Intel Unveils 10th-Generation ‘Comet Lake’ Processors Appropriate for Updated iMacs

Intel today officially announced its lineup of 10th-generation “Comet Lake” desktop processors, which includes a number of chips that would be appropriate for the iMac. AnandTech details all 32 of the new processors in organized tables, but only a handful of the chips would make their way into the ‌iMac‌.


At the top of the list is the flagship Core i9-10900K that Intel calls the world’s fastest gaming processor. The i9-10900K features 10 cores and a base frequency of 3.7 GHz, while Intel’s Thermal Velocity Boost can push single-core speeds to 5.3 GHz. It’s also the successor to the i9-9900K chip currently used in the highest-end ‌iMac‌ configurations, so it’s likely the new chip will make its way into Apple’s lineup.

The current ‌iMac‌ family, with the exception of the outdated low-end model, uses a combination of 8th- and 9th-generation “Coffee Lake” chips, all of which have natural replacements in the new Comet Lake generation.

Natural replacements for the 21.5-inch ‌iMac‌ lineup include the new Core i3-10100, Core i5-10500, and Core i7-10700, while the 27-inch iMacs would see the Core i5-10500, Core i5-10600, and Core i5-10600K, in addition to the high-end i9 option.

While these are reasonable guesses at what we might see in the next-generation ‌iMac‌, there’s no guarantee that Apple will go with direct successor chips at each spot in the lineup. That’s particularly true since rumors are pointing to a “substantial” refresh of the lineup with a potential redesign, including a rumored 23-inch model.

Timing for the ‌iMac‌ update remains uncertain, as the 23-inch model rumor claimed the new machine will be coming in the second half of the year, while reliable leaker “CoinX” cryptically said in March that both ‌iMac‌ and Mac mini updates would be coming “soon.” The ‌Mac mini‌ update did come two weeks later, but we’ve yet to see anything official about new iMacs.

Intel says the new 10th-generation Comet Lake desktop chips will be available at retail and in desktop machines starting in May.

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Lower-Priced 23-Inch iMac and 11-Inch iPad Models Rumored to Launch in Second Half of 2020

Apple plans to introduce a 23-inch iMac in the second half of 2020, with mass production set to begin in the third or fourth quarter, according to a China Times report spotted by Mac Otakara. This would be a new display size for the iMac.


The report claims that the new iMac will be one of several lower-priced products that Apple introduces this year, including the new iPhone SE and a forthcoming 11-inch iPad, also expected in the second half of 2020. Apple currently offers 21.5-inch and 27-inch versions of the iMac, which was last updated in March 2019 with up to 8-core 9th-generation Intel processors and Radeon Pro Vega graphics options.

iMac pricing currently starts at $1,099, although it costs an additional $200 to upgrade from a spinning hard drive to an SSD.

As for the 11-inch iPad, it is not entirely clear if the report is referring to a new version of the 10.2-inch iPad or the 10.5-inch iPad Air. Last month, the anonymous Twitter account “L0vetodream” claimed that Apple is developing a new 11-inch iPad Air with Touch ID under the display, allowing for a nearly full screen, notch-less design.


That leak said the 11-inch iPad Air will have a Mini-LED backlit display. Apple is developing at least six other products with Mini-LED displays for release by the end of 2021, including a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a 27-inch iMac Pro, a 14-inch MacBook Pro, a 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌, a 10.2-inch iPad, and a 7.9-inch ‌iPad‌ mini, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo has previously said that Mini-LED backlit displays will allow for thinner and lighter product designs, while offering many of the same benefits of OLED displays used on the latest iPhones, including good wide color gamut performance, high contrast and dynamic range, and local dimming for truer blacks.

Mass production of Mini-LED products could be delayed until 2021, according to the China Times.


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Apple’s Work on New Upcoming Products Progressing Normally as Employees Adjust to Telecommuting

Apple’s development of upcoming products is progressing as usual despite the fact that Apple employees around the world are working from home, according to a new report today out from Bloomberg.


Apple is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released “as early as later this year” and have been previously rumored for release in 2020. Apple’s software updates are also on track and are expected to be debuted in June at a digital version of WWDC.

Along with this information about Apple’s product development plans, Bloomberg highlights many of the same telecommuting challenges shared earlier this morning in a report from The Information. Though work is progressing on new products, there have been some minor hardware development setbacks.

Some employees who do work that requires hands-on development are still being allowed into Apple’s Silicon Valley offices, but in other parts of the world like Italy, Germany, and Asia, stricter work restrictions have prevented that from happening. Apple has put a heavy emphasis on confidentiality while employees are working from home, letting them know that it’s “critical to keep confidential work confidential.”

Apple has been allowing engineers to take home early versions of future devices since March, which is normally not allowed, and there is heavy oversight.

Taking home a future product requires the green light from the vice president of an employee’s organization. That list of staff with future devices at their homes also is sometimes reviewed by Apple’s senior vice presidents, the management team run by Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook.

Apple has also “clamped down” on which employees are able to take home future versions of new software, including iOS 14, which has already leaked. Employees working on ‌iOS 14‌ and other software updates must also receive approval from Apple’s executive team.

Employees at Apple Park, Infinite Loop, and other Bay Area offices could be working at home through at least May 1, as the Bay Area is expected to extend its shelter in place mandate. When other offices around the world reopen will depend on local guidelines.

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