New iMacs 2016 release date & new features rumours: When will new iMacs come out? | Skylake vs Kaby Lake vs … – Macworld UK

When will Apple’s new iMacs come out? Will we get new iMacs at WWDC 2016?

Apple last updated its iMac line-up on 13 October 2015, bringing the Retina screen to the smaller models for the first time and equipping the bigger models with new Skylake chips. Before that, you had to go back more than two years (if you don’t include the cheaper iMac which Apple introduced in June 2014) to the last proper iMac update, in September 2013, when Apple added the Haswell processor, new graphics, next-generation Wi-Fi and faster PCIe flash storage options. You can read our review of the 2013 iMacs.

So much for the iMac updates of the past few years. It’s 2016 now, and we’re already looking ahead to the next iMac refresh – the 2016 iMac update, if we’re right about the timing. In this article we round up all the speculation about Apple’s next iMac update: when new iMacs are likely to launch in the UK, pricing, specs and new features to expect, any leaked photos and videos that appear online.

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New iMacs 2016 release date & new features rumours: When will new iMacs come out?

The last iMac update, as outlined above, was in October 2015, and it would be a surprise if Apple returned to this line less than 12 months later. That would appear to rule out WWDC 2016 – alongside its yearly Mac OS update, Apple has often unveiled new Mac hardware at WWDC, including several MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models, and the 2013 Mac Pro – and makes a late 2016 refresh seem more plausible.

Apple’s yearly cycle is built around three major press events: autumn (new iPhones and iPads), spring (new iPhones and iPads, sometimes MacBooks and watches) and summer (WWDC – operating system updates, and occasional hardware). But the iMac update in 2015 got its own smaller event, following a few weeks after the iPhone 6s reveal. So don’t be disappointed if there are no iMacs at the iPhone 7 event; you might get what you want the following month.

But bear in mind that, unlike the yearly or event twice-yearly update events we’re used to for iOS devices, desktop Mac refreshes have frequently come several years apart. WWDC 2017 is therefore a possibility, and we may have to wait even longer than that.

But we will try to remain optimistic. Watch this space for clues and analyst predictions about the next iMac update as soon as they appear.

New iMac 2016 release date & new feature rumours

New iMac 2016 release date & new feature rumours

New iMacs 2016 release date & new features rumours: Specs

We’ll add leaked details about the specs of the new iMacs to this section as we hear them.


Apple skipped Intel’s much-delayed Broadwell processors and went straight from Haswell to Skylake for the 2015 update. Skylake uses the same 14nm manufacturing process as Broadwell, but brings even greater CPU and GPU performance, along with reduced power consumption. But what chips will appear in the next set of iMacs?

Clearly that will depend on their launch date and the hardware that’s available at the time. After Skylake, the next round of Intel processors, going into mass production in late 2016, will be Kaby Lake, followed in turn by Cannonlake (Cannonlake was due to be next, but it’s been delayed until the second half of 2017). Then Ice Lake in 2018 and Tiger Lake in 2019, for those who enjoy this sort of thing.

Kaby Lake uses a 14nm process, same as Broadwell and Skylake, but Cannonlake switches over to a more accurate 10nm process.

If Apple does manage an iMac update before the end of 2016 the machines could feature Kaby Lake processors, but remember that Apple skipped Broadwelland delays are common the chip sector – so we’re not banking on anything.

Flash storage

We’ll repeat our hope, expressed this time last year while waiting for the 2015 update, that Apple makes flash storage standard across the entire range of iMacs. At present the 27-inch iMacs get a Fusion Drive by default (Fusion Drives are a high-performance hybrid blend of flash and conventional storage) and the 21.5-inch models can add them as a build-to-order option for an extra £80. We think it should be offered as standard in all Apple’s desktops.

The current 21.5-inch iMac range is crippled somewhat by its hard drives, which are a lot slower than the flash drives used in all of Apple’s laptops – to the extent that Mac laptops with similar processors will perform noticeably better than the equivalent iMac because of their faster SSD drives.

Turn to the next page to read about 2015’s iMac update: the facts as they were announced, and the (generally surprisingly accurate!) pre-announcement speculation we reported on beforehand.


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