Qest

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 15, 2020
2
1
So, we know that the next iMac will use some version of the chip to be used in the iPhone 12, possibly up-clocked. We also know that the majority of the body of the iPhone is full of battery, so Apple can go in two directions: razor-thin with the computer parts in the stand. No rear cameras or batteries or other electronics mean it can be far thinner than an iPad Pro.

Or, they can essentially make an enormous 20+” iPad that MagSafes onto a stand/keyboard.

They no longer need HDDs, nor video accelerators, nor fans, and we all know Apple will happily solder the RAM and SSD in and charge us for the upgrade at purchase. I can’t think of anything that would make this impossible/unlikely. Can you?

So now that we have something akin to a giant iPad, we finally need a new OS that will either bring touch to Mac OS, or a more powerful/flexible iPad OS.

So, which do you expect:
  1. Shockingly-thin iMac with most components in the stand running MacOS.
  2. A giant iPad running iPad OS.
  3. A giant iPad running a new OS.
  4. None of the above.
 
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Glmnet1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2017
973
1,093
It will run macOS

Or, they can essentially make an enormous 20+” iPad that MagSafes onto a stand/keyboard.
What would be the advantage of MagSafe in an iMac? No one wants to carry around a 20+" iPad. If they do put all the hardware in a thin screen it will simply be for esthetics. The iMac is not a tablet.

Also, the keyboard would not be part of the stand. The iMac is not a laptop.

So either the hardware stays behind the screen or it goes in the stand. I personally don't care either way.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
5,885
6,687
So, we know that the next iMac


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jukkhop

macrumors member
Dec 27, 2016
70
53
It is reasonable to expect that the AS iMac will basically be a big iPad running MacOS. The rumours certainly point towards that direction. I think the first generation of AS Macs in general is going to be relatively boring, because people are feeling uncertain and need to be convinced that AS is the right way to go. After Apple has made its statement and has everyone on board, we might start seeing more innovation in terms of different form factors and design.
 

theluggage

macrumors 603
Jul 29, 2011
5,261
4,335
So, we know that the next iMac will use some version of the chip to be used in the iPhone 12, possibly up-clocked.

No, we don't.

No one wants to carry around a 20+" iPad.

Actually, it's an interesting idea: you could dismount the "tablet" portion and it would become one of these:


...see also the MS Surface Studio, which would make the iMac look like a bucketful of spare parts if only Microsoft hadn't given it such a laughably poor spec

Not holding my breath, though.
 

Glmnet1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2017
973
1,093
Actually, it's an interesting idea: you could dismount the "tablet" portion and it would become one of these:

...see also the MS Surface Studio, which would make the iMac look like a bucketful of spare parts if only Microsoft hadn't given it such a laughably poor spec

Not holding my breath, though.
Very few people would actually have a need for that and it seems to be against Apple's design philosophy. Apple keeps it simple and efficient by creating devices that are great for a specific usage. The Surface Studio is a great example of what Apple tries not to do, it's kind of cool but mostly an expensive gimmick.
 

mr_roboto

macrumors member
Sep 30, 2020
91
106
Here is what actual reasoning looks like, @jukkhop . Compare iPad and iMac display specs, and tell me if you think it makes sense for Apple to drive the iMac displays with exactly the same chip used in an iPad.

10.9" iPad Air: 2360x1640, 3.9MP
12.9" iPad Pro: 2732x2048, 5.6MP

21.5" iMac: 4096x2304, 9.4MP
27" iMac: 5120x2880, 14.7MP

The most likely Mac to actually use the same chip as an iPad is the rumored ultralight ARM Macbook. It should have a display about the same size as an iPad, and it's okay if it only has a single USB-C port. Since the system features line up reasonably well, that's when it's reasonable to guess the chip can be similar or identical.

iMac system specs just don't match an iPad at all, and the displays are only the beginning.
 

Jorbanead

macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2018
512
643
There’s a few things that are more speculation rather than fact here.

1) Apple said they are developing a new family of Soc’s specifically for the Mac. Yes the rumors are they will be based off of the same technology used in the A14 Bionic, but we don’t know entirely what that means.

