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Did Apple just crush our dreams of a big-screen iMac with Apple Silicon?

At its “Scary fast” October event, Apple refreshed the 24-inch iMac for the first time since its release in 2021. But during that same event, Apple also downplayed the possibility of what many Mac fans have been waiting on: a big-screen version of the iMac powered by Apple Silicon.

Apple unveiled the 24-inch iMac in May 2021 as an all-new member of the Mac family. The 27-inch iMac with Intel inside stuck around until the following year but was discontinued when Apple introduced the Mac Studio and the Studio Display.

This means that users who want a desktop Mac with a display from Apple have to opt for a Studio Display or Pro Display XDR connected to a Mac. This is a great solution for a lot of people, but there are also people who want Apple to make an all-in-one iMac with a display larger than the 24-inch iMac’s display.

The 24-inch iMac is also limited by its performance. The machine is only available with an M3 chip, meaning Apple doesn’t sell an all-in-one Mac with anything more powerful than its base model processor.

During the “Scary fast” event on Monday, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering John Ternus attempted to spin the 24-inch iMac as the “perfect” replacement for the 27-inch iMac. The 4.5K resolution of the 24-inch iMac should be plenty for 5K iMac users looking to make the switch to Apple Silicon, Ternus suggested.

“You’ll love seeing everything come to life on the beautiful, large, and immersive 24-inch 4.5K Retina display. It’s the perfect size and resolution to replace both the 4K and the 5K Intel-based models,” Ternus said.

New iMac M3 2023

“Whichever model you’re coming from, you’ll appreciate the enormous amount of screen real estate on the new iMac display,” he explained. “Along with 11 million pixels, 500 nits of brightness, and over a billion colors, it’s an expansive canvas that lets you spread out with all your favorite apps.”

Is this an example of Apple looking to downplay expectations for a big-screen iMac? It certainly seems that way. But what do the rumors say?

Most recently, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple had initially planned to launch a bigger version of the iMac with Apple Silicon shortly after the launch of the 24-inch iMac in 2021. Those plans, however, were put on pause “due to cost concerns.”

Top comment by Nutmac

Liked by 10 people

I have Apple Studio Display and assortment of matching Apple input devices. It is usually attached to Mac mini M2 Pro (upgraded from 2018 Intel Mac mini).

With Mac mini's ubiquitous size and lower upgrade price point, I don't get why so many people on the Internet are shouting for all-in-one 27-inch iMac. I suppose this combo will have lower entry price point, but once you start upgrading, iMac quickly becomes more expense, not to mention greater cost to the environment.

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Gurman specifically noted, however, that the plans were put on pause, but not scrapped altogether. Apple is still planning to release a bigger version of the iMac with a 32-inch display “in either late 2024 or 2025,” according to Bloomberg.

Given the relatively far-off timeline, it’s not at all out of the question that Apple will shelve its plans for a 32-inch iMac again. After all, the company clearly thinks it currently offers several other viable options for big-screen iMac fans in the Mac Studio, Studio Display, and 24-inch iMac.

Are you holding out for a bigger version of the iMac, or have you already found solace in another solution? Let us know in the comments.

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Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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