Apple’s new iMac G5 is ‘technology-as-art’ designed to lure Windows iPod owners to Mac

“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


  1. I saw the new Imac for the first time on Saturday. If I didn’t need a big expandable G5 for Editing I would buy one in a flash. They are Amazing!!!! Come to think it, I may buy one for surfing the net and digital life tasks. Several PC friends are going to make the switch very soon. That will be 10 swithchers for me.

  2. The design of the new iMac is going to be very important in sales over the next year. Why get an ugly old Dull when for the same money (after you bring the $599 special up to snuff) you can but the iMac. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Dull come out with a line of white computers in hopes of tapping into this market.

  3. Um There is nothing Identifing it as a iMac???

    How About the Big Apple on the front. Other than that Apple what else do you need to know. An Apple is, and always will be an Apple. Just like real Apples(Fruit) Apple has many different flavors to suit different needs. Some are baking, some for drinking, and some just taste good.

  4. “There’s not even a label identifying the computer as an iMac.”

    There doesn’t need to be. If it looks like every other computer in the world . . . it must be a PC.

    If it breaks like every other computer in the world . . . it must be a PC.

    If your blood pressure rises every time you hear virus, update, fatal error . . . you must have a PC.

    If you know a computer manufacturer by their stunning designs without even seeing a label . . . it must be a mac.

    If you never have to worry about loosing productivity . . . you must use a mac.

    If the great interface and useful OS draws envious looks from the cattle in your office. . . you must use a mac.

  5. The back of the computer has a large “iMac”, about 4 or 5 inches square, on it.

    While at my local Apple Store I spoke with 3 people who were switchers. One from buying an iPod for Windows, then getting an iBook and going to get the new iMac. Another person said he was going to get his first iMac and probably will also get an iPod. Another was looking for a friend whom he said wanted the new iMac. He was already a Mac user.

  6. Peragrim: indeed, this may come as a shock to you, but a shaded stensil of an Apple does not identify the machine as an iMac. Apple has been rumored to produce more than a single product, many of which have Apple logos on them.

    This may be cognitively difficult for your to grasp, but try by example:

    You see a shiny new car. It says on it “Toyota.” Are you looking at a Corolla? A Camry? Etc.?

  7. It says ‘iMac’ on the back of the computer. This is important because the people will see backs of iMacs sitting on the reception desks of ad agencies, day spas etc. etc. all over the country. This is why in the keynote Phil Shiller said that their computers look better from behind than our competitors’ do from the front!

  8. That’s right Anastasia, The person in front of the computer doesn’t need to be told it’s a Mac.

    People looking at her will know she’s using one by the label. Although it’s pretty obvious from there too.

    Think of all the “iMac” product placement this is going to do in movies, sitcoms, ect. An Apple logo in front, “iMac” at the back and no thickness. There’s almost no way to hide the branding.

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