Happy 20th Launch Anniversary, iMac


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

On August 15, 1998, Apple officially released the first iMac, the candy-colored gumdrop-shaped iMac G3, launching a desktop machine that has continued to be updated and revised over the years.

Designed by Apple design chief Jony Ive, the iMac G3 was unique among computers at the time for its unusual shape, the use of translucent plastics that allowed the internals to be visible, and the bright colors that Apple adopted.

"This is iMac. The whole thing is translucent. You can see into it. It's so cool," said Jobs when introducing the iMac G3.

Apple's first iMac, which sold for $1,299 at launch, came equipped with a 233 - 700MHz PowerPC 750 G3 processor, 4GB of storage, a 15-inch CRT, a CD-ROM drive, and an ATI graphics card, components that don't sound impressive today but made for a powerful, well-rounded machine, that, in combination with the design, made the iMac a best seller.

At launch, and in the years following its release, Apple released the iMac G3 in a slew of shades that include the famous Bondi Blue, Blueberry, Grape, Graphite, Indigo, Lime, Sage, Strawberry, Ruby, Snow, Tangerine, and two patterned colors, Blue Dalmatian and Flower Power.

If you live near Michigan, all 13 colors of the original iMac G3 are on display at the Henry Ford Museum in a popup collection called "Looking Through Things," which has been introduced in celebration of the iMac's anniversary.

The iMac G3 was introduced just a year after Steve Jobs returned to lead Apple, and it came at a time when the company was still struggling and trying to find its footing. By 1999, Apple saw its first quarter profits more than triple, with the jump attributed to sales of the new iMac.

Apple in May celebrated the anniversary of the debut of the iMac G3, which, while launched in August, was first introduced by Jobs in May 1998.

20 years ago today, Steve introduced the world to iMac. It set Apple on a new course and forever changed the way people look at computers. pic.twitter.com/GbKno7YBHl - Tim Cook (@tim_cook) May 6, 2018

Since the iMac G3's 1998 debut, Apple has introduced several revisions to the desktop machine, launching design revisions in 2002, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2012, and 2015.

Today, the iMac is available in 21.5 and 27-inch size options, with 4K and 5K Retina displays, respectively. Kaby Lake chips, AMD graphics, and super fast SSDs are included.

We also have an iMac Pro, a workstation class machine aimed at Apple's professional users with a unique Space Gray body, Xeon processors with up to 18 cores, Radeon Pro Vega graphics, and up to 4TB of SSD storage.

We're still expecting refreshed iMac models in 2018. There's no word on when the next design change is coming, but in 2018, Apple is expected to add 8th-generation Coffee Lake chips and other internal improvements that make a great desktop machine even better.

Article Link: Happy 20th Launch Anniversary, iMac


macrumors member
Mar 20, 2009
I’ve owned (still own) all three models - original bondi blue, 17” lamp mac, and the last.
I’ve loved them all. Wonderful ride.
Lamp-mac was my favourite though. :)
Still stuck on the late 2009 27", since it is the last one that can be driven as a screen for a PC, and I don’t want to try to juggle two screens on my desk.

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
Before the distraction of iToys, Apple really cared about innovating in computers. Now we get hype over a new iPhone that essentially looks the same and does the same as the previous iPhone while the computers are ignored.
Computers are ignored? How so? Then what was the debut of the iMac Pro and 2018 MacBook Pro then in under the last year?


macrumors 68020
Sep 9, 2012
I still have feelings for those first iMacs. I never got one and can't remember which colour I wanted the most, but do remember wanting it bad.

I feel nothing for recent iMacs. Absolutely nothing. They're superior in every way yet they don't have an ounce of personality. They're bland, utilitarian tools; design simplified into nothingness. The lampshade iMac was the last to have real personality. Then it started going downhill; first with the iMac G5 and then with each subsequent iMac until what we have today, which is just an evolution of the G5 design.
Last edited:


macrumors 68020
Aug 31, 2003
Silicon Valley
I still have feelings for those first iMacs. I never got one and can't remember which colour I wanted the most, but do remember wanting it bad.
Same here. I remember being so blown away by the design and price point of the original iMac that I wanted to buy one even though I already had a more powerful Mac. I had no use for an iMac. It felt like a historic moment and I just wanted to participate in some way. I merely wanted the experience of walking into the Apple dealer and walking back out with one, so I indulged.

After left the store with a shiny new iMac, I drove over to my dad's house and surprised my little sister with a new computer.

A few years later, I'd meet my wife. She had an iMac. We still have that iMac. I'm so tempted to pull it out of the closet and fire it up sometimes, but I just don't have the time to do anything fun with it.

These iMacs really bring back a lot of memories.
Last edited: