A new iMac is about to launch – but it might not have the M3 chip

An M3 iMac is still in development but a new report says the next iMac will have a similar spec to the current Mac mini

Apple iMac 24-inch review
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's colourful desktop all-in-one, the 24-inch iMac, is due an update: the current model shipped in 2021, which is an eternity ago in computing. A new report says that a replacement is imminent – but the report also says that the predicted M3 chip won't be in it. Instead, it seems that the next iMac will have M2 and M2 Pro options like the current Mac mini.

That's not a bad processor by any means – I'm writing this on an M2 Pro Mac mini (2023), which is more than capable of the heavyweight Logic Pro X projects I like to torture my Macs and my neighbours with. But it does mean that the iMac isn't getting quite the upgrade we were expecting.

What do we know about the next iMac?

If the new report by Japanese blog Mac Otakara is correct, then the leaked specifications it has obtained indicate that there will be Thunderbolt 3, Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.3. There will be two processor options: the M2 and the M2 Pro.

If you're thinking that sounds very much like the current Mac mini, you're right. That also comes with a choice of M2 or M2 Pro, 8GB or 16GB of unified memory, Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. So the iMac the blog is describing is essentially a Mac mini stuck inside a nice screen.

So far, Mac Otakara is the only source claiming that the iMac will be getting M2/M2 Pro chips rather than the M3 we've been hearing about for months, so it's unclear whether this information is accurate – and if it is, why Apple has changed its plans. The most likely explanation if indeed the leak is true is that the M3 simply won't be ready in time: Macs go into production some time before their actual launch date, and as we reported back in August the expected launch of M3 Macs, and an M3 iMac in particular, had been revised from late 2023 until late 2024.

If an M2 iMac is coming we don't yet know when it will be launched, although if it's coming before the end of 2023 then there's not going to be a big Apple event to launch it: it'll be announced in a press release rather than in a big Tim Cook production. 

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).