to fullfill my needs from a work standpoint as apple now no longer make a system that is usable for professional work (most companies WONT pay the Thunderbolt Tax for new devices, cables etc, and my company said NO to a non-up-gradable dustbin.
 

alksion

macrumors 68000
Sep 10, 2010
1,699
102
Orange County CA
If Jonny Ive has his way, it will be an aluminum thin frame around a polished glass mirror, 1 micron thick.

It will be a revolutionary work of art, and not function as a computer in anyway at all, because, you know, its a post PC world so you just want an art piece on your desk, not a functional system.


as you may have guessed, im not a fan of JI and the direction he is taking apples hardware, from usable computer systems to throwaway "artwork", im assuming Steve was the only person in apple who stood up to him and his device anorexia.

Thinner isn't better JI, sometimes a little thicker to accommodate better hardware and bigger batteries is better, sometimes a removable battery can still be accommodated (i see no reason why the back of the iPhone 5 and 5S couldn't "slide" to allow battery replacement, why the iMacs couldn't have a door on the back to allow a 2.5" drive to be slid into a bay, or why the macbooks don't have removable batteries anymore , other than JI device anorexia coupled with corporate greed pushing to make devices you HAVE to replace every three years , thus guaranteeing a revenue stream)

I loved apples products, up until the first "sealed" macbook pros, finally the last iMac refresh and the Mac Pro finished it for me, had to build a PC to fullfill my needs from a work standpoint as apple now no longer make a system that is usable for professional work (most companies WONT pay the Thunderbolt Tax for new devices, cables etc, and my company said NO to a non-up-gradable dustbin.
Looks like its time to switch platforms my friend. If it isn't serving you well, find one that does.
 

jordanm86

macrumors regular
Oct 21, 2011
223
34
Looks like its time to switch platforms my friend. If it isn't serving you well, find one that does.
I love Apple Products but have to agree that the hardware standards are slipping - my third brand new iMac will be delivered today - 2 already returned because of quality issues.

Thing is, hell will freeze over before I start using Windows again! This is the ideal opportunity for a software company to make an OS to rival OSX but run on standard pc equipment - i'd be off in a shot!
 

Choctaw

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2008
324
12
When they do make a change it's not always pretty !

Sure hope they leave it as is. Looks great to me. Apple has transformed their Mac Pro where it has the look of a plastic cylinder. Does not match the overall styles of the other models. Eliminated that smooth aluminum metal look and gave buyers a cylinder of ugly plastic. Boo
 

apple_iBoy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2003
677
403
Philadelphia, PA
Sure hope they leave it as is. Looks great to me. Apple has transformed their Mac Pro where it has the look of a plastic cylinder. Does not match the overall styles of the other models. Eliminated that smooth aluminum metal look and gave buyers a cylinder of ugly plastic. Boo
Go watch the manufacturing video they put out. It's anything but plastic.
 

Choctaw

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2008
324
12
Go watch the manufacturing video they put out. It's anything but plastic.
My post said it looks like plastic and my observations are not alone. Here is a post from the Digital Arts web site that describe the look just as I have stated. They do say it is aluminum, but sure has lost it's glow that set the Mac Pro in a class of lookers all their own. Now just a big black tube to set by your desk.

Digital Arts web wrote: "Apple's shiny new Mac Pro has been compared to a bin, an air-conditioning unit and the helmets of French robots-in-disguise electro act Daft Punk. From this you might assume that the 2013 Mac Pro's case is made from highly-reflective plastic – but hidden away in the Mac-maker's impressive HTML5 Mac Pro site is that it's made from aluminium. Well, being American, Apple says it's made from aluminum – but as there's some history to why we Brits get an extra 'i' rather than this being some Carribean-style pronunciation difference, we'll let them off."



Digital Arts
 
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Irishman

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2006
2,646
580
Well, the iMac has had a pretty good run but maybe it's time for Apple to move beyond the all-in-one with monitor form factor that has been copied by Windows PC makers.
Should Apple get out of the ultrabook market because Windows PC makers are copying the Macbook Air?

Unless you say "yes", I don't get your point.
 

