iMac celebrates its 20th birthday

Happy 20th Birthday iMac!

Twenty years ago this month Steve Jobs introduced iMac, an revolutionary new Mac aimed specifically at easy Internet access (i for intenet). It not only redefined the design and styling of computer products but changed Apple from being a minority PC maker to the world's most valuable tech company.

Apple Hockey Puck Mouse
Apple Hockey Puck Mouse

The iMac looked nothing like a traditional Mac or PC and also had the most awful Mac mouse ever designed (this may be just YMT's opinion). It was semi-affectionately named the hockey puck for it's circular design.

The iMac pioneered many industry firsts such as USB, FireWire, and quiet fan-less operation, and while the removal of the floppy drive and legacy ports was controversial, the computer ultimately pushed the industry forward.

The original iMac's technical specifications are now far surpassed by your iPhone in your pocket but began Apple's recovery from near bankruptcy.

  • PowerPC G3 processor clocked at 233MHz
  • 15-inch display with 1,024×768 resolution
  • Two USB ports and Ethernet with a built-in software modem
  • 4GB hard drive
  • 32MB of RAM, expandable to 128MB
  • 24x CD-ROM drive
  • Built-in stereo speakers with SRS sound
  • Apple-designed USB keyboard and mouse
  • Mac OS 8.1

Part of the success of the iMac was it's range of colours that spurred a revolution in the redesign of computer accessories. It was originally released in Bondi Blue inspired after a visit to Bondi beach. The success of the iMac was due in part to a significant marketing campaign developed by ad agency TBWA/Chiat/Day. The ads, both in print and video form, focused on the iMac's design and the simplicity of both setting it up and connecting to the internet. A few of the spots featured actor Jeff Goldblum and are among some of the most iconic Apple ads.

Happy Birthday iMac! Here are some of our favourite iMac ads to enjoy.

Happy 20th Birthday iMac!