How Apple’s revolutionary iMac changed computing forever

Apple's revolutionary iMac G3 in its original Bondi Blue color
Apple’s revolutionary iMac G3 in its original Bondi Blue color

In 1998, Ken Segall, an employee at Apple’s L.A. ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day, came up with the name “iMac” and pitched it to Steve Jobs. Jobs wanted the product to be called “MacMan”, but eventually warmed to Segall’s suggestion.

Benj Edwards for Macworld:

The iMac made an instant impression when Apple first unveiled it in May 1998. But it didn’t start to really shake things up unitl it began to ship—which happened on August 15, 1998. Arguably the most influential desktop computer of the last decade, the original iMac’s specifications seem quaint by today’s standards. For $1,299, you came home with a 233MHz PowerPC G3 processor, 32MB of RAM, a 4GB hard drive, a 15-inch built-in monitor, and stereo speakers—all in an amazingly stylish case.

The Bondi Blue wonder heralded the return of Steve Jobs as a visionary leader for Apple, and it halted Apple’s mid-1990s financial freefall. Initially marketed as an easy-to-use gateway to the internet, the iMac transcended that simple role and redefined the desktop PC market — not to mention consumer industrial design — forever.

MacDailyNews Take: Bye-bye, beige! Adios, floppies! Hello, USB and sublime industrial design!


  1. Just think, that same $1,300 almost buys you a 1,000-times more powerful machine today:
    2.33 GHz
    32GB RAM (okay, this one is pushing it, if you pay Apple prices for RAM)
    4TB disk

    1. Accounting for inflation that is now about $2,050. That gets you a 27″ iMac with 3.1GHz i5, 1TB storage, 8GB RAM, retina 5K display. The display was 1024 x 768. About 1/25th the size of the 27″ Retina display. We still have a couple in storage. I’m thinking to set one up after we remodel, just for looks.

  2. Despite some initial shortcomings, the original iMac was a watershed product. It spawned a whole new peripheral ecosystem across the tech industry, while creating a product design language (right down to the use of the ‘i’ moniker in the name) that became widely adopted across the general consumer industry. Most importantly, it got Apple back in the game big time. Slam Dunk.

  3. Ignoring the colours, the iMac was basically a remake of the original Macintosh – down to the handle for easy transportation (no designer signatures inside the cabinet, though) …

  4. I bought the original bondi blue iMac in 1998 in London, I think I paid 1200 pounds. The salesman told me they were flying off the shelves, he’d never seen anything like it. It lasted six very productive, irreplaceable years before I had to replace it.

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