The iMac Saved Apple

Jason Snell wrote about the history of the iMac on its twenty-fifth anniversary for the Verge:

While PC makers spent many years trying (and failing, for the most part) to make iMac knockoffs, it was really a transitional device. While Apple still has a nice business selling iMacs to families, schools, and hotel check-in desks, most of the computers it sells are laptops.

Still, I think the iMac pointed the way to the era of ubiquitous laptops. (What is a laptop but an all-in-one computer? Fortunately, laptops don’t weigh 38 pounds like the iMac G3.) From the very beginning, the iMac was criticized as being limited and underpowered. Apple frequently used laptop parts in the iMac, whether it was for cost savings or miniaturization reasons. Today, Mac desktops use more or less the same parts as Mac laptops.

To wit, while Apple’s own Mac chips debuted in two laptops and a Mac Mini which all looked the same as the Intel models they replaced, the M1 iMac was the first of the family to sport a new industrial design language. Unfortunately, it has remained unchanged for 837 days as of writing — the longest delay between iMac updates in years, and one which will have knock-on effects.

New iMacs are expected in October, according to Mark Gurman, as part of the debut of the M3 lineup.