We got a plethora of exciting new devices at the Apple March Event, but we didn't get a new, M1-powered 27-inch iMac – and once the event had finished, Apple then discreetly stopped selling the model it launched in 2020.
It sounds as though those hoping for a revamped and upgraded iMac with a larger screen in the near future are going to be disappointed: sources speaking to 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) say that there are no such plans in the pipeline.
The same report claims that there are plans to refresh the 24-inch iMac sometime in 2023, but it sounds like nothing larger is on the drawing board – with the usual caveat that Apple's plans could always change again in the next year or ten.
The most recent 27-inch iMac made its bow in August 2020, with Intel processors inside. Apple has now transitioned the rest of its Mac line over to its own line of chipsets, but this particular all-in-one computer has now been left behind.
There had been some speculation that the 27-inch iMac would get an upgrade with an M1 or an M2 processor inside – or even that Apple could bring back the super-powerful iMac Pro that we saw in 2017 – but those hopes have been dashed for now.
This is all unofficial for now, though 9to5Mac say the same sources tipped it off to the existence of the Mac Studio and the Studio Display ahead of time, so it sounds as though the information that's been passed on is likely to be accurate.
Analysis: the Mac Studio is the focus
As always with these product decisions, we're not privy to the internal sales data that Apple sees. With the company discontinuing the 27-inch iMac, we're assuming that over the last few years a lot more people were opting for the cheaper, less powerful 24-inch version rather than the bigger model.
That's borne out by the introduction of the Mac Studio and the Studio Display: it's two devices rather than one, but it scratches the itch that high-end users drawn to the 27-inch iMac or the earlier iMac Pro might have been feeling.
And by ditching the all-in-one form factor, Apple is able to pack in more power and better cooling. The Mac Studio comes carrying the brand new M1 Ultra chipset – its most powerful yet, remember – and has a rather hefty price tag attached too.
As you've probably noticed, the Studio Display offers the same 27 inches of screen space as the newly discontinued iMac, so the parallels are clear. For the pro users who need high-specification components in their Mac computers, and who have the budgets to be able to pay for it, the Mac Studio/Studio Display combination is the new iMac Pro.