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Apple set to launch new low-end 21.5" iMac with dual-core 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 CPU

With Apple's online store down Wednesday morning, the company appears set to debut a new iMac desktop, with one last-minute leak revealing alleged specifications of a new low-end 21.5-inch model, sporting a slower and more affordable dual-core 1.4-gigahertz processor.

The alleged details come from a picture that appears to show the specifications printed on an iMac box intended for sale in France, revealed on Wednesday by Macplus. The details also show the same resolution 1,920-by-1,080-pixel LED display, 8 gigabytes of RAM, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a 5,400rpm hard disk drive.

The technical readout also reveals that the new iMac will apparently feature a 1.4-gigahertz Intel Core i5 processor with 3 megabytes of L3 cache and integrated Intel HD Graphics 5000. Given the details on the new chip, it is likely the dual-core Intel Core i5-4260U, which launched in the second quarter of 2014 and offers Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.7 gigahertz.

In comparison, the company's previous low-end model boasted a much beefier 2.7-gigahertz Intel Core i5 with 4 megabytes of cache, featuring Turbo Boost up to 3.2 gigahertz.


The alleged specifications suggest that the new model will simply feature a lower-end processor, allowing Apple to achieve a new, more affordable price point with its all-in-one desktop.

Well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities first revealed earlier this year that Apple had a new low-end iMac in the works. He said that the new, cheaper iMac would allow Apple to better compete with desktops from companies like HP and Lenovo, which are seeing significant sales growth in emerging markets like China.

Availability of iMacs slipped in recent weeks, suggesting that an update was incoming. The company already refreshed its MacBook Air lineup in April with slightly faster processors and lower prices, making the new notebooks the most affordable of their kind in Apple's history.

French blog MacGeneration was the first to reveal that an iMac update would debut this week.