Apple to Adopt Mini LED Display Tech in Future Macs and iPads, Starting With 31.6-inch iMac to Launch Later This Year

Apple will switch to mini LED backlighting for a raft of hardware coming over the next three years including a 31.6-inch iMac to be launched in the second or third quarter of 2019, reports DigiTimes this morning.

Apple will adopt mini LED backlighting for a 31.6-inch iMac to be launched in the second or third quarter of 2019, a 10- to 12-inch iPad to be unveiled in fourth-quarter 2020 or first-quarter 2021, and a 15- to 17-inch MacBook to be introduced in first-half 2021, according to a analyst Kuo Ming-chi at TF International Securities.
Today's DigiTimes report cites comments made by well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo to local media, a machine translation of which we covered on Monday. That report, which carried a warning of possible mistranslation, referred to a 31.6-inch 6K standalone display, but DigiTimes refers multiple times to an iMac with the same dimensions.

The report goes on to note that Apple is settling on mini LED technology for its wide color gamut, high contrast ratio, high dynamic range and local dimming.
The backlight unit (BLU) to be used in the 31.6-inch iMac will be made of about 500 LED chips of 600 microns in size, with Japan-based Nichia to supply the LEDs, Kuo said.

Strictly speaking, this is a quasi-mini LED BLU because the chip size is much larger than those of standard mini LEDs, according to industry sources. However, the use of such a BLU will give opportunities for the supply chain to improve mini LED production in cost and yield rate, the sources noted.
More than 10,000 mini LEDs will be needed for the "10- to 12-inch iPad," according to the report, and these LEDs will be made by Epistar. Meanwhile, LCD panels will come from LG Display and BLUs by Radiant Opto-Electronics, and all three companies will form parts of the supply chain for the mini LED-backlit MacBook.

Related Roundups: iMac, MacBook Pro

This article, "Apple to Adopt Mini LED Display Tech in Future Macs and iPads, Starting With 31.6-inch iMac to Launch Later This Year" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Hands-On With Apple’s New 27-Inch 5K 8-Core iMac

Apple in March introduced a refresh for its 21.5 and 27-inch 4K and 5K iMac models, which did not receive an update in 2018. The new iMac models feature the same design as the previous models, but have upgraded internals, including 8th and 9th-generation Coffee Lake processors from Intel.

In our latest video, we checked out the 27-inch 5K iMac with 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, Radeon Pro Vega 48 graphics, and the high-end 3.6GHz 8-core 9th-generation Core i9 Coffee Lake processor.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Apple hasn't updated the design of the iMac for six years. The slim unibody design that we're familiar with was first introduced in November 2012, and since then, there haven't been any design updates (with the exception of some display changes and port refreshes), which is a bit disappointing.

The 2019 21.5 and 27-inch iMacs continue to feature a slim 5mm display, aluminum stand, aluminum border at the bottom of the machine and relatively thick top and side bezels.

Both iMac sizes feature two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, four USB-A ports, an SD card slot, a headphone jack, and an Ethernet port, with support for one 5K display or two 4K displays. On the 27-inch model, RAM is user upgradeable through a slot in the back of the machine, so upgrading the RAM more affordably after purchase is an option.

The specific model that we tested uses Apple's highest-end iMac processor, the 9th-generation 8-core version from Intel. It's outfitted with 16GB RAM, a Radeon Pro Vega 48 graphics card, and 512GB of storage, making it a higher-end option priced at $3,449 that's ideal for creatives and professionals who need a lot of processing and graphics power.

For work like video editing, intensive photo editing, 3D modeling, and other tasks, you're going to want the best processor and graphics card you can get as these elements are not upgradeable after purchase.

Based on benchmarks, Apple's new 2019 iMac models offer significant speed improvements over the prior 2017 models. Multi-core performance on the machine we tested is up to 66 percent faster, and while single-core gains aren't quite as impressive, it's still approximately 6 to 11 percent faster on average.

This particular high-end iMac with 8-core chip is actually comparable to the 2017 iMac Pro with a 10-core chip. In real-world testing, performance was impressive and the iMac was more than capable of handling our video editing workflow.

Whether or not the 2019 iMac is worth the upgrade depends on your current machine. If you're using a much older model you're going to see significant speed improvements with the latest processors, but compared to something like a 2017 iMac, it's probably not worth shelling out the extra cash at this time because the processors are the bulk of what's new.

The 27-inch iMac that we tested is ideal for system-intensive workflows, but if you just need a machine for browsing the web, light photo editing, sending email, and other tasks, one of the more affordable 27-inch machines or even the smaller 21.5-inch iMacs will be a better pick.

If you're in the market for a new iMac and are trying to decide which one to get, make sure to check out our iMac Buyer's Guide.

What do you think of Apple's 2019 iMac refresh? Are you picking up a new machine? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Buy Now)

This article, "Hands-On With Apple's New 27-Inch 5K 8-Core iMac" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Picking the Best iMac to Buy in 2019

If you're considering buying a new iMac but have yet to pin down which machine in Apple's range is right for you, then keep reading. Our expert guide arms you with all the information you need to ensure the model and configuration you choose is best suited to your specific needs.


