When will Apple release a new iMac, and should you buy now or wait?

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Rumors of a new 2020 iMac have been circulating for several months, and it appears that we’re inching closer and closer to a release. This brings up a few important questions, though, about whether you should buy now or wait, and consider the forthcoming Mac transition to Apple Silicon.

What we know so far about a new iMac

Just a week before WWDC 2020 kicked off, a rumor surfaced indicating that Apple would announce a completely redesigned iMac during the developer-focused event. Ultimately, the redesigned iMac was not announced during WWDC, but that doesn’t mean it’s not imminent.

What do we know about the new iMac so far? Rumors indicate that the 2020 iMac will feature a new industrial design with slimmer bezels, similar to the Pro Display XDR and iPad Pro. What remains to be seen is whether this means that iMac screen sizes will get larger because of the reduced bezels. We’ve heard whispers of the 21.5-inch iMac becoming 23 inches or 24 inches, but nothing similar for the 27-inch.

Other rumored changes include the discontinuation of the Fusion Drive in favor of an iMac lineup that includes SSD storage across the board. The new iMac is also said to feature Apple’s T2 security chip. Benchmarks have also recently surfaced claiming to show a high-end iMac with Intel’s Core i9-10910 CPU with the AMD Radeon Pro 5300 GPU.

The iMac is long overdue for an industrial redesign. The external chassis was last revised in 2012, when Apple debuted a new iMac casing that tapers down to 5mm thickness on the sides. But this design feature can only be seen from the side, and looking head-on, the iMac has remained unchanged for a decade.

When will the new 2020 iMac be released?

Given the constrained supply of the iMac from Apple, plus recent surfacing of benchmark results, it seems likely that the new iMac will be released sooner rather than later. There is plenty of precedent to suggest Apple could even announce the new iMac lineup as early as this month.

For example, Apple released two new MacBook models in July 2019. First was a new MacBook Air with True Tone display, which also came alongside a $100 price cut. Apple also debuted a new entry-level MacBook Pro, bringing 8th-generation Intel processors, Touch ID, and Touch Bar.

Apple clearly isn’t opposed to releasing new Macs through press releases, as we saw last summer as well as with the introduction of a completely new 16-inch MacBook Pro last November. Even this year, Apple announced a new 2020 MacBook Air via a press release, and of course, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in-person and on-stage announcements simply aren’t in the cards.

Furthermore, the rumor that indicated new iMacs could be announced at WWDC 2020 was likely based on supply chain research. This indicates that production is indeed ramping up, signaling that Apple is preparing to announce the iMacs soon. WWDC was packed full of software announcements and there simply wasn’t room for hardware products during the event.

What about Apple Silicon?

If you are planning on buying an iMac right now, you should wait. There’s a new iMac looming and it will likely be announced soon. But with that being said, there is also the Apple Silicon transition on the horizon, which could be another reason to wait.

Apple announced during WWDC 2020 that it will transition the Mac lineup to its own Apple Silicon over the next two years. The first Macs with Apple Silicon processors will be released before the end of this year, according to Apple; but the company also said that it still has new Intel Macs in the pipeline as well.

If you are in high need of a new iMac, you should wait at least for the 2020 revision with new Intel processors and a new industrial design. Once those iMacs are announced, those who are in need of a new iMac can buy one and know that they will be maintained and supported for many years to come.

On the flip side, if you have a recent-model iMac, it might be wise to wait to see what the Apple Silicon transition means for the iMac lineup. For example, Apple Silicon Macs will be able to run iPhone and iPad apps natively, while Intel-powered Macs will not. Interestingly, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed that a new 24-inch iMac will be one of the first Macs to make the switch to Apple Silicon.

Finally, you should also always be on the lookout for deals and try to avoid paying full price for an iMac whenever possible. Our 9to5Toys sister site is a great place to watch for the latest deals on the iMac as well as other Apple products and accessories.

What do you think about the future of the iMac lineup? Are you planning to buy soon even if it’s powered by an Intel processor? Let us know what you think down in the comments!

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