2) We know for sure via Apple that they will all use Mac OS 11 Big Sur. So iPad OS is not even a question.

3) Apple has said repeatedly that they are not merging the iPad and Mac lineups. It’s likely that the new iMacs will share similar design language used in both the iPad Pro, iPhone 12, and Pro Display XDR, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be an iPad by any means. They’ll just share similar aesthetics (thin bezels, flat sides with rounded corners, etc.) so apples products all have a similar design and feel cohesive together. Not because they’re trying to make it an iPad.

What do I think will happen: I do think you’re right about the shrinking and lack of upgrades. I think Apple will want to use this chance to remove the chin, as well as move towards a flat-back design like the iPad instead of the current curved hump we see now. It may just look like a massive iPad on a stand, but I also think it could look closer to the Pro Display XDR as well. I mean they’ll definitely want to market the iMac and the display together for power users so they must look good side-by-side. If one design is drastically different it would look weird imo. Maybe the iMac will look like an iPad and the iMac Pro will look like the Pro Display XDR to allow more thermal headroom and for consistency.
 

CWallace

macrumors G3
Aug 17, 2007
8,756
5,401
Seattle, WA
There was that rumor before WWDC that Apple was preparing a 24-inch Apple Silicon iMac with "iPad Pro design cues" which generally was accepted to mean it would have minimal bezels, square sides and maybe a FaceID sensor. Apple has also stated that iOS apps will run natively under macOS 11 on an ASi Mac.

But that is as close as an iPad and an ASi Mac are going to get. The idea that Apple is going to release a 24" iPad on a detachable stand is...well it's ludicrous to be honest.
 

mr_roboto

macrumors member
Sep 30, 2020
91
106
1) Apple said they are developing a new family of Soc’s specifically for the Mac. Yes the rumors are they will be based off of the same technology used in the A14 Bionic, but we don’t know entirely what that means.

As an engineer who has worked on non-Apple SoCs, I think it's pretty easy to guess roughly what it means.

Just take a look at today's A12, A12X, and A12Z for the theme.

A12: 2xVortex CPU cores (performance), 4xTempest (efficiency)
A12X: 4xVortex, 4xTempest
A12Z: 4xVortex, 4xTempest

A12: 4-cluster GPU
A12X: 7-cluster GPU (8 physical with 1 disabled)
A12Z: 8-cluster GPU

A12X and A12Z are actually the same physical design, but in an A12X one of the eight GPU clusters is disabled at the factory. This was probably yield management (one cluster can be defective and they can still sell the chip).

So, Apple taped out two versions of A12. They're very closely related, one's just a bigger version with more stuff.

And that's what we can expect from A14 generation Mac Apple Silicon. The same building blocks - CPU cores, GPU clusters, neural engines - but more of them. They are likely to also push clocks higher in some Mac platforms, where thermal budget allows.

They will also be adding a lot of I/O features never before included in a classic A-series chip. Most (all?) ASi Macs will need a PCI Express root complex, since you can't have Thunderbolt without PCIe. Most ASi Macs will need more USB ports than an iPad. Most will need more video outs. So on and so forth.

It's possible that they will share a tapeout between an iPad chip like a hypothetical A14X and small-and-light Mac notebooks, where the extra Mac IO features are disabled "dark silicon" when the chip's pacakged for and used in an iPad. Other than that, I expect Mac chips to be different tapeouts.
 

Boil

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2018
834
630
So, we know that the next iMac will use some version of the chip to be used in the iPhone 12, possibly up-clocked. We also know that the majority of the body of the iPhone is full of battery, so Apple can go in two directions: razor-thin with the computer parts in the stand. No rear cameras or batteries or other electronics mean it can be far thinner than an iPad Pro.

Or, they can essentially make an enormous 20+” iPad that MagSafes onto a stand/keyboard.

They no longer need HDDs, nor video accelerators, nor fans, and we all know Apple will happily solder the RAM and SSD in and charge us for the upgrade at purchase. I can’t think of anything that would make this impossible/unlikely. Can you?

