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.
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.
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.
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.