A Lack Of Confidence In Apple Delivering A Retina Display For The iMac Soon

With the recent launch and enthusiastic reception for the Retina Display MacBook Pro, many people have turned their eyes towards the iMac as the next device in the Mac line-up to be receiving a Retina Display upgrade. However, Marco Arment is not so sure that the iMac will be on the receiving end of a Retina Display upgrade in the near future. Arment, the developer of the Instapaper app, has reportedly heard from multiple sources that the iMac will indeed be refreshed soon, but a Retina Display will not be part of that refresh (via MacRumors).

Arment lack of confidence in Apple bringing Retina Display to the iMac stems from several observations, among them that Retina Displays for the iMac would be difficult to produce in large enough volumes and that there simply aren’t enough of them around in the sizes needed. Instead he points towards late 2013 as a possible date for a Retina Display appearing in the iMac.

It’s not clear where Arment has received his information so it may or may not be accurate. Certainly with the success of the launch of the new MacBook Pro, Apple will likely be looking to get Retina Display into the entire Mac line-up as soon as possible. However, the constraints in producing 27 inch Mac displays with resolutions of 5120 x 2880 pixels could prolong the timescale needed for Apple to launch a 27 inch Retina Display in the next few months.

More likely, the company will be targeting Retina Display in the next iteration of the MacBook Air and, if 27 inch displays do cause a problem, the 21 inch iMac could be the first one to receive the Retina upgrade.


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  • Boltar

    MacBook Airs will be problematic for the Retina Display owing to the higher power consumption. Unless the IGZO displays pan out with much better power savings it’s hard to imagine a MacBook Air Retina — can’t see Apple delivering the next gen with sginificantly reduced battery life.

    I would expect a 13″ MacBook Pro first, then maybe iMacs and Cinema Displays at about the same time later. MacBook Airs are supposed to be about portability; I think they could remain non-Retina for some time.

  • quietstorms

    It seems like Marco would be right. The main problem for the iMac would be bandwidth limitations and the price of such a screen at that size. I would expect Apple to release a Retina Cinema Display first because video professionals would immediately buy it along with a major update to the Mac Pro. It would also help drive down prices for the consumer market.