We could be waiting months for 2020’s big iMac redesign


iMac concept inspired by iPad Pro.
The wait for the 2020 iMac might be longer than expected.
Concept: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Despite rumors that Apple is ready to take the wraps off the 2020 iMac during its developers conference later this month, a report on Friday indicates this all-in-one desktop isn’t in production yet.

And the same leak adds weight to unconfirmed reports that Apple is prepping an iPad for release in the second half of the year.

2020 iMac is coming at WWDC. Or is it?

There hasn’t been an update to the iMac since spring 2019, and the basic design hasn’t been modified in about a decade. A recent rumor says that’ll all change at Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in less than two weeks.

There’s a lot of excitement because the redesign of the 2020 iMac will supposedly be inspired by iPad Pro. That means it’ll have slender screen bezels, while the current version has huge ones.

But that’s not the whole story. Today, Digitimes reports that Radiant Opto-Electronics is ready to begin shipments of backlight units for the LCDs to be used in this iMac, which is “slated for launch in the second half of 2020.” If this report is correct, then Apple’s updated desktop isn’t going to be ready to start shipping for months.

There’s plenty of contradictory iMac evidence

Possibly supporting that theory, the Eurasian Economic Commission signed off on the 2020 iPhone models and a new Mac on Thursday. In the past, these certifications came several months before the products. And this could be a sign that Apple’s handsets and its next iMac will debut at about the same time.

On the other hand, Apple stopped shipping the current 27-inch iMac until after the start of WWDC, hinting that a new version is right around the corner.

Even if it’s not anywhere near ready to ship, Apple could decide to unveil it at WWDC anyway, but that would almost certainly kill demand for the current iMac. And a release in 2H2020 wouldn’t explain delays in shipping the current version.

But growing evidence for the iPad Air 4

The 2020 iMac wasn’t the only device in Friday’s Digitimes report. Radiant Opto-Electronics is supposedly making backlights for a new iPad as well.

This could be the improved iPad Air is coming in the second half of 2020 that’s been in earlier leaks. It’s supposedly making the jump from 10.5 inches to 10.8 inches. And it might drop Apple’s proprietary Lightning port in favor of the industry-standard USB-C — a move the iPad Pro series already made.

Today’s report helps confirm that Apple is prepping a new tablet. Whether it’s the rumored iPad Air 4 remains unclear.

Digitimes has a 61% accuracy rating for Apple rumors, according to AppleTrack.