iMacs delayed until 2013? Update: Nope

Update: Our own Mark Gurman seems to have put the kibosh on this one.

French language website MacBidouille claims to have some bad news from its retail sources. While they were expecting to see iMacs arrive Nov. 27 (we also heard a similar time frame—with availability beginning around Black Friday) for the 21.5-inchers and later in December for the 27-inchers, both may now miss the all-important holiday shopping season.

The source blames a welding process for the delays, which would push the iMacs into 2013. The new iMacs also have a redesigned display that features a new thinner lamination process.

We first noted the delays in new iMac production in October and questioned whether the devices would be announced at the iPad mini event. Interestingly, we also heard that Apple might introduce an updated Thunderbolt Display in the not-so distant future that may be tied to the launch of the 27-inch iMac. Stay tuned for more information on that soon.

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ZAGG introduces two new cases for iPad mini featuring Bluetooth keyboard, starting at $89

Well-known accessory maker ZAGG has unveiled its lineup of cases for the new iPad Mini that ships Nov. 2, including two new keyboard cases for those looking for a mix of protection and easier typing with a keyboard.

The first is the ZAGGkeys Mini 7 priced at $89.99 for those looking for a folio case design and a Bluetooth keyboard. ZAGG said the case has an “intuitive built-in stand to hold the tablet an ideal viewing angle” that makes typing easier. Additionally, ZAGG announced the ZAGGkeys Mini 9 priced at $89.99. It features the same casing as the Mini 7, but it has an upgraded keyboard that offers more space. There are “dedicated function keys” and “island-style keys engineered to provide 90% of the space of a traditional keyboard” for people who have larger hands.

Ships in weeks.

Check out another screenshot:

9to5Toys: 20% off iTunes gift cards, Minis starting at $551, iMacs at $1086

From 9to5Toys:



Staples has 2x$25 iTunes gift cards for $40 with free shipping.  At 20% off, that matches the lowest price we’ve seen.  The promo lasts until Feb. 25th.  iTunes gift cards can be used on Music, Videos, iBooks, iOS Apps  and Mac Apps (including Mountain Lion).

Also, remember we’re partnering with MacMall until the end of the month to bring you the lowest prices on new Mac desktops including Minis starting at $551.88 and iMacs starting at $1086.82

All discounts, including higher end models listed below:

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Macworld: for simple tasks, a decked out Mini beats a base iMac handily (or SSDs rule)

Macworld decided to put a decked out Mac Mini Mid-2011 against a current baseline iMac 2.5GHz to see what kind of performance could be gotten from Apple’s diminutive little machine when an SSD is added.

When we say “decked out”, we’re referring to the $100 2.5->2.7GHz CPU improvement + $600 SSD upgrade which almost doubles the price of the $799 ($769) high end Mini and pushes it above the price of the base model iMac. Minis start out at around $568.

The results are pretty apparent: when running simple tests, especially ones that rely only on CPU and disk access, the Mini beat the iMac handily (above). That’s almost entirely due to the added speed of the SSD compared with the iMac’s 3.5-inch HDD. When doing more graphics intensive tests (below), the iMac and its more powerful GPU took over.

The takeaway on this however is that a HDD to SSD upgrade can make a heck of a lot of difference in performance. For those handy out there, adding an SSD to a Mac Mini doesn’t have to be a $600 proposition either. Reasonable SSDs can start out at $100 and can be added to the new Minis’ hard drive configuration (not swapped) with a simple kit.

Another important tweak not detailled in these tests is adding 8GB of RAM to the Mini which will run you somewhere south of $40. Added RAM really improves performance when lots of windows or applications are open at the same time.

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New MacBook Air and Mac Mini best prices

From 9to5Toys:

We noted before the release of the new Apple products that it often pays to wait a week before buying Apple’s new products.  Not only don’t you get “the first ones off the line”, but prices drop significantly over the first week.

A number of Apple Authorized Retailers/affiliates are new selling Apple’s new MacBook Airs and Minis at prices up to $100 lower than Apple.  MacMall and Amazon appear to be the lowest.

MacMall has the MacBook Air for the following prices (note: $30 more is taken off at checkout):

1.60GHz 11″ MacBook Air 2GB/64GB  $940.89
1.60GHz 11″ MacBook Air 4GB/128GB $1,129.07
1.70GHz 13″ MacBook Air 4GB/128GB $1,216.37
1.70GHz 13″ MacBook Air 4GB/256GB $1,502.52

 

 

Update: The MacMall deals are over.

Mac Minis are lowest at Amazon, however…

2.30GHz Core i5 Mac mini $569.00
2.50GHz Core i5 Mac mini $769.00

And the 2.00GHz Core i7 Mac mini Server is lowest –  $959.99 at MacConnection.  

For RAM upgrades, you aren’t going to do better than this 8GB for $45

Note: Best Buy will often match these prices.

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Apple cutting prices internationally on upcoming Mac hardware

We’ve been getting word from some international Apple retailers that not only are MacBook Airs, Minis and White MacBooks getting updated soon, but those Macs are also going to see modest-significant price drops in some countries we’ve polled.  While we can’t get into the specifics of where and how much, we can tell you some models are being reduced more than the equivalent of $100.

A few things to consider: One, the US Dollar has dropped significantly against Pacific currencies like the Japanese Yen and Korean Won (below) in the past year.  Apple has in the past adjusted its products against currency fluctuations.

Also, Apple has been streamlining operations across the globe over the past few years and has been able to bring its prices more in line with US prices.

While these price drops are great news for our friends overseas, it doesn’t necessarily correlate to price drops in the US.

But we wouldn’t rule price drops out either, there have been unreliable reports of a $899 base price of a MacBook Air. Read more

Airplay is now working to the Mac

For those of us who still use a Mac Mini (or other Mac) as a MediaCenter connected to our TVs, today’s hack from Erica Sadun is a blessing.  She created a Mac Application that can catch Airplay from iOS devices and output the video on the screen.  For all intents, AirPlayer lets your Mac do what an AppleTV does naturally.

You can download the Macintosh Application, called AirPlayer.app here.

The interesting question is: Does Apple want us doing this?  They make much more money selling Minis (and other Macs) than they do on AppleTV units.  However, it would seem easy enough for Apple to include this type of Application with Mac OSX.  So why does Sadun have to build it instead?  Are we in for another cat and mouse chase?

(update: it is a .01 release and we did have some trouble getting it to work with a YouTube video over wifi) Read more