Has Apple’s iMac 2021 surprise been spoiled by macOS Big Sur beta?

(Image credit: Future)

The latest macOS update — Big Sur 11.3 — was recently given to developers, and it appears to include references to unreleased iMac (2021) models. Given the discontinuing of multiple iMac models, and ongoing rumors that new versions will be replacing them soon, the launch of these new iMacs could be nearer than we think.

As discovered by 9to5Mac, ‘iMac21,1’ and ‘iMac21,2’ were mentioned in the Big Sur beta, and could correspond to upcoming 21.5 and 27-inch iMacs, codenamed J456 and J457. We don’t know much more right now, but a leak of a so-called M1X CPU suggests they could be due for a performance boost using Apple’s own chip - rather than using Intel hardware.

There is a long-rumored Apple event supposedly scheduled for April that could give us further details on any upcoming iMac devices. While the event is rumored to mostly be discussing iPads and the hotly anticipated Air Tags, a new iMac reveal could also be on the cards. 

What do we want to see from new iMacs? 

Apple’s current iMac models were both fine computers, but are long overdue an upgrade.

While we loved the 4K visuals of 2019’s 21.5-inch Apple iMac, it otherwise didn’t live up to our expectations - or its price tag. Hopefully Apple will package its new model with better specs out of the gate without compromising on the features it already got right.

The Apple iMac 27-inch released in 2020 shows Apple can do this. The internals got a nice boost and for those working from home, the webcam and mic improvements were a nice upgrade. Ignoring the problems that plague most Apple computers — like the inability to upgrade it yourself — the only thing we would have liked to see were a few more Thunderbolt ports.

We’ll have to wait a little while longer for Apple to reveal any upcoming iMacs to know for certain what’s on the cards. As soon as we hear more, we’ll let you know.

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.