Apple offers essentially three types of iMac, two of which come in several base configurations, and you can customize the internal specifications of your chosen iMac at the point of purchase, so it's a good idea to consider what kind of machine you'll need ahead of time.

A well-specced iMac should last you a good few years, and apart from RAM on the 27-inch models, you can't upgrade the internal components of Apple's all-in-one desktops at a later date, so it's important to choose wisely. First, let's take a look at Apple's 4K and 5K iMacs, the two models in the company's range that received the most recent bump in configuration and specs options.

4K and 5K iMacs (2019)


In March 2019, Apple refreshed its Retina 4K and 5K iMac all-in-one desktop computers, upgrading the 21.5-inch and 27-inch models with new processors and graphics chips, but sticking with the same tried-and-tested design used since 2012, and the same 4K and 5K displays as the previous generation.


Which of these two iMac sizes you should buy is likely going to be driven by display size for most people, as both models are very capable machines for the average user. The 27-inch model does offer more horsepower, however, so if you're looking for maximum performance you'll want to opt for the larger, more expensive size.

In terms of connectivity, every iMac comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3 ports, an SD card slot, a headphone jack, and Gigabit Ethernet.

Apple says the new 21.5-inch iMac models deliver up to 60 percent faster performance than the previous generation, while the new 27-inch iMac models deliver up to 2.4 times faster performance than the previous generation, narrowing the gap between the high-end standard iMac and the iMac Pro workstation.

21.5-inch 4K iMac


Apple sells two base configurations of the new 21.5-inch 4K iMac, both running on eighth-generation Intel processors. The iMac with 3.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i3 processor starts at $1,299, while the iMac with 3.0GHz six-core Intel Core i5 processor (with Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz) starts at $1,499. See below for a breakdown of their key features.



3.6GHz quad-core 8th-generation
Intel Core i3 processor

  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, configurable to 32GB

  • 1TB hard drive

  • Radeon Pro 555X with 2GB of GDDR5 memory

  • Retina 4K 4096-by-2304 P3 display

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

  • Magic Mouse 2

  • Magic Keyboard


3.0GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz

  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, configurable to 32GB

  • 1TB Fusion Drive

  • Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory

  • Retina 4K 4096-by-2304 P3 display

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

  • Magic Mouse 2

  • Magic Keyboard


27-inch 5K iMac


Apple sells three base configurations of the new 27-inch 5K iMac: Two mid-range models that feature eighth-generation Intel six-core processors, and a high-end model that boasts a newer ninth-generation Intel six-core processor. The memory in the cheapest base model is configurable up to 32GB, but both the more expensive mid-range machine and the high-end 5K iMac can be configured with up to 64GB of memory.


The 5K iMac with the 3.0GHz six-core Intel i5 processor (with Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz) starts at $1,799, the iMac with the 3.1GHz six-core Intel Core i5 processor (with Turbo Boost up to 4.3GHz) starts at $1,999, and the iMac with the ninth-generation 3.0GHz six-core Intel Core i5 processor (with Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz) starts at $2,299. See below for a breakdown of the key features found in the three models.


3.0GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz

  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, configurable up to 32GB

  • 1TB Fusion Drive

  • Radeon Pro 570X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory

  • Retina 5K 5120-by-2880 P3 display

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

  • Magic Mouse 2

  • Magic Keyboard


3.1GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 4.3GHz

  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, configurable up to 64GB

  • 1TB Fusion Drive

  • Radeon Pro 575X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory

  • Retina 5K 5120-by-2880 P3 display

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

  • Magic Mouse 2

  • Magic Keyboard

3.7GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz

  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, configurable up to 64GB

  • 2TB Fusion Drive

  • Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory

  • Retina 5K 5120-by-2880 P3 display

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

  • Magic Mouse 2

  • Magic Keyboard
Like with the 4K iMacs, customers can swap out the included Magic Mouse 2 for a Magic Trackpad 2 for an extra $50, or choose to receive both for an additional $129.

Display and Resolution


The main thing that sets apart Apple's 4K and 5K iMacs is of course screen size and resolution. The 5K 27-inch iMac has a resolution of 5120 by 2880, while the 4K 21.5-inch iMac has a resolution of 4096 x 2304, and both models feature 500 nits brightness and wide color support for vivid, vibrant colors and impeccable picture quality.


Screen size shouldn't be the only deciding factor when buying an iMac though, because Apple has packed its entire 5K iMac range with beefed up internals for faster performance.

Processor Choice


Apple has decided to stick largely with Intel's eighth-generation processors in 2019 (Intel has already released a full range of Core i9 chips), but Apple says its chosen processors deliver up to 2x the performance of the previous generation iMacs. The biggest gains in CPU performance generally can be gauged by the processor's number of cores, which is why all 5K iMacs come with at least six cores, and why the jump to Intel's eight-core i9 processor costs an additional $500 on the 5K mid-tier configuration.

