What's Next for the iMac? What We Know on a New Design, M3 Chip, and More
Apple released the all-new 24-inch iMac with the M1 chip in April 2021, making it over a year and a half old at this point. As a result, customers may wonder what's next for the iMac and Apple's all-in-one desktop computer.
We've heard several rumors and reports on what Apple has in store, offering us a good idea of what's next, and we've outlined some of the details we know about the upcoming iMac's design, performance, and more below.
Pro or No Pro?
Apple released a 27-inch iMac Pro in 2017, its answer at the time to professional customers who wanted a powerful all-in-one desktop from Apple. Apple discontinued the baseline 27-inch iMac in March 2022 after the launch of the Mac Studio and the 27-inch Studio Display. After its discontinuation, sources were conflicted on whether Apple's next large-screen 27-inch iMac will be branded as a "Pro" product or simply branded as a larger version of the consumer-focused iMac.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes an "iMac Pro" will launch next year, while other reports say Apple has no plans to release a larger-screened iMac anytime soon. Apple's plans are often shifting, so it's unclear what Apple's current plan is.
Two iMacs in the Works
Apple is working on two new iMacs: a larger-screened model with a 27-inch display and an update to the current 24-inch model. For the current 24-inch model, Apple is reportedly planning to keep the M1 model in the lineup until later in 2023 and then possibly introduce a new version with the M3 chip.
The updated 24-inch iMac could feature the same design and footprint but benefit from the M3 chip. Apple recently introduced the M2 chip in June of this year, so M3 is still a ways off.
'iMac Pro' Design and Performance
The new addition to the iMac family, whether it be called an "iMac Pro" or not, will feature the M3 Pro and M3 Max chips, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The chips will be the third generation of Apple silicon and build on the performance of the upcoming M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, which are expected to power updated 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros.
As for the display and design, the larger iMac could adopt the same display technology currently in Apple's highest-end MacBook Pros models consisting of mini-LED and ProMotion. Apple has also tested Face ID for the Mac, but it's unlikely that'll be coming anytime soon.
When Apple announced the 24-inch iMac with M1, it touted the computer's thin design as a tribute to Apple silicon's performance and efficiency compared to the larger motherboard and thermal system needed for Intel-based iMacs.
As for the "iMac Pro," it's not entirely clear what design the desktop will have. Apple could opt to create a thin enclosure while still offering the performance of the M3 Pro and M3 Max chips or make a larger, thicker, and heavier "pro" system, similar to the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. Some rumors have suggested the 27-inch iMac will have a similar design as the Pro Display XDR with black bezels.