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Computers

Apple reportedly to introduce midrange, sharp-screen iMac next week

The company will bring a high-resolution 4K screen to its smaller desktop machine, going on sale ahead of the iPad Pro, according to 9to5Mac.

The latest iMac is expected to look identical to last year's model. Sarah Tew

Apple launched a slew of products during its annual iPhone event last month, but not all of its new devices made it on the agenda.

Apple is set to add a 21.5-inch iMac with sharper 4K resolution to its lineup next week, according to Apple blog 9to5Mac, which cites "multiple, reliable sources." The new models could start to appear in store as early as October 13, although production will ramp slowly, with more availability expected in November.

While the iMac lacks the buzz of Apple's iPhone franchise, the desktop computer continues to be a core part of the Cupertino, California, company's product portfolio. Apple's Mac business continues to grow, standing in contrast to the broader, more sluggish PC market. The company has been able to keep the appeal of the iMac going through minor updates or the addition of features like a higher resolution display.

Last month's Apple event was focused on the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, as well as the high-end 13-inch iPad Pro tablet, which is set to launch in November. Desktop computing took a backseat, but with the release of El Capitan, the latest version of Apple's OS X desktop software, it looks like the iMac is about to enjoy a moment in the spotlight.

Microsoft, meanwhile, has taken aim at Apple with a high-end Windows 10 laptop-tablet hybrid that it claims is twice as fast as the MacBook Pro. On Tuesday, it announced its Surface Book , along with a swath of other Windows 10 products, at an event in New York. Microsoft has increasingly taken an Apple-like approach of building its own hardware to complement its software and has offered more competitive products in the market.

The new iMac should come with the new El Capitan software, but don't expect any discernible difference in terms of design, 9to5Mac reported. Apple has focused its efforts solely on updating the graphics card and the computer's display. The iMac is expected to boast 4K resolution with a 4,096x2,304-pixel screen, which when combined with enhanced graphics performance should boost the gaming and editing prowess of the machine.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.