Apple announces redesigned 21.5-inch iMac will be available Friday, November 30th; 27-inch models still on for December

After being unveiled in late-October, Apple has officially announced that the 21.5-inch iMac will become available this Friday, Nov. 30. The latest iMac is the eighth generation and “is the most beautiful iMac we have ever made,” according to Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller. It features a 5mm edge, edge-to-edge glass, LED-backlit display with IPS technology, a FaceTime HD camera, dual mics, four USB 3 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, OS X Mountain Lion, Bluetooth 4.0, and more.

The 21.5-inch iMac is available in two versions. The 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 model (Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz) is available for $1,299, featuring 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 memory, 1 TB (5400-rpm) hard drive, and a NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR5 memory. The 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 model (Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz) is available for $1,499, featuring similar specs, except a 1TB (5400-rpm) hard drive that can be configured into a Fusion Drive.

Apple also has a 27-inch version iMac on its way. As we reported earlier this month, the 27-inch version is still set to launch sometime in December, according to Apple. CEO Tim Cook has already discussed that the company is expecting shortages of iMacs. Our sources have indicated that the new iMac is in relatively short supply, mainly outside of the United States. Check out Cook’s comments below:

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Apple unveils new, slimmer iMac: 21.5-inch and 27-inch models

Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller is now live on stage at the company’s special media event in California, and he just showcased a refreshed, slimmer, and sleeker iMac.

“It is the most beautiful iMac we have ever made,” announced Schiller. “There’s an entire computer in there [...] it’s hard to believe there is even a display in here.”

The new eighth model is beautifully thin, but it still touts the iconic iMac shape. Schiller further discussed the iMac’s striking 5mm edge, as well, noting Apple used a “friction stir welding” technique to create the new desktop that apparently boasts less reflection than older displays.

Schiller also mentioned a new “Fusion Drive” option that is a combination of storage and software. It provides a 128GB SDD and 1TB or 3TB HDD melded into a single volume for faster read-and-writes and better performance. Go to 9to5Mac’s full coverage of the Fusion Drive for more details.

More iMac specs:

  • Two sizes: 21.5-inch and 27 inch
  • Edge-to-edge glass—5mm thinner display, 80 percent thinner than previous generation, extends entire length, super strong and nearly seamless, LED-backlit display with IPS technology
  • Removed 2mm air gap, lamintated display directly to glass, 45 percent thinner
  • Anti-reflective coating, plasma deposition—apply coating down to nanometer thickness, 75 percent less reflection than previous generation
  • FaceTime HD camera, dual mics, stereo sound system
  • Sheds up to 8 lbs
  • Audio: stereo speakers, dual microphones, and headphone port
  • Connections: SDXC card slot, Four USB 3 ports, Two Thunderbolt ports, Mini DisplayPort output with support for DVI, VGA, and dual-link DVI, 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)
  • Wireless: 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking —IEEE 802.11a/b/g compatible; Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
  • OS X:  Mountain Lion

More specs for each model and images are below.

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New base iMac: $1050, iPod touch $160, more

From 9to5Toys.com:

Today only, Buy.com via eBay Daily Deals has the 21.5″ iMac Core i5 base configuration for $1049.99 with free shipping. That matches Best Buy’s Black Friday price (but with Tax in fewer locations) and the lowest we’ve seen.

Buy.com also offers the base model 13″ MacBook Pro for $1049.99 with free shipping (Update:OVER).  MacConnection offers almost the same machine for $999.

MacMall offers a number of Closeouts on new, one generation old MacBook Airs and Pros (w/$50 rebate), below:

(Bonus: Best Buy has iPod Touch 8GB in white or black for $189 with a $30 Gift card.  Amazon ‘matches’ this with music giftcard.) Read more

MacBook Air still starts at $849

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For those who missed out on the Black Friday specials, Amazon still offers the entry level Core i5 MacBook Air for $849.99 plus free shipping.  That’s a significant $150 off of retail and the lowest price available.  This latest MacBook Air includes an Intel Core i5 1.6GHz “Sandy Bridge” dual-core processor, 11.6″ 1366×768 LED-backlit display, 2GB RAM, 64GB SSD, AirPort Extreme (802.11n wireless), Bluetooth 4.0, Facetime camera, Thunderbolt port, and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

Amazon also still has the lowest prices on the entry level MacBook Pro ($1049).  Other price lows (mostly from MacMall) can be found here.
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New MacBook Pros launching as soon as next week at current price points

Last week we exclusively reported that the current line of MacBook Pros is severely constrained and that part numbers for a new MacBook Pro line had surfaced. Based on these similar internal part numbers, the new MBP’s design should be the same as the current design.

Now, we’ve received pricing for the new laptops and the prices for each unit are the same as the prices for the current generation.

With supplies only becoming more constrained, and with shipments already touching down in select countries, we think a launch next week is likely (between Tuesday and Thursday). That is, of course, if there are no unforeseen circumstances. Thanks Mr. X! 

One more thing… after the break:

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Apple leaks clues to new MacBook Pros on its own website?

Last week we revealed that Apple is planning a small refresh for its MacBook Pro line with modest CPU bumps and possibly improved Bluetooth Wireless networking. Today we’ve found what seems to be evidence for such a refresh in Apple’s own online store.

If you do a search on Apple’s online store for ‘MacBook Pro’, you get a list of Apple’s products. In that list of products, there are two mysterious entries for ‘Macbook Pro Memory Model’ toward the bottom with the caption “Ships: Coming in November”.

