Apple will not be making an Apple Silicon version of the 27-inch iMac to replace the Intel-equipped model that it discontinued in 2022. The company is instead focusing the iMac line around the 24-inch model that was first released in early 2021 and just updated with the new M3 processor this fall.
Apple PR representative Starlayne Meza confirmed the company’s plans to The Verge. The company encourages those who have been holding out hope for a larger iMac to consider the Studio Display and Mac Studio or Mac Mini, which pair a 27-inch 5K screen with a separate computer, compared to the all-in-one design of the iMac.
For many years, the 27-inch iMac was Apple’s flagship consumer desktop computer, and its reach spread far beyond the typical living room or home office into the studios and edit bays of many media companies. But since Apple never released a version with its in-house Apple Silicon processors, many video editors, developers, and other creatives have moved on to other machines, such as the Mac Studio and MacBook Pro, or more modular desktop PCs.
Apple says the 24-inch iMac, which has a 4.5K display, neatly splits the difference between the old Intel models, which came in 21-inch 4K versions and the 27-inch 5K model. But the 24-inch iMac does not come with Apple’s most capable processors, instead sticking with its base model chips. Even today’s base Apple Silicon processors are faster than the older Intel models, but in years past, you could equip an Intel iMac with very high-end chips and discrete GPUs that made it a powerful machine at the time. Those who want more performance than the base M3 chip now, particularly for GPU-focused workloads, have no choice but to look at the other Macs or outside of Apple’s lineup.
The larger iMac also had more power user features, like a wide array of ports and an SD card slot. The current 24-inch iMac comes with a maximum of four USB-C ports, and that’s it.
It’s clear that Apple does not intend the iMac to be anything more than a family computer or to look pretty in trendy retail stores
I’ve been testing the new iMac for a few days and will be publishing my review later this week. It’s an excellent all-in-one desktop computer for most consumers, but as someone who uses a 27-inch monitor all day for work, I immediately feel more claustrophobic on the 24-inch screen and wish there were an option for a bigger model. But it’s clear that Apple does not intend for the iMac to be anything more than a family computer or to look pretty at the reception desk of trendy retail stores or spas. The move away from power users also puts some clarity around the reality of the all-in-one desktop PC market, which has been relegated to a niche status compared to the dominance of laptops or more personal devices like phones and tablets.
The company’s message today is specifically concerning a 27-inch iMac, which does leave the door open for an even bigger iMac to come in the future, as has been rumored on and off for some time. I personally would not hold out much hope for that, however.