Apple’s incredibly low priced 27-inch iMac has absolutely no equivalent in the PC world

Apple Store“The more I think and learn about the curious pricing of the 27” iMac, the more bizarre and incredible it seems,” Marco Arment blogs for

“It has a resolution of 2560×1440, which no other monitor in the industry seems to have (that I can find). 30” LCDs are the same width but 1600 tall,” Arment writes. “Shrinking 2560-wide into a screen that’s 3” smaller diagonally yields an impressive pixel density, especially given the panel’s still-immense size.”

“It has an IPS panel. IPS is the best and most expensive LCD type, giving the best viewing angle and the least color- and brightness-shifting as the angle increases in any direction. Nearly every panel on the market, including every laptop panel, is the cheap TN type. (TN panels wash out as soon as you move your head slightly, especially vertically, which is why it’s so hard to find a good viewing angle for your laptop lid while watching a dark movie.) Other 27” TN panels exist (only at the lower 1920×1080 resolution), but I can’t find any other 27” IPS panels,” Arment writes. “It’s also LED-backlit.”

Arment writes, “So it’s a very high-specced, brand new panel that’s apparently not being mass-produced yet (since no other monitors for sale are using it)… A standalone monitor with the new iMac’s panel would be perfectly reasonably priced at about $1500. From Dell. Apple’s only charging $200 more than that for theirs, and there’s an entire high-end computer stuck to the back of it.”

“When they mentioned on last week’s quarterly earnings call that they expected lower profit margins for a new product, I don’t think anyone expected a change of this magnitude,” Arment writes. “How are they making anything — or even not losing money — with the base-model 27” iMac?”

“I bet we’re going to see a lot of Mac Pro owners buying 27” monitors for $1700 and trying to figure out what to do with the free computer stuck to the back,” Arment writes. “Maybe Apple wants to push more buyers away from today’s default system-type choice — laptops — and show them why they should consider getting a fast, spacious desktop instead. And, for the time being, it’s a desktop with absolutely no equivalent in the PC world.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “since1984” for the heads up.]


  1. The same $1699 will get you a Dell 2560×1600 monitor.

    It’s not the same high-end IPS image quality, it doesn’t have cleanable protective glass, it doesn’t have a webcam, speakers and a mic, and it’s made of cheap plastic instead of aluminum. It doesn’t come with a wireless keyboard for sofa control, nor an IR remote receiver, nor a wireless mouse with a scrolling trackpad on the back. It doesn’t come with a Snow Leopard license, the ability to run Windows, and the iLife software bundle. It doesn’t have Firewire 800 and fiber-optic audio I/O. It doesn’t have WiFi N, Bluetooth, an SD card reader or a DVD player/burner. And it doesn’t have a 3GHz dual-processor Macintosh with 4GB RAM, 1 terabyte of hard drive, and a 256MB graphics board.

    But it IS a display for the exact same price. And it has 160 more vertical pixels ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    And displays have always been among Dell’s BEST deals.

  2. That’s always been Apple’s strategy. Don’t compete by copying. Compete by making desirable products that the competition cannot easily copy. If you can do that, you have a monopoly on cool.

  3. and the Dell doesn’t have the LED backlight so it will dim and turn yellow while the Mac is still bright and clear.

    I wonder what the 3-year resale value is on a $1699 Dell display with old-style fluirescent tubes, vs. the resale value on a 27” 3GHz iMac with all the trimmings?

    We all thought Apple was going to cut margins to offer cheaper machines—even though they’ve done great in this economy without such a move. Turns out they cut margins by going really HIGH end!

  4. Reading these reviews, I find that this is the first time in a long time I’ve actually been tempted to get a desktop again. I think I can hold out until these brilliant specs show themselves on an MBP. But just barely.

  5. Something else to put under my X-mas tree.

    Or … <harrumph> … to give my wife for X-mas. Yes. That’s what I meant. Yup. That’ll sooth her feathers.
    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cheese” style=”border:0;” />

  6. @ McIntosh,

    “I think I can hold out until these brilliant specs show themselves on an MBP.”

    You bet buddy. When that 27″ MBP hits the Apple Stores I will be all over it too.

  7. If you thought reading the specs makes it tempting, then do yourself a favor and do NOT go see one. You’ll be ruined if you do. No written description or even a photo can do these justice…wow.

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