Analyst: iMacs with quad-core CPUs are on the way

Quad-core processors have been tumbling down the price ladder lately, with Intel's cheapest contender now priced at just $170. However, a certain computer maker is still sticking dual-core processors in its flagship desktops—and with price tags as high as $2,199, the iMac isn't exactly too cheap for an upgrade.

That upgrade is coming, according to an analyst quoted by AppleInsider. Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros. pointed to Apple's warnings of iMac shortages as evidence of an impending hardware refresh, and he says he expects Apple to use dual-core CPUs for low-end iMacs and quad-core ones for more expensive variants. According to AppleInsider, Wu also said last week that new iMacs are "almost ready for prime time," but they were held up for "business reasons and a potential small technical hurdle."

Wu worked out that the iMac accounted for 25% of Apple's Mac sales last quarter, and the systems "can at times represent as much as 36 percent of Mac sales." In other words, the all-in-one desktop plays a significant part in growing Apple's market share. Considering the current economic climate, though, it seems like Apple might want to lower that $1,199 price tag on the cheapest iMac variant.

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