The iMac has been the primary part of Apple’s consumer desktop offerings since its introduction in 1998, and has evolved through five distinct forms.

Initial Thoughts and Reactions
The announcement of the iMac in 1998 was a source of discussion and anticipation among commentators, Mac fans, and detractors. Opinions were divided over Apple’s drastic changes to the Macintosh hardware. At the time, Apple was trying to improve its retail strategy. Apple declared that “the back of our computer looks better than the front of anyone else’s”.

How It Performed
In 2005, as it became more and more apparent that IBM’s development for the desktop implementation of PowerPC was grinding to a halt, Apple announced that it would be switching the Macintosh to the¬†x86¬†architecture and Intel’s line of Core processors. The first Intel-equipped Macs were unveiled on January 10, 2006: the Intel iMac and the introductory MacBook Pro.

Final Thoughts
Apple’s use of translucent candy-colored plastics inspired similar designs in other consumer devices. For example, grilling machines, portable electronics, pencil sharpeners, video game consoles and peripherals (including the Nintendo 64, which was released in special edition ‘Funtastic’ colors) featured the translucent plastic. Apple’s later introduction of the iPod, iBook G3 (Dual USB), and iMac G4, all featuring snowy white plastic, inspired similar designs in consumer electronic products.