Etruscan Haruspices: New iMacs on the Way [Updated]
Apple observers sifting entrails for portents of iMacs to come have three new signs in which to put their faith this week.
The first, a Monday note from Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu claiming that the new iMacs that had been expected to debut at Macworld are almost ready for market. “We wanted to give an update on the Mac business from what we are picking up from our latest supply chain checks,” Wu wrote in a note to clients. “While new the iMac appears to be almost ready for primetime, what is holding it up appears to be business reasons and a potential small technical hurdle…. Apple is in the midst of figuring out whether to power the new iMac with Intel quad-core processors or more high-powered dual-core processors with larger caches.”
The second: A report out of China’s Economic Daily News claiming Apple’s manufacturing partner Quanta Computer is “gearing up to supply monthly shipments of around 800,000 [iMaC] units during the first quarter of 2009.”
And the third: Reports that Apple (AAPL) has been telling resellers that iMac supplies are tightening, often interpreted as a sign that the company is dropping inventory levels ahead of a product life refresh. Said Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu, “In our experience, when Apple sends an advisory to its channel partners of limited availability and inventory of existing models are drawn down, it is highly likely that a product refresh is within a few weeks.” Wu, it’s worth noting, believes that Apple is planning to use both quad-core and dual-core chips in its new iMacs, the former for high-end models, the latter for their lower-end counterparts.