“Sexy yet understated industrial design has come to define Apple. The latest version of the iMac, which begins appearing in stores this week, is perhaps the purest expression of Jobs’ modernist design sensibilities: a machine stripped of all ornamentation. The snow-white computer is distilled to its essence — a monitor, a keyboard and a mouse,” Dawn C. Chmielewski reports for The Mercury News. “Everything else — the computer, the optical drive and the multiple device ports — is hidden behind the flat-panel screen. There’s not even a label identifying the computer as an iMac.”
Chmielewski reports, “Apple’s ability to continue to produce technology-as-art is key to the company’s vitality. The design reflects Apple’s positioning of the iMac as something other than a tool for word processing, spreadsheets and other dull, utilitarian applications. Like the iPod music player it resembles, the new iMac is a lifestyle accessory; a fashion statement to be made while enjoying music, movies and digital photos. The iPod’s simple yet lightning-fast scroll-wheel design — letting music lovers access thousands of songs with a brush of a finger — has made the music player a runaway best-seller. The iMac follows the same principles: a spare, button-free surface and speedy G5 processor, which provide immediate gratification for those looking to edit their digital photos, create home movies or compose songs using Apple’s iLife software.”
“Analysts agree there are indications that some consumers whose first experience with Apple was an iPod are now making the transition to Macs. Apple’s most recent quarterly report, released in June, showed the highest shipments of Macs in 3 1/2 years,” Chmielewski reports. “Apple is trying to encourage more PC-to-Mac converts with a marketing campaign that touts the new iMac G5 as a product ‘from the creators of the iPod.’ Apple is counting on the ‘halo effect’ to fuel iMac sales. In the auto industry, a hotly designed halo car like the Dodge Magnum RT casts a favorable glow on the rest of the product line. For Apple, the bright light belongs to the iPod. ”One of the things that’s clear: We have a lot of people buying iPods who’ve never bought Apple before,’ said Apple’s Joswiak, who declined to provide specific sales information. ‘They, at the very least, are considering Apple for the fist time.'”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: There’s nothing really new in this article (the major concepts were expressed on the day of the iMac G5 unveiling by our own SteveJack here), but it is noteworthy in that a lot of “mainstream” publications are picking up this article and running it via syndication. For a lot of people, this will be their introduction to Apple’s new iMac G5. There is anecdotal evidence that Windows iPod owners are more receptive to Apple’s Mac products and Apple is smart to take advantage of the opportunity with the iMac’s iPod-like design.
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple’s new ‘Chiclet’ iMac G5 a design triumph meant to tempt Windows iPod users – August 31, 2004
Introducing the iPod of personal computing: Apple’s iMac G5 – September 01, 2004