The Retina iMac became an instant hit as soon as it was announced at Apple’s iPad event last month, and that kind of enthusiasm has been showing in the device’s shipping times on Apple’s website, slipping to 2-3 weeks ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Apple’s website lists the Retina iMac as available to ship in “2-3 weeks,” meaning that if you bought it today, it wouldn’t ship until at least Thanksgiving weekend, and probably wouldn’t arrive on your doorstep until early December at the earliest.
This ship time will most likely only get worse as more and more shoppers buy up Retina iMacs during the holiday shopping season to give to their loved ones, so if you’re wanting to get one before Christmas finally rolls around, you might want to pull the trigger soon.
The Retina iMac will be one of the hottest computers to get over the holiday shopping season, as it sports an impressive 27-inch 5K resolution display and packs the usual performance upgrades on the inside as well.
On top of that, the Retina iMac allows users to replace the memory themselves, which is something you don’t see every day from Apple. The iMac comes with 8GB of RAM by default and you can easily add more to that when configuring your model on Apple’s website, but an upgrade to 16GB of RAM costs $200 extra, while an upgrade to 32GB of RAM costs $400 extra over that.
Buying RAM yourself from Amazon or Newegg will have you paying way less than that, with a two-piece set of 8GB RAM sticks priced at well under $150, meaning you can get an upgrade to 32GB of RAM for not even $300, making it a better deal than paying Apple to do it.
The Retina iMac’s design hasn’t changed compared to the last generation, and the internal layout of hardware remains largely unchanged as well, which isn’t too surprising, but Apple only launched a 27-inch Retina model this time around. A 21.5-inch Retina iMac was a no show, but rumors suggest that we’ll still see one in the near future, most likely early next year.
As for the current non-Retina iMacs, they’re staying put in the lineup as cheaper options, and the new Retina model is simply the higher-priced option starting at $2,499. This is similar to how the Retina MacBooks were first introduced back in 2012, with non-Retina models still staying put in the lineup until they were overtaken eventually by all Retina models. The same thing could happen to the iMac in a couple of years.
The current entry-level 27-inch iMac sports a 3.2GHz quad-core Core i5 processor with 8GB of memory and a 1TB hard drive starting at $1,799.
In any case, if you’re interested in buying a new Retina iMac before Christmas rolls around, now might be the best time to do so, as the 2-3 week shipping timeline might slip even more in the next week or so. It’s better to be safe than sorry in these types of situations.