Apple is expected to begin production of two new iMac all-in-one (AIO) PCs in May 2017 for an official launch in the second half of the year, according to sources from Taiwan-based supply chain makers adding that Apple is also testing a new server-grade iMac for the high-end sector currently and the product's major competitor is expected to be Microsoft's recently released Surface Studio.
Microsoft released the Surface Studio AIO PC in the fourth quarter of 2016, which has prompted first-tier PC vendors including Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Asustek Computer to release similar products. Asustek's high-end AIO PCs are expected to be announced around Computex 2017.
Digitimes Research's figures showed that worldwide AIO PC shipments are about 12-13 million units a year, a rather small segment of the PC market where shipments amount to about 250 million units.
Despite not having a price competition as fierce as the notebook market, the AIO PC market still sees ASP dropping every year. With Microsoft, Apple and first-tier vendors' releases of high-end AIO PCs, the sources believe AIO PC's ASP may rebound.
The two new iMacs for 2017 are expected to be manufactured by Quanta Computer. Thanks to its orders from Apple and HP, Quanta is expected to remain the largest AIO PC maker in 2017. However, Quanta declined to comment on its orders or clients.
Apple currently has a 21.5-inch and a 27-inch iMac available in the market and the new products are expected to be the upgrades of the two models and are expected to hit the market in the third quarter to catch up with the year-end holiday season.
The new server-grade iMac is expected to feature Intel's Xeon E3-1285 v6 processor, 16-64GB ECC RAM, up to 2TB NVMe SSD and a latest discrete graphics card. The product is unlikely to become available in the market until the end of 2017.