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New iMacs, MacBooks in the fall Apple fashion lineup?

It looks like the new Mac rumor mill is starting to grind again, as several web sites are reporting that Apple is close to releasing updates to several parts of the product line. Joachim noted the rumors on the 24th, and here's an update.

The first rumor is something I've personally been waiting for -- an update to the iMac line. French Mac site Mac4Ever [translation] is citing tips indicating that a new iMac, possibly quad-core powered, is in the works for a possible release before the holiday season. Like the MacBook Pro line, the new iMac would feature an SD card reader. There's also the thought that a high-end iMac could even pack in a Xeon processor. AppleInsider also thinks an iMac boost is in the works, although they're not speculating on quad-core or Xeon processors, and even reports that a new, slimmer design has been churning off Taiwanese assembly lines for the past two weeks.

While a bump to the iMac line would be nice, I personally think that Apple would concentrate on reducing the cost of manufacturing to maintain their margins while making it possible to reduce prices to consumers. This could help Apple's share of the personal computer market continue to climb while keeping Wall Street analysts happy.

The second rumor, also from AppleInsider, points to a less expensive and slimmer white polycarbonate MacBook. If Apple is able to reduce the price of the low-end laptop below its current US$999 level, it could stem the tide of sales of low-cost Windows and Linux netbooks.

Regardless of what actually happens, design updates to these two lines are long overdue. The iMac has essentially been the same since August of 2007, while the MacBook has remained unchanged since May of 2006. It should be fun to see what Jonathan Ive, Steve Jobs, and the tireless Apple engineers who design this equipment have in store for us.

[Original photo credit: © Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com, through Wikimedia Commons]

It looks like the new Mac rumor mill is starting to grind again, as several web sites are reporting that Apple is close to releasing...