Apple Launches Cheaper Entry-Level iMac

mac has introduced Wednesday, June 18, a new, cheaper 21.5-inch model to its product line, which comes with a price tag of $1099, $200 cheaper than its previous least expensive model which is still available, Computerworld reported.

Instead of using quad-core processors found in more costly iMacs, the tech giant opted to equip the $1,099 model with a dual-core Intel Core i5 running at 1.4GHz. In addition, the cheaper model only has a low-performance Intel graphics chip, a significant downgrade from the Iris Pro Graphics that the $1,299 version sports, according to Forbes.

Storage is the only possible upgrade on the new model, ZDNet noted. Interested consumers of the cheaper all-in-one Macintosh desktop computer have the option to upgrade the system’s storage with a 1TB hard drive for an additional $50, a 1TB Fusion drive for an extra $250, or a 256GB flash drive for an added $250.

The spec of the is surprisingly almost the same to that of the 11-inch MacBook Air. The processors, graphics cards, and price of the two computers are all similar, except to the fact that the comes with 8GB of RAM as standard while the MacBook Air only comes with 4GB, according to ZDNet.

The launch of the cheaper iMac comes two months after Apple cut down the prices of all its four MacBook Air stock models by $100.

“There’s a lot more attention paid to volume at Apple,” Stephen Baker, an analyst with the NPD Group and an expert on U.S. retail sales, told Computerworld. “The earlier MacBook Air price changes, the amount of discounting that’s going on with the iPad and iPhones as well, it feels like there’s a lot more attention at Apple to getting to more mainstream pricing and more mainstream customers.”

Despite the launch of the cheaper iMac model, Baker said the Cupertino, California-based firm is still not competitive with other all-in-one computers of the same screen size available in the market today.

“In the first five months of this year, the average price of a Windows touch-screen all-in-one with the same kind of screen — 22 inches, 23 inches — was $770,” Baker said. “The average for non-touch Windows all-in-ones was under $500. So Apple’s $1,100 is still pretty high.”

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