AppleInsider noticed the change in ship times earlier today. Both the 21.5-inch model and 27-inch model are showing 3-5 business days, rather than the typical 'within 24 hours' availability. Customized orders are taking even longer. Models with bumped processors are taking 5-7 business days to ship and models with bumped RAM (16GB or 32GB) are taking up to 10 business days to ship.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Apple would launch a lower cost iMac back in October. Kuo notes that the current iMac did not ship as many units as expected and that a lower-cost model could help combat Windows desktops. Kuo expects the new model to boost iMac sales by 10-20% and said it could ship in Q2 or Q3, 2014.
In addition to the lower-cost model, Apple could refresh the whole lineup as we haven't seen an update since September 2013. Notably, just a few weeks ago Apple updated the MacBook Air lineup with faster processors and lower prices.
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