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Apple Inc.'s iMac Sales to Rise 30% After 2013 Refresh

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How might Apple upgrade the iMacs beyond their sleek and stylish 2012 redesign? The processor is likely to get a boost from Intel.

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Editor's Note: This content was originally published on Benzinga.com by Louis Bedigian, Benzinga Staff Writer

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to sell 30% more iMacs this year after the company switches panel suppliers and updates the hardware.

According to DigiTimes, the update will not include a touch screen. It is also unlikely to include a Retina Display, which has once again passed over the MacBook Air to ensure that the price remains as low as possible.

How might Apple upgrade the iMacs beyond their sleek and stylish 2012 redesign? The processor is likely to get a boost from Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). Apple could also make the Fusion Drive more affordable by reducing the price or by making it a standard feature of the 2013 models.

At the very least Apple could improve the speakers, which are reportedly worse than the 2011 iMacs.

These updates are unlikely to compare to the Mac Pro, however, which will become Apple's most powerful machine when it is released later this year. While it is not yet known when the Mac Pro will ship, DigiTimes' industry supply chain sources claim that the new iMac is due "in the second half of the year." Considering that the first half is almost over, that estimate is a pretty safe bet.

On the downside, suppliers will reportedly experience massive declines by the end of the second quarter -- if they haven't already. This is due to the various adjustments that Apple is making to the new iMac, which it believes will sell more units than the previous iteration.

During the adjustment period, supply shipments could drop by as much as 60%. They should return to normal during the third quarter, however.

To ensure that Apple has enough supplies to meet demand this fall, the company might partner with alternatives for its iMac panels. LG Display Co Ltd. (NYSE:LPL), which provided the panels for last year's model, had low yields last year, which apparently hurt sales of the iMac. Apple does not want to risk another, similar incident, so it may look elsewhere -- or partner with multiple panel makers.

While the Mac Pro will be assembled in the United States, Apple has not said if and when it will mass-produce iMacs domestically. Some models (particularly custom-built configurations) are already being assembled in America. Long term, the company plans to spend $100 million to assemble Macs locally.

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