The Future of the iMac 

Word on the street is that the iMac is due for a spec bump any time.1 A 10-core model has been spotted on Geekbench, and with Apple saying more Intel Macs are in the pipeline, it makes sense that this iMac could come out before the end of the year.

The current iMac isn’t all that … modern. The design reaches back to 2012, all standard models come with a Fusion Drive at best and all but the top-of-the-line model comes with an 8th-gen Intel processor or older.

I tend to agree with the thinking that the pending Intel iMac refresh will use the same design the iMac has been using for years. If there’s a radical redesign coming, I expect Apple to use it to usher in the first Apple silicon iMac.

There’s not much known about what this redesign could entail, but I for one hope the iMac falls in line with Apple’s modern hardware design as shown in the iPad Pro and Pro Display XDR.

To make things even more interesting, it seems that Face ID support is present in betas of macOS Big Sur, as Filipe Espósito writes at 9to5Mac:

We were able to find a new extension on macOS Big Sur beta 3 with codes intended to support “PearlCamera.” You may not remember, but this is the internal codename Apple uses for the TrueDepth camera and Face ID, which was first revealed with the iPhone X leaks in 2017.

Codes such as “FaceDetect” and “BioCapture” found within this extension confirms that Apple is preparing macOS to operate with Face ID, as these codes are similar to those used by iOS. We investigated and this Face ID extension was clearly built for macOS, and it’s not some remnant code from Catalyst technology.

Having Face ID in the new iMac would be really cool, and if Apple were to announce a more reasonable display option than the XDR, I would expect to see it there as well. However, I think Touch ID will stick around in the notebooks unless Apple has worked a miracle to get the TrueDepth hardware much thinner than it currently is.

Desktop Macs sell in small numbers compared to notebooks, but in a way, the iMac is the line’s flagship, and it deserves some serious attention. Hopefully that comes sooner than later, but I think we’ve got to wait until Apple silicon shows up.

  1. Jon Prosser says it is coming in August, but his track record is so spotty, I don’t put much stock in his reporting at this point.