Is there really an OLED 42-inch iMac on the way? Probably not, no

Imac Pro Rear Render
(Image credit: Apple Tomorrow)

Apple might have just announced a new M3 24-inch iMac a week or so ago, but there are already plenty of rumors swirling around as to what the company is working on beyond that. The latest leak goes way beyond it, supposedly forecasting Apple's OLED product plans all the way out to 2029. That leak includes a monstrous 42-inch iMac plus a whole lot more. But can it be trusted?

No, probably not. Sorry.

We could end things there, and if I'm being honest this post could probably have been a tweet (sorry, post), but let's dig into what's been "leaked" and whether or not it's likely to arrive. 

Starting big — 42 inches big

We have to, of course, kick things off with the iMac. Despite having a foldable OLED iPad on the roadmap, it's the iMac that captures the attention most. And that should probably tell you a lot about its credibility.

We've been hearing things about a foldable iPad for more than a year at this point, and it looks increasingly likely that it will debut long before a foldable iPhone. So with that knowledge, we look at the bottom of the roadmap that was shared by X leaker @Rech_Reve a few days ago. Because beneath the iPads and the MacBooks, it's the iMac that seems most interesting.

Down there, you'll see that Apple reportedly intends to ship three new OLED iMacs towards the end of 2027 or the beginning of 2028 with sizes of 21.5, 27, and 32 inches. That already sounds like a lot of sizes for Apple to ship an iMac in. And then we add the monster at the bottom — a 42-inch behemoth that would likely dwarf even the biggest of desks. But will it ever ship?

I can't imagine it will, but you don't have to take my word for it. While @Tech_Reve does have a relatively solid history in the leaking of hardware plans — especially in the Android world — there's one person whose opinion I'll take above theirs every single time. That person is Ross Young, a display analyst with an exceptional track record. And according to him, something's off.

In an X post asking Young whether any of the roadmap's claims held water, his response was swift and devastating. "Nope."

The display analyst — someone whose job it is to know what display manufacturers are making and for how — says that three OLED devices are missing from the list and that four of those that are there, shouldn't be. Can anyone guess which ones they might be? One recent clue, Apple recently confirmed it has no plans to release a 27-inch Apple silicon iMac

The source

It's important to note that @Tech_Reve isn't the first to claim that a 42-inch iMac is on the way, though.

Back in April, analysts at Omdia shared a similar roadmap. And when I say similar, I really mean it.

Is it possible that these two bits of information came from the same source? It is indeed, and it's also possible that the second came from the first. But whatever's going on, I have a feeling that we won't be seeing a 42-inch iMac in 2028/2029.

The wildcard? The Pro Display XDR which already sits at 32 inches. It's possible that some of these iMacs aren't actually iMacs at all. And with Apple settling on the 24-inch size it seems unlikely we'll see anything launch in a 21.5-inch dimension whether that's iMac or Studio Display.

Time will of course, and as ever, tell. And this post might age like milk, But I do doubt it.

Someone will no doubt bookmark this and remind me in a few years if I'm wrong, so we'll all find out eventually.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.