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Apple iMac makeover appears ripe for summer, says firm

There's an 80 percent likelihood that Mac maker Apple Inc. will set aside a day this summer to introduce a complete redesign to its signature iMac desktop line, analysts for Piper Jaffray investment research said this week.

Billing the rumored iMac makeover its "Hot Topic of the Month," the firm cited a lack of recent updates to the all-on-one systems as well as recent AppleInsider reports in saying there is a an 80 percent chance redesigned models will arrive sometime in the coming months.

"Based on Apple's product roadmap and the fact that the iMac has not been updated in 309 days, we [...] continue to expect redesigned iMacs this summer," analyst Gene Munster wrote in a research report.

In addition to new iMacs, the analyst also referenced reports that Apple is developing a 13-inch MacBook Pro model featuring an ultra-portable, lightweight enclosure. Such a development, he said, could form a possible inroad for Apple in Asia, where Mac sales have lagged global averages.

The PiperJaffray analyst also used his report Thursday to reiterate his belief that Apple is working on Mac OS X-based iPods with similar touchscreen features to the iPhone.

"While Apple has been criticized for diversifying its product lineup, we believe Apple is focusing its offerings on the OSX software, which is used in Macs, Apple TVs, iPhones, and soon, iPods," he told clients.

Munster, who has also been tracking the availability of iPhones at Apple retail stores since launch day, said supply appears somewhat constrained but is improving daily.

"Apple's supply met demand through the first weekend, but in less than 1 week, by the 5th of July, only 1 percent of Apple's 165 US retail stores had iPhones available," he wrote. "Stores have been receiving regular shipments of iPhones, and as of July 10 availability levels have stabilized around 50 percent.

Munster maintains an Outperform rating on shares of the Cupertino-based Apple with a price target of $160.