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iMac marks 10th anniversary

updated 01:20 pm EDT, Fri August 15, 2008

iMac marks 10 years

Apple's famous iMac turns 10 years old today, marking an important milestone. The computer -- which first began shipping on August 15th, 1998 -- helped usher in the modern Mac era, distancing Apple from an era of Performas and Quadras. It was also the first major new product from the company following the return of co-founder Steve Jobs, and broke with previously standard Mac technologies at the time such as ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) in favor of those like the then-new USB format.

The original computer has been noted for its radical, gumdrop-like design, which was aesthetically unlike any other system, and restored the concept of an all-in-one desktop. The system was further equipped with built-in modem and Ethernet connections, which helped feed into an Apple marketing campaign, observing that it was far easier to get online with a Mac than an equivalent Windows PC.

The first iMac proved so successful that while Apple lost $878 million in 1997, by the end of 1998, it had turned a profit of $414 million, and made the iMac a cultural icon.

The computer has since undergone a number of revisions, such as a switch to a lamp-like configuration in 2002, followed by a flat, rectangular shape in 2004. Apple has also switched from PowerPC chips to Intel processors, and ditched much of the plastic once used in preference of aluminum and glass. Operating systems have progressed through many versions, from Mac OS 8.5 to Mac OS X 10.5, and rumors hint that future iMacs may even incorporate touchscreens.





by MacNN Staff



  1. Grrr

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They still look as cool today, as they did 10 years ago :)

  1. kdogg73

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Colors Commercial

  1. driven

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Still like 2002 design

    I still like the 2002 iteration the best ....

  1. robttwo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    My bondi blue original still works great (although its the only iMac to not be able to run some form of OSX, I think.)

    Just an aside - My 512K STILL runs. It boots from it's 800k floppy in about 10 seconds. At one time, it ran a screen saver (as a strange nightlight) nonstop for almost 9 years. I still have it out and boot it up every so often to see if it still works. And, dammit - MacPaint, in all its 80K of glory, still looks cool.

  1. psilocybenine

    Joined: Dec 1969


    my pink iMac

    what version of OS X should I run on my 333mhz G4 385mb 15gb imac? I have 10.3.9 on it now and it runs alright... has anyone tried 10.4...

    i remember my old performa 6360, it was last supported by apple on os 8 something but i put 8.6 and later versions of 9 on it before... but in the end i thought it ran best on 8.6 i think

    so has anyone found this computer's os x "sweet spot"?

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    my bondi...

    ... is running 10.1 robtwo, the only difficulty is getting the OS on CD's rather than a DVD. Actually, I have a Rev.B. Bondi-Blue with the short-lived NewerTech G4 433 Mhz daughtercard ... not that's rare! ;-)

  1. addisonx

    Joined: Dec 1969


    original imac

    It will run up to Mac OS X 10.3 (panther). I still think it has the most beautiful teal color compared to any of the imacs that came after. Steve wore a suit at its introduction--so proud of the first project he guided upon his return to apple. It was when I knew apple had dodged the bullet and would come out strong again.

  1. jwcoleman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    trust me, it will never catch on without a floppy drive
    : )

  1. Loren

    Joined: Dec 1969


    and the occasional lemon

    I know at least two customers who just couldn't get their Revision B iMacs to function properly-- hangs, lockups, etc.-- and were in a black hole of AppleCare round trips. They both left for PC's! What lemons. Even I was amazed.

  1. Bartman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I remember when I wanted to buy my first mac and I had no idea what's the difference between a performa, quadra, powermac... so i bought a motorola starmax 3000 (hey, it had 5 years warranty). I later learned it was the equivalent of performa 4400 or so..

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