No Retina Display in Next-Generation iMac?

imac 2011Earlier today, Instapaper developer Marco Arment published his thoughts on a potential timeline for upgrades to Apple's iMac and Mac Pro lines, initially suggesting that the need for an ultra-high resolution 5120x2880 Retina display (either inside the 27-inch iMac or as a standalone display) is likely the most significant hurdle to major updates for those lines.

With ABC News having reported in May that Apple was planning to bring Retina displays to its next-generation iMac line and suggestions of updated models potentially being right around the corner, anticipation has been high for new Retina iMacs. But shortly after publishing his speculation, Arment is now hearing that while the next iMac update will come later this year, it will not include Retina displays.

I’ve now heard from multiple sources that while an iMac update is indeed coming this fall, it will not have Retina displays.

Arment describes some of the issues surrounding Retina displays at the size needed for the 27-inch iMac, including production yield and insufficient bandwidth, but it is unclear why Apple would wait until the fall to update the iMac if those issues will prevent Retina displays from being included in that revision. Even without a Retina display, updated iMac models could take advantage of Ivy Bridge processors, improved graphics chips, and USB 3.0, and those upgrades could be included in a new model any time now.

As we noted earlier today, vacation blackouts at a third-party technical support firm are hinting at a release of OS X Mountain Lion in late July, and it seems possible that Apple could follow last year's trend of a simultaneous hardware/software launch by introducing new Ivy Bridge iMacs and perhaps Mac minis alongside Mountain Lion. That speculation is, however, yet to be supported by any specific rumors or evidence.

Following the keynote at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, company representatives were initially quoted as saying that updated Mac Pro and iMac designs were due "later next year", but the company moved to clarify those remarks as applying only to the Mac Pro, suggesting that iMac updates will come ahead of that timeframe.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Buy Now)
Related Forum: iMac

Top Rated Comments

AppleDApp Avatar
116 months ago
I'd prefer an iMac without retina before the fall.
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
smithrh Avatar
116 months ago
I'm sorry, but do we really need a retina iMac now? I hope nobody sits close enough to distinguish individual pixels. Maybe a 20-30% pixel boost would be perfect (although scaling would be an issue), with more attention to desktop performance internals, rather than borrowing from the mobile lineup. Make my iMac fatter :eek: but make it faster!

Agreed - "retina" across a 27" screen would be insane. I'd be happy with a pixel bump and a spec bump.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Verita Avatar
116 months ago
I'm sorry, but do we really need a retina iMac now? I hope nobody sits close enough to distinguish individual pixels. Maybe a 20-30% pixel boost would be perfect (although scaling would be an issue), with more attention to desktop performance internals, rather than borrowing from the mobile lineup. Make my iMac fatter :eek: but make it faster!
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CitizenKoehn Avatar
116 months ago
No retina, no buy for "me".

Maybe sarcasm?

If you're sitting at an apporpriate distance from a 27" iMac, you can't see the pixels. Why on earth would people want a Retina display for that size of screen, unless they want to get rid of some extra money? Not to mention the increased strain on the GPU. What a waste it would be.

I'm ready for an iMac update, though! Man, I was disappointed they didn't even offer a refresh at WWDC.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bahamut Eos Avatar
116 months ago
I feel like updated iMacs will be more powerful than available mac pros.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pechente Avatar
116 months ago
The 27" iMac already is close to a Retina-Display for me. If you sit at an average distance away from it, you won't notice individual pixels all that much.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple music change forever

Apple Music Teaser: 'Get Ready – Music is About to Change Forever'

Sunday May 16, 2021 2:39 pm PDT by
The Browse tab in the Music app across Apple's platforms has started displaying a prominent teaser hinting at an upcoming major announcement for Apple Music. Under the heading "Coming soon," the headline says "Get ready – music is about to change forever." An accompanying "Tune-In Video" simply shows an animated Apple Music logo. Rumors have indicated that Apple is preparing to launch a...
m1 ipad pro early customer

