When Apple debuted the colorful and reimagined 24-inch iMac with the M1 chip in April, it immediately replaced the 21.5-inch models with the Retina 4K display. However, the entry-level 21.5-inch iMac without a Retina display remained in the lineup for several months. It was heavily criticized by customers for its antiquated specs at the same price point of $1099. As a matter of fact, that model was lasted updated in June 2017.
Shortly after Apple released the redesigned M1 Pro/M1 Max MacBook Pros, Apple has discontinued the aforementioned model this weekend. This wasn’t the first time that Apple would discontinue a product around Friday. Apple has done so before with the iMac Pro, HomePod, and even the space gray Magic accessories.
Before its discontinuation, the base 21.5-inch iMac was the most outdated model in the entire Mac lineup in these areas:
- no Retina display or with True Tone technology
- included option for Fusion Drive (think of it as HDD/SDD hybrid storage)
- featured the oldest generation Intel processors out of any Mac model that Apple sells
- featured Bluetooth 4.2, not Bluetooth 5.0
With that said, this model provided the worst value for a Mac. For just $100 less, you could get an M1 MacBook Air, which is arguably the best bang for the buck out of any Mac. Luke Miani from YouTube actually did a unboxing/critique video of that iMac earlier this year, and he even discovered that it even shipped with macOS Catalina installed, which wasn’t the most recent macOS version at that time.
With good riddance of that model, this leaves only the higher-end Mac mini, 27-inch iMac, and Mac Pro as the only models with Intel processors as Apple is moving away from Intel and transitioning to its own silicon for Macs. The Apple Silicon replacement for the 27-inch iMac is expected for next spring, and that machine will feature the same features as the just announced MacBook Pros.
Apple introduced the $1099 model back in 2014 as a more affordable option for the education market. With that model no longer available, this leaves customers with only the 24-inch M1 iMac at $1299 and the 27-inch Intel iMac at $1799.