Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Apple to Kill 17-Inch iMac in Next Update? - -

--The fabled 'Mac' would be perfect to fill the resulting hole...

By: Victor Mihailescu, Apple News Editor

Rumors about the next generation of iMacs have resurfaced, and after several months still sing the same song. It looks like the smallest member of the iMac family will be left behind for good.

Rumors that the next generation of iMacs will have a new redesigned look, but will drop the 17-inch model started surfacing in March. After almost three years since the current design debuted, a change of looks would not go amiss. However, the decision to exclude
the smallest iMac from the update, and even potentially kill it off altogether came as a surprise. While it is quite possible for Apple to refresh the iMac line and come out with a 20i-inch model around the same price as the previous 17-inch model, many prefer the smaller sized desktop.

Dropping the 17-inch iMac altogether would leave rather a large hole in Apple’s lineup. For one thing, there is the educational market, where the mini is often not enough, but a 20-inch iMac would be too much. Apple needs a cheaper, entry-level model, and the mini – while great at what it does – is considered by many as a bad choice due to the fact that it is both dated and lacking a display and peripherals.

Dropping the 17-inch iMac and offering the 20-inch model for around the same price could be done, but that would mean having to upgrade the mini because the gap between the two would simply be far too large. Conversely, Apple could do something totally unexpected and drop a bomb by introducing a new model that would be somewhere between the mini and the Mac Pros, without a display, and priced around what the former 17-inch iMac used to cost. This fabled ‘Mac’ has long been awaited by loyal Apple customers and potential switchers alike, and would go a long way to improving Apple’s computer line-up.

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