New Apple iMac 2011 Price: What would you pay?

Whether you are an Apple iMac enthusiast and waiting for an updated version, or new to the iMac and thinking of purchasing an all-in-one desktop, you may remember that when the refreshed MacBook Pros were recently launched there was some speculation that we would hear of new iMacs too. Unfortunately that didn’t arise but we haven’t given up and today we are turning our attention to the price of a new iMac and asking how much you would be willing to pay for one when/if the refresh for 2011 finally appears?

A few days ago we asked readers what they most wanted to see on the new iMacs when they eventually come and we had a big response with many comments suggesting SSD options, the new ThunderBolt technology, (as on the new MacBook Pro), a matte screen, the latest Sandy Bridge processors and a wider range of screen sizes to name just a few. If we assume that we shall see at least some of these improvements/changes with a refresh, what could we expect the pricing will be? Could Apple hold the pricing to around the same as they are currently or will these enhancements, using newer technology, add significantly to the prices?

Currently the cheapest base model for an iMac with a 21.5-inch screen will set you back, $1,199. Apple isn’t known for cheap products and the iMac is no exception but many are willing to pay a premium for decent design and specs bearing the Apple brand. Saying that, Apple does seem to be making an effort lately to hold back on price increases. If we look at the recent iPad 2 release for example, the pricing structure was held to that of the original iPad, which goes to show that improved technology needn’t necessarily add much to the cost.

Similarly, with the refresh of the MacBook Pro recently the lower and mid-level prices were the same although the top-of-the-range Pro is more expensive than the previous version. The last refresh of the iMac was last July so a refresh is due in the next few months. We’re hoping to see it around May, if the gap between the last MacBook Pros and the new ones is anything to judge by, but obviously we’d like to see it even sooner.

So now it’s down to you… do you expect a better iMac for the same price or are you happy to pay extra for improvements? If so, how much are you willing to pay? We’d appreciate your comments on this and will continue to bring you news about the 2011 iMac refresh, which hopefully we’ll hear about soon.

  • Polly

    I hope that the new imacs won't be more expensive than the actual generation.
    I think that they don't have to be more expensive even if the technologies are better, in fact that is due to the evolution of the time, what is just normal.
    I even hope that this year, Apple will lower the price of its iMac in order to be more accessible for all. The trademark of Apple creates products that are so awesome that everyone should be able to enjoy it.

    • http://twitter.com/TimothyChubb @TimothyChubb

      I agree with you Polly. Apple has shown with the most recent release of the iPad 2 and previous iPhones that it is possible to keep the price level for the next generation of products as the technology becomes better.

      I would be surprised if prices increase and even more surprised to see if the entry level iMac price increase.

  • jwow

    i agree 100% with polly

  • bruce b

    I am waiting for this new generation to replace my macbook with an iMac. I think like everybody I expect faster speeds, a better screen and all the new bells and whistles at the same or lower price points.

  • John

    I just hope they lower down the cost for SSD + by also having another option of a smaller capacity SSD paired with a regular 1TB or 2TB HDD.. maybe that could help bring down the price too. The 256gb/512gb they have at the moment – it's just a bit too expensive compared to market price and a little too much space for OS use..

    Overall, I'd be happy if they stick with their current price packages.. I'd be happier if they lower it just a bit more :) who wouldn't be?…

  • http://www.macnews2you.co.nr Alex

    The iMac's will must likely be the same price as last year… It's the Apple way

  • Timmy

    Depends on what they upgrade. If it's just the specs (more ram, better processor, more HD space, better graphics) I'm not willing to pay more because their current systems are really getting outdated. If they upgrade it with a touch screen, on the other hand, I would pay more.

    • Jack

      Apple knows that touch screens don't work. They make your arm tired after a while. They mentioned it in a keynote a while back.

  • mikey1923

    we all know that the cost of hard ware is cheaper now look at the pc . computer parts are all the same . ram is cheap so is dvd drives and cpu and hard drives too. so mac can be cheap if they want . iam a pc guy but i like the look of the imac if they keep it cheap i will buy one just to have i like all in one computer .

  • Bobloblaw

    I would like a smaller screen option. The current options of 21.5" and 27" are much too big for my needs. Here's hoping for some love for the studio dwellers, who don't have McMansion sized desks.

    • dude

      get a mac mini, and buy a third party screen.

  • gemtian

    LOL Bobloblaw jejeje I'm wiling to get 30 inch wide screen to see the detail of my graphics and I dont have a McMansion desk

  • macleet

    I would pay $3000+ for a iMac with a desktop 6870 or 6970m. Heres to hoping!

    HEY STEVE IF YOU ARE READING THIS HOOK ME UP PLZ TY.

