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.
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!