Haswell-powered iMacs expected in June or July

iMac 8G (two up, left angled, right angled)

In addition to OS X 10.9 and iOS 7, credible media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal are expecting Apple to announce its Pandora-like iRadio music service and possibly a MacBook specs refresh at today’s WWDC keynote, which begins in less than four hours.

The reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has chimed in with predictions of a Haswell-focused iMacs that he believes are in the pipeline for a launch this month or next.

Intel just recently announced its fourth-generation Core architecture for desktop and notebook computers. Apple has traditionally been among the first out of the gate to update its computers with the latest Intel chips, sometimes even securing a period of exclusivity on the new chips, like with the original MacBook Air…

Kuo is expecting (via AppleInsider) Apple to upgrade iMac processor to Intel’s latest Haswell processor in June or July.  He noted iMac shipments declined in the second quarter, dropping 63 percent sequentially, from 1.75 million units in the first quarter of 2013 to 650,000 units in the second quarter.

The analyst attributed the drop to  the arrival of the consumer slow season and the fact that new product shipments have peaked. He is expecting shipments to pick up in the third quarter of 2013, with full-year shipments pegged at 4.7 million units.

Phil Schiller (iPad mini event, iMac evolution)

Kuo has proven itself one of the most accurate analysts out there – if not the most accurate. On the other hand, his January roadmap called for iMac refresh around the fourth quarter so today’s note is a shift from his earlier estimate.

The new Haswell platform incorporates an updated graphics architecture which supports three monitors and features OpenCL 1.2, DirectX 11.1 and OpenGL 4 compatibility. The entry-level U-series chipset is capable of driving 4K resolution and draws just 15 Watts of power, notably less versus the current-gen MacBook Air that draws 17 Watts of power.

Intel Haswell 2013 (lineup)

Apple updated iMacs across the board 192 days ago, in November 2012. The refresh added the latest Intel chips, enhanced display technology (which now uses lamination process) and a thinner appearance.

Tonymacx86 last month passed along photos of a Wi-Fi card which were posted Chinese site VR-Zone back in March. The photograph depicts what looks to be a Broadcom BCM94360CD Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card believed to be making its way into a ninth-generation iMac refresh.

Broadcom BCM94360CD

The hardware supports 802.11ac, also known as Gigabit Wi-Fi.

The Next Web heard back in January that Apple struck a deal with Broadcom to outfit upcoming Macs with these 802.11ac chips. The Gigabit Wi-Fi  is currently undergoing revisions, as electronics manufacturers look to introduce new consumer products capable of supporting high-speed networks.

OS X Lion introduction (AirDrop,  Woman in Office, file transfer 001)

It is widely believed that upcoming iOS devices will also incorporate Gigabit Wi-Fi hardware in order to enable what is being described as an AirDrop-like sharing between iDevices and Macs.

We have no clue whether Apple will mention the iMac refresh at today’s event or opt for a separate announcement later in June or July, but we’ll find out in a few hours time.