The iMac is a line of desktop computers developed and produced by Apple Inc. It was first released in 1998, and since then has undergone 12 major design changes and performance updates.
The original iMac was an all-in-one computer that featured a 15-inch CRT display, a PowerPC processor, and a range of connectivity options. It was designed to be easy to use and set up, and its unique, futuristic design made it a popular choice for both personal and professional use. It was such a revolutionary design and yet, it was considered to be Jony Ives worst design, according to Apple Insider. Regardless, the world took by storm, and Jeff Goldblum partnered with Apple for a commercial. You can watch the first keynote address here.
In 2002, Apple released the iMac G4, which featured a 15-inch LCD display and a radical new design that featured a “floating” CRT monitor attached to a hemisphere base. The G4 was notable for its slim profile, almost like a floating iPad, and its ability to be used in either a horizontal or vertical orientation. It was powered by an 700 MHz PowerPC 7441 (G4) processor and NVIDIA GeForce2 MX graphics
In 2004, Apple released the iMac G5, which featured a 17-inch or 20-inch LCD display and an Intel processor. The G5 also introduced the ability to be used as a media center, with the inclusion of a remote control and a built-in IR receiver.
In 2006, Apple released the Intel-based iMac, which featured a 24-inch LCD display and a range of Intel Core processors. This marked the first time that the iMac was available with multiple processor options, allowing users to choose the performance level that best suited their needs.
In 2009, Apple released the current generation of iMac, which features a sleek, aluminum design and a range of display sizes ranging from 21.5 inches to 27 inches. This generation of iMac also introduced the use of LED backlighting for improved image quality and energy efficiency. From this point on, this body style carried on until the 2021 multi color option.
In 2011, Apple released the iMac with Thunderbolt, which introduced the high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and allowed for faster data transfer and expansion capabilities.
In 2012, the iMac was updated with the latest Intel processors and graphics, as well as the introduction of a new Fusion Drive option, which combines a traditional hard drive with a solid-state drive for improved performance.
In 2014, the iMac received a design update, with a thinner profile and a new Retina display, which offered higher resolution and improved image quality.
In 2017, the iMac received another performance update, with the introduction of 7th and 8th generation Intel Core processors, as well as improved graphics options.
In 2019, the iMac received its biggest update in years, with a new design that featured thinner bezels, improved graphics, and the introduction of the Apple T2 security chip. The 27-inch model also received a 6K Retina display, offering even higher resolution and improved image quality.
In 2020, the iMac received a significant update, with the introduction of Apple’s own M1 chip, which replaced the Intel processors that had been used in previous models. The M1 chip brought improved performance and power efficiency to the iMac, and also introduced new features such as improved machine learning capabilities. Another major update in 2020 was the introduction of a new 24-inch iMac model, which featured a compact design and a 4.5K Retina display. Other updates to the iMac in 2020 included improved graphics options, faster storage options, and improved thermal management for improved performance.
In 2021, with an all-new facelift after 12 years… the new 24-inch iMac with a 23.5-inch diagonal screen size continued to be powered by an M1 processor. The iMac was available in seven colors including silver, blue, green, orange, yellow, purple, and pink, and all of them featured a 4.5K Retina display. It was also the first generation iMac to include two Thunderbolt 3/USB 4 ports with two optional USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 2 ports depending on configurations.
Although some expected the release of an iMac in 2022 with an M2 processor, Apple did not release one. To be fair, throughout the last 11 years, iMac generally releases one every two years. However, there is much speculation about an iMac pro or revamp to be released in 2023.
Throughout its history, the iMac has consistently been a popular choice for both personal and professional use, thanks to its powerful performance, sleek design, and ease of use. As technology continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how the iMac continues to adapt and change in the future. However, when analyzing Apple’s site, and the main general trend of the web, iMacs seem to be in a slump. This might be due to the ever increasing trend of portability, which is why MacBooks, iPods, and iPhones are Apple’s hottest-selling items.