If you were hoping to see a new iMac this fall with Blu-ray, then you might just be out of luck. According to a report put out by China’s HKEPC this past weekend, Intel won’t be officially supporting Blu-ray until the second quarter of 2008. That’s when Intel will introduce Eaglelake, replacing their current Bearlake chipset. Intel’s Eaglelake slide which HKEPC presented, displays Eaglelake’s noted upcoming features.
Although Apple’s iMac is based on Intel’s Merom, it’s safe to state that if Intel’s higher end desktops won’t support Blu-ray until Q2 2008 that this fall’s iMac’s are definitely out of the question. Late last Thursday, Apple released a statement concerning the delay of OS X Leopard until October. Unlike most, I found that to be welcomed news in that Leopard would now debut on iMac’s based on Intel’s forthcoming 45nm Penryn right out of the gate. But without a Blu-ray optical drive; I think iMac sales could suffer this fall if consumers are made aware of the fact that Blu-ray will only launch at best, in Q2 2008. Every Independent Apple retail store that I’ve contacted state that they won’t offer upgrades for iMac’s optical drives, period. And although iMac’s will likely support HDMI to enable a user to connect a Blu-ray drive later on, that’s an expense that most would like to avoid when making a major purchase.
The question becomes, will Apple will find a way to work around Intel’s roadmap and still deliver on Blu-ray to complete the new iMac’s with OS X Leopard this fall. Do you think we’ll see a Q4 iMac with Blu-ray? And more importantly, would you buy a new iMac without Blu-ray? Weigh in now.
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