If you're considering a 21.5-inch 4K iMac for undemanding tasks like emailing, web browsing, and general productivity, then a quad-core i3 processor should suit your needs well, but if you're looking to do something more CPU-intensive like gaming or video-editing then it's worth paying the extra $300 on the mid-tier configuration for a six-core i5 processor.

The story is a little different with the 5K iMacs because whichever configuration you choose you're getting a very decent level of processing power, but if you plan to be doing graphic design or any kind of rendering then you'll likely benefit from a higher-clocked six-core CPU or even an eight-core i9 processor, which is where the real power lies.

Graphics Cards


Apple continues to offer AMD Radeon Pro graphics across its entire range of new 4K and 5K iMacs, so if you're an NVIDIA fan then you're out of luck. That said, the new models follow in the footsteps of the 2018 MacBook Pro by offering Radeon Pro Vega graphics options in their built-to-order customization options.

The 21.5-inch iMac now features either a Radeon Pro 555X GPU or a Radeon Pro 560X by default, but if you want more power you can configure a custom model with a Radeon Pro Vega 20 GPU (with 4GB of memory). Graphics on the 27-inch models include the Radeon Pro 570X, 575X, and 580X GPUs for prebuilt models, with the Radeon Pro Vega 48 GPU (with 8GB of memory) available as a custom option for the highest configuration.

We haven't had a chance to test these Vega GPUs, but Apple advertises up to 80 percent faster graphics performance with them compared to the previous iMac lineup, so they should be plenty enough for pros with video- or graphics-heavy workloads and users looking to play graphically intensive 3D games.

RAM Options


All of Apple's new iMacs come with faster 2,666MHz DDR4 memory, but the base models come with just 8GB of RAM installed, which is considered a bare minimum these days, and certainly not sufficient for most professional multi-tasking workloads.


Customization options for the 4K iMac range and the lowest priced 5K iMac base model include up to 32GB of RAM (an additional $600), while the mid-tier and high-end 5K iMac models offer up to 64GB of memory, which slaps a whopping $1,000 onto the total cost if you max it out.

Apple has always made customers pay a premium at purchase for more RAM, but fortunately you can upgrade the memory yourself at a later date, but only on the 27-inch models – the new iMacs include a user-accessible memory slot on the rear, and third-party memory upgrade kits are the invariably cheaper option. Upgrading the RAM on the 21.5-inch models can be done yourself, but it's a rather tricky process and not sanctioned by Apple.

Storage Options


The high-end 21.5-inch 4K iMac and all of the 27-inch 5K iMac base models come with either 1TB or 2TB Fusion Drives. A Fusion Drive is basically a Serial ATA drive "fused" with a solid-state drive. Frequently accessed data is stored on the faster flash portion of the drive, while less frequently accessed files live on the mechanical hard drive.


The idea is that combining the two storage technologies allows users to benefit from both fast access and voluminous capacity at a much lower cost than solid-state drives of equivalent capacity. However, Fusion Drives have been known to throw up issues such as "splitting" drives, and they're still vulnerable to the same mechanical failures at traditional Serial ATA drives, so we'd recommend paying the extra to get an iMac with 256GB ($100), 512GB ($300), 1TB ($700) of solid-state storage instead. (On the highest end 5K iMac base model, Apple also offers a 2TB SSD option for $1,100.)

Surprisingly, Apple still sells the mid-range 21.5-inch 4K iMac base model with a 1TB Serial ATA Drive running at 5400 RPM. A traditional mechanical platter drive should be regarded as a serious bottleneck for any modern Mac, and we highly recommend that you pay the extra for solid-state storage. The base model 21.5-inch 4K iMac in particular has a 1TB SSD upgrade option for the first time.

21.5-inch Non-Retina iMac


Apple still sells a low-spec 21.5-inch iMac for $1,099. This model didn't see any 2019 upgrades and has a slower dual-core Intel i5 processor, a non-Retina 1080p display, and less powerful integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics.


It's a low-cost option if you don't plan to use your iMac for CPU-demanding or graphics-heavy tasks, but most users looking for a desktop solution are probably better off buying Apple's much more powerful Mac mini and supplying their own display and peripherals. The features include the following:

2.3GHz dual-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz

  • 8GB 2133MHz memory, configurable to 16GB

  • 1TB hard drive

  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

  • 1920-by-1080 sRGB display

  • Magic Mouse 2

  • Magic Keyboard

Other Mac Desktop Options


Mac mini


Apple's Mac mini presents an excellent option for anyone looking to buy a desktop Mac without breaking the bank. Not only did Apple refresh the Mac mini in October 2018, going down this route means you're free to choose your display and peripherals separately.


The new Mac mini, which comes in Space Gray, features quad-core and six-core 8th-Generation Intel Core processors that are up to five times faster than the previous Mac mini, four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, support for up to 64GB RAM, and all SSD configurations with up to 2TB of storage available. It also includes Apple's T2 chip for added security.

iMac Pro


Released in October 2017, the 27-inch iMac Pro was designed by Apple as a workstation for creative professionals who are looking for an all-in-one desktop with cutting edge hardware and blistering performance.


