In 2021, Apple introduced the 24-inch iMac, featuring the revolutionary M1 chip and a vibrant redesign. Now that the 24-inch machine has hit two years post-launch, it is due for an update. Recent rumors suggest an imminent refresh with the M3 chip.
[Update; October 22, 2023: According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple will release an updated 24-inch iMac on the 30th or 31st of October]
Let’s dive into the latest information, predictions, and what you can expect from the next-generation 24-inch iMac.
Everything we know about Apple’s upcoming M3-powered iMac
According to TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the M3-powered iMac may not make an appearance until late 2023 or early 2024. The delay is attributed to the high demand for the A17 chip, which is used in the 2023 iPhone 15 Pro, as both chips utilize TSMC’s 3nm chip-making process. Kuo’s insights have been relatively accurate in the past, making this prediction noteworthy.
The redesigned 24-inch iMac introduced in 2021 set a new standard with its colorful, slim design and larger display. While tech enthusiasts hope for a height-adjustable stand and a slimmer chin, the outward design of the iMac is not expected to change significantly. The same screen size and color options are likely to remain. However, some internal design changes and a modified manufacturing process for the stand have been hinted at, indicating that Apple is working on refining the iMac’s internals.
The current 24-inch iMac boasts a 4.5K Retina display with impressive features like 500 nits of brightness and True Tone. Unfortunately, the M3 iMac is not expected to receive significant display updates. Features like ProMotion may come to larger iMac models, but the 24-inch version will likely continue with its existing display technology.
Processor and specs
Perhaps the most significant change expected in the upcoming 24-inch iMac is the transition from the M1 to the M3 chip. Apple’s decision to skip the M2 suggests a substantial leap in performance and efficiency. While the specifics of the M3 chip are not yet official, predictions based on developer logs suggest various configurations, including up to 10 CPU cores and 20 GPU cores. Additionally, memory support may increase, with options like 36GB and 48GB appearing in testing.
The 24-inch iMac currently features a 1080p FaceTime HD camera. Given Apple’s continuous improvement in camera technology, it’s reasonable to expect an upgrade, possibly with the introduction of the 12MP Ultra Wide camera with Center Stage, a feature that keeps you in focus as you move. This change aims to address the concerns raised regarding the Studio Display camera’s quality.
Ports and connectivity
The slim design of the 24-inch iMac may limit the expansion of ports. Currently, the entry-level model includes two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports, while higher-end models have two additional USB 3 ports. The absence of HDMI and an SDXC card slot is likely to continue, but the iMac is expected to adopt Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, in line with Apple’s latest offerings.