A new report emerged today suggesting that Apple will be launching the latest version of the iMac in around one month with the new editions expected to hit stores around late April or the first week in May. The news comes from Brian Tong of CNET who suggested, using a series of tweets, that the new iMac would not contain any surprises, in that it would include Sandy Bridge processors as well as a Thunderbolt port.
The iMac is due for a refresh, having last received an update around 9 months ago, the interval which Apple tends to use for updating the iMac. The tweets sent from Brian Tong offer no further details on any other specification changes but do say that there will be no cosmetic changes suggesting this will simply be a specification bump. We reported around a month ago that stock shortages of the current generation iMac had begun to appear, prompting talk of a refresh coming soon.
Beginning with the launch of the MacBook Air, many, including us, had expected Apple to encourage a dramatic shift towards SSD storage in the MacBook Pro and iMac lines. While SSD is available as an option in both these models, it is still relatively expensive (adding a 256GB SSD option to a 1TB hard drive currently costs around $750). Given that the MacBook Pro did not see a dramatic shift towards SSD storage, it is likely that Apple will continue to offer it in the iMac as an upgrade although we may see the prices drop a little.
The smaller Apple desktop, the Mac mini, is also long overdue for an update and we would also speculate that Apple would introduce a new version around the same time, potentially with Thunderbolt and Sandy Bridge processors.