The original iMac was unveiled on May 7, 1998 by Apple Computer and went on sale in August of that year. Some strong advocates called the iMac an innovation in computer design of its time: purportedly the first personal computer design which considered aesthetics as one of its primary goals. The machine was an all-in-one design, in which monitor and CPU were contained within one object -- this carried on from the previous Performa line of the 1990s. It was powered by a 233 MHz G3 PowerPC processor, and came in a white and Bondi Blue color scheme. This design was attributed to Jonathan Ive, now VP of Industrial Design at Apple.
The iMac was the first move in a general turnaround in public perception and financial success for Apple. It was the first of many future innovations introduced by the then interim CEO Steve Jobs. Despite Apple's small relative market-share, the iMac left a large imprint in the public consciousness, and inspired several imitators.
The iMac was the first "New World" Macintosh. The Mac OS (toolbox) ROM was loaded into RAM from the hard drive unlike previous (Old World) ROM soldered onto the motherboard. The iMac was also the first Macintosh to feature USB ports, instead of the legacy Apple Desktop Bus and Geoport serial ports. Apple also took the bold move of omitting a floppy disk drive: while the floppy disk was already falling into disuse, PC manufacturers still included them as a legacy component.
The first-generation design was adapted from the MacNC project. Parts were taken from PowerBook models, including the CD-ROM drive which featured the optical mechanism in the tray. The second generation iMac featured a slot-loading CD-ROM or DVD drive, fanless operation, and the option of AirPort_networking.
In January 2002, after much speculation over its look and specification, a flat panel iMac was launched with a completely new design. A 15" LCD display is mounted on an adjustable arm above a half-dome containing a tray-loading disc drive and CPU. The processor in the new iMac is a PowerPC G4. Apple kept the CRT model in production, primarily for educational markets.
In July 2002, Apple announced the 17" widescreen iMac, with a a screen that would go on to be used in the new 17" PowerBook.
The CRT iMac was discontinued in March 2003.
|Table of contents|
2 External Links
First Generation iMac
Second Generation iMac