As a result, the iMac Pro narrows the gap between the highest-end 5K iMac and Apple's redesigned Mac Pro, set to launch in 2019. It features the same design as the standard iMac, but with an all-flash architecture and a thermal design that supports an Intel Xeon processor with up to 18 cores and a top-of-the-line Radeon Pro Vega graphics.

As you'd expect, the iMac Pro comes with a premium price tag, starting at $4,999 and going up to over $15,000, but then it is the most powerful desktop machine Apple has ever built. That said, the recent update to the standard iMac means the gap is no longer as big as it once was, and most users should find them more than powerful enough for their needs.

Mac Pro


Apple's "trash can" Mac Pro aimed at professionals hasn't really been updated in over five years and Apple says a completely re-engineered Mac Pro is coming later this year, so at this point it's nearly impossible to recommend the current model.

The Mac Pro largely appeals to a different market than the iMac anyway, so if you're a mainstream consumer, the Mac Pro shouldn't really be on your radar.

So... Which iMac Should You Buy?


As we noted above, display size is likely the main factor for most buyers, so you'll have to decide for yourself whether you want the smaller 21.5-inch 4K model or the larger 27-inch 5K model. Both have great displays and will offer plenty of performance for the average consumer.

Once you've decided on a display size, you'll need to choose your base model and any upgrade options. We recommend going with all-SSD storage if your budget allows, or at the very least upgrading the 21.5-inch model to a Fusion Drive.

Everybody's needs are different, but we think for most users just looking for a desktop machine to be used primarily for email and web browsing, the default specs are likely enough. If you're planning on doing gaming, video production, or other demanding tasks, then it's time to look toward upgrades for the processor, RAM, graphics, and storage capacities. Fast Thunderbolt 3 ports give you some flexibility to add accessories like external storage drives later, so definitely think most carefully about components like the processor and graphics card that can't be upgraded later.

We don't recommend purchasing the $1,099 entry-level 21.5-inch model, as it hasn't been updated in several years and was already a barebones machine when it first launched. It's only for those on a very tight budget or for educational bulk purchases, as its lower-resolution display and internals lag significantly behind modern specs.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Buy Now)

This article, "Picking the Best iMac to Buy in 2019" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Intel’s Coffee Lake Chips Bring Significant Speed Boosts to 2019 iMacs

Geekbench's John Poole this afternoon shared a series of 2019 iMac benchmarks, giving us a look at the performance boosts offered by Intel's 8th and 9th-generation Coffee Lake chips.

All of the new 27-inch 5K models offer superior performance compared to their 2017 counterparts, with single-core performance up an average of 6 to 11 percent and multi-core performance up 43 to 49 percent for six-core models. The higher-end models with 3.6GHz 8-core Core i9 chip offer the biggest boost in multi-core performance, with speeds up 66 percent.


The highest-end iMac earned a single-core score of 6157 and a multi-core score of 32293, compared to the 5864/1971 single and multi-core scores of the equivalent high-end machine.


Even the base model 2019 27-inch iMac with a 3.0GHz 6-core 8th-gen chip saw notable gains, earning a single-core score of 5222 and a multi-core score of 20145, compared to the 4767/13682 scores the low-end 2017 models earned.

These chips are two years apart, so it is no surprise that even the mid-level chips are outperforming the higher-end chips from 2017.

6-core and 8-core chips in the 27-inch models are now competitive with the 2017 iMac Pro models with 8 and 10-cores. The high-end 8-core iMac offers 16 percent higher single core performance and just 10 percent lower multi-core performance than the 10-core iMac Pro.

Gains are more modest for the 21.5-inch 4K iMac models, but still significant. Single-core performance is up 5 to 10 percent, while multi-core performance has increased by 10 to 50 percent.




As Poole points out, the performance gains in the 2019 iMac models are due to higher frequencies and core counts as the underlying architecture hasn't been updated.

Poole says that while there's a significant boost when it comes to multi-core performance in the new iMacs, along with a decent boost in single-core performance, the increase isn't enough to "justify upgrading from a 2017 iMac."

Apple's newest iMac models were announced last week and have been arriving to customers this week. Aside from Intel's new 8th and 9th-generation Coffee Lake chips, Radeon Pro Vega graphics options, and faster RAM, there have been no other improvements to the 2019 iMac models.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Buy Now)

This article, "Intel's Coffee Lake Chips Bring Significant Speed Boosts to 2019 iMacs" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Expercom Discounts Apple’s New 2019 iMacs, Including Custom Configurations

Expercom has launched a new coupon code that's discounting new models of the iMac, including standard configurations and configurations that Expercom has upgraded with additional RAM. Expercom offers custom-configured models with either standard Apple RAM or Expercom-branded RAM that can in some cases save you substantial amounts of money.


Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Expercom. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

To see the discounts, head to Expercom's iMac section and browse to add one of Apple's desktops to your cart. In the checkout screen, enter the coupon code "newimac" in the relevant field and click apply. This code works with iMacs only on Expercom's website, and will expire on Monday, April 1.

