With 'Retina 5K' iMac, Apple caters to HD junkies

Apple boasts that its $2,499 iMac Retina 5K Display has a higher resolution that even Ultra HD televisions.

Ben Fox Rubin Former senior reporter
Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Ben Fox Rubin
Shara Tibken
3 min read

Apple's Phil Schiller shows off the new iMac with Retina 5K display. CNET

Apple on Thursday revealed its new iMac, finally upgrading the desktop computer with its higher-resolution Retina Display.

"You're not going to believe it," Apple CEO Tim Cook said of the display. "It's killer."

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, called the display "an incredible feat of engineering." While high-definition TVs have a 1920x1080-pixel resolution, he said, there are seven times more pixels on its "Retina 5K" display. It has a 5120x2880-pixel resolution, or 14.7 million pixels on one display.

The 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display ships today and starts at $2,499. Pricing appeared to remain the same for iMacs without the upgraded display, with the 27-inch starting at $1,799 and the 21.5-inch iMac starting at $1,099.

The aluminum-enclosed device is powered by an quad-core Intel Core i5 or i7 and an AMD Radeon R9 graphics processor.

The iMac -- an all-in-one desktop computer, with the brains hidden behind a sleek display -- hadn't had a design change in two years. Most of all, its screen resolution hadn't altered much while other devices have been bumped to Apple's Retina Display. The iPhone 4, introduced in 2010, sported the first Retina Display, while the higher-resolution screen hit the iPad tablet and MacBook Pro laptop line in 2012. That delay may have been referenced in Apple's invitation to the event, which simply stated, "It's been way too long."

Apple's Mac business might not be as big -- as or a sexy -- as its mobile business, but it remains an important focus for Apple. The company now generates less than 15 percent of its revenue from Macs, but the devices help flesh out its family of products -- which increasingly are designed to work together.

Watch this: Apple upgrades the iMac with a Retina 5K 27-inch screen

For the overall Mac computers business, Apple in July reported unit sales rose 18 percent to 4.4 million in the quarter ended June 28, providing the company with $5.5 billion in sales. Cook said the Mac boosted Apple's overall financial results, and the company saw strong sales in some regions that were weak for other PC makers.

Apple hasn't yet reported its most recent quarter, but research firm IDC last week said the company moved into the No. 5 ranking for global PC sales in the third quarter. For the past several years, Apple has controlled a much smaller chunk of the market, but its sleekly designed, high-priced products, such as the MacBook Air laptop, have attracted customers.

Thursday's event is Apple's second product launch in as many months. The company in September unveiled two larger iPhones and the Apple Watch , which is slated to go on sale next year. Thursday's launch was expected to be a much smaller and lower key affair, held at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

The most significant announcements on Thursday were new iPad tablets, which are the second-biggest moneymakers for Apple, providing 15 to 20 percent of revenue. The tablet is an important way for the tech giant to differentiate its line away from the hugely popular iPhone, though the iPad has posted two quarters in a row of declining shipments and sales.

Meet Apple's new Macs (pictures)

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