iMac Pro Could Include Mobile Connectivity for ‘Always On’ Theft Protection

A new blog post over at Pike's Universum, a site known for digging deeper into Mac firmware files, claims to have found data relating to some form of mobile connectivity in the upcoming iMac Pro that could be used for "advanced theft protection" similar to Apple's Find my iPhone service.

Even the cheapest iMac Pro costs $4999 and is thus far more expensive than any other iMac model that is now available, let alone the top of the line one with a price tag north of $15K, and it is so easy to walk away with a 27-inch computer, and that may be why Apple is going to introduce a new kind of “Find my iMac Pro” type of theft protection. One that phones home to report the exact GPS location. And there’s no way of switching it off…
The post goes on to suggest that the data could alternatively relate to a new feature in the iMac Pro that uses a SIM card to make phone calls. "Or perhaps the data that I found has to be a leftover from iOS for the iPhone," ends the post, qualifying the claims as speculation at this point.

No further details on the uncovered data in the iMac Pro firmware were forthcoming, but Pike's Universum has offered relevant information in the past. The site revealed some of the iMac Pro's tech specs back in April, two months prior to it being announced, including that it would have Xeon processors, ECC RAM, faster SSD storage, AMD graphics options, and Thunderbolt 3 ports, although some of the specific details were inaccurate.

Later, in June, the site claimed that files in a macOS High Sierra developer beta suggested the iMac Pro could be powered by Intel's next-generation server-grade Skylake-EX and Skylake-EP processors, which are based on a platform codenamed "Purley." The blog added that the new iMac Pro also appears to be coming with a Secure Enclave, suggesting it will have an ARM coprocessor like the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar for added security.

Over the weekend, several developers discovered data in Apple's BridgeOS code that suggests the upcoming iMac Pro will feature an A10 Fusion chip with 512 MB of RAM. While the full functionality of the A10 chip isn't yet known, the chip will enable support for "Hey Siri" functionality, potentially even when the iMac Pro is turned off.

Unveiled at WWDC in June, the iMac Pro is scheduled to launch next month, but Apple has not yet provided a specific launch date for the high-end desktop.

Related Roundup: iMac Pro

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple May Be Working on 8K Display and New High-End Mac Mini

Apple recently said it is working on a "completely rethought" Mac Pro with a modular design that will be accompanied by an Apple-branded pro display.


Apple did not share any specific details about the external display, but if the blog Pike's Universum is to be believed, it could feature an impressive 8K resolution. The report did not offer any additional details about the display, including a potential release date, but Apple said it won't be ready this year.

8K displays are just starting to reach the market now, led by Dell's new 32-inch UltraSharp 8K display, which retails for $5,000 in the United States. Apple has yet to launch a display with greater than 5K resolution, as found on the iMac with Retina 5K Display and the UltraFine 5K Display it partnered with LG on.

Apple confirmed that it had exited the standalone display market after discontinuing the Thunderbolt Display in June 2016, but it has evidently reversed course. It's a smart move, given concerns that Apple was no longer focused on pros, and considering that LG's UltraFine 5K Display had a hardware flaw.

On the Mac mini front, the blog said that the next high-end model "won't be so mini anymore," suggesting the most expensive configuration might have a larger or taller design to accommodate for upgraded tech specs. Apple last updated the Mac mini in October 2014, a span of 903 days, per the MacRumors Buyer's Guide.


Apple recently said the Mac mini is "important" within its product lineup, but it remained tight-lipped about the prospects of future updates.

The current Mac mini models, which are designed to be connected to a display, keyboard, and mouse purchased separately, range in price from $499 to $999. The base model is equipped with a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and integrated Intel HD Graphics 5000.

Intel has released faster Kaby Lake processors appropriate for the Mac mini, but no other rumors have surfaced about the entry-level computer as of yet. At least one other plausible addition is Thunderbolt 3, which is already included on the MacBook Pro and rumored to be added to the next iMac models as well.

Pike's Universum is best known for spotting references to unreleased Macs or upcoming software versions hidden within Apple's operating systems. The blog does not have an established track record of reporting on Apple's plans based on its own inside sources, so this rumor should be treated with caution for now.

Related Roundups: Mac mini, Displays
Tag: Pike's Universum
Buyer's Guide: Mac Mini (Don't Buy)

Discuss this article in our forums

New iMacs With Up to Xeon E3 Processors, 64GB RAM, AMD Graphics, and Thunderbolt 3 Rumored for Late October

Earlier this week, Apple made the rare move of pre-announcing that it is working on new pro-focused iMac models that will launch later this year.


Apple did not share any specific details about what the upgrades will entail, but if the blog Pike's Universum is to be believed, the next-generation iMac lineup could feature several improvements that make Apple's desktop computer a more powerful workstation for professionals and average consumers alike.

