What do iMac M1 and iMac G3 from 1999 have in common? Not only color


At first glance, in addition to the fact that the M1 iMac and iMac G3 have the word iMac in the name, and they are both multi-colored, there is nothing in common between them. Outwardly, they are completely different. And they have different colors. They are also from different millennia. Since then, computers have changed beyond recognition several times: M1 iMac 2021 weighs four and a half kilograms, the first iMac G3 was four times heavier. For the iMac G3, which has never happened to any Apple product before, there were huge queues. They stupidly did not have time to produce. And the M1 iMac is mostly bought online. There are no queues. And yet they have a lot in common. The same genes?

iMac old and new

There are more than 20 years between these computers. And yet they have a lot in common.

Quite a lot of time passed between the presentation of both iMacs and the start of their sales. Both iMacs spent this period meaningful and interesting, both were promised failure. If those who wrote that no one would buy the M1 iMac knew perfectly well that they were not telling the truth, then with the iMac G3 everything was much more serious. A computer of a strange shape, an unusual color, made of glass and plastic, and even translucent.

There were no traditional ports for Apple computers in the iMac. Neither ADB (Apple’s proprietary interface for connecting keyboards, mice, and other lightweight peripherals), nor SCSI. Only Ethernet and two USB 1.1 ports. It was terrible. By the way, M1 iMac was also deprived of “unnecessary” ports – USB-A. iMac G3 was introduced in early May, and its sales began on May 15th. Sales began that day, and almost immediately stopped. Pre-imported iMacs were swept off the shelves. “No more than two in one hand!”

How much is the first iMac

The first iMac cost $1,299. Excluding taxes and fees. How much it cost in Russia and in rubles, I don’t remember. $1,299 in 1998 is roughly $2,000 in 2021. In the US online store, the M1 iMac with 7 cores in the GPU is … the same $1,299. Also no taxes or fees. This coincidence, of course, is not accidental. It was difficult to achieve this in the current situation, but they managed.

As in 1998, Apple is offering the computer of tomorrow at twice (or even one and a half) times the price of computers from the past. The all-in-one computer market is not dominated by Apple. Monoblocks from HP and other companies are considered more modern than the iMac, but what Jobs said is still relevant. The M1 iMac is a chip from the future. As, by the way, in the iMac G3.

iMac 24

iMac M1 – successor to iMac G3

In fact, this 32-bit PowerPC processor was called something else, PowerPC 750. G3 it was named by Apple and registered the PowerPC G3 trademark. The processor was fantastically economical and not average in performance. It exceeded the expectations of the developers – this, although very infrequently, happens.

This chip tore Intel Pentium with many times higher clock speed to shreds. He had flaws, but who doesn’t? Like the M1 iMac, the iMac G3 wasn’t the first Mac to have this wonderful chip inside. In November 1997, Steve Jobs introduced three new products to the public: the PowerPC G3, a laptop with this processor – the PowerBook G3 “Kanga”, and the Power Macintosh G3 in a traditional beige-gray case. The birth of the iMac G3 was 9 months away. In addition to Apple, PowerPC 7xx was actively used by Nintendo. It was also used even in the Perseverance rover.


Perseverance rover

iMac G3 and iMac 2021 Colors

The first iMac was offered in a single color. Bondie Blue. By the name of the bay with the same color of water, near Sydney, Australia. At one of the presentations, Steve showed photos of multi-colored iMacs. The audience was delighted.

iMac G3

Then 5 colors became available for the iMac G3

Almost all of the iMac colors shown on the slide came out the following year, 1999. The M1 iMac is similar in color to the 1999 iMac G3. Color is very important. Since the last millennium, color specialists have been working in the industrial design division. From the point of view of a normal company, this group is engaged in utter nonsense. Looking for the only “correct colors” for devices of different sizes and shapes. Until 1997, there was no such division at Apple. Decisions were made by designers, they were approved or not approved by the company’s management. iPhone colors are the result of a long search and labor. It’s great that artists of color are back to 1999 Macs 20 years later.

Why does an iMac need so many colors?

iMac cable

Apple even paints peripherals in different colors

Apple does not just paint its products in special colors. iMac and Mac Pro come with peripherals (mice, trackpads, keyboards, and cables) in a special color. Mac Pro relies on black peripherals. I don’t understand the black color connection with the Mac Pro, but this peripheral looks deadly beautiful.

iMac relies on peripherals to match the color of its case. And even stickers of this color. How much money is spent on this, it’s scary to imagine. But there is something in it. In the iMac G3, peripherals were also “painted” in the color of the case.

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