Apple Allegedly Prototyped a Redesigned 27-Inch iMac With M1 Max Chip and Black Finish Last Year

Apple prototyped at least three larger iMac models with Apple silicon chips last year, according to information shared by MacRumors forum member Amethyst back in March. The forum member said they obtained the details from an acquaintance.

iMac Pro 2022 27 and 24 iMac
We've elected to share this iMac information given that Amethyst accurately revealed details about the Mac Studio before anyone else, including the name of the computer and that it would be available with a doubled-up version of the M1 Max chip with a 20-core GPU and 48-core GPU. Amethyst also shared accurate details about the Studio Display.

The three iMacs that Apple prototyped were as follows, according to Amethyst:

  • The first one prior to August 2021 used the same design as the discontinued Intel-based 27-inch iMac from 2020 with an M1 chip
  • The second one around August 2021 used the same design as the 24-inch iMac, but with a 27-inch display and an M1 chip
  • The third one around November 2021 used the same design as the 24-inch iMac, but with a 27-inch XDR display, black finish, and M1 Max chip

As of March, Amethyst's source said they were not aware of any other larger iMac models having been prototyped by Apple since the aforementioned three.

The most interesting prototype described was a 27-inch iMac with the same design as the colorful 24-inch iMac, but in a sleeker black finish and with an XDR display, which likely would have meant a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and high brightness.

While the forum member has a proven track record given the accurate Mac Studio information, there is no guarantee that this iMac-related information is accurate or that Apple plans to release any of the larger iMac models that it allegedly prototyped, especially given that the prototyping is said to have occurred last year.

Apple discontinued its Intel-based iMac Pro and 27-inch iMac models over the last year and a bit, leaving the 24-inch iMac with the M1 chip as Apple's sole all-in-one desktop computer right now. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo have both claimed that a larger iMac powered by Apple silicon could make a comeback as early as 2023, but details about the computer's design and chip options are not entirely clear.

Mac Pro

Earlier this month, citing the same source, Amethyst also shared details about an alleged pre-production Mac Pro logic board that includes an Apple silicon chip with a 40-core CPU (32 performance cores, eight efficiency cores) and a 128-core GPU. This prototype Mac Pro board is also said to include at least one PCIe x16 slot.

Mac Pro tower inside
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported on the exact same core counts for a future Apple silicon version of the Mac Pro back in May 2021, so it possible that the logic board is for an older Mac Pro prototype based on the M1 series of chips, and it may never be released. In his newsletter last month, Gurman said the new Mac Pro will be available with M2 Ultra and "M2 Extreme" chips, but he did not reveal the core counts for those chips.

Amethyst's forum post about the Mac Pro was recently surfaced by YouTube channel Max Tech.

Top Rated Comments

Amethyst Avatar
2 weeks ago
Thanks MR. i'm really happy to share info with your guys.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
matttarantino Avatar
2 weeks ago
Anyone else feel the trashcan Mac Pro was just ahead of its time? I could easily see it now with an M series chip
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
apparatchik Avatar
2 weeks ago

…so we are just posting news from someone who heard it from someone? Journalistic excellence right here.
The name of the site is MacRumors, you just defined exactly what a rumor is, if the source has a good enough track record or is reasonably credible then it might make the cut, even if it’s just for debate.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
2 weeks ago
I honestly would pick iMac over Mac Studio any day. I like the set-up for Mac Studio. However, it is just too expensive and doubles the cost of an iMac.

iMac offers convenience, and affordability along with that it is an all-in-one machine.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Michael Scrip Avatar
2 weeks ago

They want to try to upsell people the Studio and external display first. They’ll probably release the 27” afterwards at some point for those who didn’t ‘fall for’ the Studio. All sales tactics.
That combo is $3,600 when the former 27" iMac was only $1,800

That's literally double the price.

Quite an upsell!

Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Michael Scrip Avatar
2 weeks ago
There's definitely a hole in the desktop Mac lineup.

The previous 27" Retina iMac started at $1,800

But now to get a desktop Mac with an Apple Retina screen that size it starts at $700 for the Mac Mini and $1,600 for the Studio Display for a total of $2,300

Or $2,000 for the Mac Studio plus $1,600 for the Studio Display for a total of $3,600... (!)

Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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