Apple has finally added the first update to its iMac desktops since mid-2017, adding new and improved processors and graphics chips ahead of its anticipated March 25 launch of its news and entertainment services.
The updates are for the 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac all-in-one-desktops and follow a revamp to the MacBook Air and Mac mini, also long overdue.
Some reports suggest that Apple is also on track to launch a new Mac Pro, a high-end desktop without a built-in screen, as early as June.
The 4K 21.5-inch iMac now sports a choice of either an Intel 8th gen quad-core i3 or six-core i5 processor, and either AMD Radeon Pro 555X or Pro 560X GPU.
Users will also have the option to upgrade to a custom model featuring up to a six-core i7 processor, 32GB RAM and Randeo Pro Vega 20 GPU with 4GB of memory.
The 27-inch model offers a 5K display and starts with Intel six-core i5 processor — 8th gen on the lower config and 9th on the highest — and AMD Radeon Pro 570X, 575X, and 580X GPU options with a custom upgrade featuring Pro Vega 48 GP with 8GB memory is also available.
Apple claims these 21.5-inch models are up to 60 per cent faster thanks to the new 8th generation quad-core chips and the 27-inch model cranks up to 2.4 times faster.
iMacs and MacBooks have been largely forsaken by the company, with the major focus given to iPhone.
Despite which, Apple’s computer hardware has been a steady seller throughout the years, and as sales in the iPhone are declining, it appears the company is refocusing on its forsaken assets.
According to Bloomberg, Mac generated US$25 billion in annual revenue in the last five years and Apple accounts for 7% global PC shipments in the last quarter — fourth behind Lenovo and Dell.
The updates, while welcome doesn’t provide the big push that Apple may need to surpass its competition in terms of specs.
It’s sticking with the 8th gen core mostly — barring the 5K 27-inch model — even though Intel has released a full range of 9th gen chips.
The new 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display starts at A$1,999 and the new 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display starts at A$2,799. Both are available to order from apple.com/au/ and the Apple Store App, and in Apple Stores and through Apple Authorised Resellers next week.
Apple is also still selling a 21.5-inch iMac without a 4K or 5K screen for A$1,699.