Johnf1285

macrumors 6502a
Dec 25, 2010
892
13
New Jersey
I have a feeling the current design will stick around longer than previous designs.

The next major thing to happen to it other than the usual refreshes with CPUs, mobile GPUs, increased flash storage (and/or cheaper priced options), etc., is a high res 4k display or some sort of Retina display where the PPI meets Apples retina standard (if there is a standard?)

The question is will the screen sizes remain the same when that does happen? For mobile GPUs to push that many pixels it is probably 2-3 years off any how.

Just my two cents
 
I have a feeling the current design will stick around longer than previous designs.

The next major thing to happen to it other than the usual refreshes with CPUs, mobile GPUs, increased flash storage (and/or cheaper priced options), etc., is a high res 4k display or some sort of Retina display where the PPI meets Apples retina standard (if there is a standard?)

The question is will the screen sizes remain the same when that does happen? For mobile GPUs to push that many pixels it is probably 2-3 years off any how.

Just my two cents
I really cant see the logic in apple's folly on insisting on mobile components on a desktop! I hope apple listen to their customers and include decent dGPUs in the next Imac

I also predict 4K will be the next revolutionary milestones for the imacs, that functional, over silly things like siri, air gestures and levitating, transforming lightening docks
 

shaunp

macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2010
1,736
1,309
I think it will fuse with the Mini in a coffee-mug design, and that the screen will become a stand-alone 4K screen, either 30 or 50 inch or so. iMac as a line will die. The Mini will die. It will be just "Mac" and "Mac Pro". The time of highly difficult to manufacture in China designs will end soon. Apple will turn to more simple extrusion like designs capable of being built with US wages.
Makes sense. I would be quite happy with a 'Mac' so long as it had dedicated graphics. This is the computer I've been wanting Apple to make for a long time

----------

I love Apple Products but have to agree that the hardware standards are slipping - my third brand new iMac will be delivered today - 2 already returned because of quality issues.

Thing is, hell will freeze over before I start using Windows again! This is the ideal opportunity for a software company to make an OS to rival OSX but run on standard pc equipment - i'd be off in a shot!
Ubuntu are giving it a go. Just not there yet. Definitely one to watch though.
 

kazmac

macrumors 604
Mar 24, 2010
7,780
5,353
Any place but here or there....
I'll buy that for [more than] a dollar

I think the next redesign will bring a retina screen. I hope that comes is 2014, but maybe not.

The rest of what I would like to see in the iMac are hopes rather than predictions.

I would like to see a more adjustable screen. I loved the design of the iMac G4. The lamp style arm allowed fingertip adjustment of height, angle and direction. I would also like to see rotation so that it can go to portrait orientation.

Putting the components in the base like the iMac G4 make them more accessible. Replaceable drives (for avoiding downtime during repairs mostly, but also for upgrading) as well as RAM would be brilliant. It would also be better for cooling. And the screen would look amazing with how thin it could be.

I'm imagining this as a very short new Mac Pro style body with an adjustable arm coming out the top and connecting to a very thin screen. The arm could be very elegant as it would carry a fraction of the weight that the current iMac foot does. And there would be room in the base for very good speakers.
^^^ Yes, please. I still miss my G4.
 

lordboogie

macrumors member
Oct 15, 2012
33
0
Maybe not in 2014 but soon, I think Apple will split the iMac line into two like they did with the Macbook Pros. I think they'll be the regular iMac and a retina iMac/iMac Pro.

The primary differences will be the standard iMac resolutions panels vs a 4k panel on the latter. The 4k panels resolution will probably be scaled like the current retina Macbook Pros
 

MTL18

macrumors regular
Jan 25, 2013
205
72
I'm hoping for some sort of retina/4K screen. With Dell releasing a sub 1000 dollar 4k 28 inch screen in the new year, we can't be that far away from 4k iMacs (assuming a late 2014 release).
 

old-wiz

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2008
8,318
221
West Suburban Boston Ma
This is the ideal opportunity for a software company to make an OS to rival OSX but run on standard pc equipment - i'd be off in a shot!
This would not be a trivial thing to do. Various flavors of *NIX could be used, but then you'd run into the application problem. Linux has never made it to mainstream partly because there is not enough application support.