Apple are apparently preparing to release a new ‘budget’ iMac that will have lower specifications than the 2011 model iMacs and will be targeted towards the education market. According to sources who have spoken with 9to5Mac, the new model will utilize a dual-core processor and stripped down storage and RAM and, here’s the kicker, will be priced at less than $1000 for education purchases.
The new model will apparently ship with a 3.06GHz Intel Dual Core processor, 2GB RAM, 250GB hard drive and a 256MB AMD Radeon 6750M graphics card. This is obviously pretty far below the the current iMac which ships with Quad Core processors, double the RAM and hard drive storage and a better graphics card but would be ideal for educational users looking to jump on board with a new iMac.
Given the high efficiency associated with running OS X, consumers who decide to purchase the rumored new model should have no problems in running software at a high speed, as a 2010 MacBook Air with a 1.6GHz Dual Core processor has no issues with Lion whatsoever. Additionally, the new iMac would help to fill the void in targeting the education market which was created when Apple discontinued the white MacBook, a favorite among educational users (although it should be noted that this model is still available to those in education).
While a cynical person may say that Apple could be simply be using up existing inventories of older components in the rumored new iMac, it seems to be a pretty good way to Macs into the hands of those who don’t want to pay over $1000.
Update: As pointed out by MacRumors, the new iMac has now launched as described at a price point of $999, with a graphics card that has more onboard memory than originally anticipated. The Apple page for the new iMac can be found here.