It is looking more and more like Apple is getting set to launch a desktop refresh in the coming months. While I have very little idea exactly what will get updated, it seems with today's EOL'ing of the 20-inch Cinema Display and the fact that their desktops (Mac Mini and Mac Pro) haven't been updated in 14 (!!) months. Their all-in-one desktop, the iMac, hasn't been updated in 10 months. The Cinema Displays haven't been updated in almost two years! That is, unless you count the new 24-inch display that currently only works with MacBooks.
This is much longer than in years past. MacRumors keeps track of such things if you want to see the deceleration of launch dates. But I think there is a bigger reason for all of this:
I think that Apple is looking to move their update cycle to yearly updates across all of their lines. It looks like we'll probably see a desktop update in calendar Q1. Assuming that, this is what the yearly rollout schedule has been and looks to continue to be:
Q2: (near WWDC) the iPhone has recently seen updates.
Q3: Has been all about iPods.
This could account for the longer than normal wait times for new hardware products we've seen lately. Apple may be realigning its product matrix so that yearly roll outs are the norm.
This type of "seasonal" product refresh is the norm in the fashion industry or if you view each line separately, the yearly rollout is similar to the way cars are refreshed.
This might also account for Apple leaving the yearly Macworld event, stating that it didn't fit within its development plans.
Will you soon hear someone say they are looking forward to the new iPod fall colors? Ugh, I hope not.
This story, "Apple Desktop Refresh Appears Imminent" was originally published by Computerworld.