Apple announced an overhaul to the iMac with new features and a new processor.
The latest iMac comes with quad-core Intel Core i5 processors, with the option for customers to choose the even more powerful Core i7 processors up to 3.4 GHz. The processors include high-performance video encoding and decoding. It also has 8-way multitasking capability and additional L3 cache. It comes with Intel's Hyper-Threading technology, which allows for security applications and protocols to run efficiently in the background without compromising productivity.
The new lineup of iMacs also sports the AMD Radeon HD graphics processors, which Apple says ensures the iMac has the most powerful graphics ever in an all-in-one desktop.
The new lineup of iMac computers also features the Thunderbolt I/O technology. The Thunderbolt technology was a collaborative effort between Apple and Intel. Thunderbolt is a file sharing port with transfer speeds of 10 gigabytes per second. It can deliver PCI Express, which is a computer expansion card used as a motherboard-level interconnect, to external high performance peripherals such as RAID arrays. It also supports FireWire and USB consumer devices, and Gigabit Ethernet networks via adapters.
Our customers love the iMac's aluminum enclosure, gorgeous display and all-in-one design, said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. With next generation quad-core processors, powerful new graphics, Thunderbolt technology and a FaceTime HD camera, we've made the world's best desktop even better.
In addition, the new iMac comes with Apple's FaceTime camera technology. Used on iPhones and iPads previously, FaceTime is Apple's version of HD video chat. Users of iMacs will be able to make calls to people's iPhone 4 and iPad 2 with FaceTime.
Each iMac comes with the Snow Leopard OS as well as iLife, which is Apple's suite of software applications - similar to Microsoft Office. The 21.5 inch Mac will cost $1,199 or $1,499, depending on hard drive storage. The 27.5 inch Mac is either $1,699 or $1,999 depending on the same.
Apple's release would seem to be swimming against an anti-PC tide in the electronics industry, as its own iPad, has led a host of tablets into the forefront. This has left PCs in the dust. IDC aid shipments for PCs fell 3.2 percent in the first quarter alone.
Low prices for consumer PCs, which had long stimulated growth, no longer attracted buyers, Mikako Kitagawa, Gartner principal analyst, said in a statement. Instead, consumers turned their attention to media tablets and other consumer electronics. With the launch of the iPad 2 in February, more consumers either switched to buying an alternative device, or simply held back from buying PCs.
However, analysts say if any PC manufacturer can buck the trend of tablets and the iPad itself, it is Apple. UBS analyst Maynard Um said, Apple continues to provide more value and we expect it to continue to gain share in the PC market.
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