Standard Configurations - 2019 iMacs



Upgraded Configurations with Expercom RAM - 2019 iMacs


Configurations with Apple RAM are also available, but discounts are smaller. Expercom is an Apple Premium Partner, so all RAM upgrades performed by Expercom staff are certified and do not affect your warranty.

You can view the full list of available iMacs compatible with the coupon code by visiting Expercom's website. Remember that the code "newimac" will last all weekend and expire on Monday, April 1, so be sure to browse and place your order soon if you're interested.

More sales and bargains can be found in our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundups: iMac, Apple Deals
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Buy Now)

This article, "Expercom Discounts Apple's New 2019 iMacs, Including Custom Configurations" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Updates iMac Lineup With Up to 8-Core 9th-Gen Intel Processors and Radeon Pro Vega Graphics Options

Nearly two years have passed since Apple last refreshed the iMac, but updates are finally here for both 4K and 5K models.


Apple today announced that its iMac lineup has been updated with Intel's latest 8th-gen and 9th-gen Core processors, including up to a 3.2GHz six-core 8th-gen Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz for the 21.5-inch 4K iMac and up to a 3.6GHz eight-core 9th-gen Core i9 with Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz for the 27-inch 5K iMac.

You'll of course have to pay to get peak performance, as processors range from a 3.6GHz quad-core 8th-gen Core i3 to a 3.7GHz six-core 9th-gen Core i5 in standard configurations of the new 4K and 5K iMacs.

Apple says the new 21.5-inch iMac models deliver up to 60 percent faster performance than the previous generation, while the new 27-inch iMac models deliver up to 2.4 times faster performance than the previous generation, narrowing the gap between the high-end standard iMac and the iMac Pro workstation.

Following in the footsteps of the 2018 MacBook Pro, Radeon Pro Vega graphics options are now available across the new iMac lineup, including Vega 20 for 21.5-inch models and Vega 48 for 27-inch models. Apple advertises up to 80 percent faster graphics performance compared to the previous iMac lineup.

The new iMac lineup offers up to 64GB of faster 2,666MHz DDR4 memory and up to 2TB of SSD storage. The base model 21.5-inch 4K iMac in particular has new 32GB memory and 1TB SSD upgrade options for the first time.


Beyond the performance improvements, there is a lot of familiarity. The new iMac models have the same design used since 2012 and the same 4K and 5K displays as the previous generation. I/O also remains unchanged with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3 ports, a SD card slot, a headphone jack, and Gigabit Ethernet.

While the iMac Pro and the latest MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini models are equipped with Apple's T2 security chip, we've confirmed with Apple that the new iMac models do not have a T-series chip of any kind.

Unlike the iMac Pro in space gray, Apple says silver remains the sole color option for standard iMac models.

Pricing before upgrades remains unchanged. The new 21.5-inch 4K iMac models start at $1,299 and the new 27-inch 5K iMac models start at $1,799. Both are available to order starting today on Apple.com and the Apple Store app, with availability in Apple Stores and select resellers starting next week.

Apple's senior director of Mac product marketing Tom Boger:
Customers are going to love the huge boost in iMac performance. With up to 8-core processors and powerful Vega graphics, the iMac lineup is stronger than ever. With its stunning Retina display, amazing design, twice the performance, and macOS Mojave that our customers love, iMac is by far the best desktop in the world.
The non-4K entry-level model 21.5-inch iMac was not updated today and remains available from $1,099.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Buy Now)

This article, "Apple Updates iMac Lineup With Up to 8-Core 9th-Gen Intel Processors and Radeon Pro Vega Graphics Options" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

iMac Last Updated 602 Days Ago, Longest Span Ever Between Updates

As noted in the MacRumors Buyer's Guide and discussed in the MacRumors forums, it has now been 602 days since Apple last updated its iMac lineup, a new record for the longest span between iMac refreshes ever. The previous record was 601 days between October 2015 and June 2017 refreshes.


In fairness, the iMac Pro was released in December 2017, but standard 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac models have not been updated in over a year and a half. Since the original iMac launched in 1998, the computer has typically been updated at least once per year, with the sole exceptions being 2016 and 2018.

The iMac is not alone. The 12-inch MacBook and Mac Pro have also set record-long spans of 602 days and 1,866 days and counting respectively since their last refreshes. Apple has at least promised to release an all-new Mac Pro with a "modular" design at some point in 2019, but has yet to share additional details.

As for the iMac and MacBook, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple was likely to debut refreshed models at its October 2018 event, but only the MacBook Air and Mac mini were updated. Kuo expects both the iMac and MacBook lines to receive faster processors, and the iMac to receive "significant" display improvements.

Apple has hosted a March event in three out of the past four years, so perhaps we'll see new iMacs and MacBooks at a March 2019 event. Other items on the agenda could include new iPad and iPad mini models, a new iPod touch, new AirPods, and the long-awaited AirPower mat if production rumors were true.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Don't Buy)

This article, "iMac Last Updated 602 Days Ago, Longest Span Ever Between Updates" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Adding Late 2012 iMacs to Vintage and Obsolete Products Pilot Program at End of January

In an internal memo distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers, obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that Late 2012 model 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs will be added to its vintage and obsolete products list on January 30.


