Refreshed internals, lower price point possible.
2012 iMac Said to Carry Thinner Design, Alleged Internals Photo Surfaces
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The authenticity of the photo can not be confirmed, but iFixit's Kyle Wiens tells us that it does appear to be plausible based on some similarities to current iMac components. One example is the silver disc located behind the main layer of components. This disc has been found in Apple's iMac models over the past several years, and it houses the Wi-Fi antenna directly behind the Apple logo on the rear of the iMac's body. The Apple logo is the only plastic portion of the iMac's otherwise aluminum rear shell, thus providing the best location for optimizing signal reception.
Other items of interest pointed out in the photo include the Bluetooth antenna (top edge), fans, and hard drive.
The redesigned iMac is said to be considerably thinner than the current form factor, with the machine's thickness almost impossible to gauge when viewed from the side. The curved rear shell is also said to appear more like a water droplet than the squared-off design seen in the current model.
The report also claims that the new iMac's screen is glued to the front glass of the machine, in line with previous rumors stating that Apple is moving to fully laminate the two components together for improved display quality.
Also in line with previous rumors, the report suggests that Apple may first update the 21.5-inch model with the new design, which is said to maintain the existing "chin" below the display even as the body is tweaked with a thinner profile. The updated 27-inch model could then follow somewhat later, as has been suggested due to the challenges of laminating the larger display and glass with acceptable yields. The new iMacs are also said to be more expensive than the current models, but it is unclear how significant any pricing changes would be.
Finally, the report claims that Apple is indeed working toward a release of a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. The notebook is said to already be in assembly in "Mexico and other places", with Chinese production coming later this month. The new 13-inch model is said to carry a code name of "D1", which fits with the "D2" code name that turned out to be the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro.
The report also seems to suggest that Apple will be tweaking the 15-inch model to address a few technical issues such as heat dissipation, but these changes will apparently be made behind the scenes and not be presented to consumers as an updated model.
Apple is reportedly set to hold a media event on October 23 to introduce the iPad mini, but it has been unclear if the company plans to introduce its new Mac products at the same event. If Apple does decide that its updated Macs are significant enough to warrant a presentation for the media, it will likely show them at the iPad mini event rather than trying to squeeze in yet another separate event.