iMac 2012 Refresh to Come Without Retina Screen, Says Analyst

A new report suggests that while Apple will indeed update its iMac all-in-one desktop computers, buyers who are holding out and hoping that the devices will include high-resolution Retina Displays as part of the refresh may be sorely disappointed.

According to the often-reliable Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, Apple is gearing up to unveil eight new products this fall, spread between two press events: the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, the next-generation iPhone, two new iPods, a refreshed third-generation iPad, an iPad Mini and a pair of iMacs.

Kuo says that while the Retina Displays will be absent from both the upcoming 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac models, these computers will still pack substantial updates. Aside from the expected Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs, a new form factor could be on the way.

The new Apple all-in-ones are also expected to come with screens that are assembled using a “full-lamination process” that directly attaches the LCD panel to the glass cover. The KGI analyst says that the new process would improve display quality over the current model. However, production issues connected to the new manufacturing process are also a reason why Kuo estimates that the 27-inch iMac could arrive substantially later than its 21.5-inch brother.

Apple could ship around 1.5 million iMacs in the fourth quarter of the year, which would contribute to the total shipments of 5.5 million Macs in that period. Kuo forecasts that Apple could be well on its way to set a new all-time sales record for Macs, topping even the 5.2 million sales it made in the fourth quarter of 2011.