Vintage and obsolete products are typically no longer eligible for repairs or replacement parts from Apple or Apple Authorized Service Providers, but the memo states Late 2012 model iMacs will be eligible for Apple's pilot program that will permit extended service through January 30, 2021 worldwide, subject to parts availability.

Other products in the pilot program include the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, Mid 2012 models of the MacBook Air and Mac Pro, and Mid 2012 to Early 2013 models of the MacBook Pro. The program began in January 2018 and was expanded in August.

Vintage products are those that have not been manufactured for more than five years, according to Apple.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Don't Buy)

This article, "Apple Adding Late 2012 iMacs to Vintage and Obsolete Products Pilot Program at End of January" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

What to Expect From Apple in 2019: New iPhones, Modular Mac Pro, iPad mini 5, Updated AirPods and More

2019 promises to be a major year for Apple, with a number of exciting products on the horizon. Apple's promised modular Mac Pro for its professional user base is expected to come out in 2019, and there's a new TV service under development that's going to come out during the first half of the year.

Apple is working on a new iPad mini, a new lower-cost HomePod, over-the-ear headphones to go along with revamped AirPods, and, as always, there are new iPhones coming in 2019.


Below, we've rounded up all of the products we're expecting to see from Apple in 2019 based on both current rumors that we've heard so far and past release information.

AirPower


Apple announced the AirPower, designed to charge the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at once, in September 2017. At the time the AirPower debuted, Apple said it would launch sometime in 2018. Since then, we've heard little about the device, and no sign of it has materialized.

In fact, Apple has scrubbed most of the mentions of the AirPower from its website, but because the device was mentioned in the user guides for the latest iPhones, it appears it hasn't been scrapped and is still in development, with Apple perhaps aiming to launch it in 2019.


So what's the reason for the delay? Rumors suggest Apple was overly ambitious with the AirPower and has been having trouble with overheating, multi-device charging circuitry, and software bugs, all of which has led to a pushed back launch date.

We don't know when the AirPower might be coming, but it doesn't look like the product has been abandoned just yet, and it's possible we'll be hearing an update in the near future.

New iPhones


Apple is going to continue with its three iPhone lineup in 2019, offering three iPhones that will be similar in size and design to the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR.

It sounds like Apple will continue to use an LCD/OLED split for the displays, and all of the iPhones are likely to feature A13 chips from Apple supplier TSMC. Chip upgrades typically bring improved performance and efficiency, and the A13 will be no different.


At least some of the iPhones expected in 2019 could use a triple-lens rear-facing camera setup for improved images, and a revamped TrueDepth camera system with a smaller notch is a possibility.

Apple Pencil support could finally come to the iPhone in 2019, and we've heard some mixed rumors suggesting the entire 2019 iPhone lineup will do away with 3D Touch, with all iPhones instead adopting the Haptic Touch feature of the XR.

We'll hear a lot more about the 2019 iPhones as the year progresses, but it's sounding like the upcoming devices will have some exciting improvements to look forward to.

For more on the 2019 iPhone lineup, make sure to check out our 2019 iPhone roundup.

Apple TV


There's no new set-top box coming in 2019 that we know of, but Apple is said to be "considering" a smaller Apple TV device that would be an Apple TV dongle similar to the Amazon Fire Stick or the Google Chromecast.

Such a device would make the Apple TV interface and any Apple content available at a lower price point. Right now, Apple charges $179 for the Apple TV 4K and $149 for the non 4K version.

Amazon's Fire Stick

Competing dongle-style devices from Amazon and Google are priced at $25 to $35, so an entry-level Apple TV dongle could allow Apple to significantly expand its audience and it could provide more people with access to Apple's rumored streaming TV service.

For more info on the Apple TV, make sure to check out our Apple TV roundup.

Streaming TV Service


Apple has more than a dozen original television shows and movies in development after starting to work on creating original TV content in earnest in 2017 and 2018.

Many of the TV shows Apple is working on feature high-profile directors, producers, and actors, with rumors suggesting the first TV shows will debut in 2019 as part of an upcoming TV streaming service.

Apple could bundle its service with an Apple Music subscription and an upcoming digital magazine and news subscription, offering all-in-one access to paid news, magazines, original TV shows, movies, and Apple Music content, but standalone subscriptions are also likely to be available.

Apple is said to be planning to launch the TV service in more than 100 countries in 2019, starting with the United States in early 2019 and then expanding to additional locations.

At least some of Apple's original television content could be made available for free through the TV app, and Apple's own original offerings may be offered alongside subscription channels from companies like HBO and Starz.

For more info on Apple's streaming TV plans, including a list of all of the TV shows Apple is working on, make sure to check out the original content section of our Apple TV roundup.

Audio Products


AirPods


We expected to get an AirPods update with "Hey Siri" hands-free Siri support and a new wireless charging case, but that case was meant to come out alongside the AirPower, and with no AirPower, we saw no AirPods update in 2018.

