Apple Readies Sandy Bridge Refresh for iMac Line

Word on the Web is that Intel's Sandy Bridge platform is making a mad dash for Apple's iMac line of all-in-one (AIO) desktops. If the leaked information turns out to be true, Apple will introduce these new models tomorrow, May 3rd.

The pairing of Intel's Sandy Bridge processors with the recently introduced Thunderbolt (Light Peak) interface will put Apple's iMac platform slightly ahead of the technological curve, at least for the time being. Thunderbolt, if you recall, was rolled out back in February with Apple's MacBook Pro laptops and is roughly twice as fast as USB 3.0 (and around 20 times faster than USB 2.0).

Apple's iMac line hasn't seen a major refresh since July 2010, over 9 months ago, and it couldn't come at a better time. According to AppleInsider, which has the inside scoop on the upcoming iMacs with Sandy Bridge inside, Apple's desktop business has been declining. Mac desktop shipments have dropped from more than 50 percent of the company's Mac product shipments in the first quarter of 2006 to only 26 percent of the total Mac units shipped during Q2 of 2011.

Previous reports suggest that the new iMacs will come in new panel sizes, too. As it currently stands, Apple offers its iMacs in 21.5-inch and 27-inch flavors, with pricing starting at $1,199 and $1,699 respectively.