iMac Turns 25 Today: When to Expect the Next Model to Launch
Today marks the 25th anniversary of Steve Jobs introducing the iMac, a computer that helped Apple return to profitability following near bankruptcy in the late 1990s. The original iMac featured a colorful, translucent design in an era where most computers were boxy and beige, proving that computers did not have to look boring.
"This is iMac," said Jobs, at the Flint Center in Cupertino. "The whole thing is translucent. You can see into it. It's so cool. We've got stereo speakers on the front. We've got infrared right up here. We've got the CD-ROM drive right in the middle. We've got dual stereo headphone jacks. We've got the coolest mouse on the planet right here."
The original iMac pioneered many industry firsts, such as USB and FireWire, while abandoning the floppy drive and other legacy ports. The computer featured a 15-inch display, a PowerPC G3 processor, a 4GB hard drive, 32MB of RAM, a CD drive, two USB ports, and an Ethernet port for connecting to the still-nascent internet.
Over the past two and a half decades, the iMac has received many design changes, moving to a flat screen and an aluminum enclosure. Fittingly, the current 24-inch iMac features a colorful design just like the original model did all those years ago.
When to Expect a New iMac
Apple released the 24-inch iMac in April 2021 with the M1 chip and an ultra-thin design available in seven colors, including green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver. This is currently the only new iMac in Apple's lineup, as the Intel-based 27-inch iMac and iMac Pro models were both discontinued over the past few years.
A new iMac will launch in late 2023 at the earliest, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In February, he said Apple had no plans to update the iMac with the M2 chip and is waiting until the M3 chip, which has yet to be announced. The M3 chip is expected to use TSMC's 3nm process for significant performance and power efficiency improvements.
TSMC has reportedly faced yield issues with 3nm chip manufacturing, and Gurman said there is a possibility the new iMac does not launch until 2024. In any case, the next iMac appears to remain several months away from launching.