Apple plans to upgrade its iMac desktop PC line on Tuesday with a flashier design and thinner keyboard, according to comments and photos on industry blogs. Apple did not return calls for comment, but has already announced that it will hold a news conference that day at its Cupertino, California, headquarters. The company is expected to announce a new generation of iMac desktops with a slimmer design than the current family, which now use Intel Corp.'s Core 2 Duo processors and a choice of monitors at 17 inches, 20 inches or 24 inches. The new desktop line will offer only the 20-inch and 24-inch monitors, putting a greater emphasis on the visual impact of applications like digital photos and movies, as well as the three-dimensional graphics used in the latest video games in Microsoft's Windows Vista OS, according to postings at a number of blogs that are focused on Apple products and at more general IT blogs.
In another change, the new family of PCs will come with a sleek keyboard, built to be much thinner than current models and use lower-profile keys, according to photos published on several blogs. Global desktop sales have been sinking in relation to notebook sales in recent years. In the second quarter, U.S. retail desktop sales were down 10 percent compared to the same period last year, while notebook sales rose 43 percent over the same period, according to figures published in July by Current Analysis West. The decline pushed the share of desktops for the total U.S. PC market down to an all-time low of 31 percent, with notebooks holding the remaining 69 percent.