Apple is believed to be working on redesigned versions of the iMac that feature the biggest design overhaul to the iMac line since 2012. However, Apple’s Face ID facial recognition authentication system, which debuted in 2018’s iPhone X, is likely to feature in the second iteration of the redesign rather than the first, according to a new report today by Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.
The tidbit came at the end of a report today about a forthcoming redesign of the MacBook Air. In addition, the report highlights Apple’s intention to launch a slew of updates to its Mac lineup that reflect the desires of the Mac’s staunchest supporters, with the introduction of new ports and cellular connectivity.
Apple has also developed underlying Mac support for both cellular connectivity — the ability for Macs to connect to the internet via smartphone networks — and Face ID, the company’s facial recognition system. But neither feature appears to be coming soon. To that end, Face ID had originally been planned to arrive in this year’s iMac redesign, but it’s now unlikely to be included in the first iteration of the new design.
Speculation that Apple will bring Face ID to Macs isn’t new, however rumors have been few and far between, which makes Gurman’s information worth highlighting.
Apple’s Face ID feature that allows a device to be unlocked with a facial scan is limited to the iPhone and the iPad at the current time, but code found in the macOS Big Sur betas has suggested that Face ID may come to Macs in the future.
According to previous Bloomberg reports, the redesigned iMac models will feature slimmed down bezels around the display and the metal chin will be removed. It is expected to look quite similar to the Pro Display XDR monitor that Apple released in 2019.
Instead of a curved rear design, the iMacs will feature a flat back, and prior rumors have described the new iMacs as using an “iPad Pro design language.” At least one of the new models that will replace the 21.5 and 27-inch models will measure in at 23 to 24 inches, but it’s not clear what size the second iMac will be.
A 23 or 24 inch iMac would probably be the same size as the current 21.5-inch iMac physically, with the larger display enabled through smaller bezels. A new iMac with a fresh design and an Apple Silicon chip could come in either the fourth quarter of 2020 or early in 2021.
The redesigned iMacs will adopt Apple silicon chips, and the revamped look will coincide with Apple’s move to shift away from Intel’s chips, giving the iMacs updated processors and a fresh design all at once.
Apple plans to equip the new iMacs with next-generation versions of the Apple silicon chips that will be faster and with more GPU power. Apple is testing Apple silicon chips with as many as 16 power cores and four efficiency cores, but higher-end desktop models could have as many as 32 high-performance cores. Apple is also working on improved GPU technology and is testing 16 and 32-core graphics components.
The new iMacs are expected be released in spring to fall 2021, and it’s not yet clear if both models will come out at the same time.