The iMac has undergone major redesigns since its debut in 1998. Recent patent filings suggest Apple is overhauling the iMac once again.
By Chand Bellur
January 25, 2020 at 11:57 a.m. PDT
Apple Will Redesign the iMac
Anyone familiar with Apple’s product history knows that the company will redesign the iMac. The more difficult questions to answer are how it will look and function and when the redesigned models will ship.
As with most Apple rumors, the latest indications of a Mac redesign are based on fact. Apple recently filed a patent for an “Electronic Device with Glass Housing Member”. Illustrations within the patent make it clear that the device is an iMac. The proposed design seems to indicate a new, all-in-one Mac made out of a single piece of curved glass.
Future iMac May Be Constructed of One Sheet of Curved Glass
Illustrations in a new Apple patent seem to depict a curved iMac with unibody glass construction. The drawings show an embedded keyboard with components on the left and right. It’s unclear whether the keyboard is fixed into the housing. Both components could possibly be track pads, however, this is also unclear. It’s possible that Apple could expand on the MacBook’s Touch Bar by adding something more extravagant to the iMac.
The patent also shows a rather awkward looking wedge on the back of the device, needed for support and stability. It’s assumed that this wedge could house processors and other components, enabling an ultra-thin glass housing for a display. Unlike the current iMac design, this could offer an even thinner display by reallocating components to the wedge area.
It’s important to understand that Apple files hundreds of patents a year. They are well aware that anyone can and does read this information.
While most of the patents are filed in earnest, there may be misinformation strategy in play. Additionally, many patented ideas may not be realized as products and could end up in vastly different devices than we expect. In other words, don’t expect a new iMac in 2020 with unibody glass construction. It’s possible, however, it’s unlikely we’d see a product ship so soon after a patent filing.