Latest iMac discontinuations could point to impending announcement of Apple Silicon M-series iMac models but chip shortages may cause more hardware delays
Just recently the Apple iMac Pro was removed from sale and now observant types have spotted that two storage configuration options have also been taken away from the iMac sales page. Shoppers who want a 21.5-inch iMac with a 4K display have been left with a choice of either a 256 GB SSD for storage or a 1 TB Fusion Drive, which is Apple’s take on a hybrid drive (SSHD). Previously, there were also options for a 512 GB SSD and 1 TB SSD but these are no longer on the table. Their removal has prompted some speculation about what Apple could be planning.
With an Apple event now widely expected to take place in April, many believe the Cupertino company will show off devices featuring Apple Silicon. This could mean a new M1 computer or even an announcement for either an M1X or M2 ARM-based SoC. With the Apple M1 already featuring in products such as the current MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and MacBook Pro 13, it seems logical for an M1 iMac to be on the cards. This has already been hinted at in both an Xcode crash report and macOS code, and it’s possible Apple might want to save the next-generation M1X/M2 SoC for larger iMac models that can offer the thermal headroom to handle the more-powerful Apple Silicon.
A popular YouTube channel, Max Tech, reckons there will be a new iMac on show by the end of next month, with M1X devices coming in the second half of the year, which has already been suggested. But while it has been reported that the new MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 laptops have suffered from production delays, could the same thing befall an M1 iMac? Another famous YouTube content creator, Linus Sebastian, has been revealing the reasons behind the current chip shortages, which includes too much demand coming from regular consumers as a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it appears Apple might be in a strong position in regard to the M1 chip at least.
The iPhone maker managed to introduce its highly praised Apple Silicon in November 2020, with production of the M1 chip and related devices carried out during some of the worst periods of the coronavirus, so it can be reasoned that Apple is fully prepared to offer something redesigned or something new to its legions of fans by the rapidly approaching second quarter of 2021. A potential roadmap could signpost an M1-powered entry-level iMac release for now followed by an M1X-sporting high-end 27-inch or 30-inch iMac launch by the final quarter of the year. While M1 product availability might not be too much of an issue right now, with only brief shipping delays reported, it could be a completely different story for the keenly awaited next round of M-series Apple Silicon.