Rumor: Apple's Ivy Bridge iMac Update is "Imminent"

An update to Apple's iMac desktop is "imminent," according to a report by Fox News Friday. The current iMac lineup is well over a year old and is overdue for an update, although it is not clear from the report how significant the update will be.

Get ready, because the iMacs are coming.

I've been hoping for an iMac update and it looks like my wish is about to come true! Multiple sources tell me that a new lineup of desktop machines from Apple is imminent.

Fox News's report coincides with other recent rumors pointing to a fall iMac update and reports that Apple Retail Stores are running low on 27-inch iMacs.

iMac Ivy Bridge Update

The report teases the possibility of a major upgrade to the all-in-one desktop line, including Retina displays. However, there has been no information on the production of Retina-quality displays in the larger screen sizes used by the iMac, with recent attention instead drawn to upcoming updates to Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro.

The most likely scenario for an imminent iMac update is one similar to that received by the non-Retina MacBook Pros at Apple's WWDC in June. An update to Intel's Ivy Bridge architecture, a slightly improved discrete GPU, USB 3.0 support, and the improved Cactus Ridge Thunderbolt controller are likely the only updates that the line will receive.

The relatively few updates are not insignificant, however. While Ivy Bridge offers a greater value proposition to laptop configurations, for deskotps the new 22nm design offers better energy efficiency and thermal management while performing as well or slightly better than corresponding Sandy Bridge components. USB 3.0 support may also be a key selling point for some users.

Those expecting a major update to the line, or purchasers of last year's model hoping for a Retina upgrade, will be disappointed. Retina displays and a possible redesign will likely not be seen until mid- to late-2013.

It is unclear if Apple will include the iMac update as part of one of its upcoming fall media events, but the recent disregard that the company has shown to its desktop products makes it likely that the iMacs will be updated silently via the Apple Online Store in the coming weeks.