updated 10:05 pm EST, Wed December 15, 2010
New iMac screen, slight MacBook Pro rework tipped
Apple is planning refreshes of the iMac and MacBook Pro for the first half of 2011 that should include redesigns, part suppliers said Wednesday night. The iMac will reportedly get a "new panel size" and a "mainstream," presumably lower price to reach more users. Other details of the all-in-one weren't forthcoming from Digitimes' sources, although a jump to Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture for processors and newer graphics chips are both probable.
The MacBook Pro would meanwhile have only a "slight" change in its design but could be one of the first Apple notebooks to ship with Mac OS X Lion from the start, the component producers claimed. Little else was mentioned, but recent rumors have already pointed to MacBook Pros using AMD graphics on the high end, most likely the Radeon HD 6000M series.
Both the iMac and the MacBook Pro would be made by Foxconn and Quanta, the tips suggested. Quanta has usually been Apple's manufacturer of the choice for the iMac, but it sometimes farms out production to other contractors to help with high demand. Regardless of the split, Quanta is expected to depend more on Apple's popularity, as the Mac's share of Quanta's revenue would grow from 20 percent this year to between 28 and 30 percent in 2011.
MacBooks are expected to be even more of a driver for Apple this year, the unofficial estimates added: the company would have "no trouble" shipping 10 million of the portables in 2010, and the redesigned MacBook Pros plus Lion could help Apple ship between 30 to 40 percent more notebooks next year.
The rumors don't have directly corroborating evidence, but Apple has been seeing a resurgence in desktops led by the current iMac design and may be eager to seize on the popularity with a more accessible or simply more value-loaded version than in the past. MacBook Pro systems, particularly the 13-inch model, have usually been Apple's main sales drivers since the unibody redesigns.