M1 iPad Pro Arrives Early for Lucky Customer

Saturday May 15, 2021 11:57 pm PDT by
Days ahead of their expected launch and seemingly before official review embargoes lift, one lucky customer has already gotten their hands on the brand new 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro. Reddit User PeterDragon50 Posted on Reddit, u/PeterDragon50 has already received their 12.9-inch iPad Pro through retailer Nebraska Furniture Mart. The Reddit user says they placed their order when pre-orders...
2021 mbp hdmi slot 3d

2021 MacBook Pro Leaks Confirm Returning MagSafe and Ports

Friday May 14, 2021 3:06 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming MacBook Pro models are expected to feature a number of major changes such as larger display options and powerful new Apple silicon chips. Among the more surprising updates to this year's MacBook Pro models is the return of three ports that have been missing from the machines for over five years. Expected to come in 14- and 16-inch sizes, the 2021 MacBook Pro models are...
Twitter Feature

Twitter's 'Blue' Subscription Service May Cost $2.99, Will Offer Undo Tweet Option

Saturday May 15, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Twitter has been working on some kind of subscription service since last summer, and Jane Manchun Wong, who often digs into new features coming in apps, has shared details on just what Twitter is exploring. Twitter's subscription service could be called Twitter Blue, and at the current time, it's priced at $2.99 per month. There will be a "Collections" section that allows users to save and...
AirPods Lineup Not Lossless Feature

AirPods, AirPods Max and AirPods Pro Don't Support Apple Music Lossless Audio

Monday May 17, 2021 10:44 am PDT by
Apple today announced that starting in June, Apple Music songs will be available to stream in Lossless and Hi-Resolution Lossless formats, but lossless audio won't be supported on the AirPods, AirPods Max, or AirPods Pro. Apple's Lossless Audio is encoded as Apple Lossless Audio Codec files, with lossless quality ranging from 16-bit 44.1 kHz playback to 24-bit 48 kHz playback and Hi-Res...
Top Stories 60 Feature

Top Stories: M1 iMac Benchmarks, iPhone Battery Life Tips, Colorful MacBook Air?

Saturday May 15, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Anticipation is building for the new iMac and iPad Pro models, which have started shipping out ahead of a launch around May 21. Benchmarks for the new machines are starting to come in, and the M1 chips inside of them are registering at around the same figures seen with other M1-based Macs, making for significant upgrades over previous-generation models. This week also saw some rumors about...
apple music spatial audio

Apple Music Launching Spatial Audio With Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio in June at No Extra Cost

Monday May 17, 2021 6:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced that Apple Music will be gaining support for Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos at no additional cost starting in June. At launch, Apple Music subscribers will have access to thousands of songs in Spatial Audio from artists like J Balvin, Gustavo Dudamel, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Kacey Musgraves, The Weeknd, and many others. Apple says this feature will provide a...
General Music and AirPod 3 Feature

Rumor: Apple to Announce Third-Generation AirPods and HiFi Apple Music Tier on May 18

Thursday May 13, 2021 10:32 pm PDT by
A new rumor suggests that Apple will announce the third-generation AirPods and the recently rumored HiFi, or high-fidelity Apple Music tier, on Tuesday, May 18, via a press release on its website. The new rumor comes from Apple YouTuber Luke Miani who shared the alleged exclusive news with the AppleTrack website. According to the YouTuber, Apple plans to release the next-generation AirPods...
apple music logo

Apple Music Teaser References 'Hi-Res Lossless' and 'Dolby Atmos'

Sunday May 16, 2021 4:04 pm PDT by
Earlier today, Apple Music began teasing a special announcement with the tagline "Get Ready – Music is About to Change Forever." This teaser comes amid a rumor that Apple is preparing to announce the third-generation AirPods alongside a HiFi, or lossless audio streaming tier for Apple Music on Tuesday, May 18. Now, references to "Apple Lossless," "Free Lossless," "Hi-Res Lossless," and...
tile amazon sidewalk integration

Apple Says Tile Trackers Sold Poorly in Apple Stores

Friday May 14, 2021 4:53 am PDT by
Earlier last month, Spotify, Tile, and Match (owner of Tinder), testified at an app store antitrust hearing spearheaded by the U.S. Senate. During the hearing, Spotify called Apple's App Store "an abusive power grab," while Tile said Apple uses its platform to "unfairly limit competition for its products." Now, in response to their testimonies, Apple's vice president and chief compliance...