So now that we have something akin to a giant iPad, we finally need a new OS that will either bring touch to Mac OS, or a more powerful/flexible iPad OS.

So, which do you expect:
  1. Shockingly-thin iMac with most components in the stand running MacOS.
  2. A giant iPad running iPad OS.
  3. A giant iPad running a new OS.
  4. None of the above.

So you get a "razor-thin display, & want the actual computer parts in the stand...

You do realize that will make the stand larger / bulkier...?

Hard to have a super slim stand that will actually support the weight of the large (24"+) iMac display...?

So now your stand & display are probably out of proportion to each other...

And if the computer parts are in the stand, and the display is "far thinner than an iPad Pro, you can run into issues with such a large, yet "razor-thin" object maintaining its structural integrity...?

Large thin object go bendy-bend...!
 

jukkhop

macrumors member
Dec 27, 2016
70
53
Here is what actual reasoning looks like, @jukkhop . Compare iPad and iMac display specs, and tell me if you think it makes sense for Apple to drive the iMac displays with exactly the same chip used in an iPad.

10.9" iPad Air: 2360x1640, 3.9MP
12.9" iPad Pro: 2732x2048, 5.6MP

21.5" iMac: 4096x2304, 9.4MP
27" iMac: 5120x2880, 14.7MP

The most likely Mac to actually use the same chip as an iPad is the rumored ultralight ARM Macbook. It should have a display about the same size as an iPad, and it's okay if it only has a single USB-C port. Since the system features line up reasonably well, that's when it's reasonable to guess the chip can be similar or identical.

iMac system specs just don't match an iPad at all, and the displays are only the beginning.

The obsession with specs on this forum, sheesh. I am talking about design and form factor.
 
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leman

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2008
13,819
9,589
It is reasonable to expect that the AS iMac will basically be a big iPad running MacOS.

Yes, so basically... a minimalistic AIO with a large screen? ;)

I think the first generation of AS Macs in general is going to be relatively boring, because people are feeling uncertain and need to be convinced that AS is the right way to go.

If by boring you meant that it will look exactly like any other iMac, I agree. It will just be a bit faster.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
5,885
6,687
At the WWDC 2020, many times it was said that the Mac and the iPad are not merging, and there are not going to be touch screen Macs.

Apple's position on the matter could change, but I would much rather keep Macs Mac, and iPads iPads.

If the direction of the Mac line is large iPads, then after almost 30 years of using Macs, I am jumping ship to Windows.
 
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theluggage

macrumors 603
Jul 29, 2011
5,261
4,335
You do realize that will make the stand larger / bulkier...?

Absolutely no problem with a ~1cm thick stand and a slim screen - and cosmetically speaking it means that most of your cables come neatly out of the back of the stand rather than sprouting in mid-air from the back of the screen. The only downside is that you have to somehow run DisplayPort and power up the pillar and into the screen (which is hardly rocket science).

Seriously, if we're talking aesthetics, look at the Surface Studio (which has that arrangement) and tell me it isn't gorgeous. (Then look at the price vs. tech specs and have a good laugh*).

If we're talking about a replacement for the 21.5" iMac then the electronics aren't going to be any bigger than a 13" Macbook, without the battery, or a Mac Mini with a much reduced (possibly even passive) heatsink. The existing iMac was designed to hold spinning rust, a discrete GPU and hot, sweaty i7, so it's going to get slimmer whether the guts are in the display or the stand.

You think the "design and form factor" of an all-in-one desktop computer that has traditionally had a 27" screen, is going to "basically be a big iPad".

Given that the existing iMac looks like a giant iPad 2 on a stand (albeit with added chin) and hasn't been updated since the iPad 2 was the new shiny, it's a fairly safe bet that the new iMac will look like a giant 2020 iPad Pro on a stand.

...and while it's pretty much an established fact that it's going to be running Mac OS and not iOS, it's also an established fact that it's going to be capable of running iOS Apps some of which have been designed from the ground up to use touch and stylus input and would be much more usable on some type of 2-in-1 or convertible. Apple will keep saying the Mac doesn't need a touch screen up until the day that they make a Mac with a touch screen - something which is now pretty much standard on PC laptops/all-in-ones as soon as you opt for a 4k/Retina-class display.