The blog, citing a "little bird" that is "usually pretty accurate," claims the incoming iMac lineup will be available with up to the following tech specs:

Intel Xeon E3 processors: The new iMac will supposedly have up to a pro-grade Intel Xeon E3-1285 v6 processor. Intel has not released that particular chip yet, but based on previous generations of the E3-1285, the processor could essentially be the E3-1280 v6 coupled with integrated Intel HD Graphics P630.

16GB to 64GB of ECC RAM: 16GB of ECC RAM, configurable to 32GB or 64GB, in line with the current Mac Pro. iMacs currently have 8GB of non-ECC RAM, configurable to 16GB or 32GB. ECC RAM can detect and repair errors that cause data corruption and system crashes. No word if it will be DDR3L or DDR4.

Faster NVMe SSDs: The rumor claims the next iMacs will have faster NVM Express PCIe-based flash storage with capacities up to 2TB. The current 4K and 5K iMac models are also configurable with NVMe PCIe-based SSDs or Fusion Drives up to 2TB.

AMD graphics: The new iMacs will supposedly have AMD graphics options to support virtual reality and professional apps. The inclusion of AMD graphics in the next iMac has been rumored previously by Bloomberg. The current 27-inch iMac uses AMD Radeon R9 GPUs.

Thunderbolt 3: Thunderbolt 3 ports would be an unsurprising inclusion in the next iMacs given they already exist on the latest MacBook Pro. Thunderbolt 3 carries power, USB, DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA over a single cable, creating one standard for connecting most accessories and peripherals.

The report claims the next iMac models will be unveiled in late October and be accompanied by a brand new keyboard. A previous report said Apple was exploring a standalone keyboard with a Touch Bar and Touch ID, but its release allegedly depends upon how well those features have been received on the latest MacBook Pro.

The blog also claims Apple is working on an 8K external display for Apple's "completely rethought" Mac Pro. This isn't a rumor we've heard before, but Apple did confirm it is working on a new Apple-branded pro display of an unspecified resolution. Dell recently launched a 32-inch 8K display for $5,000.

Another tidbit mentioned in the report is that macOS 10.13 supposedly will not use a mountain or park name anymore, with two alternative names in the running, including one that starts with the letter M. One of Apple's trademarked names that could fit that description is Monterey.

Last, the report said the next high-end Mac mini "won't be so mini anymore," suggesting that the most expensive model might have a larger or taller design. Apple recently said the Mac mini is "important" within its product lineup, but it remained tight-lipped about the prospects of future updates.

Pike's Universum is best known for spotting references to unreleased Macs or upcoming software versions hidden within Apple's operating systems. The blog does not have an established track record of reporting on Apple's plans based on its own inside sources, so this rumor should be treated with caution for now.

Apple last updated the iMac in October 2015, a span of 541 days, per the MacRumors Buyer's Guide.

Related Roundup: iMac
Tags: Intel, Thunderbolt 3, AMD, Pike's Universum
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Don't Buy)

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Reveals First Public Sign of macOS 10.13

While the next major version of macOS likely won't be announced until the WWDC 2017 opening keynote on June 5, eagle-eyed blogger Pike's Universum has discovered what appears to be Apple's first public sign of macOS 10.13.


Specifically, the blog shared a portion of the App Store URL, otherwise known as a CatalogURL, for macOS 10.13. We were subsequently able to pinpoint the full URL by tweaking an older CatalogURL link, and it appears to be a secure HTTPS link originating from Apple's servers, so the screenshot is legitimate.

The full URL: https://swscan.apple.com/content/catalogs/others/index-10.13seed.merged-1.sucatalog.gz

We don't know much about what's coming in macOS 10.13 at this point, but visits we're receiving from Macs running pre-release versions of macOS 10.13 have been picking up steadily since the beginning of the year, presumably as Apple's engineers work on the operating system update ahead of its unveiling.

Visits to MacRumors from Macs running macOS 10.13

We don't know what the successor to macOS Sierra will be called, but in 2014, Apple trademarked a long list of names that could be used for future updates. Names range from popular beaches and well-known cities in California, where Apple is headquartered, to mountains, deserts, and animals.

A list of known trademarked names that have yet to be used: Redwood, Mammoth, California, Big Sur, Pacific, Diablo, Miramar, Rincon, Redtail, Condor, Grizzly, Farallon, Tiburon, Monterey, Skyline, Shasta, Mojave, Sequoia, Ventura, and Sonoma. An entirely different name is certainly possible too.

macOS 10.13 will likely be seeded to developers for testing purposes in early June ahead of a public release by the end of October. The beta will likely be available to public testers over the summer as well.

Related Roundup: macOS 10.13
Tag: Pike's Universum

Discuss this article in our forums

References to Next-Generation MacBook Pro Models Discovered in macOS 10.12.4 Beta

While the latest MacBook Pro with Touch Bar notebooks launched under four months ago, references to possible next-generation models have already been discovered in the latest macOS 10.12.4 beta.


