In this video, I’m reacting to all the recent reports on the next-generation iMacs, including M1X Apple silicon with x-as-in-extra cores, all-new, all-Pro Display XDR design, and, most recently, the return of color. Yeah, talk about your tangerine dreams!
But, not really… let me explain…
I’ll get to the M1X and what it really means to the iMac in a sec, but Jon Prosser of Front Page Tech just dropped a fresh report this morning saying colors are coming back to the iMac.
Not the original Bondee Blue from 1998, not the fruit-themed blueberry, strawberry, lime, tangerine and grape from 1999, and certainly not the flower power and blue dalmatian from 2001. Though you’ love to see it. And yeah, those really happened. And on Steve Jobs and Jony Ive’s watch.
But also more than the glossy iPod white and, most recently, bead blasted aluminum with its single space grey variant, you know, for the Pros.
Something that seems to match the current iPad Air colors — and AirPods Max cups colors — pretty much exactly.
Silver and space gray, rose gold, green, and sky blue.
And… it would be the ultimate expression of Apple’s recent retro future chic design vibe. Even though they haven’t gone anywhere nearly as colorful with anything in the Mac lineup for a long, long time. Not even with last year’s M1 MacBook Air, which feels like it would have been primed for it, just the perfect place to start.
Now it’s possible… it’s possible Apple’s waiting on the redesigns to start blowing minds, and we’ll see that in the M2 update, but demand forecasting and managing channel inventory on multiple color SKUs on ultra-lights is one thing. On products as pricy as the iMac, even if it’s just the lower-end, smaller-sized iMac?
But… let me know which if any of those colors you’d want in the comments.
Prosser also echoed other recent reports from Kuo Ming-Chi and Mark Gurman saying the new iMac design… would echo the Pro Display XDR design. Now, multiple rumors do not a confirmation make. Never a confirmation make. If you ever see someone claiming a rumor confirms anything, close the tab and go watch a Pitch Meeting video instead.
But multiple reports are worth considering, as is past as prologue. And Apple has, typically, kept their iMac designs pretty close to their stand-alone display designs. Which is particularly great for anyone who wants to pair them together. And just like everything in the last generation seemed to follow the original iPad mini or iPod touch design language, everything in this generation seems to be following the iPad Pro.
Now, the Pro Display XDR is all cheese-gratored on the back because of the active cooling system needed for the extreme dynamic range technology that makes it… 6K for 6K. But, if Apple sticks with LCD or manages to go mini LED, even if just on the higher end, then they can probably stick with a flat back. Even if that grater look is all shades of hella cool.
Prosser says he doesn’t know about the ports yet, but given what we’ve seen from the M1 Mac mini, it’s not hard to imagine we’ll be getting similar from the iMac, though hopefully with a couple more USB3 slash Thunderbolt 3 ports, courtesy of a couple more thunderbolt controllers on the M1X chipset.
Which, if the iMac ships in the first half of the year, should be identical to the M1 chip in the current Apple Silicon Macs, but with far, far more performance and graphics cores. According to Mark Gurman, up to 16 pCores on the low end, maybe even 32 on the high end. Same with the graphics cores. 16-32. Which… certainly is something.
And if they ship in the second half… who knows, maybe they’ll be based on the M2, with even better cores, just as massively multiples. Which would just be something else.
Because, Apple’s been using what are basically laptop parts in iMacs for as long as they’ve had to cram those hot, power-hungry Intel, AMD, and Nvidia parts into that thing aluminum shell.
But the M-series is basically desktop power with better than laptop efficiency. Like… the TARDUS, they’re… bigger on the inside. Which means the iMac shell won’t be a constraint any more. With active cooling, Apple can power it up as much as they want. For a price.