So what are the other characteristics of "a big iPad" - Limited i/o? Apple do so love cutting out ports. Non-expandable? Nobody will be surprised if the new iMac has soldered-in RAM. So I don't really know what the argument is about.

Also, remember, there are effectively four different iMacs to replace - the 21.5" non-retina, the 21.5" 4k, the 27" 5k and the iMac Pro. It's unlikely that there will be 4 different replacements, but neither is one size going to fit all. It's conceivable that we'll see one iMac to replace the 5k and the Pro - possibly using the rumoured second generation Apple Silicon - and another to replace the 21.5" non-retina and 4k. Since the 27" got a spec bump this summer and the 21.5" didn't, that adds to the plausibility that the first iMac will be a low-end model replacing the 21.5" and we'll have to wait for the second-gen ASi for the 5k replacement.

Apple Silicon is a potential opportunity for Apple to re-arrange their Mac product line, so I wouldn't assume that everything is going to be a 1:1 replacement for an existing Intel model. For starters, with all the i3/i5/i7/i9/Xeon nonsense swept away we could see a simpler CPU choice of "Apple Silicon" vs "Apple Silicon Pro" (whether or not they use those names, and regardless of whether they are physically different chips or just distinguished by "binning") separating the Macs from the Pros.
 
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Shivetya

macrumors 68000
Jan 16, 2008
1,627
270
I look at it this way, there is no reason not to follow the aesthetics of LG's OLED TVs where the bulk of any needed electronics are packed into the bottom fourth of the unit with the rest above being as thin as needed to secure the screen.

Even if fans were needed the whole process could be done very cleanly keeping all the electronics to one central area and with proper layout, ram - drives - cpu - gpu the fan could pull air across all of them and exit to the side
 

Boil

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2018
834
630
Also, remember, there are effectively four different iMacs to replace - the 21.5" non-retina, the 21.5" 4k, the 27" 5k and the iMac Pro. It's unlikely that there will be 4 different replacements, but neither is one size going to fit all. It's conceivable that we'll see one iMac to replace the 5k and the Pro - possibly using the rumoured second generation Apple Silicon - and another to replace the 21.5" non-retina and 4k. Since the 27" got a spec bump this summer and the 21.5" didn't, that adds to the plausibility that the first iMac will be a low-end model replacing the 21.5" and we'll have to wait for the second-gen ASi for the 5k replacement.

I think Apple might replace the 21.5" display with a 24" display...

Apple silicon-based iMac family very well may be:

24" entry model
27" mainstream model
30" pro model
 
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CWallace

macrumors G3
Aug 17, 2007
8,756
5,401
Seattle, WA
Ming Chi Kuo said that Apple is sourcing a 27" MiniLED 5K display, which he assumed would be for a 2020 Intel iMac Pro refresh.

I no longer think we will see a new Intel iMac Pro, so is this display now dead, or will it be repurposed for another product?

I am now starting to think we will see two ASi iMacs:

24" iMac
27" iMac Pro

I know many believe that Apple will go larger than 27" for the "bigger brother", but the options are limited in terms of high-resolution Retina displays. Right now, the only known option is the 32" 6K panel in the XDR and that is probably very expensive (though making more will drive down that cost).

And if the iMac Pro stays at 27", but gets a MiniLED 5K display and more ports and a dedicated GPU (like Apple is said to be working on) and a more powerful SoC then it can differentiate itself enough even if it is close in screen size.
 

Stephen.R

Suspended
Nov 2, 2018
4,356
4,720
Thailand
Given that the existing iMac looks like a giant iPad 2 on a stand
... by that logic any display with a black bezel looks like a giant iPad, and a laptop is just a slightly larger iPad with a keyboard attached.

Ok then. Everything is an iPad. I just had a shed/workshop built out of iPads you know. I mean they were sold as bricks, but they're rectangular, the surface is flat, if you hit it with a hammer it'll crack. So, you know, an iPad.
 
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