iMac Turns 25 Today: When to Expect the Next Model to Launch
Today marks the 25th anniversary of Steve Jobs introducing the iMac, a computer that helped Apple return to profitability following near bankruptcy in the late 1990s. The original iMac featured a colorful, translucent design in an era where most computers were boxy and beige, proving that computers did not have to look boring.
"This is iMac," said Jobs, at the Flint Center in Cupertino. "The whole thing is translucent. You can see into it. It's so cool. We've got stereo speakers on the front. We've got infrared right up here. We've got the CD-ROM drive right in the middle. We've got dual stereo headphone jacks. We've got the coolest mouse on the planet right here."
The original iMac pioneered many industry firsts, such as USB and FireWire, while abandoning the floppy drive and other legacy ports. The computer featured a 15-inch display, a PowerPC G3 processor, a 4GB hard drive, 32MB of RAM, a CD drive, two USB ports, and an Ethernet port for connecting to the still-nascent internet.
Over the past two and a half decades, the iMac has received many design changes, moving to a flat screen and an aluminum enclosure. Fittingly, the current 24-inch iMac features a colorful design just like the original model did all those years ago.
When to Expect a New iMac
Apple released the 24-inch iMac in April 2021 with the M1 chip and an ultra-thin design available in seven colors, including green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver. This is currently the only new iMac in Apple's lineup, as the Intel-based 27-inch iMac and iMac Pro models were both discontinued over the past few years.
A new iMac will launch in late 2023 at the earliest, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In February, he said Apple had no plans to update the iMac with the M2 chip and is waiting until the M3 chip, which has yet to be announced. The M3 chip is expected to use TSMC's 3nm process for significant performance and power efficiency improvements.
TSMC has reportedly faced yield issues with 3nm chip manufacturing, and Gurman said there is a possibility the new iMac does not launch until 2024. In any case, the next iMac appears to remain several months away from launching.
Top Rated Comments
But I thought FireWire was first on one of the PowerBooks with the coffee-colored keyboards, but it's difficult to remember.
Not sure if I would describe the Internet as "nascent" when the iMac came out. Making it *easier* to get on the Internet was a marketing push of the iMac, but it was by no means new.
Weird tidbit I remember: The original iMac was supposed to at first only come out with only a 33.6k modem, but they changed it to 56k shortly before shipping.
And with the Rev B I had I believe the only change was a slightly increased amount of VRAM. It was a great computer.
Edit: Going down memory lane a bit more with little tidbits I remember:
The first time I saw an iMac was transcendent. It just looked so different and was so cool. I know by rote memory that it had a huge impact, but it's hard to remember it viscerally because now I kind of think: How could that have made such a huge impression? But it did. This was before Apple stores and it was in a local electronics shop.
The CD-ROM was very noisy --I think it was a 24x CD-ROM, and Apple shipped an update to address the noise that was just a software fix to make it run slower.
It came with Nanosaur, and some other games I don't remember as well.
I somehow got postcards from Apple that were to help advertise the iMac. It had pictures of the iMac with marketing slogans. One said Mental Floss, I recall.
I got the bondi Rev B iMac in 9th grade, and at the time I remember trying to explain to my teacher what it was, and she said, "You mean it's like a Dell?"
That year in my science class, we had to write a report on inventors, and I wrote one on Steve Jobs and included the iMac as one of his inventions. Wish I still had that report.
It was a pretty big deal to get a G3 Mac at that price. From memory, the other G3 Macs were not that much more powerful than the iMac. It was Apple's re-entry to the consumer market.
Everything became translucent with blue highlights like the iMac for a while, including the USB printer we bought to go with it. A lot of knock-off products.
I didn't do this, but I also vaguely recall that it could somehow play PlayStation games out of the box owing to the iMac and PlayStation using the same type of processor.
We ended up donating the bondi iMac to my cousins, shipping it cross country. Unfortunately for some reason they said it didn't work (not sure what was wrong or if it was user error) and they tried opening it up and it further broke . . .
There’s a reality distortion field that didn’t work.
What a craptastic hockey puck. Hurt to use for a long time, and it was hard to orient for quick adjustments - take hand from keyboard, grab mouse, guess which way is up, move slightly sideways.
Man I hated when I was in a lab full of bondis and [only] first party mice.
(Granted, with a good 3rd party mouse it was a great computer!)