Long lead times to order a custom iMac don't mean an upgrade is imminent

24-inch iMac

A new report is emerging that finds custom iMac models have long lead times orders. There are suggestions that an update is inevitable, but as has been the case for five years, there is no real correlation between long lead times and updates.

Friday's report looked at the availability of the Apple Silicon iMac. The report correctly states that iMac lead time to delivery is about a month.

Unfortunately, the report from the usually well-informed Macotakara immediately jumps to a conclusion on this matter and suggests that a new iMac with the M2 and M2 Pro processor is inevitable.

Although the iMac update may happen before the end of the year, the conclusion reached is a case of perhaps the right conclusion drawn from bad data.

The Apple M1 iMac was released on May 21, 2021, so some time has passed since its introduction. To date, despite a long string of rumors about it, it has not received the M2 update, unlike everyone else in Apple's Mac lineup.

However, the conclusion that a long order preparation time indicates an inevitable update is erroneous. Delivery times for iMac M1 in custom configurations have been the same since November 2022, with lead times sometimes being several weeks longer than now on nine occasions in the past 11 months.

Any basic configuration is available for immediate shipping or pickup at Apple retailers. And some of the customizable SKUs can be picked up at your local Apple Store, with quantities typically proportional to the store's total sales.

The iMac has been used as a school computer for some time

Apple hasn't had a fall iMac release since 2014. The last updates for the latest Intel were in June 2017, March 2019 and August 2020. iMac and April 2021 for Apple Silicon. Lately the iMac has mostly been a school computer rather than a Christmas computer.

iMac Pro went on sale in December 2017, but was previously announced at WWDC 2017.

The back of the 24-inch iMac.

While Apple could release the iMac M2 at any time and it makes logical sense, there are claims that it will instead it will skip the M2 generation entirely and be one of the first M3 devices.

Rumors of a 24-inch iMac have been circulating for a long time

Rumors of a 24-inch iMac M2 began in February 2022, when it was assumed that Apple was going to launch an M2 model in line with the rest of the lineup. More than 18 months later, this prediction has not come true.

Just two months later, rumors have changed to suggest that an iMac M3 is on the way. This obviously didn't happen either.

The rumor mill at the moment is largely centered around the prediction that M3 processors won't arrive until early 2024.

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