When will the new iMacs be released?

Apple released the 2020 iMac range on 4 August 2020

How much does the 2020 iMac range cost?

While the new iMac range costs the same as the 2019 variant in the US, there's a £50 price increase across the board in the UK - even for the 21.5in models that are, SSD aside, the same as the 2019 variants.

  • iMac 21.5in 2.3GHz Dual-Core 7th generation Intel Core i5 - £1099 / $1099
  • iMac 21.5in 4K, 3.6GHz Quad-Core 8th generation Intel Core i3 - £1299 / $1299
  • iMac 21.5in 4K, 3GHz 6-Core 8th generation Intel Core i5 - £1499 / $1499
  • iMac 27in 5K, 3GHz 6-Core 10th generation Intel Core i5 - £1799 / $1799
  • iMac 27in 5K, 3.1GHz 6-Core 10th generation Intel Core i5 - £1999 / $1999
  • iMac 27in 5K, 3.7GHz 8-Core 10th generation Intel Core i7 - £2299 / $2299

Each of these can also be enhanced with extra storage or more powerful processors through Apple's build-to-order options on its store. The new range is available to order right now, although availability will vary among regions. 

What's new with the 2020 iMac range?

When the iMac range was updated in 2019, Apple installed 8th and 9th generation Intel Coffee Lake processors across the lineup, with the 21.5in models getting the former (except for the base model which remained on 7th generation) and the 27in iMacs offering a choice of either.

However, the focus is on the 27in model this time around, leaving the 21.5in models with the same combination of 7th and 8th-gen Intel chipsets while its bigger brothers get the latest 10th-gen Intel processors. 

Apple claims that the new processors in the 27in iMac offer 40 percent faster transcode times for 8K ProRes files, along with 25 percent faster build-time in Xcode, which should be music to the ears of video editors and app developers alike.

There's also an increase of RAM, with up to 128GB available, and you'll find AMD's new 5000 series' GPUs available too. The GPU upgrade offers 55 percent faster graphics performance and a 30 percent improvement when it comes to timeline rendering in Final Cut Pro X, and if that's not enough for your needs, the GPU can be boosted to 16GB.

Internals aside, the 5K Retina display of the 27in iMac has had an upgrade. It still retains the same design and display size - those waiting for a bezel-less iMac will have to wait a little longer - but you've now got the option of adding the nano-texture glass also found on Apple's high-end Pro Display XDR. Apple claims the new finish offers an improved viewing experience in bright environments and should dramatically reduce pesky reflections too.

Elsewhere, the 720p webcam has finally been updated to a 1080p webcam, and the iMac speakers have been improved too, with deeper bass. Oh, and for those that video chat a lot, you'll enjoy the inclusion of (what Apple calls) studio-quality microphones integrated into the chassis.  

Okay, we said above that the 21.5in iMac didn't get any upgrades and, technically, that's not true - it now sports an SSD as standard. Exciting, right?

iMac 2020 rumours

Usually, a new iMac would be great news, but the announcement that Apple is shifting to its own ARM-based chips - like those in the iPhone and iPad - over the next couple of years have created long-term support worries for Intel-based Macs like those revealed today.

The ARM-based chips will be in keeping with Apple’s long-held approach of controlling as much of the design and construction of its devices as possible, and will allow new Macs to natively run iOS and iPadOS apps. It'll also offer impressive performance gains, if Apple's WWDC reveal was anything to go by. 

Apple says that the first Macs powered by the new chips will arrive by the end of the year, with a transition period of two years, but didn't specify which model(s) will be the first to arrive. 

Apple has confirmed that it'll continue to support Intel-based Macs for some time after the launch of its ARM-based range, but there will likely be a time within the next few years when Apple no longer offers software upgrades for the 27in iMac announced today.