Apple blog Pike's Universum uncovered a trio of motherboard identifiers that do not correspond with any current MacBook Pro model, but use the exact same processor power management data as 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models released in late 2016. The plist files do not exist in previous macOS Sierra versions.

The next-generation MacBook Pro models would likely be powered by Intel's faster Kaby Lake processors, which are the natural successor to Skylake processors used in late 2016 models. This would be in line with a report from six weeks ago claiming the MacBook Pro will receive only minor bumps in processing power for 2017.

Mac-B4831CEBD52A0C4C would likely be for two new 13-inch MacBook Pro models with function keys. The models would likely have Kaby Lake processors with a maximum Turbo Boost of 3400 MHz and 4000 MHz respectively.

Mac-CAD6701F7CEA0921 would likely be for three new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models. These notebooks would likely have Kaby Lake processors with a maximum Turbo Boost of 3500/3700 MHz and 4000 MHz respectively.

Mac-551B86E5744E2388 would likely be for three new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models. These notebooks would likely have Kaby Lake processors with a maximum Turbo Boost of 3800/3900 MHz and 4100 MHz respectively.

The blog said it checked the performance bias setting of each motherboard and determined that they are unlikely to be for desktop models such as the iMac and Mac Pro. There is also no GPU data as of yet.

The blog cross-referenced Intel's lineup of Kaby Lake processors currently available with the motherboard identifiers and was able to determine which chips are likely to be used in each new MacBook Pro:
13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar

Intel Core i5-6360U 2.0 GHz (max Turbo Boost 3.1 GHz) with Intel® Iris™ Graphics 540 (15W)
Will be replaced by the:
Intel Core i5-7260U 2.2GHz (max Turbo Boost 3.4 GHz) with Intel® Iris™ Plus Graphics 640 (15W)

Intel Core i7-6660U 2.4 GHz (max Turbo Boost 3.4 GHz) with Intel® Iris™ Graphics 540 (15W)
Will be replaced by the:
Intel Core i7-7660U 2.5 GHz (max Turbo Boost 4.0 GHz) with Intel® Iris™ Plus Graphics 640 (15W)

13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

Intel Core i5-6267U 2.9 GHz (max Turbo Boost 3.3 GHz) with Intel® Iris™ Graphics 550 (28W)
Will be replaced by the:
Intel Core i5-7267U 3.1 GHz (max Turbo Boost 3.5 GHz) with Intel® Iris™ Plus Graphics 650 (28W)

Intel Core i5-6287U 3.1 GHz (max Turbo Boost 3.5 GHz) with Intel® Iris™ Graphics 550 (28W)
Will be replaced by the:
Intel Core i5-7287U 3.3 GHz (max Turbo Boost 3.7 GHz) with Intel® Iris™ Plus Graphics 650 (28W)

Intel Core i7-6567U 3.3 GHz (max Turbo Boost 3.6 GHz) with Intel® Iris™ Graphics 550 (28W)
Will be replaced by the:
Intel Core i7-7567U 3.5 GHz (max Turbo Boost 4.0 GHz) with Intel® Iris™ Plus Graphics 650 (28W)

15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz (max Turbo Boost 3.5 GHz) with Intel® HD Graphics 530 (45W)
Will be replaced by the:
Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8 GHz (max Turbo Boost 3.8 GHz) with Intel® HD Graphics 630 (45W)

Intel Core i7-6820HQ 2.7 GHz (max Turbo Boost 3.6 GHz) with Intel® HD Graphics 530 (45W)
Will be replaced by the:
Intel Core i7-7820HQ 2.9 GHz (max Turbo Boost 3.9 GHz) with Intel® HD Graphics 630 (45W)

Intel Core i7-6920HQ 2.9 GHz (max Turbo Boost 3.8 GHz) with Intel® HD Graphics 530 (45W)
Will be replaced by the:
Intel Core i7-7920HQ 3.1 GHz (max Turbo Boost 4.1 GHz) with Intel® HD Graphics 630 (45W)
Apple seeded the first beta of macOS 10.12.4 to developers on January 24, and additional betas should follow. It is highly unlikely Apple will launch new MacBook Pros until the software update is officially released at the earliest, which should happen by late February or early March based on previous releases.

Apple could feasibly launch next-generation MacBook Pro models at any point following the release of macOS 10.2.4, but its late 2016 models are still rather new. WWDC 2017 in June is likely the earliest possibility for a refresh, but previous rumors also point towards a launch in the second half of 2017 or later.

Last month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said new Kaby Lake-equipped MacBook Pros will enter mass production in the July quarter. He also mentioned a "15-inch MacBook" that will include 32GB of RAM and enter mass production in the early fourth quarter, which starts in September.

Related Roundups: MacBook Pro, macOS Sierra
Tags: Kaby Lake, Pike's Universum
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums