Low-Cost iMac May Scrap Mac Mini, iMac WWDC 2014 Rumors: Broadwell Chip, Price, Release Date, Retina Display And Size

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By Judith Aparri | April 28, 2014 11:28 PM EST

With WWDC 2014 schedule set, there have been several rumors on what to expect during Apple's big annual event. One of which is the launching of a low-cost iMac on June 2, which may scrap the Mac mini.

REUTERS/Toru Hanai/Files
The logo of Sharp Corp is seen reflected on Apple Inc's MacBook Pro at an electronics store in Tokyo in this January 15, 2013 file photo. Apple Inc suppliers will begin mass producing displays as early as May 2014 for the next iPhone, expected to be launched this autumn, with a 4.7-inch screen likely to be produced first while a 5.5-inch version could be delayed, supply chain sources said. Japan Display Inc, Sharp Corp and South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd have all been tapped to make the screens, said the sources, who asked not to be identified.

Broadwell Chip

In 2012, Apple dramatically redesigned the iMac, making it thinner and the aesthetics were similar to the current MacBooks. There was no expectation regarding the design changes in the meantime. The new iMac might be featuring the recent Broadwell Intel chips. But packing it with the Broadwell chip may delay its launch and would not be in June since the Broadwell processor has been held in abeyance due to its problems in manufacturing. Intel reported Broadwell will be delayed until the second half of 2014, which is a quarter late of its original plan.

Price

With Mac mini costing £499, it is Apple's current lowest priced Mac. But some speculated it might not be continued. When the rumor that a low-cost iMac will push through at WWDC, how can the Mac mini fare with an affordable iMac?

Ming-Chi Kuo, analyst of KGI Securities, predicted Apple will introduce a low-cost iMac at WWDC and believes this inexpensive model will help the Cupertino firm reach out to emerging markets like China. Here are the current, entry-level costs of Apple's Mac items: iMac - £1,149, Mac mini - £499 and MacBook Air - £849. It is expected the low-cost iMac will cost in the middle of these prices, maybe about £949.

Release Date

In September 2013, Apple updated the iMac, the highlights of which were the addition of the Haswell processor, next generation Wi-Fi, faster PCIe storage and new graphics. Many expected Apple will have another iMac update this year. Analyst Kuo said Apple will launch new iMacs, including a low-cost iMac during the WWDC event. If this is the case, that is less than a year from the last upgrade of desktop Macs. Thus, upgrades may come after, maybe in September or October.

Retina Display

The upcoming iMac is rumored to have a screen of higher resolution, although this might not be a real Retina display. The reason was the graphics card requirements would also increase. The 27-inch iMac has a display resolution of 2560 x 1440 and a Retina display resolution requires a 5120 x 2280, although it can be 3840 x 2400 if Apple uses "pixel doubling." Also, a Retina display in a 27-inch iMac would also be prohibitive when it comes to costing.

Size

iMac also comes in two sizes: 21.5-inch and 27-inch. The former costs less because the latter has more advanced graphics and processors. The 21.5-inch has a 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5 quad-core with Turbo Boost speeding up to 3.2 GHz; and an Intel Iris Pro, making the entire unit costs £1,149. When packed with 2.9 Intel Core i5 quad-core with up to 3.6 GHz Turbo Boost and NVIIA GeForce GT 750M, the cost is £1,299.

Meanwhile, the bigger model costs £1,599 when having a 3.2 GHz Intel Core i5 quad-core of up to 3.6 GHz Turbo Boost and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 755M and £1,749 when with NVIDIA Ge Force GTX 775m 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5 quad-core of up to 3.8 GHz Turbo Boost.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Toru Hanai/Files / )
The logo of Sharp Corp is seen reflected on Apple Inc's MacBook Pro at an electronics store in Tokyo in this January 15, 2013 file photo. Apple Inc suppliers will begin mass producing displays as early as May 2014 for the next iPhone, expected to be launched this autumn, with a 4.7-inch screen likely to be produced first while a 5.5-inch version could be delayed, supply chain sources said. Japan Display Inc, Sharp Corp and South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd have all been tapped to make the screens, said the sources, who asked not to be identified.
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