New iMacs Flower-Powered
by Leander Kahney
Feb. 22, 2001
Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled two new psychedelic iMacs on Thursday, and
many hardcore fans are reacting with absolute horror.
During his keynote speech at Macworld in Tokyo, Jobs unveiled a "Flower
Power" iMac that looks like a tie-dyed T-shirt, and a "Blue Dalmatian"
model that resembles a blue sky filled with little fluffy clouds.
The new computers are equipped with CD burners, a first for the iMac line.
But while CD-Rewritable drives are a basic necessity for a computer in the
age of Napster, Mac fans reacted with dismay to the new designs.
"Is this some kind of twisted evil joke?" asked iPad on the
MacNN chat boards, an online hangout for Mac zealots.
"They're SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ugly!!!!" chipped in Kon-El.
"I have to say, the Flower Power iMac leaves me speechless and not the
^A'drooling, gotta have it' kind of way," said Flatcatch. "More like
dumbfounded and aghast."
"NNNNNOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!" wrote xyber233. "I am feeling very disturbed
Ibookuser2 said, "I am a high school student and I already have enough
trouble defending my platform. How am I supposed to explain Flower Power
While most of the reaction was negative, some of the message posters said
they thought the iMacs were designed to appeal to women or kids, which they
believed was a smart move on Apple's part.
"I think the target audience is clearly women and girls, who by the way
have enormous influence in family purchasing decisions," said GK. "Although
I don't want to buy it... I think it is a potentially smart business
decision for Apple."
Available now at Apple's (AAPL) online store, the new iMacs come in three
configurations: "standard," "better" and "best." The machines run at 400,
500, and 600 MHz.
As well as the new psychedelic designs, the high-end iMac is also available
in graphite for $1,499. The new low-end system sells for $900 but is only
available in indigo. The mid-range model costs $1,199.
All the new iMacs feature FireWire ports for connecting devices like
camcorders and external hard drives, and video-out ports for hooking up an
extra monitor or TV.
The CD-Rewritable drives are the first major hardware revision to the
popular iMacs, which have been limited to processors and hard drive
upgrades, since they were introduced two years ago.
Mac NN readers noted a number of feature shortcomings. The entry-level
iMac is $100 more expensive than it used to be, and none of the machines
can play DVDs, unlike their predecessors.
Also, the two low-end machines have only 64 MB of memory, which isn't
enough to run Apple's new operating system, Mac OSX, due at the end of next
During the keynote, Jobs also unveiled a new Power Mac G4 Cube with a
CD-rewritable drive for $1,599, and dropped the price of the original model
from $1,499 to $1,299.
Jobs announced a new graphics card for Apple's Power Macs, co-developed by
Apple and Nvidia. The GEForce 3 will be available at the end of the month
as a $600 option.
Jobs also said Apple cut the price on flat-panel displays, and announced a
update to the iTunes software that adds support for 25 external CD burners.
Apple hopes the new machines to boost its lagging sales.
In the last quarter the company lost $247 million.
And according to the latest figures from market research firm PC Data,
Apple's January sales in the U.S. plummeted 40 percent from the same time
But January was a bad month for the industry as a whole, with PC sales down
26 percent from last year.
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