The Future of the 27-inch iMac

As previously noted, the 27-inch iMac is gone from Apple’s website, and John Ternus said the Mac Pro would be the final Mac to make the switch to Apple silicon.

I think this means the 27-inch iMac as we knew it is gone forever. In my mind, this leads to two questions:

First, does Apple intend the Mac Studio and Studio Display to act as the replacement for the high-end iMac? The last 27-inch Intel iMacs were no slouches, but the Mac Studio will still smoke them in terms of performance, after all.

The problem with this is price. The final 27-inch iMacs came in at:

  • $1,799 (3.1 GHz)
  • $1,999 (3.3 GHz)
  • $2,299 (3.8 GHz)

The modular Mac Studio / Studio Display combo just can’t beat that pricing, with the cheapest setup possible coming in at $3,600. And that’s before you buy input devices.

(Of course, the combo of a Mac mini and Studio Display would be less, but with the M1 being the only Apple silicon option on that machine, it doesn’t play in the same sandbox as these other machines.)

I think it’s more likely that we see the iMac Pro resurrected as an all-in-one companion to the Mac Studio. This could take place even with Ternus’ wink-and-nod show at the end of today’s event.

I like the idea of the iMac really being the consumer desktop model — after all, that is where it started life way back in 1998. It was only in more recent years that the iMac really stretched upwards to meet the needs of professionals. An iMac Pro would put a cap on that upward reach and clarify things a bit from a branding perspective.

So, is the 27-inch iMac dead? Yes, yes it is. Does that mean Apple won’t release another high-end all-in-one at some point in the future? No, no it doesn’t.