"We wanted to give an update on the Mac business from what we are picking up from our latest supply chain checks," Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu wrote in a report to clients Monday. "While new the iMac appears to be almost ready for primetime, what is holding it up appears to be business reasons and a potential small technical hurdle."
Wu believes that "Apple is in the midst of figuring out whether to power the new iMac with Intel quad-core processors or more high-powered dual-core processors with larger caches."
"While quad-core would provide a material improvement in performance and potentially jumpstart sales, it could cannibalize the Mac Pro, its high-end tower, whose low-end configuration is currently a quad-core," he wrote. "Apple could choose to stick with dual-core on the iMac or make 8-core the new low-end for Mac Pro."
It is possible that Snow Leopard is another factor in the release of the iMac. "While Leopard would take advantage of multiple cores, Snow Leopard takes it to the next level with better support for multi-core, multi-processors, and OpenCL, with enhanced graphics capability," Wu wrote.