20 years ago, in 1998, Steve Jobs introduced the Apple iMac to the world. The iMac was an ambitious desktop computer specifically designed to offer easy internet access. The launch of the iMac, not only defined styling and design of tech products, but also helped Apple to go from just another PC maker to the world’s most valuable tech company.
To commemorate the occasion, Apple CEO Tim Cook posted a small video on Twitter showing Jobs unveiling the iconic desktop computer to the world. For those unaware, Jobs and Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple in 1976, and had a good run with Apple I and Apple II personal computers. Apple Lisa in 1983 was a failure, and after a long struggle for power, he was forced out of Apple in 1985.
Jobs then founded NeXT, a computer platform development company, and he also helped develop visual effects by funding the graphics division of George Lucas’s Lucasfilm in 1986. 11 years later in 1997, Apple merged with NeXT and Jobs returned to Apple’s helm as interim CEO. Soon after his return, Jobs launched the iMac at the Flint Center, and a large crowd erupted with applause, it was the same theater where Jobs had unveiled the original Macintosh in 1984.
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
One of the reasons for people going wow about the iMac was the fact that it did not look anything like other desktop computers in that time. It was an all-in-one machine with the monitor having a curvy back and translucent plastic. Later on, Apple also introduced several other rainbow color options for the iMac.
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“We designed iMac to deliver the things consumers care about most—the excitement of the Internet and the simplicity of the Mac. iMac is next year’s computer for $1299; not last year’s computer for $999. Today we brought romance and innovation back into the industry. iMac reminds everyone of what Apple stands for,” Jobs had said in a press release (via MacRumors).
The original iMac pioneered several industry firsts such as FireWire, quiet fan-less operation, and USB. The strategy was highly effective and iMac helped Apple return to profitability, just months after it was about to file for bankruptcy.
In terms of hardware, the iMac was powered by a PowerPC G3 processor clocked at 233MHz, paired with 32MB of RAM (expandable to 128MB), and 4GB hard drive. It featured a 15-inch display with 1024×768 resolution, built-in stereo speakers with SRS sound, two USB ports and Ethernet with a built-in software modem, 24x CD-ROM drive, an Apple-designed USB keyboard and mouse. The iMac ran on Mac OS 8.1.