The latest model of iMac Pro, Apple's popular all-in-one (AIO) desktop, is rumored to be launching in the first half of 2022, according to display analyst Ross Young. The predictions suggest the AIO will arrive in Spring in the northern hemisphere (which starts on March 20 and ends on June 21), and will feature a 120Hz variable refresh with ProMotion and oxide backplanes.
The previous iMac Pro was released back in 2017 and was discontinued earlier this year, which adds weight to the speculation that the incoming device won't be another edition of the standard iMac AIO. Still, it's likely that some of the updated tech we saw in that colorful release will also make its way into this larger desktop computer.
Not only does it sound like the new iMac Pro will be implementing the same Mini-LED screen as seen on the new MacBook Pro models and iPad Pro tablets, it'll also likely be equipped with the newly released M1 Pro and Max chips for an extra boost of power.
It was previously reported that the base spec of the all-in-one will supposedly run with 16GB of system RAM and 512GB of storage, and the price will start from $2,000 (around £1,460, AU$2,660), but this is only an estimate at this time and it's likely that the official price could be higher. We do know that Young claims that Apple’s Mini-LED panel prices are higher than competing OLED sizes, which could impact the standard retail price if Mini-LED faces production constraints and supply issues.
Outside of price, the design is expected to be similar to the existing M1-powered iMac 24-inch (though likely without the spectrum of colors), and is set to feature a HDMI port, plus an SD card and USB-C connectors, along with dark bezels instead of the white bezels on the iMac 24-inch.
Analysis: Is this the end of standard LCD displays?
Young mentioned in a separate 'Quarterly MiniLED Backlight Technology, Cost and Shipment Report' that "The adoption of MiniLED technology will gain significant momentum in 2021 as Samsung and Chinese brands launch LCD TVs with MiniLED backlights", and it looks like things will continue along that path into 2022 and beyond.
It's doubtful that standard IPS LCD displays will disappear anytime soon, but the recent influx of display technology into devices like AIO's, laptops and TVs means that we could be seeing it replaced with modern technology like OLED and MiniLEDs, as display manufacturing increases to meet demands.
In fact, within five years it's not farfetched to think that most new laptop announcements will include updated display technology, provided that costs can be reduced. After all, we're already seeing affordable options hitting the market, such as the Asus Vivobook OLED, and the popular Dell XPS 15 is also available with an optional OLED screen.
Still, we anticipate that long before the wider market sees OLED and MiniLED overtake current IPS LCD displays, Apple will introduce new display technology to its entire product family, especially given that even the iPad Pro 2021 tablet has received an upgrade and rumors are floating around that the 2022 Apple MacBook Air will also feature a Mini-LED screen.
It's naive to think that Apple is making these upgrades fruitlessly, so we anticipate that it's not a matter of if OLED and Mini-LED will replace current displays across the market, but when.
- Best Mac and MacBooks: all the top Apple desktops and laptops