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HindustanTimes Sat,01 Nov 2014

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Apple planning cheaper iMacs for 2014
AFP
October 14, 2013
First Published: 14:52 IST(14/10/2013)
Last Updated: 10:58 IST(15/10/2013)

An analyst claims that the company is set to introduce a ‘budget' line of all-in-one desktop computers and that it is also considering notebooks with 12-inch screens.



When it comes to forecasting what Apple, that most secretive of tech firms has up its sleeve, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has a formidable track record, and according to his sources, for its next trick, the company is looking to boost its PC market share by developing a range of ‘entry-level' or affordable desktop computers.

While an excellent computer for the money, as the cheapest iMac is $1299, it is still a big investment for many consumers, especially when, if experts are to be believed, we're heading into a post-PC world. If true, it won't be the first time that Apple has made owning a Mac easier to afford. The company used to sell a cheaper, no frills eMac alongside the iMac, and a range of white or black polycarbonate MacBook notebooks alongside the MacBook Pros. In fact the MacBook line was only discontinued in 2010.

According to research notes seen by Apple Insider, Ming-Chi Kuo also believes that 2014 will see the launch of a cheaper iPad Mini, which may well follow in the multi-colored footsteps of the current iPhone 5C. It will launch beside a sixth-generation full-size iPad with 40 percent greater pixel density.

Meanwhile in terms of notebooks, supply chain movements suggest that the company is planning a 12-inch ultra-portable model that will combine the best elements of the MacBook Air and the Retina Display MacBook Pro. The MacBook Air is currently offered with a choice of 11-inch or 13-inch standard definition display and a huge all-day battery life (prices start at $999), whereas the Pro notebooks are available with 13-inch or 15-inch retina displays, the cheapest of which is $1499.

Offering something with the MacBook Air's remarkable battery life but with the processing and screen performance of the Pro models could prove to be a massive hit, especially if it's the right price.

However, we'll have to wait almost a year to see how accurate Ming-Chi Kuo's predictions are. For the time being, Apple fans will have to make do with the fifth-generation iPad and second-generation iPad Mini, both of which are expected to be unveiled at a special event later this month.


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