R.I.P. 17-inch Apple iMac?

Apple Store“Apple’s pending iMac update will spell the end of the day for the 17-inch iMac, the most affordable computer in the line. The refreshed iMac, currently on track to arrive by the end of June according to sources, will feature just 20- and 24-inch models,” Think Secret reports.

“The decision to axe the smallest iMac comes as display prices continue to track downwards, making the cost difference for Apple between a 17-inch display and a 20-inch display almost negligible,” Think Secret reports.

“Eliminating the low-end iMac will also improve logistics for Apple, which will need to track and stock considerably fewer parts,” Think Secret reports.

Full article, including the rumor that Apple’s 23-inch Apple Cinema HD Display may soon grow an inch, here.


  1. From the Article: “Apple is also expected to make the long-anticipated switch from its 23-inch Cinema Display HD to a 24-inch model featuring the same panel as the iMac.”

    This will almost positively NOT true. The LCD panel in the 24″ iMac is fairly nice from what I’ve seen, but it is not at the same quality level of the LCD panels used in the Cinema displays. By the same token, the 20″ iMac panel and lighting technology is NOT the same as in the 20″ Cinema display. if it were, it would make the iMac line one HELL of a deal! It’s already a great deal, but not as incredible as it would be then! Same size does not equal the same part.

    So, don’t think you’re getting a Cinema display in your iMac, because you aren’t.

  2. So, when we retire my wife’s G4 iMac we’ll be forced to get a screen bigger than the largest one available – 17″ – when we bought that sturdy beast several years ago. Won’t “fix” her vision problem, make it much easier to get past. (she needs either big, or close, or both – the close was how I got her to switch)

    DLMeyer – the Voice of G.L.Horton’s Stage Page Pod Cast

    Yeah … she’s the G.L. who’s writings are the basis for the pod cast in my .sig

  3. Chris:

    If they’re launching new iMacs, it’s ENTIRELY possible that these new ones will share the same panels as future Cinema Displays. It makes a lot of sense from a supplyand warehousing standpoint, plus would follow Apple’s initiative to move further along into HD.

  4. Chris, I don’t what your sources are (please supply), but from my observations at the Apple Store, the 24″ imac is as least as good and I actually thought better than 23″ cinema display.

  5. You are all wrong!

    The new screen coming from Apple inc. is going to be a wall mountable 60″ HD cinema display with an internal Apple TV.

    Because they will use the new LED system they announced as part of their GREEN policy, they will be the most energy effiecient cinema displays on the market, not only using a fraction of CRT tv’s energy but all the components will be recyclable and contain no hazardous chemicals. Apple will be able to offer a life time return and upgrade recycling facility for free.

    MARK my words, you heard it from the CRABAPPLE!:-)

  6. @Cpt. Obvious, yes, I understand that it’s possible, but it’s very unlikely that the increased supply inefficiency would outweigh the cost of putting such high-quality parts into an iMac without raising the price of the iMac. It’s possible that at some point in the future, LCD technology and pricing will reach a level where a very high-quality display is close in price to a lower-end consumer-level display, but this is not close to being the case now.

    Now, if you are correct, and they DO end up using the same panels, one of two things will be true: either the iMac will cost more (or will not drop in price as much as it can), or the Cinema displays will drop in quality. The iMac displays are a consumer-quality monitor, and the Cinema displays are a professional-quality monitor (though certainly not the best). I’ve been working on Cinema displays (and with Eizo’s) since they came out, and have had to deal with all the issues they have had over time (and believe me, there have been issues!).

    I hope some day a consumer display and a pro display are one and the same, but that time has not yet arrived.

  7. Apple has a size fetish.

    First they kill off the 12″ PowerBook, now the 17″ iMac. What’s next, the smallest MacBook will be 20″?

    It’s not the size, it’s what you do with it. Bigger is not always better.

    (Hint: the 12″ PB was the most portable laptop size.)

  8. @b: My source is Apple itself. Call them and ask them.

    You may, at a glance think the 24″ iMac display is as good or better than a Cinema, but once you try to calibrate it to professional standards and do left-side to right-side color tests, you will learn the difference. The iMac displays are certainly very good, but they are not the same level monitor. Just like a Cinema is no high-end Eizo.

    I’ve been working with these for a very long time, and from my experience, Apple does not keep this a secret. I don’t have the business card with me of tech contact at Apple, unfortunately, but anyone at Apple could tell you (I don’t know that the Apple Store salespeople can, no guarantees there!)

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