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Sandy Bridge iMacs tipped for delivery by early May

updated 03:10 pm EDT, Tue March 22, 2011

Thunderbolt support expected

Updated iMacs will be "en route by ocean" to the US by the end of April, or else the first week of May, according to sources in touch with CNET's Brian Tong. Few other details are mentioned in a series of Twitter posts, except that the new computers will be based on Intel's Sandy Bridge platform and Thunderbolt connection standard. "No major cosmetic changes" are forthcoming, says Tong.

The last iMac refresh came in July of last year, finally dropping Core 2 Duo processors from the model lineup in favor of Core i3 and i5 processors at the low end; higher-end systems included quad-core i5s and i7s. The first Sandy Bridge-equipped Apple computers came in February in the form of updated MacBook Pros, which were also the first MacBooks to incorporate quad-core processors.

More significant in the long run was the introduction of Thunderbolt, which offers speeds well beyond those of USB 2.0 or FireWire. Apple may need to roll out as many computers as it can with Thunderbolt to encourage development for the standard, as the company is expected to be the only PC maker with Thunderbolt ports until 2012. Relatively few Thunderbolt peripherals have been announced to date.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just like a pregnancy...

    Except the 2009 Mac Pro, which dragged on for 16 months, computer product cycles tend to be 6-9 months. This means 7/2010 + 9 months = 3/2011. The timing is about right.

    It'd be smart for Apple to incorporate Thunderbolt into the entire product line. All products without Thunderbolt are definitely beyond their prime.

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Rethinking the iMac

    Thunderbolt is good, while the lack of mention of USB 3.0 is not, although the blame there probably rests with Intel rather than Apple. But the ""No major cosmetic changes" is a killer. I'm sticking with my perfectly good white plastic iMac until there's new version (or other compact desktop) that's user-servicable. I've heard dreadful tales about this aluminum iMacs.

    In these troubled times, It's time for Apple to rethink the iMac and come up with something with more upgrade paths. Taking on hardware, even via Thunderbolt, isn't as handy or attractive as adding internally.

  1. efithian

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It would be nice to have a quad core mini for those of us with home theater systems, as well as Thunderbolt.

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