“The iMac launched May 6 1998, exactly 20 years ago. It is not the most significant computer to ever exist. It was a clear descendant of the original Mac which established the ‘all-in-one’ desktop computer category,” Horace Dediu writes for Asymco. “”That category, to which it still belongs, is a modest segment. The last time Apple reported portable sales separately was in late 2012 when the desktops/servers and pro systems combined made up only 20% of all Mac sales by units. If iMac were 10% of Mac sales, it would represent about 2 million units in 2017.”
“Desktops evolved into laptops and personal computing evolved into pocket computing. Becoming more personal means more intimacy and this is leading to wearable computing,” Dediu writes. “There is more beyond that to be sure.”
“But the iMac is a historically significant machine. It allowed Apple to start on a new trajectory. It did this by first offering a financial lifeline. Sales of Macs, which were at the time the only source of revenues for Apple, increased from 2.7 million to 3.8 million a year,” Dediu writes. “Second, the iMac was the first host of OS X, an operating system built on Unix which made it extremely flexible. iMac gave Apple the space for OS X to be developed and to be optimized for various hardware… Lastly, iMac’s design screamed ‘consumer product’ which went from signaling inferiority to superiority. It set a standard for novelty, creativity and dynamism in the category that was considered second-rate. To me the incredible aspect of the iMac’s entry is its uncanny timing. It came not only just in time to save Apple but exactly half-way between the first two ages of computing.”
Much more in the recommended full article, including the usual excellent graphs, here.
MacDailyNews Take: We have owned a bunch of iMacs throughout the years, from Bondi to Blueberry (sorry, no Flower Power or Dalmatian) all the way to our current sleek aluminum desktops. The original MacDailyNews site was built mostly on an Indigo iMac G3 (with a PowerBook assist)!
20 years ago today, Steve introduced the world to iMac. It set Apple on a new course and forever changed the way people look at computers. pic.twitter.com/GbKno7YBHl
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) May 6, 2018
Happy Birthday, iMac! And, thanks, Steve!