Speculation is mounting that Apple will today announce an updated iMac lineup, a move that could push sales of the company's computers to nearly 2 million for the current quarter.

An Apple enthusiast blog site, AppleInsider, is reporting that analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray & Co thinks it is most likely that Apple will roll out iMacs with a "radically new form-factor" today during a presentation scheduled for today at 6pm (UK time) at its headquarters.

If new desktops Apple Macs appear - rumours have circulated of a slimmer design similar in look to the aluminum-clad MacBook Pro notebooks, with larger screen sizes dominating - Munster said that Apple could sell as many as 1.9 million systems in the current quarter, which ends September 30.

"For the past two years, Apple has announced new iPod models in September, ahead of the [Christmas] holiday shopping season. This year, Apple is announcing upgraded Macs ahead of the education-buying season," Munster wrote in a research note to investors, AppleInsider said in a posting yesterday.

Apple sold 1.76 million computers in the quarter ending June 30.

A debut of something new from Apple has been expected since the company released its last-quarter earnings. The company's forecast of sharply lower profits, said analysts in late July, pointed toward one or more major new product launches or existing product line refreshes.