For that reason, if the AirPower comes out in 2019, we could get the aforementioned wireless charging case and the "Hey Siri" update for the AirPods at some point during the year.


With a "Hey Siri" feature, AirPods users will be able to activate Siri without needing to double tap on the AirPods with a finger.

While second-generation AirPods with these minor updates could come in 2019, Apple is also said to be working on a set of third-generation AirPods with a new design, improved water resistance, better Bluetooth signal, and noise cancellation features.

There's been some disagreement on when these higher-end AirPods might come out. Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says not to expect redesigned, upgraded AirPods until 2020, while Bloomberg has said some of these features could come in 2019.

Given the delay of the AirPower, it's not quite clear what Apple's plans are, and whether we're still getting distinct second-generation and third-generation AirPods with different features. We can count on seeing some kind of AirPods upgrade in 2019, but whether it's a minor update or a more significant redesign remains to be seen.

For more on the AirPods, check out our AirPods roundup.

HomePod


Rumors have suggested the HomePod isn't selling well due to its high price tag, which has prompted Apple to start development on a lower-cost version that would be more affordable.


Little has been said about a second-generation HomePod, but Bloomberg has said a new model being developed and could come as early as 2019.

For more on the HomePod, check out our HomePod roundup.

Over-the-Ear Headphones


To accompany the AirPods and the HomePod, Apple is rumored to be developing a set of high-end over-ear headphones that will be Apple branded rather than Beats branded.

Apple's Beats Studio over-ear headphones

The headphones are said to be "as convenient as AirPods" but with superior sound quality, and active noise cancellation features could be included. Apple's new headphones are rumored to be coming in 2019, so we could see them alongside a HomePod or AirPods refresh at some point during the year.

Macs


Mac Pro


Though the Mac Pro hasn't been updated since 2013, Apple is working on an entirely revamped high-end high-throughput modular version that will facilitate regular upgrades to meet the needs of Apple's pro user base.

Apple announced the revamp in 2017, but said that it wouldn't be finished until 2019. Apple is committed to making the upcoming Mac Pro the highest-end Apple desktop system available, allowing it to accommodate VR and high-end cinema production.

Modular Mac Pro concept from Curved.de

A "Pro Workflow Team" has been established to tailor the new Mac Pro and other Apple products to the professional user base.

Apple plans to design the new Mac Pro to allow for future upgrades and higher-end hardware. According to Apple execs, the current Mac Pro restricted the company's ability to upgrade it because it was designed for dual GPUs rather than larger single GPUs.

The Mac Pro will be accompanied by an Apple-branded pro display, which is likely to be at least 27 inches with a 5K resolution. We don't know much about the display or specific details on the new Mac Pro, but we will hear more in 2019.

For more on the Mac Pro, make sure to check out our Mac Pro roundup.

iMac and iMac Pro


Neither the iMac nor the iMac Pro got updated in 2018, which means 2019 updates could happen. We've heard few rumors on what to expect in updated iMac and iMac Pro machines, but faster processors are always a guarantee and there's been some vague detail on display improvements.


Check out our iMac and iMac Pro roundups for more details on Apple's desktop machines and upcoming rumors.

MacBook


The MacBook didn't get a 2018 update, and now that it's so similar in design and specs to the MacBook Air, which now has a Retina Display and a slimmer body, it's not clear what Apple has planned for the MacBook.

It could get a 2019 update with new processors and there has been some speculation that the MacBook will be the first of Apple's Macs to get an Apple-designed ARM processor in the future, but we'll have to wait and see.

Right now, the MacBook is slower and more expensive than the MacBook Air, but it still has the benefit of being Apple's most compact machine.

Check out our MacBook roundup for more details on the MacBook.

Other Macs


There are no rumors, but we could see refreshed and upgraded MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models in 2019, and perhaps a new Mac mini if Apple is going to adopt a more regular upgrade cycle for that machine.

iPads


iPad Pro models were just updated in October so there are no real rumors on features that might come to a refreshed version in 2018 if a refresh is planned, but rumors have suggested Apple's next-generation version of iOS, iOS 13, will include some iPad-centric features that could improve the overall iPad experience not just on the iPad Pro, but on all iPads.

As for other iPads, Apple is said to be working on a refreshed version of the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which has gone so long without a refresh that before a few recent rumors, we were sure it had been abandoned.


An alleged iPad mini 5 case leak suggests the upcoming tablet could perhaps feature some iPad Pro-style elements, like four speakers, a Smart Connector, Apple Pencil support, and more, while rumors have said we can expect an improved processor and a lower-cost display, which indicates a lower overall price tag.


Apple is supposedly planning to boost flagging iPad sales with the smaller model, and the company is also rumored to be working on an upgraded version of the low-cost 9.7-inch iPad. The new affordable replacement could be somewhat bigger in size -- 10 inches instead of 9.7-inches -- and a redesign with slimmer bezels and perhaps Face ID is a possibility.

For more on the iPads, make sure to check out our iPad, iPad Pro, and iPad mini roundups.

