Research Firm Sees New Macs on the Horizon

Apple to upgrade iMacs and MacBooks in the coming weeks, Wedge Partners says

Research firm Wedge Partners strongly believes Apple is working hard to deliver an updated line of Macs in the following weeks, Barron’s reports. In a note to clients issued on Tuesday, the firm asserts that the Cupertino, California-based company will release both new iMacs and new MacBooks “in the next several weeks.”

According to the Barron’s report in question, Wedge Partners sees a redesigned iMac with a “thinner, organic design, likely with smoothed or rounded edges.” Also, the redesign “is likely to be limited,” as far as the MacBook is concerned, according to Wedge Partners.

The firm also projects “‘new, lower price points to drive demand and create a meaningful competitive threat’ to coming PCs based on Windows 7 as well as to the booming netbook segment,” Barron’s reports. “We believe these new designs and price points will help Apple achieve a 3 million unit quarter for Macs in [calendar] Q4,” Wedge says.

This is the first time in weeks Apple is being rumored to plan a refresh of its Macintosh lineup, with recent speculation being focused on camera-equipped iPods, iTunes updates and other entertainment-related stuff. Going by Wedge Partners’ prognosis, Apple may well be on track to discontinue some of its products as well, including the polycarbonate, 13-inch MacBook.

While no technical details were given in the Barron’s report (and no word on changes with the Mac mini, or Mac Pro), we can trust Apple will enhance new Macintosh computers with under-the-hood upgrades as well. Currently, the iMac starts at $1,199 for a 20-inch screen, a 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of memory, a 320GB hard drive, 8x Double-Layer SuperDrive (optical drive), and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics. The most expensive model retails for $2,199 and comes packed with a 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, NVIDIA GeForce GT 130 graphics with 512MB memory and a 24-inch, glossy display.

Apple’s 13-inch MacBook (White), although not the cheapest Mac in Apple’s shed, is priced at $999 and sports the following specs: Intel Core 2 Duo running at 2.13GHz; 2GB DDR2 memory; 160GB hard drive; NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics; standard keyboard; white, polycarbonate shell. This model may well be discontinued, following the rumored hardware upgrades across the Mac line.


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