Now would be a great time to release a new iMac
Yahoo Finance says that Americans are buying “historic”’ amount of computers during the COVID-19 lockdown. Apple’s release of the 2020 MacBook Air and iPad Pros seems to have been ironically good timing. And now might be the perfect time to release a new iMac.
According to market researcher NPD Group, U.S. sales of laptops and desktops were up 40%, while keyboard sales were up 64% in the first three weeks of March 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Computer headset and monitor sales were also up 134% and 138%, respectively.
Webcam sales were up a whopping 179%. This means that future Macs should ditch the paltry 720p FaceTime camera for 1080p or 4K.
I’m hoping that the 2020 iMac update will add Face ID, better speakers (such as those found in the iMac Pro), a space grey option, and a Magic Keyboard with Touch Bar.
Some are imagining an all-in-one with a “single slab of glass” design. On January 24, Apple filed for a patent (number 20200026327) for “electronic device with glass housing member” that hints at a radical design of the iMac.
LetsGoDigital commissioned designer Jermaine Smit to create a video imagining such a device, and it's gorgeous (albeit with some impracticalities such as a keyboard too close to the screen). This is the image:
Another feature that has been mentioned that I think would be great (but that I doubt will happen) is Yanko Design’s Philip Goolkasian’s iMac concept: "“Integrating wireless charging for your iPhone, AirPods, TouchPad… both from the top and the side of the [iMac] stand .… An Apple Pencil charging spot … Bezel-free display, multi-channel audio, third camera on the side and a harmonious design. FaceID, biometrics support, AR / VR compatibility and intuitive touch gestures are the cherry on the icing.” This is the image:
“Whether working or learning from home, productivity hardware is required — and with many Americans settling into this new reality, we saw historic sales increases over the first two weeks of March,” NPD Group vice president of technology and mobile Stephen Baker wrote in a March 30 blog post.
Yahoo Finance notes that this jump in computer sales is especially striking, as the industry has been dealing with years of declining sales, save for a modest 2.7% uptick in 2019.
IDC research vice president Linn Huang he believes once lockdowns are lifted and consumer confidence returns, we could see a long-term increase in at-home device sales, as more people realize that they need up-to-date laptops, desktops, and networking equipment in their homes in case such an emergency strikes again.