New iMacs possibly delayed until 2013

At Apple's special event back in October, the company revealed an updated design for the iMac. Besides the removal of the optical drive, better specifications and the Fusion drive, the 5 mm thickness was the most noteworthy change to Apple's desktop computer. However, it seems that the latter causes some production difficulties, according to some rumours.

The French blog MacBidouille reports that the release date will be pushed into 2013, blaming the iMac's new friction-stir welding process as the culprit. The new design features seamless joints, which are not easy to manufacture. Citing Apple, the process involves a "combination of intense friction-generated heat and pressure to intermix the molecules of the two aluminum surfaces". The design also gets rid of the air between the glass front and the display, which leads to additional manufacturing difficulties, especially for the 27 inch model.

Apple's CEO Tim Cook already expressed concerns over the availability during the company's quarterly earnings conference call, stating: "We will have a significant shortage there." Apple hasn't changed the launch windows for the 21,5 and the 27 inch models of the iMac on the Apple Store, which are November and December respectively.

Source: MacBidouille via AppleInsider | Image via Apple

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27 Comments

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From a purely scientific standpoint, you cannot mix "molecules" of aluminium as it is a metal and present a cristalline structure, hence, not a molecular structure, hence, no molecules !!!

No wonder they cannot weld it if they don"t know basic material science !!!

Regardless, this is one absurdly thin computer. Kudos to Apple for a truly impressive piece of engineering, once again.

Dr_Asik said,
Regardless, this is one absurdly thin computer. Kudos to Apple for a truly impressive piece of engineering, once again.

A laptop where weight and physical dimensions make a difference, yes. But a computer that sits on your desktop and doesn't move, why does 5mm vs. 20mm make a difference other than form over function, especially when you cannot ship it because of the size?

Dr_Asik said,
Regardless, this is one absurdly thin computer. Kudos to Apple for a truly impressive piece of engineering, once again.

I see no point in making the iMac thinner. You don't hold it in your hands while you use it, you dont ever pick it up unless you're switching desks, hell... You stare at it from the front 99% of the time, you'll never notice that it's thinner unless you stand beside it.

They could have used the extra space to add better components than what they upgraded to on this version, they could have added space for another drive, could have used the extra space for better cooling, added more ports, etc. But they chose to make it thinner because Apple would not be able to deliver a keynote unless their new product is thinner than the previous.

I'll stick with my current 27" iMac for now. No plans to upgrade to this one, maybe in a few years.

"combination of intense friction-generated heat and pressure to intermix the molecules of the two aluminum surfaces" - why not just use machined screws, and allow users to upgrade their computers?

68k said,
"combination of intense friction-generated heat and pressure to intermix the molecules of the two aluminum surfaces" - why not just use machined screws, and allow users to upgrade their computers?

Because it's more attractive without them and 99.9% of users have no interest in upgrading anything.

Ive been waiting to buy a replacement compy when my laptop burned out 3 weeks ago. Now what? wait or buy simething i dont want

Co_Co said,
Ive been waiting to buy a replacement compy when my laptop burned out 3 weeks ago. Now what? wait or buy simething i dont want

Well, according to supply/demand I think you can safely buy something you don't want.

68k said,

I would recommend a HP all-in-one PC instead - such as the Z1:
http://www.hp.com/united-state...rkstations/z1_features.html
"Introducing the HP Z1, the world's first all-in-one workstation with a 27” (diagonal) display that snaps open to let you swap out parts and make upgrades. No tools required."

Display, Web/App Developer tools, performance, etc can't be compared to this new Mac and the abilities that Unix/Linux themselves carry.

JHBrown said,

That HP is inferior to the iMac. The screen alone on the iMac would have that HP running for mama!

And what good does it to people that need a computer today? The screen may be better, but if someone need a computer now or for Christmas, something that will not ship until after the New Year will not help them now. But it also brings up another topic - people were complaining that Surface was announced 3-4 months before the actual release. And here we have a new computer from Apple being announced and not shipping for 3-4 months but it is ok to wait because, in your words, we should wait for one feature.

JHBrown said,

That HP is inferior to the iMac. The screen alone on the iMac would have that HP running for mama!

Have you read the specs? It's an IPS:
27-inch, 2560x1440 pixel, diagonal LED-backlit IPS display (support for up to 1.07 billion colors)

68k said,

Have you read the specs? It's an IPS:
27-inch, 2560x1440 pixel, diagonal LED-backlit IPS display (support for up to 1.07 billion colors)

Seriously, that baby can run up to 32GB of RAM and contain a Quad Core i7 that can overclock to almost 4Ghz.

And I'm a Web Developer who also needs to do music/cinema, Unix/Linux beats Windows.

forster said,

That HP is an utter monstrosity. Id slap my grandma if she bought that.


Okay, but let's say you bought the base model (with Intel HD Graphics 2000), and then you wanted to play Crysis 2, or do some complex CAD design on it. You would have to upgrade the graphics card. Easy: http://www.hp.com/united-state...ges/img_gallery-z1_four.jpg
No screw-drivers/vacuum suction tools (to pull off the screen) needed.
And you can choose between:
- Entry 3D: NVIDIA Q500M Graphics
- Midrange 3D: NVIDIA Q1000M Graphics, NVIDIA Q3000M Graphics
- High-end 3D: NVIDIA Q4000M Graphics
Everything is replaceable - I think this really has potential in the workplace.
But if you buy a 21.5" iMac, you can't upgrade anything, and have to send it somewhere for service!
I personally think the Z1 looks quite nice - it has an industrial look. And the ports are on the side - not on the back!

Mr.XXIV said,

And I'm a Web Developer who also needs to do music/cinema, Unix/Linux beats Windows.


You can run Unix/Linux on the Z1.
For music/cinema, yes, a Mac may have the slight advantage - if that's what you meant. But Windows has some great programs in that area too.

Mr.XXIV said,

Display, Web/App Developer tools, performance, etc can't be compared to this new Mac and the abilities that Unix/Linux themselves carry.


I personally find (basic) window management on Mac OS X quite annoying. I compare windows side-by-side regularly, and installed Cinch to emulate "AeroSnap" on Windows 7/8: http://www.irradiatedsoftware.com/cinch/ [SizeUp gives you keyboard shortcuts for snapping windows]. It's worth the money from my opinion - it's time Apple integrated "AeroSnap" into Mac OS X.

68k said,

You can run Unix/Linux on the Z1.
For music/cinema, yes, a Mac may have the slight advantage - if that's what you meant. But Windows has some great programs in that area too.
Windows offers better software in any productivity field, including music and video production and editing.

paulheu said,
Windows offers better software in any productivity field, including music and video production and editing.

Not in development field. In order for me to work with FuelPHP and such others that require to use the terminal (the right way). I'd definitely rather OS X.

devHead said,
Well, that's a shame.

nonnovation is clearly harder to make than they thought: maybe making those rounded corners need better sandpaper - some P12 maybe...