M2 iMac & Mac Pro (2021) — New Design, New Display, Mini Pro…

New iMacs with an all-new, bezel thin and no chin design, and new Mac Pros with both M1… and M1 inside? That’s according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who says Apple might be ready to give their desktops… well, the biggest upgrade in a decade.

Frst up, Apple’s going to slim down the thick black borders around the iMac screen and do away with the sizable metal chin area in favor of a design similar to Apple’s Pro Display XDR monitor.

Which is pretty much what I’ve been using in my mockups since 0.3 seconds after Apple announced the Pro Display. Because, recent lack of updates aside, Apple kept their iMacs and LED and Thunderbolt designs pretty much in lockstep while they lasted.

And the iMac is really the only big battleground left in the rapidly ending war on bezels. Plus, getting rid of the bulge on the back and going finally, full flat, will just fit right in to Apple current design language. The one that kicked off with the iPad Pro almost 3 years ago.

Since part of the iMac’s allure as always been how good it looks in the living room, on the desk, and in front-of-house setups. Or at least it will be gain when the world stops ending. And when it goes all modern and boxy, it’ll look the part again.

Next up, two new models to replace the current 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs

Mark doesn’t specify if the displays will remain the same size, with Apple shrinking down the bezels like they did with the 12.9 inch iPad Pro, or if they’re going to increase the size of the display instead, like they did with the 11-inch iPad Pro.

There have also been several reports of a third option — all new display sizes: 24-inches and 32-inches. Which…. Yeah, could be too big for some desks and some users. But for others, could finally be big enough.

Count me in that camp. From IPS to 5K to P3 to nano-texture, the iMac has always been about that display. So, while, we may still be a year or few out from Mini LED at that scale, I think Apple’s going to go all out on everything else.

And the new models will use next-generation versions of Apple’s Mac processors like the upcoming 2021 MacBook Pros. 

Ok, so, if next-generation really means next-generation, as in next-generation silicon IP, then we’d be looking at something in the M2 lineup. In other words, based on the same architecture as the A15 chipset expected to come with 2021 iPhone. And with something like the usual single core performance increase, and multicore multiplier, that’d come with it.

If not, if next-generation means actually means next version, then we’d be looking at something like the M1 but with just a plethora of addition performance and graphics cores. 12, 16, 32, 64, more? It’d be similar if not the same single core perf as the M1, depending on how hot and fast they let it run, but the multicore would be ridiculous.

Apple is also working on a pair of new Mac Pro desktop computers, one using the same design as the current version, and maybe continuing to use Intel processors.

Which, I think… I mean, I don’t know. My guess is Apple has given themselves 2 years to transition the entire Mac lineup to their own silicon and the Mac Pro, like last time, just has to be last on that list.

But, giving the current Intel version one final update before then, to give people who want or need to remain on the Intel platform as long as possible because of software compatibility and M-series maturity, the best version possible to remain on, just makes the kind of sense that does. And is exactly what Apple did with the iMac last year.

Also, a second, half-sized version with a design that could invoke nostalgia for the Power Mac G4 Cube

So, just pulling out all that massive, hot, power hungry Intel Xeon and AMD Navi silicon could let Apple scale the casing down quite a bit. If Apple really wants to make the fevered dreams of every Mac nerd finally come true, though, then finally making the hitherto mythical xMac, or mini tower, a reality, especially by folding in some more retro future chic design, would be one hell of a way to do it.

Apple’s also started early development of a lower-priced external monitor

And, yeah, talk about making dreams come true. When Apple canceled their displays a few years ago and went in with LG to produce the same panels as the iMac but with nothing approach Apple’s fit, finish, or design flair… it was super depressing for everyone who wanted an all-Mac setup.

Then the Pro Display came out, basically $6K for 6K and it was just beyond the needs and budget of anyone outside indie studio or wicked YouTube flex work.

A proper iMac-level panel in a properly priced Apple Display, though, and that just sells itself.