24 Years Ago, the First iMac Went on Sale: Relive Steve Jobs' Iconic Presentation

On August 15, 1998, the first iMac, introduced by Steve Jobs just a few months prior, officially went on sale, marking a turning point for Apple and the first true consumer desktop from the company.


"The excitement of the internet. The simplicity of Macintosh" is how Jobs described the first ‌iMac‌ during the now iconic keynote on May 6, 1998. During the presentation, Jobs compared it to other desktop computers on the market. According to Jobs, those computers were slow, featured smaller 13 to 14-inch displays, probably didn't have any networking capabilities, and were ugly. The original ‌iMac‌ hoped to target each weak point with faster performance, a better-looking design, and updated I/O ports.

hello again imac
"We decided to make this thing fast," Jobs said, touting the at the time powerful G3/233 processor. The first ‌iMac‌ featured a 15-inch display that was 1024x768, 32MB of standard memory, 4GB of disk storage, a 24x CD-ROM drive, a 100Mb Ethernet port, a 33.6Kb modem, and a 4MB IrDA. The original ‌iMac‌ had stereo SRS sound, two 12MB USB ports, and a keyboard and mouse for I/O and peripherals.

imac colorful way to internet
Iconically, it featured a translucent design that allowed people to see inside the machine. "The back of this thing looks better than the front of the other guys, by the way," Jobs jokingly said about its design compared to the competitors on the market. On the front of the ‌iMac‌, beneath the display, it featured stereo surround speakers, infrared, a CD-ROM, and a headphone jack.

tim cook apple hello imac
The original ‌iMac‌ retailed for $1,299, and since its introduction 24 years ago, the ‌iMac‌ has transformed and evolved a great deal. Apple's latest ‌iMac‌, the 24-inch ‌iMac‌ with M1, is similar to the original ‌iMac‌ in that it's offered in many colors. The ‌iMac‌'s design has continued to radically change, becoming thinner, slimmer, and more powerful over the years.

Top Rated Comments

DMG35 Avatar
7 weeks ago
I still have one, its an aquarium now though.. Need a new fish for it….



Attachment Image
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iDarth_Betar Avatar
7 weeks ago
Iconic it is. Look at him in a suit!

Miss you, Steve.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lioness~ Avatar
7 weeks ago
Remember these days and Steve with much ❤️
Felt like you were on a very special journey that few experienced with that amazing guy.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BenTrovato Avatar
7 weeks ago
Loved how exciting the late 90's were for computing across the board
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NightFlight Avatar
7 weeks ago
I had one of the first ones I could get my hands on. Bondi blue, it looked exactly like the first picture and I absolutely loved it.

Ah, memories.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kalsta Avatar
7 weeks ago
Hear the audience laugh when Steve says that Apple staff have great stock options! Oh the irony with the benefit of hindsight.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iMac Deals Gray 2

Deals: Take Up to $150 Off M1 iMacs on Amazon, Available From $1,199

Tuesday May 24, 2022 6:53 am PDT by
Amazon is offering a few models of the M1 iMac at all-time low prices today. Only select colors are available in each configuration, but all models shared in this article are in stock and ready to ship out today from Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....
iMac Pro 2022 27 and 24 iMac

Apple Not Planning to Launch Larger-Screened iMac

Friday March 11, 2022 2:38 pm PST by
Apple has no plans to release a larger-screened iMac, according to a new report from 9to5Mac. Citing unspecified sources with knowledge of Apple's product pipeline, the site says that Apple will not be introducing a bigger iMac "in the near future." With the launch of the Mac Studio, Apple discontinued the Intel-based 27-inch iMac, creating some confusion about the future of the iMac line....
iMac Deals Yellow

Deals: Apple's 24-Inch iMac (8-Core, 256GB) Drops to Record Low Price of $1,349.99 on Amazon

Tuesday August 9, 2022 5:56 am PDT by
Apple's 24-inch iMac (8-Core GPU, 256GB) has dropped to $1,349.99 on Amazon today, down from $1,499.00. This sale is available in three colors, which are all in stock and ready to ship: Yellow, Orange, and Purple. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. ...
iMac Blue Isolated

The 27-inch iMac Could Be Sticking Around – But Not in the Way You Expect

Monday December 6, 2021 2:09 am PST by
After over a year of rumors about a larger, high-end iMac model with Apple silicon, it seems that the 27-inch iMac may not be disappearing in the way that some observers expected. Earlier this year, the reliable leaker known as "L0vetodream" said that the rumored high-end iMac model set to replace the current 27-inch model will feature a larger display. Apple already gave the entry-level...
iMac Deals Teal

