Apple Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Steve Jobs Unveiling the iMac

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  1. MacRumors, May 6, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2018

    MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Today marks the 20th anniversary of the late Steve Jobs introducing the iMac, in what has become a defining moment in Apple's storied history. Apple CEO Tim Cook commemorated the occasion on Twitter today.


    "This is iMac," said Jobs, who had returned to the helm of Apple as interim CEO just eight months prior, after being ousted from the company twelve years earlier. A large crowd erupted with applause at the Flint Center, the same theater where Jobs unveiled the original Macintosh back in 1984.

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    The excitement centered upon the fact that the iMac didn't look anything like other desktop PCs of the time. This wasn't a typical boxy monitor-and-tower in dull beige. This was an all-in-one machine with curvy, translucent plastic, first in bondi blue, and later in several other colors of the rainbow.

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    Jobs was as charismatic as always on stage:
    iMac was all about getting everyday people connected to the internet. In fact, the letter I in iMac stood for internet, according to Ken Segall, the creative director who came up with the name for the computer. It also stood for individual, instruct, inform, and inspire, according to Apple's presentation.

    More importantly, the iMac was a turning point for Apple, a company that had lost its direction by the mid-1990s. Apple was hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, had a bloated product lineup with over a dozen Macintosh models, and seemed to lack a clear plan forward. That is, until Jobs stepped in.

    Jobs aimed to simplify Apple's product lineup with a four-quadrant product matrix, with one desktop computer and one portable computer for consumers and professionals respectively. iMac filled the consumer-desktop quadrant.

    Jobs in Apple's press release for the iMac:
    The original iMac pioneered many industry firsts such as USB, FireWire, and quiet fan-less operation, and while the removal of the floppy drive and legacy ports was controversial, the computer ultimately pushed the industry forward.

    The original iMac's tech specs:powerPC G3 processor clocked at 233MHz
    15-inch display with 1,024×768 resolution
    Two USB ports and Ethernet with a built-in software modem
    4GB hard drive
    32MB of RAM, expandable to 128MB
    24x CD-ROM drive
    Built-in stereo speakers with SRS sound
    Apple-designed USB keyboard and mouse
    Mac OS 8.1The strategy was effective, as the iMac kickstarted Apple's return to profitability, just months after it flirted with potential bankruptcy. iMac sales topped 278,000 units in the first six weeks, and in October 1998, Apple reported earnings of $106 million in its fourth quarter, contributing to its first profitable year since 1995.

    The naming scheme lived on with the iPod in 2001, iPhone in 2007, and iPad in 2010, products that led Apple to become the world's most valuable company.

    The success of the iMac was due in part to a significant marketing campaign developed by ad agency TBWA/Chiat/Day. The ads, both in print and video form, focused on the iMac's design and the simplicity of both setting it up and connecting to the internet. A few of the spots featured actor Jeff Goldblum.


    A sampling of taglines from the campaign:Yum.
    Sorry, no beige.
    Chic. Not geek.
    High-technicolor.
    No artificial colors.
    The rebirth of cool.
    The most colorful way to the Internet.
    Family vehicles for the information superhighway.
    The thrill of surfing. The agony of choosing a color.
    The most dramatically new Macintosh since the original.In the two decades since, the iMac has undergone several revisions, keeping up with rapid technological advancements. Over those years, Apple's attention to both design and function hasn't wavered.

    In 2002, the iMac received its first significant redesign, with a thin flat-panel display affixed to a white semicircular base with a cantilevered metal arm. In 2004, Apple integrated the main logic board, optical drive, and other components behind the display, allowing for a thinner aluminum stand.

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    In 2007, Apple ditched white plastic and gave the iMac an aluminum enclosure backed by black plastic. A model with a complete aluminum unibody enclosure was released in 2009, and slimmed down in 2012. In 2014, the iMac gained 4K and 5K Retina displays. And, in 2017, the powerful iMac Pro was released.

    It is 1998, though, that will always be remembered as the year Apple started a new chapter of success. Happy birthday to the iMac.

    Article Link: Apple Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Steve Jobs Unveiling the iMac
     
  2. Moonjumper macrumors 68000

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    #2
    A 2006 24" iMac was my first Mac. I'm writing this on my 2015 27" 5K iMac. I also have an iMac G4 because it was the best ever computer design (please bring back something with similar levels of ergonomics). I don't think there has ever been a bad iMac design. I look forward to their future.
     
  3. budselectjr macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Put a 4k screen in the thing and release it again. And put a Mac Pro in the cavity the CRT tube used to be.
     
  4. Dave245 macrumors 603

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    #4
    The iMac is a brilliant all in one desktop, I wonder if they will update it this year being as it’s celebrating 20 years?
     
