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Prediction for the iMac at Tuesday’s Apple Event

April 18, 2021

Prediction: Apple’s product event on Tuesday will feature the new, re-designed Apple Silicon iMac. It will be a 24”-ish model to replace the 21.5”, and will be powered by the M1. No new chips will be announced.

Here are my reasons!

It’s Ready

It’s been long rumored. Not to mention, the current 21.5” is going out of stock. Apple runs a tight supply chain, so it’s no coincidence.

The M1 Won’t Steal the Show

The iPad Pro is the most likely product announcement and will need plenty of airtime. The only way I see Apple squeezing in the iMac is if it’s using a chip we’ve already been introduced to – the M1.

If Apple announces the iMac and a new chip to go with it, that makes three major product announcements. I think that’s overload for one event.

The M1 requires no introduction, as we’re already familiar with its capabilities. You can almost hear Tim say it: “Apple is bringing the power and performance of the M1 to iMac!”

I could very much be wrong on this – the event is “Loaded“ after all?

An M1 iMac Would Be a Great Machine

I’ve seen sentiment online that Apple wouldn’t dare introduce an M1 iMac, as the M1 is not “desktop-class”.

Many tend to forget the iMac spans a broad product range. It’s just as much an entry-level product as it is a “pro” machine. It’s frequently purchased for use in school computer labs, placed in homes as “the family computer”, etc.

Not to mention, the fiery performance of the M1 will position it as the chip for the vast majority of people. It’s ranked as the fastest single-core chip among Macs:

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As for multi-core performance, the M1 is only surpassed by top-of-the-line iMacs, iMac Pros, and Mac Pros. For my use case of software development and photography, the M1 is more than enough.

It’s true the M1 only supports only two Thunderbolt ports and 16GB of memory, and in my opinion, these are its biggest limitations. I still believe Apple would introduce such a configuration of the iMac, as it would still meet most people’s needs.

The Gurman Hint

Mark Gurman hinted on Twitter:

Would anyone else find it odd if a big iMac was using essentially the same processor as an iPad Pro?

It appears as though the iPad Pro’s A14X (if that’s the name) will have similar performance to the M1, thus putting it on par with the new iMac. That’s cool!

Wishlist

My own wishlist for the iMac:

The latter is incredibly helpful for those who work from home, and have a work-mandated laptop.

Have a lovely Sunday, nerds!