Farewell, Big iMac

In Jason Snell’s (excellent, as usual) review of the new M3 24” iMac, he reports on the currently-non-existent large iMac: “Apple told me that it has no plans to develop a 27-inch iMac again.”

Apple said the same thing to The Verge.

I have received many emails and messages from listeners and Labs members wanting to get a large iMac and asking how long they will have to wait. Based on this reporting, my answer will be, “Don’t wait; it’s not coming.”

I used to be a large iMac guy. I owned several of them over the years. If they released one today, I would not be interested. I’ve found I prefer the new world of separate computers and displays. My current display (a Pro Display XDR) has now worked with three different Macs. While there’s a higher cost going in, I think the math works out over time. Moreover, you can avoid that higher cost if you buy a non-Apple display.

When you look at the Mac compared to the iPhone, it is a blip on the Apple product line. Moreover, I expect if we had the numbers, you’d find that desktop Macs are but a blip compared to laptop Macs. So, when it comes to desktop Macs, we’re talking about a blip of a blip. I can understand why Apple doesn’t want to spend the time and resources to make a large iMac.

In hindsight, their messaging on this has been pretty straightforward: They view the 24-inch iMac as halfway between the little one and the big one and good enough for an iMac. I bought my daughter (a teacher) an M1 iMac as a graduation present (in yellow!). She loves it. I asked if she thinks it should be bigger, and she declined, “It fits perfectly on my desk.”

If you want something bigger, they want you to buy a Mac mini or Mac Studio along with one of their displays. Many people will not be happy with this decision but that is the reality. That doesn’t mean Apple isn’t capable of changing its mind. Remember when they got out of the display business? But if you need new hardware, I would not plan on waiting for that day.

I don’t think Apple is being coy. I think they view themselves as out of the big iMac business.