iMac Update to Haswell Expected in June or July as Shipments Sink
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a brief research note today highlighting the status of the iMac, which he says will see shipments fall to roughly 650,000 units this quarter from 1.75 million units in the first calendar quarter. The drop is due in part to seasonality and in part to a natural decline from the pent-up launch demand during the first quarter. Most importantly for potential iMac customers, Kuo believes an iMac update that will bring Intel's new Haswell processors to the line is coming in June or July.
We attribute the shipments decline to the fact that new product shipments have peaked and due to the arrival of the consumer slow season. But we believe iMac shipments troughed in 2Q13. Apple is expected to upgrade iMac processor to Intel’s (US) latest Haswell processor in June or July. Meanwhile, the consumer peak season has arrived. Thus we expect shipments to reach 1.1mn units in 3Q13, up 69% QoQ. Full-year shipments are forecast to be 4.7mn units, up 31% YoY.
Kuo has been relatively accurate with his predictions over the past several years, and thus his information is closely watched. Today's prediction does, however, mark a shift from a roadmap published by Kuo in January in which he estimated that updated iMacs would arrive around the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Despite the arrival of Kuo's note coming just before the keynote of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, there has been no evidence that the company is planning to launch the updated iMacs at the event. Given that Apple just redesigned the iMac late last year, it will very likely maintain that same design for the next generation, making it a relatively standard update that Apple could simply launch without holding a keynote or dedicated media event to announce it.
Just last month, a Wi-Fi card essentially identical in shape and connectivity to the card currently used in the iMac surfaced, with the new card supporting the faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. Apple has been rumored to be bringing the standard to its Mac lineup this year, perhaps as soon as today with any hardware announcements it may make.