20 years ago – to the day – on May 6, 1998, Apple interim chief executive Steve Jobs introduced the world to the first iMac. Jobs talked up the Jony Ive-designed iMac as if it was the best thing since sliced bread and for the company and the industry at the time, it kind of was.
The original iMac featured a wild-for-the-time all-in-one design with a translucent rear shell that was in stark contrast to the boring beige boxes of the era. The name “iMac” paid homage to its purpose – the “i” stood for Internet and the iMac was designed to get people on the Internet fast and simply. As you know, that “i” branding caught on and persists to this very day with the iPhone, the iPad and so on.
Apple ramped up its marketing effort as well, hiring Hollywood A-lister Jeff Goldblum to hawk the new machine in a series of television commercials.
Against all odds (this was Jobs’ second stint at Apple, after all), it worked. The iMac helped lead Apple’s turnaround, giving the company the ability to carry on into the 2000s where its truly game-changing products started to materialize.
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