The iMac has now been around for 20 years, and 9to5Mac’s Michael Steeber documents its history from the original Bondi blue model (see “Welcome, iMac!,” 6 May 1998 and “iMac Hoopla,” 17 August 1998) to the current iMac Pro (see“Apple Releases the iMac Pro,” 15 December 2017).
In many ways, the original iMac was the key to Apple’s revival. At a time when Apple’s finances and product line had been out of control, the iMac occupied what was arguably the most important slot in Steve Jobs’s simplified four-cell product matrix (see “Apple Hardware Strategy: Alluring PowerBooks and iMac,” 11 May 1998).
But the iMac wasn’t without its controversies. It was the first Mac to abandon legacy ports in favor of the new-fangled USB, forcing users to figure out how to connect peripherals to it (see “iMac Connection Guide,” 24 August 1998.)
Despite that, the original iMac did wonders for Apple’s financial results, even if the then-amazing $106 million in quarterly earnings pales in comparison with the billions Apple makes on the Mac each quarter now (see “iMac Propels Apple to $106 Million in Earnings,” 14 October 1998).