updated 10:55 am EST, Mon February 2, 2009
Kaufman on new iMacs
Updated iMacs may well ship within a matter of weeks, says Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu. Wu points to reports that Apple is deliberately reducing current iMac shipments, which if true, is believed to be a sign that the company is clearing out inventory in advance of new models. New products are typically announced just weeks after old models are drawn down, the analyst comments, which would be consistent with recent checks pointing to iMac refreshes in the second or third quarters of the year.
Wu cites unidentified sources as saying Apple will use both dual- and quad-core processors, in contrast to rumors pointing to one or the other. Quad-core CPUs are expected to be used exclusively in high-end iMacs, while low- to mid-range systems may be equipped with varying dual-core speeds in a move to push people towards more expensive models.
A Mac Pro update is anticipated at an indeterminate point, and may similarly see systems split into eight- and 16-core models, the latter using two of Intel's forthcoming Nehalem CPUs.
Updates to both lines are thought to be crucial to boosting sagging desktop sales. iMacs are estimated to have formed 25 percent of Mac sales during the last quarter, and as much as 36 percent of sales during the computer's best moments, often after refreshes. Apple itself has meanwhile admitted that the Mac Pro is not selling well in a tough economy, but Wu suggests that it might recover with a better price-to-performance scale.