Apple’s new colorful iMacs take on a retro design, with a cutting edge touch inside

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The shape of the iMac has also evolved.

Apple

When Apple first introduced the iMac in 1998, it was a revelation to the tech industry. The all-in-one PC was unlike anything else in the industry, with the computer built into the display. And then there was the body. In a sea of ​​tan and drab gray PCs, the first iMac stood out with its vibrant and colorful translucent plastic case.

Over the years, however, Apple’s iMac switched from candy colors to white plastic then, finally, sterile machined aluminum, like most other Apple devices. But on Tuesday, the company plunged back into its well of color designs, announcing its latest iMac in seven colors: green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver. It will be from $ 1,299 when pre-ordering April 30 before shipment in May.


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What we think of the new colorful 24-inch iMac


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The front of the computer is mostly a sheet of glass on the screen, with a pastel-colored chin where the innards of the computer live. In the back however, it has some striking undertones.

“The back is designed to celebrate the color,” said Colleen Novielli, member of Apple’s Mac product marketing team.

The burst of color marks a break with recent conventions and is reminiscent of the original iMac. But using colors, however eye-catching, isn’t something companies do on a whim. If the company makes too much of an unpopular color, it loses sales.

“You have to know what you’re doing when you’re in the color game,” said Roger Kay, analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates.

New inside and out

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Apple co-founder Steve Jobs used to joke, “the back of this thing looks better than the front of other guys.”

Screenshot / Apple

Back in the days of the first iMac’s launch, Kay and IDC, his employer at the time, tried to help PC makers decide whether to accept the eye-catching designs of the iMac. What he found was that while it is easy to create a good design, the safest colors among consumers were black, white, silver, and blue. “So the PC guys were like, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna do it,’” Kay said.

Apple is different though. Analysts often liken it to a fashion company, focusing as much on the appearance of the computer as on its innards. And just like elephant legs, neon, and the all-denim “Canadian tuxedo”, old trends can often come back into fashion after a few decades.

In the Apple world, this has resulted in the company’s shift from square designs for the 2010 iPhone 4 to the 2012 iPhone 5S to rounded edges on the 2013 iPhone 6 to the iPhone XS. of 2019. Now the iPhone 12 is square again.

The new designs also help dramatize the fact that something has changed. In the case of the iMac, the computer is powered by M1 microprocessor chips. Last year, the company started moving its computers from the Intel microprocessor-based brains that powered Apple computers for 14 years to new, custom-designed computers, similar to the iPhone and iPad.

“The tech industry is emerging as the fashion industry,” said Bob O’Donnell, analyst at Technalysis Research. Not only does his research show that Apple buyers tend to be younger, but O’Donnell also said more people are forced to spend time in front of their home computers during the pandemic. So, that personalized touch of color can really be important to some people.

“I rarely have the technological desire in my heart, and I thought it was pretty cool,” he said.

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The new design of the iMac has smaller borders on the front.

Screenshot / Apple

Pandemic malaise

During its presentation, Apple gave several nods to features that could help us get through the pandemic a little more easily. The iMac’s webcam, for example, added a feature to follow and zoom in on a person while they are talking during a video chat. And its microphones are supposed to filter out background noise. The iMac’s footprint is also smaller, Apple said.

None of the new iMac features are particularly revolutionary – Google, Facebook and other companies worked on the chat at home and in the office appliances for years. But in Apple’s case, it all came at a time when the company seemed to recognize that zoomed-in video could help families chat together, microphones could help filter out kids who interrupt a meeting, and l The small footprint means an iMac can sit on it. a kitchen table or other small spaces, reducing the need for a central computer desk.

When Apple discussed the colors, it even called them “light and upbeat”. The iMac wasn’t the only device to get a fresh coat of paint. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini each gets a vibrant purple as a new color option.

At the very least, it’s a break from our gray and COVID-related reality.

“Apple’s focus is modern retro, but a flash of sunshine – or a bright yellow iMac – is certainly appreciated after a year of pandemic and turmoil,” said Avi Greengart, analyst at Techsponential.

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