New iMac release date rumours UK | iMac 2016 tech specs & new features: Apple CEO mentions iMac when discussing the future of the Mac desktop

When will Apple release new iMacs, and what tech specs and new features should we expect from the updated iMacs for 2016/2017? We round up the rumours about new iMacs, including the theory that new iMacs will feature AMD Radeon Polaris graphics chips and might even be VR-ready. Latest: Tim Cook hints at the future of the Mac desktop, specifically mentioning the 5K iMac.

When will Apple release new iMacs in the UK? Will Apple update its iMac desktop line to add Intel Kaby Lake processor chips, and what other specs, design changes and new features should we expect in the next generation of iMacs? How much will the new iMacs for 2017 cost?

Apple last updated its iMac line on 13 October 2015, bringing Retina-class screen resolution to the smaller Macs for the first time and equipping the larger models with new Skylake processor chips. Before that, you had to go back more than two years – if you don’t include the cheaper iMac which Apple launched in June 2014 – to the last proper new iMac update, in September 2013, when Apple added Haswell processors, new graphics, next-gen Wi-Fi and faster PCIe flash storage options. (For more information on that update, read our review of the 2013 iMacs.)

So much for Apple’s iMac updates over the past few years. Right now we’re looking ahead to the next iMac launch – the late-2016 iMac update, we hope, although the wait for new iMacs may drag on into 2017. In this article we round up all the speculation about Apple’s next iMac update: when new iMacs will be released in the UK, new iMac prices, tech specs and new features to expect, any leaked photos and videos that appear online, and all the other new iMac rumours that are fit to print.

 Updated, 22 December 2016, with comments from Apple CEO Tim Cook about the future of the Mac desktop

New iMac 2016 release date, price & specs rumours: Launch date

When will new iMacs come out? We’re still holding out hope for an iMac update before the end of 2016, but there’s only a few weeks left. A contact has told us, under condition of anonymity, that the Mac Pro will be updated before the end of November, and it would make sense for Apple to announce at least a minor update to the iMac at the same time – but December has come round and there’s still no word.

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We had entertained hopes that Apple would announce a Mac Pro update at Apple’s 27 October press event, but no such luck: in the event Apple unveiled a pretty fab-looking new MacBook Pro instead. (You can read about that device here – New MacBook Pro 2016 review – and buy it here: New MacBook Pro on Apple Store.)

But the Best Buy leak discussed in the processor section of this article, which emerged at the start of October 2016, strongly suggests that the retailer has had advance warning of an imminent launch and posted a listing slightly too early by mistake – although it’s also possible that this was a speculative listing created on the basis that it would probably be needed at some point.

New iMac 2016 release date: Apple CEO hints at future of the iMac

In a rare Q&A session on Apple’s internal employee network, Apple CEO Tim Cook gave an interesting response to a question about the future of the Mac, specifically mentioning the 5K iMac in his response. According to a transcript obtained by TechCrunch, an unknown Apple employee asked Cook “We had a big MacBook Pro launch in October and a powerful upgrade to the MacBook back in Spring. Are Mac desktops strategic for us?

Interestingly, it’s what Cook didn’t mention in his response that suggests what Apple is planning for the future. In response, Cook wrote the following:

The desktop is very strategic for us. It’s unique compared to the notebook because you can pack a lot more performance in a desktop — the largest screens, the most memory and storage, a greater variety of I/O, and fastest performance. So there are many different reasons why desktops are really important, and in some cases critical, to people.

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