Apple Watch


There are no rumors about a refreshed Apple Watch just yet, but because the Apple Watch is updated on a yearly basis right alongside the iPhone, we can expect an Apple Watch Series 5 in 2019.

What might be included in the update is anyone's guess at this point, but there have been rumors of additional health sensors for years, and Apple has proven its willingness to get involved with the FDA with the launch of the ECG feature in the Apple Watch Series 4.


For that reason, more advanced health tracking features could be coming, but we'll need to wait until later in the year to get an idea of what's coming.

To keep up with Apple Watch rumors in 2019, check out our Apple Watch roundup.

Software


Each year in June, Apple debuts new versions of iOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS, so we're expected to see new software again this year. We've already heard a bit of detail on what we can expect from iOS 13 and macOS 10.15.

iOS 13


Apple last year pushed several features planned for iOS 12 to iOS 13 in order to focus on under-the-hood performance improvements and bug fixes, so we can expect features rumored for iOS 12 to show up in iOS 13.

The iOS 13 update is said to include several new features aimed at iPad owners, such as a revamped Files app, in-app tabs for opening multiple windows of the same app, support for using the same app side-by-side in Split View multitasking mode, Apple Pencil improvements, and new features for business users.

Features pushed back from iOS 12 include a revamped Home screen app grid for the iPhone and iPad, expanded photo management features, and more.

macOS 10.15


We don't know a lot about what to expect in the next-generation version of macOS, but we do know that it will feature an extension of Apple's project to bring iOS apps to the Mac.

With macOS Mojave, Apple ported several iOS apps like Home, Stocks, Apple News, and Voice Memos over to the Mac, and in macOS 10.15, this functionality will be extended to third-party developers, making it easier for developers to create apps that are functional on both macOS and iOS.

This is an initiative that will include tweaks to both macOS 10.15 and iOS 13 to further introduce common frameworks between the two operating systems. Expect to see more iOS-style apps made available for the Mac following the launch of macOS 10.15.

What's Not Likely in 2019


iPhone SE


iPhone users who prefer smaller devices have been hoping for an updated version of the 4-inch iPhone SE, but it doesn't look like Appleis working on a new 4-inch iPhone.

In 2018, there were some leaks and hints of a 4-inch iPhone under development, but a lot of this information was a combination of wishful thinking and leaked iPhone XR details.


We've heard no further word of a 4-inch iPhone, and with Apple's iPhone lineup now featuring devices ranging in starting price from $449 (iPhone 7) to $1099 (iPhone XS Max), there's not a lot of room for a smaller iPhone.

The 4.7-inch iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 are currently the smallest iPhones that Apple offers for sale, and the original iPhone SE has been discontinued all together.

AR Smart Glasses


We've heard multiple rumors suggesting Apple is prototyping augmented reality smart glasses and virtual reality headsets, but while these products are in development, a release is not expected just yet.

According rumors, Apple is working on an augmented reality headset with a dedicated display, built-in processor, and a new "rOS" operating system based on iOS, with the "r" standing for reality. Apple is said to be aiming to finish work on an augmented reality headset by 2019 ahead of a launch it hopes will come in 2020.

For more on Apple's AR/VR work, check out our AR/VR roundup.

Wrap Up


There are some exciting products in the works from Apple in 2019, and we'll certainly see some unexpected surprises as well, as we do every year. Make sure to follow MacRumors.com and the MacRumors roundups over the course of 2019 to keep up with all of the rumors about the upcoming products that Apple has in development.


This article, "What to Expect From Apple in 2019: New iPhones, Modular Mac Pro, iPad mini 5, Updated AirPods and More" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Intel Unveils Next-Generation ‘Sunny Cove’ Processors and Graphics Appropriate for 2019 Macs

Intel today introduced Sunny Cove, its next-generation processor microarchitecture designed to increase performance and power efficiency.


Sunny Cove microarchitecture, built on a 10nm process, will be the basis for Intel's next-generation Core and Xeon processors later next year according to the company, making them appropriate for potential 2019 models of the MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro, and Mac mini.

Intel also unveiled new Gen11 integrated graphics with up to double the performance of its Gen9 graphics paired with Skylake-based processors. Gen11 graphics will support 4K video streams and 8K content creation in constrained power situations and feature Intel's Adaptive Sync technology for smoother gaming.

Intel did not provide a comparison of Gen11 and Gen10 graphics, paired with Cannon Lake-based processors.

For those who are ever-confused by Intel's roadmap, it is believed that Sunny Cove processors paired with Gen11 graphics will be called Ice Lake, which succeeds Coffee Lake, Whiskey Lake, Amber Lake, and Cannon Lake.

Intel reaffirmed its plan to introduce a discrete graphics processor by 2020, providing Apple with another option beyond its current provider AMD and former provider Nvidia for future MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, and Mac Pro models.

Intel has essentially been iterating on its Skylake microarchitecture since 2015, so it is refreshing that the chipmaker is finally moving on to something new. But with rumors of Macs switching to custom ARM-based processors as early as 2020, it might not be long after Sunny Cove that Apple moves on too.

Related Roundups: iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, iMac Pro

Discuss this article in our forums