News that Apple is warning of reduced supplies of iMacs indicates new model is about to make an apperance

The various Mac rumour sites are buzzing with talk of the impending introduction of a new iMac range. Apple is reported as having informed its resellers that orders for the high-end models (24-inch 3.06 GHz) are unlikely to be fulfilled. This would seem to indicate that this model may be the first to be replaced and the rest of the range soon after. If so, this would follow the pattern with the recent MacBook revamp where the low-end 13-inch model was not really revamped at the same time as the high-end models.

If the rumours are true, what can we expect to see in the new iMac range? Well, most seem agreed that it will include NVIDIA graphics cards, perhaps 9600M or possibly 9800M in the top-end?

What about the CPU – could we see the first quad-core iMac? With Inte introducing a new range of low-power quad-core chips recently, that use only 65W at their peak (compared to 95W for earlier models)? I hope so. If Apple is to at least maintain its quality over price approach then it almost needs to refresh its range more frequently than its competitors. Still, it would be nice, in this season of recession and so-called ‘credit crunch’ to see some movement by Apple to reduce the cost of owning a Mac. Especially when you consider how much cash Apple is sitting on (at least $25bn according to some analysts).

So, what would my prediction be for the new iMacs?

1. NVIDIA graphics across the range with possibly 9800M (or whatever they will call its equivalent) in the top-end, if not all models. Dream scenario – NVIDIA GTX 285 or ATi Radeon HD 4800 (unlikely)

2. New Intel low-power CPU’s with quad-core at least in the top-end. Dream iMac would include Intel i7 CPU (unlikely)

3. Bigger and faster hard-drives with the option of SSD when ordering

4. More green components from the screens to other components

5. Modest price reductions compared to existing range so as not to appear greedy in a time of recession

Though original speculation was that the new iMac range (and the Mac Mini too) would be introduced in January, some view March as more likely for various reasons. Its now the end of January, so I guess un less there is a lst minute announcement, its either Feb or March. for what its worth, my money is on sooner rather than later.

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