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Tuesday, December 23, 2008, 09:25 am PT (12:25 pm ET)

Next-gen iMacs due in January, says paper

A new-generation of NVIDIA-based iMacs are due to begin shipping out of China sometime next month, according to a new report out of the Far East.

Citing sources within Apple's supply chain, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported Tuesday that the Mac maker is scheduled to "launch a new iMac all-in-one PC in the first quarter of next year, and the company's sole manufacturing partner, Quanta Computer, is gearing up to supply monthly shipments of around 800,000 units during the first quarter of 2009."

The paper added that the new models will begin making their way stateside in January. Updates to the iMac line are believed to be over due, having originally been slated for a release late this year but delayed last minute for unknown reasons.

Recent evidence discovered within builds of Mac OS X 10.5.5 confirms the new models, like upcoming Mac minis, will employ chipsets from the same NVIDIA MCP79 platform found at the heart of Apple's most recent notebook refresh that included the MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

A report published last month by Taiwanese rumor site DigiTimes claimed the company has been waiting on a new family of quad-core chips from Intel that are designed for small form-factor PCs like the Mac mini and all-in-one systems like the iMac.

The 65W low-power chips were said to arrive in mid-January at clock speeds between 2.33GHz and 2.8GHz, though DigiTimes did not specify whether the parts were actually destined for Mac mini and iMac refreshes.