Deals: Apple's M1 iMacs Hit All-Time Low Prices on Amazon at Up to $199 Off

Tuesday May 10, 2022 5:58 am PDT by
Today we're tracking a return of record low prices across all three 24-inch iMac models on Amazon. Only select colors are available in each configuration, but all models shared in this article are in stock and ready to ship out today from Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
iMac Pro 2022 27 and 24 iMac

Gurman: Apple Still Working on 'Pro' iMac With Larger Screen

Monday July 4, 2022 3:26 am PDT by
Apple is still working on an iMac with a larger display and a more powerful chip aimed at the professional market, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman suggested that Apple is working on at least two iMac models, likely using the "M3" series of chips. Gurman says that Apple will likely launch an updated 24-inch iMac featuring the...
iMac Pro 2022 27 and 24 iMac

Apple Allegedly Prototyped a Redesigned 27-Inch iMac With M1 Max Chip and Black Finish Last Year

Thursday July 28, 2022 11:13 am PDT by
Apple prototyped at least three larger iMac models with Apple silicon chips last year, according to information shared by MacRumors forum member Amethyst back in March. The forum member said they obtained the details from an acquaintance. We've elected to share this iMac information given that Amethyst accurately revealed details about the Mac Studio before anyone else, including the name of ...
the new imac g4 feature

iMac G4 With Revolutionary Floating Display Announced 20 Years Ago Today

Friday January 7, 2022 8:55 am PST by
Today marks the 20th anniversary of Apple announcing the iMac G4. Unveiled on January 7, 2002, the iMac G4 featured a unique design with a flat-screen panel mounted on an adjustable arm and a hemisphere base housing the computer's internal components. Nicknamed the Lamp or Sunflower, the iMac G4 was innovative for its time as an all-in-one computer with a flat screen that can be moved around ...

Popular Stories

USB C Over Lightning Feature

EU Passes Law to Switch iPhone to USB-C by End of 2024

Tuesday October 4, 2022 3:30 am PDT by
The European Parliament today voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024. The proposal, known as a directive, forces all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Europe to ensure that a wide range of devices feature a USB-C port. This...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

10 New iOS 16 Features Coming Later This Year

Monday October 3, 2022 2:41 pm PDT by
iOS 16 was released to the public three weeks ago with a customizable Lock Screen, the ability to edit iMessages, improvements to Focus modes, and much more. And in the coming months, iPhone and iPad users have even more new features to look forward to. We've rounded up 10 new features coming to the iPhone and iPad later this year, according to Apple. Many of the features are part of iOS...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.0.3 With More Bug Fixes Following iPhone 14 Launch

Monday October 3, 2022 7:53 am PDT by
iOS 16.0.2 was released last month with several bug fixes for iPhone 14 issues, excessive copy and paste permission prompts, and more. Now, evidence suggests that Apple is planning to release iOS 16.0.3 with additional bug fixes. Evidence of an upcoming iOS 16.0.3 software update has shown up in MacRumors analytics logs, which have been a reliable indicator in the past. There are several...
Apple SIM Card

Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:04 am PDT by
As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document. Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro...
maxresdefault

Video: AirPods Pro 2 vs. Bose QuietComfort II

Monday October 3, 2022 12:50 pm PDT by
Apple on September 23 officially launched the second-generation version of the AirPods Pro, introducing updated Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, improved sound, and more. Right around the same time, Bose introduced new QuietComfort II earbuds with many similar features, so we thought we'd compare the two to see which has the edge. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for ...
General YouTube Feature 1

You May Soon Need to Be a YouTube Premium Subscriber to Watch 4K Videos

Monday October 3, 2022 4:29 am PDT by
YouTube may make watching videos in 4K quality on the platform exclusive to only YouTube Premium subscribers, according to screenshots posted by users on Twitter and Reddit. On Reddit (1,2) and Twitter, some users have started to recently notice that on iOS, and presumably across other platforms also, YouTube is now saying that in order to watch videos in 4K, the user must be a paying...
dynamic island alan dye

Apple Executives Talk About iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island in New Interview

Sunday October 2, 2022 10:48 am PDT by
In a new interview, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, and Apple's vice president of human interface design, Alan Dye, sat down to discuss the thinking behind the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island and how it was developed. During the interview with the Japanese magazine Axis, Federighi, who oversees the development of iOS, said Dynamic Island represents the...