Apple dreams up curvy iMac concept

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Patent reveals Apple iMac concept
This could be a sneak peek at the 2020 iMac.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

The design of the iMac hasn’t changed much in over a decade, but Apple is considering a radical facelift. A proposed future model would consist of a pane of glass that surrounds the display, then curves forward to hold a keyboard and a pair of trackpads.

Many concept devices come from artists suggesting cutting-edge designs. This one is different — it’s a proposed iMac design from inside Apple itself.

Not some pipe dream

The company filed a patent application for Electronic Device with Glass Housing Member last May, but it was just published by the US Patent & Trademark Office.

The description from this filing reads “An electronic device may include a glass housing member that includes an upper portion defining a display area, a lower portion defining an input area, and a transition portion joining the upper portion and the lower portion and defining a continuous, curved surface between the upper portion and the lower portion.”

But the images the Apple engineers added to the document do a better job of clearly showing the iMac design being proposed.

Apple iMac concept rear view
Take a look at a back/side view of Apple’s proposed iMac design.
Photo: Apple

2020 iMac concept?

Whether this curvy iMac will be transition to a shipping computer is anyone’s guess. Companies regularly patent ideas that are never heard from again.

Still, it’s not a complete departure from the iMac concept. These have always used a unibody design, with the screen built into the computer. The difference in this proposal is merging the keyboard and trackpad into that single unit.

Still, the iMac has had very nearly the same design since 2004. The only major changes have been increases in the size of the built-in LCD. Some would argue it’s time for an update.

The last update to the iMac was in March 2019, when this desktop moved to Intel’s ninth-generation processors and powerful Vega graphics. The general design remained unchanged.