New iMac 2014 release date: after $1099 bargain, Retina Display next

Now that it’s serviced the low end of its desktop computing lineup with a new $1099 iMac model whose nature is still being widely debated as either a bargain or a weakling, it’s just a matter of timing as to when Apple shifts its focus to the high end of the iMac lineup. Specifically, when will it get around to rolling out the release date for the new 2014 iMac models, and more to the point, will they include a Retina Display option? At this point in the game there is still evidence on both sides.

Apple’s decision to address the low end of the iMac lineup suggests a shift in focus toward the kind of non-technical customers who are primarily interested in getting a desktop Mac computer at an affordable price, without knowing or caring about the technical specs involved in comparison to the more expensive models. But even as Apple moves to attract more entry level iMac buyers, the company has also shown an increased focus toward high end tech geeks with its new products such as the Mac Pro cylinder. That points to Apple looking to expand its Mac hardware sales on all sides at once, and in turn points to an aggressive new iMac lineup when it arrives later in 2014. Just when will that release date happen?

Last year Apple introduced the new Haswell-based iMacs in late September, suggesting the same approximate timeframe for 2014. As for the longer-view question of whether Retina Display screens will arrive this year, Apple faces a quandary. It may well already have the technology available to deliver a 21.5 inch Retina Display iMac, but perhaps not yet for the more prestigious 27 inch iMac model. If so, will Apple deliver Retina only on the midrange, or will the entirety of the Retina iMac era have to wait until it’s doable on the 27 inch scale? Those answers may come in September.

Phil Moore

Phil Moore

Phil covers tech for Stabley Times.