A completely redesigned 21-inch iMac, as well as a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, have reportedly been discovered in China, which leads many to believe that these devices will be unveiled at Apple’s alleged “iPad Mini” media event on Oct. 23.
On a WeiPhone.com forum thread, a user posted cell phone images of a more expensive iMac with a redesigned screen, calling the “teardrop-shaped” design “revolutionary”. According to the poster, who claims to have a brother-in-law working in the factory that builds Apple’s new Mac computers, the iMac has been completely redesigned, and from side to side, you “almost cannot see the new iMac’s thickness.” The poster compared the iMac to a drop of water with “tetragonal” elements, even though the computer still has that trademark “chin” below its giant display.
The poster also noted that the display has been completely redesigned, which could mean the new iMac has a Retina Display. The poster said the display is a “very pretty special glass glued directly” to the computer, rather than a display manufactured separately from the machine, but the poster did not mention the words “Retina” in his post.
According to an old benchmark from Geekbench makers Primate Labs, the new iMac, described as “iMac 13,2” internally, reportedly runs on a 3.4 GHz Core i7-3770 quad-core processor with 4GB of 1600 MHz RAM, and run on OS X Mountain Lion. In August, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released his own product launch schedule, pegging the release of a new iMac in mid-October.
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“My uncle has seen the fully assembled iMac but recently unable to take a picture of it,” the WeiPhone user wrote in a separate post. “If he did take the picture, I will update this thread.”
In that separate posting, the WeiPhone user claims that Foxconn, which he said was Apple’s sole supplier capable of keeping up with the demand, is still having issues building the new iMac.
“The new iMac is using a special ‘glue’ to glue the display to the frame and is facing very strict quality control,” the poster said. “Products from Foxconn is having a lot of issues. In this case, after the glue dried, there will be minor air gaps.”
In the same post, the WeiPhone user also mentioned a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display currently in production.
“Apple will improve on the production technique in D2 line,” the poster wrote, referencing the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro as the D2 to its younger sibling, internally dubbed D1.
“Apple will launch the 13-inch rmbp. Ghosting and thermal issues will be fixed but internals and design will be similar to 15-inch rmbp,” the poster said.
Just one day after the WeiPhone user posted the photos and description for the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, trusted Apple news source 9to5Mac reported on Apple’s intentions to release a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro at its iPad Mini event this month, citing “a consistently reliable source at a high-profile US retailer.”
About Apple’s Second Fall Event
Reporters previously believed Apple would release invitations for its media event on Oct. 10, but when that didn’t happen, many wondered whether Apple would be holding an event at all. Then, two days later on Oct. 12, AllThingsD’s John Paczkowski said the media event, which is said to unveil the company’s 7-inch “iPad Mini,” is still on for October.
“Apple will hold a special event this month, at which it will showcase a new, smaller iPad,” Paczkowski wrote. “People familiar with Apple’s plans tell us that the company will unveil the so-called ‘iPad mini’ on Oct. 23 at an invitation-only event. That’s a Tuesday, not a Wednesday, so this is a bit of a break with recent tradition.”
Sources close to Apple refused to specify the location of the event, but Paczkowski guesses it’ll be at Apple’s Town Hall Auditorium in Cupertino, Calif. Apple typically holds its media events at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, but Apple has held events at its headquarters before, including the iPhone 4S launch last October.
Apple Is Still A Computers Company
After Apple’s professional user base was snubbed earlier this summer at WWDC, Apple was expected to debut several new computers at its September event, including a new iMac model and a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display. When none of those devices appeared alongside the iPhone 5 and new iPods, many instantly wondered if they would be unveiled at Apple’s alleged second fall event in late October.
"I'm thinking it makes more sense for Apple to hold two events," said John Gruber of Daring Fireball, who was one of the first to predict a separate unveiling date for more Apple devices. "First, an iPhone event, focused solely on the new iPhone and iOS 6. Then, the iPhone ships nine days later, and there's another wave of iPhone-focused attention as the reviews come out. Then, in the first or second week of October, Apple holds its traditional "music event", exactly along the lines of the events at which they've been debuting new iPods for the last decade."
Just as Gruber predicted, the first two weeks of October have seen Apple quietly launch its new iPod line-up, including the fifth-generation iPod Touch and the seventh-generation iPod Nano.
After Apple's busy September, which introduced a brand-new iPhone, an all-new line-up of iPods, and iTunes 11, sources close to Apple say the company isn’t done yet, and will hold a media event on Oct. 23 to release even more devices before the holiday season, including the 7.85-inch “iPad Mini,” the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and the completely redesigned iMac desktop computer.
While the iMac hopes to appeal to professional end users, the 13-inch Retina MacBook and the iPad Mini are both intended to appeal to those who don’t normally buy Apple products, most likely because of their steep price. The 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro starts at $2,199, but with a 13-inch model, Apple can sell the same experience on a smaller screen for under $2,000, which certainly hits the sweet spot for desktop users.
The iPad Mini, of course, is Apple’s jab at the Amazon Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7, both of which are smaller tablets sold at cheaper price points than Apple’s popular iPad. With the “iPad Mini,” Apple can introduce the iPad experience to more users, hopefully tearing them away from considering other competitors in the tablet space.
Considering the iPad Mini event is pegged for Oct. 23, we believe Apple will release invitations for its event this week, likely one week prior to the alleged event date, on Tuesday, Oct. 16.