Apple has a very secretive reputation, keeping its product plans under wraps until CEO Tim Cook walks onto stage in the Steve Jobs Theatre to deafening whoops and cheers. However, the Cupertino-based company might’ve let something slip on its own website.
Eagled-eyed Reddit users have spotted what appears to be a new iMac design on the Education Pricing webpage on the official Apple website. How do we know its a new design? Because the chunky black bezels that border the screen on the current generation of the all-in-one desktop machine has been dramatically slimmed down.
If Apple is planning to refresh the design of its desktop computer, this would make a lot of sense. After all, it’s a trend it has established with almost all of the other products in its portfolio – the iPhone X re-imagined its flagship smartphone with an edge-to-edge touchscreen, while the latest iPad Pro design did the same for the high-end tablet. Elsewhere, Apple has also stretched its display to the very edge of the chassis with the Apple Watch Series 4 redesign, and most recently with the new MacBook Pro 16-inch.
So, it would make a lot of sense for the thick borders on the iMac screen to meet their maker very soon.
Interestingly, what Apple hasn’t established is a clear pattern of whether it shrinks the borders around its displays to squeeze more screen real estate into the same physical footprint, or whether it reduces the overall size of the gadget and keeps the screen the same size. For example, while one of the latest-generation iPad Pro tablets got a smaller footprint, the 11-inch model stayed the same size and benefited from a bigger display.
Apple currently sells iMac computers with 21.5-inch and 27-inch displays. While the latter seems big enough for an all-in-one, a smaller bezel could allow Apple to treat users to even more room on their desktops. Or, more likely perhaps, Apple could increase the screen in the smaller 21.5-inch model while keeping the same physical size of the all-in-one, and shrink the size of the 27.5-inch to appeal to those who want the screen real estate but don’t want their desks to be dominated by the machine.
Unfortunately, some Reddit users have poured cold water on our rampant speculation about the future of the iMac line. While there is undoubtedly a high-resolution image of an iMac with much slimmer bezels than are available on anything in the Apple Store, it might not be a leak from the firm’s design lab.
Instead, some Reddit users believe it’s a mistake in the edit of the picture.
“Intern working on Education site goofs when pasting a different wallpaper image on the iMac picture,” a Reddit user known as StetsonG commented, while another added: “The fact that this image has been up for several days now makes me think it’s just a bad image or something. Apple is not in the habit of leaving leaked images online for very long.”
Scrolling through the comments, there is a pretty even split between people who like the new design, those who believe it’s a crystal ball of what is to come from Apple, and those who believe it’s an editing mistake that has made the image of the desktop too big for the iMac over which it has been overlaid.
Summing it up rather crassly, BeachballOfDoom posted: “It’s just a crap image editing job. Same happened when they released the 16″ MacBook Pro, some of the images showed a thinner bezel than actually exists, they later corrected it.”
Another agreed: “I’ll play devils advocate here. Perhaps they mocked it up using a template but the screen part was just overlaid larger than the area intended. So, they just took that image of the desktop screen and scaled it up too much.”
Whether it’s real or not, we might not have long to wait to find out. Apple is widely-tipped to hold an event within the first few months of the new year to announce an update to its iPad Pro range with a triple-camera with advanced depth-sensing capabilities for the next generation of Augmented Reality (AR) apps and games. A second, more affordable iPhone SE is also believed to be in the works for the event.