Apple Inc. has lowered the cost to entry for its popular all-in-one desktop line of iMacs by $200, the firm announced Wednesday.
Previously priced at $1349 in Canada, Apple will now sell the 21.5-inch screen size iMac for $1149 online and in its retail stores. The smaller sibling to the 27-inch screen size iMac, the desktop is powered by a 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5 processor with a Turbo Boost speed up to 2.7 GHz. Also included as base specs are the Intel HD 5000 graphics chip, 8 GB of RAM, and a 500 GB hard drive.
The iMac has no Ethernet port, but it supports the latest WiFi standard with 802.11ac and has two Thunderbolt ports (Apple’s proprietary high-speed connection) and four USB 3.0 ports. Free software suites loaded onto the machine includes iLife and iWork.
Upgrade options for the iMac include a faster processor, solid state drives or “fusion drives” that put the OS on SSD and other data on spinning disc hard drives. Buyers can also upgrade the graphics chip to an Intel Iris Pro or Nvidia GeForce GT 750M.
The announcement comes following Apple’s recent Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. Though expectations were high for the release of a new iPhone or iPad, no new hardware was showcased. Instead, Apple did deep dives into both the next version of its OS X and iOS platforms. This new iMac won’t come with the new OS X Yosemite installed, but will be able to download it from the App Store along with the rest of the iMac line later this Fall.
While mobile hardware has been a hotter market lately, all-in-one desktops remain a strong seller in the PC category. Both gamers and multimedia production workers alike rely on the big screens and powerful specs available in this form factor.
Apple also faces lower-priced competition from the likes of Dell and HP that offer Windows 8-powered all-in-one desktops, often with a touch-screen interface. Even Google poses a threat in this category, with HP unveiling an Android-powered all-in-one desktop at CES in January.