  5. NinjaHERO macrumors 6502a

    NinjaHERO

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    #5
    I'll never forget my first white plastic macbook. I had only used PCs up until that point. My last PC was flooded with virus's and I was like, I'm done. Mac time. I've never looked back. I'm still excited to buy my next one. :)
     
  6. CPark98 macrumors member

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    #6
    I will never forget the first time I used a Mac. I was in kindergarten in fall 2004, and the computer lab was full of 1999 tray loading iMac G3's of all sorts of fruit inspired colors. As a five year old, I was mesmerized that there were computers that were not black or beige. The machines were running Mac OS 9 and I have fond memories of playing Zoombinis, and messing around with Kid Pix. They got rid of the G3's during the summer fo 2005 and when I got back to school only to find a lab of Dell optiplex towers, I was immediately deflated at the thought the machines were scrapped. Those iMacs were magical machines to use and the reason I'm still a proud Apple customer today. Thank you Steve.
     
  7. ThisBougieLife macrumors 65816

    ThisBougieLife

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    #7
    I was born in '98; my dad had a blue original iMac and it was the first computer I ever used :) My elementary school's computer lab was outfitted with iMacs.

    I've never owned an iMac myself, but I'm thinking it may be my next computer.
     
  8. DocPenguin macrumors member

    DocPenguin

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    #8
    I wonder how Steve would feel about the continuing decay of the Mac lineup.
     
  9. Sean4000, May 6, 2018
    Last edited: May 6, 2018

    Sean4000 macrumors member

    Sean4000

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    #9
    The G4 iMac is my favorite design apple ever made. Haven't seen anything like it since.
     
  10. jicon macrumors 6502

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    Quite the good looking machine for the time. However, that mouse... I remember cable modems were just coming to market in my area. Notably poor performance just doing something like web browsing. Maybe that said something about PowerPC? Maybe the fanless design? Anyway, glad to see these machines vastly improve after a few years.
     
  11. Naraxus macrumors 6502a

    Naraxus

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    "had a bloated product lineup with over a dozen Macintosh models, and seemed to lack a clear plan forward" Much like with Timmy's Apple today.....
     
  12. justperry macrumors G3

    justperry

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    #12
    Always wanted an iMac, but couldn't/can't cause I mostly move around the world, therefore I always bought portable ones, first one was a Powerbook G3 Pismo, followed by a PB G4 next a MacMini which stays at one place and then the MBP which I use now.
    Great hardware overall, the Pismo lasted for 8 years mostly in humid and hot Indonesia until it finally gave up after ~20.000 hours, YES Twenty-thousand hours.
     
  13. cube macrumors G5

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    I think you mean GDM-FW900.
     
  14. The Cappy macrumors regular

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    And maybe pondering this, Apple will regain the sense of fun that iMac inspired. Now, aluminum is the new beige.
     
  15. justperry macrumors G3

    justperry

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    #15
    Seems like you always...ALWAYS have something negative to say, this should be a happy thread.
     
  16. DotCom2 macrumors 68040

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  17. The Cappy macrumors regular

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    Ah yes. That mouse. Trivially easy to replace. Your point? The PowerPC was very fast. Remember we're talking about the intro of the iMac. The PowerPC at that time was faster than intel's offerings. Any poor performance browsing was due to the browser. Remember which one? Internet Explorer. That was the reason Apple had to make Safari. So remember to place blame where it was due.
     
  18. Spock macrumors 68000

    Spock

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    #18
    I remember wanting a green iMac so bad, they were such a unique design. I like the specs of the current iMac but they are just boring these days.
     
  19. magicschoolbus macrumors 6502a

    magicschoolbus

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  20. groove-agent macrumors 6502a

    groove-agent

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    RIP Steve. Apple isn't the same without you. Current Apple claims to continue Steve's memory but in no way follows a simplification of the line-up, and neglected Mac Pro, and Mac Mini line-ups.
     
  21. MedRed macrumors member

    MedRed

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    #21
    3 different form factors in less than 10 years. Zero form factor changes in the last decade. Tim Cook sucked all the magic out of Apple.
     
  22. adamjackson macrumors 65816

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    #22
    I've had a few of these over the years. I think the floating screen on the lever was my favorite design. Never had issues with it sagging and not staying put. I love how the optical drive stuck its tongue out at you.
     
  23. icanhazapple macrumors 6502

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    #23
    It's really sad to see watch what's happening to Apple.
     
  24. Naraxus macrumors 6502a

    Naraxus

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    #24
    When Apple does something worthy of praise then I might be less negative.
     
  25. sblemmy macrumors member

    sblemmy

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    #25
    The current design of the iMac is feeling a bit long in the tooth, particularly the bezels and chin since many displays are nearly edge to edge nowadays.
     

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