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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

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Is a new, affordable iMac on the way?
AFP
May 28, 2014
First Published: 10:24 IST(28/5/2014)
Last Updated: 11:45 IST(28/5/2014)

Low inventory levels and reports from analysts and tech blogs seem to point to a new entry-level all-in-one Apple computer that could be revealed as soon as next week.

As the date of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference draws near, the rumor mill is shifting into overdrive. And if every story was taken to be completely and utterly true, when Apple's CEO Tim Cook takes to the stage on June 2 to deliver his keynote, he would be announcing everything from a smartwatch and a 12-inch iPad to an iPhone phablet and the acquisition of Beats Audio.

The reports of a new desktop computer deserve further consideration primarily because of Ming-Chi Kuo. He's an analyst with KGI Securities with a formidable track record of successfully predicting Apple's product roadmap. In April, in a note to investors seen by Apple Insider, he said that Apple would "likely" launch a lower-cost iMac that would help it compete with other manufacturers in emerging markets such as China and Brazil.

Fast forward one month and French apple site MacBidouille is claiming that Apple is working on a new iMac without an Intel processor. Instead, according to its sources, the machine uses the same processor found in the latest iPhone although with more cores. Bringing the processor in-house could conceivably slash the ticket price of the computer without making performance painfully slow. It might only be used in smartphones and tablets, but Apple's A7 processor is more than capable of powering a desktop computer.

And, just as this story broke, shipping times for iMacs ordered directly from Apple jumped from next-day to three-to-five days, suggesting either that inventory is being run down, or that the company is reducing availability ahead of a new product launch.

Slashgear did some digging and found that in the US, Amazon is out of stock of both models and that other retailers are also struggling to maintain their current supplies.

The last time the existing range of iMacs got an update was in September. There was no change to the computer's design but both the 21.5-inch and 27-inch models got significant processor upgrades to the latest Intel Haswell quad core i5 chips and RAM was also nudged up to 8GB as standard.

However, pricing stayed the same. In the US, the entry-level 21-inch model, with a 2.7GHz processor, costs $1299 while the top-specification 3.4Ghz 27-inch model retails for $1999.

In April, Apple upgraded the specifications of its MacBook Air ultra-mobile notebooks while also shaving $100 off their retail prices and there's a good chance it could now be turning its attention to the desktop range.


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