Apple hasn’t updated the basic iMac design in 16 years, when it first introduced the aluminum base with “floating” screen structure. It’s long due for a major re-design — and you may be looking at it.
The next-gen iMac design appeared in a this patent published last month. Now, Jermaine Smit — aka Concept Creator (opens in new tab) — has created these visualizations for Dutch tech publicacion LetsGoDigital and I just want to lick it.
Apple’s “Electronic Device with Glass Housing Member” patent describes a single sheet of ultra-thin glass that curves from your desk up into a roughly 80-degree angle. The base of the curve is flat, allowing it to hold an integrated keyboard and trackpads on both sides of the working area.
That’s exactly what we are seeing here in Concept Creator’s render and it looks perfect, like a part from a futuristic spaceship with a retro 60s feel.
This new iMac, created by Apple designers Keith Hendren, Paul Wang, Adam Garelli, Brett Degner, Christiaan Ligtenberg, and Dinesh Mathew, is held by a polygonal base on its back, which will house its components and ports.
Concept Creator has taken into account the possibility that the keyboard could be removed from the base too.
Long due for a redesign
Apple adopted the current form iMac of a panel with the screen and guts plus an aluminum base holding it in 2004. That’s the Jurassic in web years. The basic shape factor has only been only refined through all these 16 years with thinner and thinner screens and chins.
But beyond that and changing the housing materials from plastic to metal and adding space gray as a color, the 2019 iMac and the iMac Pro are basically the same thing as that first 2004 model.
The single-body Macintosh has only been redesigned a couple of times through history (I’m purposely forgetting about the Performa because I want to forget about that horror).
The original 1984 monolithic design was reshaped 14 years later with the first iMac, in 1998. That model revitalized Apple and saw different minor tweaks in elements, materials and colors until 2002, when Jobs and Ive launched a radical change: a semi-spherical base with a floating flat panel that held the display alone through a balanced, stainless steel arm. Two years later we got what we have today.
I hope that we can get this in 2020. Apple, make it so.
Watch our iMac 2020 news page for all the latest developments and announcements for current and upcoming Apple iMac models.