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Wednesday, September 16, 2009, 04:45 am PT (07:45 am ET)

Apple predicted to release new iMacs, MacBooks in weeks

A new report alleges that Apple intends to release new iMacs and MacBooks very soon — in a matter of weeks — to refresh its lineup before the holiday season.

Financial publication Barron's said a new report from Wedge Partners claims that Apple will introduce new hardware "in the next several weeks."

The report said that the new iMacs will sport a thinner design with smooth edges. However, the MacBook refresh is said to be "limited."

Also on tap, according to Wedge Partners, are likely price cuts. The company sees the lower prices as a competitive alternative to Windows 7 machines. Wedge Partners predicts that Apple will sell 3 million Macs in the holiday season, riding the wave of price cuts and new products.

More affordable Macs have been rumored for some time. In June, cuts of $100 to $300 were enacted on the 13- to 17-inch unibody aluminum notebooks, which have all been classified as MacBook Pros.

For comparison, in the June quarter, Apple sold 2.6 million Macs, a 4 percent year-over-year increase, and the best-ever June quarter. This quarter, Apple is predicted to sell 2.8 million total Macs.

While new hardware should come as no surprise, AppleInsider has previously heard word of new iMacs and MacBooks. Last month rumors surfaced that the new Imacs would have compelling new features, one of which was said to have long been on Mac users' wish lists, and another that would appeal to the semi-professional audio/video crowd.

AppleInsider also received word that Apple would retain and redesign its line of plastic MacBooks. With only one non-Pro offering in the lineup, Apple is allegedly redesigning the systems with a slimmer, lighter enclosure and restructured internal architecture. Analysts have long believed that cracking the sub-$1,000 notebook market would be a huge boon for Apple.