Perhaps more interestingly, they link to the following two URLs which aren’t currently active:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/ME_17_2_33_MBP?mco=MTY3ODQ5OTY

http://store.apple.com/us/product/ME_17_2_4_MBP_PREV?mco=MTY3ODQ5OTY

We’ve heard that these could be the spare part part numbers for the new MacBook Pros and the 2_33 and 2_4 could be the new speeds of the quad-core Intel Core i7 processors (current is 2.0 to 2.3 GHz). If they are spare parts, these often ship a week or so after the new products so the MBPs could come sooner than ‘November’.

Update: 4-year-old MacBook Pro RAM has a similar URL but it isn’t certain if the two parts are related.

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MacBook Pros constrained, new models appear in Apple’s inventory system

Apple’s current line of MacBook Pros is heavily constrained with all models appearing to be nearly out of stock. Don’t fear, though, if you want a MacBook Pro because new models are right around the corner. Updates to all MacBook Pro models have appeared in Apple’s inventory system for the 13-inch, 15-inch, and 17-inch screen sizes. Apple will continue to ship two 13-inch models, two 15-inch models, and one 17-inch model.

This MacBook Pro refresh will not be the expected re-designed models, but will likely bring some marginally faster processors and the Bluetooth 4.0 technology that Apple started shipping in the latest MacBook Airs and the new iPhone 4S. The new internal code names for the updated MacBook Pro line are K90IA (13-inch), K91A (15-inch), and K92A (17-inch). The A in the codename signifies this next MacBook Pro refresh as being relatively minor. Thanks, Mr. X!

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‘Late 2011 iMacs’? (Updated)

Update: Apple has pulled the listing

Some eagle-eyed commenters noted that the Support document about Thunderbolt Displays included an interesting addition.  Apple says that iMac (Mid 2011 and Late 2011) can both support two Thunderbolt displays.

There’s only one problem:

Apple hasn’t released a Late 2011 iMac…yet.

Apple released an EDU-only  iMac in August which is sometimes called “Late 2011 iMac” but that device has no Thunderbolt so that wouldn’t make sense.  Apple last updated the iMacs in May to Sandy Bridge processors.

Rumors of a late 2011 MacBook Pro refresh perhaps could also point to an iMac refresh as well.

Here is Apple’s current support doc on how to identify iMacs:

Interesting to say the very least. Read more

MacConnection coupon: 3% off already low-priced Apple desktops and laptops

From 9to5Toys:

MacConnection offers readers an additional 3% off Mac desktops and laptops via coupon code “3%MacDeal”. The coupon applies to MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Pro, Mac Mini, and iMac computers. It’s the best percent-off coupon we’ve seen from MacConnection in recent months. Even better, free shipping applies to most deals, yielding a trove of lowest-we-could-find prices.

Best Bets: New Core i5 MacBook Airs now start $921 (Amazon is $949).  Mac Minis start at $551.88  (Amazon is$569)

MacConnection also has the lowest price we could find on the new Thunderbolt display at $979 and a 128GB Crucial 6Gb/s SSD for $189.99.  AppleTVs are $94.99 as are Airport Express base stations..  Wireless Magic Mouse – $64.99. Read more

Apple Certified Refurbs: 11.6″ MacBook Airs drop to $749, Minis (with Superdrives!) drop to $469

From 9to5toys.com

Along with the new MacBook Air and Mini updates today, Apple dropped the previous Apple-Certified refurbished versions to all time lows offering $250 off yesterday’s prices.  Remember, Apple’s stock of the older models didn’t just disappear.  Many moved to “Refurb”.  Apple also includes the same 1-year warranty.

MacBook Air MC505LL/A Core 2 Duo 1.4GHz 11.6″ 64GB SSD for $749 ($80 drop)
MacBook Air MC506LL/A Core 2 Duo 1.4GHz 11.6″ 128GB SSD for $949 ($50 drop)
MacBook Air MC503LL/A Core 2 Duo 1.86GHz 13.3″ 128GB SSD for $999 ($80 drop)
MacBook Air MC504LL/A Core 2 Duo 1.86GHz 13.3″ 256GB SSD for $1,249 ($80 drop)

Compare those to the new MacBook Airs:
2.4-lb. MacBook Air 11.6″ Core i5 1.6GHz 64GB SSD for $999
2.4-lb. MacBook Air 11.6″ Core i5 1.6GHz 128GB SSD for $1,199
3-lb. MacBook Air 13.3″ Core i5 1.7GHz 128GB SSD for $1,299
3-lb. MacBook Air 13.3″ Core i5 1.7GHz 256GB SSD for $1,599


Apple Certified Minis Also saw drops (Remember, the $469, $549 models have a Superdrive and probably make better media centers  ;):

Apple Mac mini MC270LL/A Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz Desktop for $469 ($130 drop)
Apple Mac mini MC438LL/A Core 2 Duo 2.66GHz Desktop for $549 ($170 drop)
Apple Mac mini MC438LL/A Core 2 Duo 2.66GHz w/ Snow Leopard Server for $749 ($100 drop) Read more

Apple drops the White MacBook, still in refurbished if you need one

It appears that Apple has dropped the White MacBook from its lineup today with the release of its new MacBook Airs.  Searching for White MacBook still brings up cached pages but going to them yields the Mac Homepage.

For those who like plastic, you can still pick up a White MacBook in the refurb store for $849.

So ends Apple’s relationship with Polycarbonate Macs. Read more