Mary Enderle: Apple iMac G5 ‘isn’t a good desktop design, seems poorly thought out’

“What bothers me most about the Apple [iMac G5] is that the design seems rushed. The base seems too narrow for safe use and appears to be directly pulled from Apple’s monitor line. On monitors the screen is relatively light, but when you add the PC functionality, you also add a lot of weight,” Mary Enderle writes for MacNewsWorld.

MacDailyNews Note: Mary Enderle is a design and brand consultant for the Enderle Group. Yes, that Enderle Group, the one headed by Rob Enderle (seems it’s a group of two, according to their website, and it looks like you have to be an Enderle to join the group, we guess). Mary also worked on “the look and feel for [url=”]”[/url]

Enderle continues, “This shifts the center of gravity up and makes everything less stable. Knocking over a monitor can be expensive, but if you have the hard drive spun up, knocking over a PC could be catastrophic. If it is my data we are talking about, I want to see it better protected. The other part that bothers me a lot is the lack of built-in wireless networking . This box looks best without cables, but there is virtually no way to use it networked with out adding something that breaks the clean lines.”

“Even if you add the iPod, you break the clean lines. I would prefer the ports be on the base or on the floor so this doesn’t happen,” Enderle writes. “Unlike the old iMac, you can’t raise and lower the screen. This will be a problem in Europe, where they actually have rules about this kind of thing for office use. Whatever the iMac is — a ‘smart display’ retread, a tablet computer without any of the tablet features or a laptop that isn’t mobile — it isn’t a good desktop design. In fact, I haven’t seen good desktop design from Apple since the old Apple Cube. Unlike the previous iMac, this version seems poorly thought out. A good design should remain attractive when fully configured. This one simply does not live up to Apple’s typically high standard.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, if you’ve read one Enderle, you’ve read ’em all. Oh, the iMac G5’s foot is removable, by the way. Lose the foot, add an arm mounted on your desk or wall, and you’ll have a greater range of movement than the previous iMac G4 ever had.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple unveils new iMac G5, the world’s thinnest desktop computer – August 31, 2004
Apple’s new ‘Chiclet’ iMac G5 a design triumph meant to tempt Windows iPod users – August 31, 2004
Is Apple’s iMac G5 Apple’s last consumer desktop? – September 01, 2004
Introducing the iPod of personal computing: Apple’s iMac G5 – September 01, 2004
Time: Apple’s new iMac G5 ‘quite possibly the coolest personal computer yet created’ – September 07, 2004
The Age: Apple iMac G5 ‘a masterpiece, a triumph, sleek, elegant and very much 21st century’ – September 08, 2004


  1. I will agree on the lack of bluetooth standard.

    Wireless can be added later… but bluetooth should be standard.

    make it an option that you can take off, for a discount even.

    A friend made a good point. Why wouldn’t i Just get laptop he said?

    If Apple had a five minute battery, where i could unplug and move to the kitchen and plug in and continue that would be fantastic.

    Although… I’d like to see if the hole in the back of the stand is designed to bundle the cords through, such as iPod, and digital camera, and external firewire drive, and keyboard if not bluetooth.

    anyone know if the BT keyboard and mouse are reachargable… or how often the batteries need changing?

  2. Ya know, these two would have much more credibility if they could write an article that actually made some objective sense. I have little patience for reading unapologetic opinion pieces masquerading as technical treatises.

  3. This is the second criticism I’ve read of the iMac possibly being unstable. However, in both circumstances, it was based on speculation instead of actual physical inspection. When I first saw the iMac, I made the assumption that Apple would have thought of the incredibly obvious and wondered how they got it to be stable. The author, apparently only upon visual inspection, assumed that Apple designed them without regard to obvious functional requirements and branded them “less stable” (than what, we are left to wonder).

    She should have at least had the integrity to test the iMac before making such evaluations. In addition, if the Cube was the last piece of good desktop design she’s seen from Apple, then I don’t really care about her opinion on style.

  4. [What bothers me most about the Apple [iMac G5] is that the design seems rushed]

    The operative word being ‘seems’.

    Has Mrs. Enderle (of the two-person Enderle ‘Group’) actually tested the validity of her theory (which it potentially is).

    Why bother when she can probably contact Rob Enderle for his expert punditry.

  5. When it comes to gripes about stability, I’m of the “wait and see” mindset. While I agree with what Mary says–I certainly don’t want a machine that will tip over if I bump the table–I tend to have faith that it is pretty stable. I’m sure this is something Apple thought about.

    That said, I know a few people who had a problem with the iMac G4 because they were convinced that the arm would break. They were sure that their small child would trash it somehow because it looked so fragile. I never heard of a case where this happened, but it steered people away just the same. The iMac G3 looked like it would take whatever punishment you threw at it.

    So there’s something to be said for perception. These light and airy designs look great and are durable. But if they look flimsy, it may be yet another excuse for PC users not to switch.

  6. Knowing Apple’s attention to detail I’m sure they spent many days testing the iMac stand and are satisfied its safe. In any case, I would be more inclined to listen to Mrs. Enderle AFTER she has actually laid her hands on an iMac and tried to knock it over (which I suspect she’ll get around to doing once they become available).

  7. Speaking from firsthand experience, this is not a computer that you are going to knock over accidentaly. The base is wide enough so that even slapping the machine will just send it sliding down the table upright. Punching it would just send it sliding backwards.

    If you’re looking for creative ways to knock over an iMac, you’re pretty much limited to yanking the underside upward forcefully. Anyone who had actually touched the machines couldn’t write such an article.

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