Apple's New iMacs Just in Time for the Holidays

What better way to build on monumental earnings momentum than with a big product release, and what better place for Apple to debut its new, spiffy iMac than right here on CNBC.

The news came out at noon eastern, but the first look at the new device was on Power Lunch. I had a chance to play with it most of the morning, and it's impressive.

The new iMacs come in two size flavors, a 21.5 inch and 27 inch, each featuring backlit LED displays for the for first time.

The technology has been on its CinemaDisplay monitors, but this is the first time it's on an iMac.

They'll run $1,199 to $1,999, depending on configuration.

More on that in a second, but first let me explain why this release, at this time, is so important: the new iMacs will be available in a few weeks, just in time for holiday shopping.

And while Apple sold a record 3 million Macs last quarter, only 26 percent were desktops.

MacBooks are selling like gangbusters, enjoying a 35 percent year-over-year pop. iMac was in need of a refresh, and now that it's here, in time for the holidays, it wouldn't surprise me to see Apple estimates go higher among Wall Street analysts. Apple is also offering small updates to the MacBook, but this new iMac is clearly the headline-grabber. And scene stealer.

The 2009 iMac.
The 2009 iMac.

Playing a supporting role is the new Magic Mouse, the wireless controller that replaces the popular Mighty Mouse. For the first time, Apple is incorporating its popular multi-touch technology into a mouse, bringing the touch screen controller on the laptops to a desktop. It's pretty slick, allowing the same kind of gesture control on iPhone or iPod Touch, but in a mouse. It's neat.

It's a powerful, one-two punch of news from headline, and should build nicely on Monday's stellar earnings.

If there's one issue: no Blu-ray on board. Apple tells me Blu-ray sales are flattening, and with so much downloadable HD content on the web, courtesy of iTunes, NetFlix and so many others, the market is moving to downloads, and away from Blu-ray. So there was simply no reason to incorporate what Steve Jobs has referred to as a "bag of hurt," as far as licensing the technology is concerned.

Short of that, the new iMacs are yummy.

Questions? Comments?