With no replacement in sight, Apple killing the 27-inch iMac is a damn shame

Luke's Desk 2017
Luke's Desk 2017 (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

While the March Apple event was full of product announcements and excitement, something sinister happened yesterday to a beloved Apple product. Apple killed the 27-inch iMac. That's right, the beloved big all-in-one Mac is no more.

Now, Apple killing older products or services is nothing new. Heck, the iMac isn't the only thing Apple dismissed at the event, but it seems that the 27-inch iMac didn't have to die, thus making its untimely demise feel so wrong.

The crime: Murder of the 27-inch iMac

27-inch iMac 2020

27-inch iMac 2020 (Image credit: iMore)

If you weren't aware, Apple is no longer selling the 27-inch iMac. Apple was swift in its takedown. Almost immediately after the event, the 27-inch iMac disappeared from the Apple website, and only the 24-inch iMac (2021) remained.

At first glance, this may seem pretty innocent. After all, Apple hasn't updated the large iMac since 2020, and we know that Apple is trying to get its entire lineup of Macs running Apple silicon as fast as they can. Naturally, the Intel-based 27-inch iMac wouldn't hang around forever, but usually, when Apple kills a product, the murder weapon is far more conventional.

The murder weapon: Mac Studio

Mac Studio And Studio Display Lifestyle

Mac Studio And Studio Display Lifestyle (Image credit: Apple)

As I recall the events, it was indeed the Mac Studio that killed the 27-inch iMac, and that's why this crime is so brutal. The iMac wasn't replaced with a newer model featuring an M1 chip, but rather a new independent Mac that couldn't be further from the all-in-one design of the iMac if it tried.

I can't believe that Apple spent time during the Mac Studio portion of the event calling out about how the M1 Ultra Mac Studio is so much better than the 27-inch iMac. It felt odd when I heard them compare the two Macs because, of course, the M1 Ultra (the most powerful M1 chip) will beat a Mac that hasn't been updated in two years. But it didn't just stop with one throwaway line. They mentioned the performance of the Mac Studio compared to the 27-inch iMac a few times — both CPU and GPU performance was compared. I know they also compared the 10-core i9 iMac to the M1 Max Mac Studio (less powerful than the M1 Ultra), but I'm left wondering why they were comparing the two devices at all.

The 27-inch iMac has been around in some compacity since 2009, and it's the bee's knees when it comes to all-in-one computers. I would venture a guess that the people who have all-in-ones have them because having a separate monitor doesn't work for them. Perhaps they have limited space or just prefer to be minimal, but it's absurd to expect 27-inch iMac fans to embrace the Mac Studio with open arms.

The motive: Unclear

24-inch iMac in Blue (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Tim Cook — and a few select others — are the only ones who know why Apple does anything, but the inspiration to kill off the 27-inch iMac and seemingly replace it with the Mac Studio could come from many places.

Perhaps because of the power of the M1, Apple thinks that the 24-inch iMac is enough to satisfy the all-in-one fans and that a new 27-inch model wouldn't offer any significant update. Although I struggle to see how throwing an M1 Pro chip in a larger iMac wouldn't have its appeal, I could be very wrong.

It's entirely possible that even with rave reviews, the M1 iMac just hasn't sold to Apple's expectations. I would argue that the 27-inch iMac was more popular than the 21.5-inch and that perhaps, a new larger iMac would sell better, but that's mostly conjecture, speculation, and observation. Those 27-inch iMacs seem to litter small businesses, startups, design firms, and many other offices around my city, but perhaps that's just because I'm such a big fan that I notice them.

Not a lot of hope for a 27-inch iMac the future

If you are holding out hope for a 27-inch iMac in the future, what Apple said right near the end of the event probably cut you like a knife.

" They join the rest of our incredible Mac lineup with Apple silicon, making our transition nearly complete, with just one more product to go — Mac Pro.

While a 27-inch iMac may eventually be released, this certainly seems to indicate it's not in development as of right now, and, I worry, it may never be again.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.