updated 02:00 pm EDT, Tue May 27, 2014
Currently the only Mac model other than the Mac Pro not to ship within 24 hours
On Apple's retail website, all configurations of the iMac have now slipped from shipping within 24 hours to nearly a week or more -- hinting that a refresh may be imminent. Rumors have begun to circulate that new iMacs may appear at lower price points than the current generation, just ahead of next week's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. While a refreshed iMac is unlikely to be formally announced on stage, the event often heralds new and updated releases.
Online and other retailers offer mixed reports on availability. Spot checks by MacNN and AppleInsider with prominent online and US retailers suggest limited Mac inventory, with some dealers reporting that their existing stock is still healthy. Many just-in-time resellers like Amazon and MacMall are either sold out or down to final (often discounted) units on some or most configurations.
If rumors of a lower-cost iMac turn out to be true, it would fulfill KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's prediction and timeframe for such a refresh. The iMac was last refreshed in September 2013, which brought the Haswell processor, 802.11ac support and Nvidea GeForce GT 7xx graphics for most models.
Any update would likely just improve on core specifications rather than offer a redesigned unit. There has been speculation that Apple may also be planning to complete a long-overdue update to its Mac mini line and possibly offer an improved Mac Pro in the near future as well.
As is traditionally the case, longer ship times are also affecting customized build-to-order (BTO) iMac orders as well. Buyers have seen ship times slip to two weeks or more. Resellers are starting to discount the standard configurations of the current models by as much as $150, another sign that new inventory is coming soon.