  • Ken V

    Apple usually keeps the price about the same and adds more features. I am hoping for a matt finish 30" screen with the resolution of a 34" (touch screen?), Thunderbolt (funny name because lightning comes in bolts, not sound) interface directly to a RAID 0 of 256 GB high performance SSDs to take advantage of over 500 MB/sec, Wi-Fi antenna with a auto switched phased array for the best wireless performance, sound bar speaker system to simulate 7+ speaker surround sound and more for the same price.

    • A_man

      Every time i see or hear "Thunderbolt", I am reminded of Pikachu. LOL

  • Restoration

    A matt 30" screen would be a joy. Being blinded by the glare of the present glass screen is a real pain
    when working on high-end commercial graphics.

    • DesignInc

      From a Pro stand point I like the glossy screen, I just control the wall behind me. To me it just doesn't make sense to have a high res screen and then fuzz it with a matte finish. I'm personally thrilled the iMac is powerfull and fast enough to do all daily photoshop work. For me faster (SSD & Ram) is the name of the game

      • Anonymous

        I will wait for the professional “matte” screen option to come back.

        Some of us are too damn ugly to stare into a glossy mirror for 8 hr a day counting every single nose hair and pimple that is sprouting during our daily work hours.

        30 inch screen with a Matte pro screen option ….WoW!!!! I would buy two. Actually I would buy two 27 inch iMacs if it had a professional matte screen option.

        46% of mac users want/demand/need this matte option.

        P.S. I wish I was as pretty as you DesignInc.

  • PeeBee

    A matt finish 30" screen would be amazing. Definitely want SSDs & Thunderbolt to speed up everything. I do a lot of video editing so HDMI output and Blu-ray would be really useful but I'm not holding my breath. How about bundling in iWorks with iLife as part of the standard installed software. I've always thought it a bit mean of Apple to make customers pay extra for word processing and spreadsheets when they pay a premium price anyway. It also might help wean people off Microsoft!
    I'd be happy to pay £2500 for all the above

  • Timmy

    I agree with the matte screens but THIRTY INCH?! Isn’t that insanely large for a desktop? I hope you guys are going to use this thing as a multimedia center in the living room because I can’t see the use of such a huge screen when it comes to everyday computing. The ideal viewing distance for such monstrousness would be around 4 feet (1.2m) or do you want to get sucked up in the game you’re playing? lol

    21 will do for me :-)

    • John

      Graphic designers, digtal artist, et al push pixels. They want to have visual access to these pixels with as little glare/distraction as possible. Hence 30" and matte.

      • Pete

        Speaking as a graphics professional there is really no need for a desktop 30" display for "pushing pixels". It's resolution that matters and the current 27" display (even the 21") is more than adequate with the current resolution levels. They're even getting to a point where the human eye cannot perceive more detail. Once you are working with pixels at 1:1 there's no point making them any bigger.

        A physically larger display – with a higher resolution – is more convenient for having multiple things on screen at once. But even then we have Spaces which is a far nice way to work and keep things separate.

  • Ivan

    Amazingly enough Apple seems to be one of the few providers who are able to increase their prices on their releases, and people will still follow them.
    In 1991 I purchased a Sharp computer with a 10MhZ processor and 2MB of RAM.
    I paid $3000 for it.
    Computers will always get better, and SHOULD always get cheaper. We've seen it over the past 20 years as they became consumer products. Apple appear to inflate their prices with every release.

  • karin

    I would love to see the price stay the same….like everyone says…computer parts are just not getting more expensive…
    I think this would show people that MAC is truly trying to make their computers affordable to more folks. Can't wait for the refresh….anyone know when they will be available after they do the actual announcement?

  • Mr. Pezman

    I’m hoping that we won’t see a price increase as I am going to buy my first iMac whenever they release. I’m sure they will be twice as good as this generation although I heard somewhere that they will come with touch pad standard. I hope that’s wrong!

  • http://twitter.com/ConradMacIntyre @ConradMacIntyre

    I need to set the record straight here. The first flat-panel iMac was $1999 (700mhz G4, 15"), that dropped to $1799 two revisions later (1GHz G4, 15"). Dropped to $1749 when they went to the G5 (1.6GHz, 17"). Fell to $1599 (1.8GHz G5, 17"). Dropped again to $1499 (1.83GHz Intel). fell to $1349 (2ghz). Down to $1299 (aluminum chassis). Price stayed the same (3.06 GHz, widescreen). And that is the same price for the current gen iMac. So no, pole has NOT been jacking up the price. With a handful of exceptions the price has stayed the same or even gone DOWN with new revisions.

    New 2011 iMacs will cost the same as the 2010 iMacs.