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The Apple iMac G3 Revisited – The First Mac Introduced Following Steve Jobs’ Return to Apple

The Apple iMac G3 Revisited – The First Mac Introduced Following Steve Jobs’ Return to Apple

This is our second feature on iconic Apple computers, and today we’re looking at the iMac G3, which was the first Apple product to be introduced following Steve Jobs’ triumphant return to the Cupertino firm.

The Apple iMac G3 Revisited - The First Mac Introduced Following Steve Jobs Return to Apple
“Indigo iMac G3 slot loading”. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The iMac G3 helped revitalize the Apple brand, and help it crawl back from the ledge of bankruptcy. Apple announced the iMac on May 6, 1998 and began shipping the iMac G3 on August 15, 1998.

The iMac G3 was a decided departure from previous mainstream computers, as it was made out of translucent “Bondi Blue” colored plastic, and sported an egg-like shape with an included handle that made it stand out on store shelves.

Sir Jonathan Ive, who is currently SVP of Industrial Design at Apple, was responsible for the new and unusual design.

The iMac G3 was the first computer to offer USB ports as a standard feature, including using them for the computer’s keyboard and mouse. The design did away with previous Mac peripheral connections, including the ADB, SCSI and GeoPort serial ports.

Apple also took the radical step of eliminating the 3 1/2-inch floppy drive from the iMac, replacing it with a CD-ROM drive. Third-party manufacturers did later make a nice piece of change supplying USB-connectible floppy drives to customers.

The company originally announced an internal 33.6 kbit/s modem for the iMac, but quickly bowed to consumer pressure and adopted the faster 56 kbit/s standard.

The keyboard and mouse were exclusively designed for the iMac G3, using translucent plastic with Bondi Blue trim. The Apple USB keyboard was smaller than previous Apple keyboards, while the mouse was a mechanical, round-shaped “hockey puck.” Some users found the “hockey-puck” mouse difficult to use, and Apple later shipped a capsule-shaped optical mouse to replace the round mouse.

The first generation of the iMac G3 featured a 14-inch CRT display, 233 MHz PowerPC 750 processor, ATI Rage IIc graphics, a 4 GB hard drive, a tray-loading CD-ROM drive, two USB ports, a 56 kbit/s Modem, built-in Ethernet, infrared port, built-in stereo speakers, and two headphone ports, for a price of $1,299.

Later models would include a slot-loading CD-ROM drive, faster processors, more RAM, and improved graphics capabilities.

Most importantly to some, the iMac would be available in various colors during its lifetime, as seen in the photo below.

The Apple iMac G3 Revisited - The First Mac Introduced Following Steve Jobs Return to Apple
Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

MacTrast would like to thank YouTube user Canoopsy, who put together the video shown in this article. He did a great job on the video, which he recorded using only the camera on his iPhone 6 Plus. He’ll be supplying us with a video of another one of Apple’s iconic computers tomorrow, so stay tuned. Be sure to visit Canoopsy’s YouTube page for more great videos.

We’d also like to thank Wikipedia for the information about the Apple iMac G3. If you have any corrections or additional information about the iMac G3 you’d like to share with us, please email chris@mactrast.com.

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