Most of Apple's big product announcements for the year were made in September, but the company may still have some surprises up its sleeve. Last week, it announced an oddball USB-C Apple Pencil , and Bloomberg's usually well-informed Mark Gurman says that a new Apple Silicon iMac refresh could arrive as soon as next week.
The iMac was last updated in the summer of 2021, well over two years ago, when Apple replaced the 21.5-inch Intel model with a redesigned M1-powered Apple Silicon model . Aside from the M1 MacBook Air, which Apple continues to sell as its entry-level notebook, it's the only kind of Mac that hasn't gotten some kind of M2 chip.
Gurman doesn't mention them, but an updated iMac could also give Apple the opportunity to refresh its Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad accessories with a USB-C port to match the new iPhone 15 series and the USB-C version of the AirPods. Right now, these accessories, the older iPhones Apple still sells, the Apple TV's Siri Remote, and the low-end iPad are all still using the Lightning port.
For months, Gurman has said that the iMac could be one of the first Macs to ship with an upgraded Apple M3 chip, a claim he notably does not repeat this time around. From a manufacturing standpoint, it might make sense to begin shipping the M3 in a relatively low-volume product like the iMac so that any early issues with TSMC's 3 nm manufacturing process won't cause huge shipping delays.
But it would also be uncharacteristic of Apple to ship a brand-new chip with a brand-new architecture in a single desktop Mac in an announced-via-press-release refresh right at the end of the year. During iPhone and Mac events in the past, new chips have come with a few minutes' worth of detail in Apple announcement videos, comparing them to past generations and highlighting noteworthy new features. An M3 would be nice, especially since it has been a year and a half since the first M2 Macs launched, but we shouldn't count out an M2-powered iMac just yet.
While we generally liked the M1 iMac and its subtle nods to the original G3 iMac design, there's still a gap in Apple's lineup where the high-end 27-inch iMac used to sit . For years, these were Apple's mainstream workstations, combining a reasonably powerful CPU and GPU with an excellent high-resolution screen. The closest thing Apple currently offers is a Mac mini or Mac Studio paired with a Studio Display , a combination that takes up more space and is often more expensive to boot. Gurman says that Apple is still working on a 32-inch iMac, but if it comes, he doesn't expect it before 2024 or 2025.
As Gurman notes, many iMac models—particularly the build-to-order versions—have seen their shipping times on Apple's retail sites slip into late November. This is often, though not always, an indication that Apple is winding down manufacturing in anticipation of a new model. Shipping times for the 13-inch MacBook Pro and some 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro configurations have slipped, too, though the iMac is the only model Gurman makes any specific predictions about. Sometimes, it just means that Apple is planning to change its memory and storage configurations rather than updating the processor or something more significant.