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Apple's new iMac is its most expensive ever

Gregg Keizer | Oct. 20, 2014
Apple yesterday launched its most expensive-ever iMac, the $2,499 iMac with Retina 5K display, a desktop that will appeal to not only professional creative customers but also well-heeled consumers who want the very best money can buy, analysts said.

Not every analyst who attended Apple's press conference Thursday thought that the iMac was aimed at a market wider than creative professionals who worked in video, photography or dimensional rendering. "It's more of a versatile professional machine, not a high-end mass market [PC]," contended Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

But Milanesi and Bajarin both speculated that the display used by the new iMac — and Apple's leapfrog of the 4K screens other OEMs are starting to introduce, and those that television makers are now selling as "Ultra HD" — hinted at future moves by the Cupertino, Calif. firm.

"This looks like a first step into the living room," Milanesi said of the iMac, which can double as a display for content pushed by Netflix, Amazon, HBO and others.

Bajarin noted the iMac's new Apple-designed processor, a time controller, or as Schiller called it, a "T-CON," that manages and manipulates each pixel. "I have no clue if this could be put into a dedicated Apple TV but, at the technical level, this processor could give them a decided edge in TV designs should they want to go in that direction," said Bajarin.

The Retina 5K iMac seems to be in short supply, as the delay between ordering and shipping lengthened today to "3-5 business days" on Apple's U.S. online store from Thursday's "1-3 business days."

 

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