This means prospective buyers can stop holding out hope for a direct successor to the 27-inch iMac form factor that existed in the Intel era. However, Apple’s statement to press today specifically refers to the 27-inch model, which leaves the door open to a possible future iMac with an even larger display …
Just recently, in fact, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said that Apple had been planning an iMac with a 32-inch display to debut in 2025. So maybe Apple is still working on a big Apple Silicon desktop, but it’s a ways off. It’s also possible those plans are cancelled and never come to fruition.
Apple’s wording during last week’s event certainly signalled that kind of sentiment. Apple SVP John Ternus positioned the new 24-inch M3 iMac display as the “perfect size and resolution to replace both the 4K and 5K Intel-based models”, quoting the event transcript.
While it is true that the 24-inch size is between the old 21.5-inch and 27-inch options, it doesn’t quite fill the gap of the old 27-inch all-in-one. For starters, the 24-inch screen resolution is only 4.5K compared to the full 5K 27-inch iMacs of yore. That means the 27-inch Apple Studio Display yields more screen real estate than the iMac, when coupled with something like a Mac mini or Mac Studio.
The iMac also does not provide top-end performance, only being available with the base M3 chip. The old Intel iMac Pro featured 28-core Xeon CPUs, making them attractive for intensive computational workloads. (The equivalent Apple Silicon M2 Max, M2 Ultra and M3 Max chips are found only in the high-end MacBook Pro models, Mac Studio, and Mac Pro.)
That’s why the 32-inch iMac rumor made so much sense, as it would give pro customers an even bigger screen canvas, and more power, in an all-in-one form factor. The jump from 21.5- to 24-inch would also mirror a similar move from 27- to 32-inch on the high-end.
But as Apple’s statement today only dispels the 27-inch size for Apple Silicon, we will all be left wondering about the fate of the rumored 32-inch iMac for a while yet.
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