The drastic change made to the iMac pertains to its size. It’s a lot thinnerâ€”5mm thin to be exactâ€”and will be available in 21.5 inch and 27 inch models.
The other big difference is the omission of an optical disc drive/DVD reader. Apple perceives the drive as an archaic component with the company’s Senior Vice President, Philip Schiller, claiming those reliant on the tech “are still stuck in the past.”
“And for those who are still are stuck in the past, yes, you can get an optical drive; we offer a great [$79] SuperDrive that plugs into USB.”
Ordinarily the absence of a disk drive isn’t deserving of much drama, but in an Apple device, it bears more weight. Without a DVD drive, it’s harder to install third party applications, watch DVD movies and play music, of which you wouldn’t buy from Apple’s App store. The absence of the drive clearly motivates people to buy more software and content from Apple. It’s a far cry from their days as a company revolting against a supposedly totalitarian IBM.
There’s also a lack of innovation with the new iMac range. Scratch that: there’s a lack of innovation with all Apple products since the launch of the iPhone 5. Apart from making things thinner, there are no new wireless technologies, new ports or new revolutionary features that customers have come to expect from the brand. Apple’s new products are simply scoring retina screens or losing weight. Yawn.
The iPhone 5 and the company’s subsequent products stand testament to Apple succumbing to competitor pressure. The iPhone 5 has a bigger screenâ€”Apple resisted conforming to screens larger than 3.5 inches for 5 yearsâ€”and the launch of a smaller iPad is something Steve Jobs famously rejected.
“The rumoured smaller (7″ – 8″), cheaper iPad marks a significant shift in Apple’s strategy,” began Ovum analyst Adam Leach. “For the first time in its recent history it is responding to market pressures from its competitors, namely Google and Amazon in bringing a smaller tablet to market.”
That is not to say the new range of Apple products is bad, because they’re not. There still is a sense of quality craftsmanship and that seamless synergy between software and hardware. It remains too soon to tell if the company is running with the momentum of Steve Jobs’ vision, or if this lack of innovation is the result of new mediocre direction.
As for the new iMacs, enclosed in their slender case is Intel’s third generation of processors (quad core i5 and i7s), 8GB of 1600MHz RAM, and either a traditional hard disk drive, flash drive or a hybrid drive, (Apple refers to flash memory working alongside conventional hard drive technology as ‘fusion drives.’)
The 21.5 inch iMac will be available in November with a $1,429 recommended retail price, while the larger 27 inch model will arrive in December for $1,999.