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October 5th, 1999

[3:30 PM] Apple Makes New iMac, iMac DV, And iMac DV Special Edition Official!

2 weeks of intrigue and scandal were made good today as Apple introduced the long awaited new iMac product line. As reported here (first) and elsewhere, the new line includes 3 models, FireWire, DVD, new colors, faster processors, video out, and a new case design, as well as other improvements. According to Apple's official press release:

Apple today introduced a family of all-new iMac computers, continuing the revolution in consumer and education computing that began when the original iMac was introduced just over a year ago. The new family includes iMac, iMac DV (for “Digital Video”) and iMac DV Special Edition, which comes in a stunning new clear Graphite-colored enclosure. The new models are completely redesigned to be faster, sleeker, quieter, and make accessing the Internet even friendlier. Apple is shipping all three models beginning today.

“I'm in love with the new iMac—it's the finest product Apple has ever created,” said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO. “Desktop video and AirPort wireless networking are the next revolutionary features for home and classroom computing.”

All of the new iMacs feature:

  • Faster Pentium-toasting PowerPC G3 processors;
  • 64MB memory standard, with expansion up to 512MB through an easy to access door;
  • A Rage 128 VR 2D/3D high-end graphics accelerator chip for stunningly realistic gaming;
  • A new sound system designed in collaboration with Harman Kardon which delivers breakthrough quality from a personal computer;
  • New “slot-load” CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives (like those featured in luxury automobiles) which offer greater simplicity and reliability by eliminating the need for a tray;
  • Fan-less operation, resulting in a reduction of noise to half that of competitive products when the iMac is in use, and to below the threshold of most people's hearing when the iMac is idling;
  • Support for Apple's revolutionary AirPort wireless networking for fast, wireless Internet access from anywhere in the home or classroom;
  • Dual USB ports, a V.90/56K modem, and 10/100BASE-T Ethernet for fast connection to networks, cable modems and DSL modems; and
  • Even easier connection to the Internet using iMac's enhanced Internet Setup Assistant and 30 days of free Internet access.

In addition to the above features, both iMac DV models offer:

  • A slot-load DVD-ROM drive, with the added ability to play DVD movies directly on iMac's high-resolution super-crisp 15-inch display (13.8-inch diagonal viewable image size) and sound through its high-fidelity Harman Kardon sound system. All iMac DV and iMac DV Special Edition models shipped in the US include a DVD of Disney/Pixar's “A Bug's Life,” so customers can watch their first DVD movie on iMac right out of the box;
  • Dual 400 megabit per second FireWire ports to connect to high-speed devices such as external disk drives and digital camcorders (over 8 million digital camcorders have been sold to date);
  • Apple's groundbreaking new iMovie software, which makes it incredibly simple to create your own pro-quality home and classroom movies. iMovie uses iMac's built-in FireWire port to digitally transfer the video from your digital camcorder into your iMac. Then iMovie lets you easily rearrange clips, add special effects like cross-dissolves and scrolling titles, as well as music soundtracks and even sound effects. Users can save their movie on iMac's hard drive, or send it back to the camcorder to make copies on digital or VHS videotape. They can even send the movie to friends and family over the Internet.

Pricing and Availability
The new iMacs are available immediately via The Apple Store (www.apple.com) and Apple Authorized Resellers in the following configurations:

  • iMac: With a suggested retail price of U.S. $999, iMac runs at 350MHz, contains 64MB SDRAM, 512K backside cache, Rage 128 VR VR with 8MB SDRAM and AGP2X, a 6GB Ultra ATA hard drive, slot load 24x-speed CD-ROM (maximum), a built-in V.90 56K modem, 10/100BASE-T and two USB ports. iMac is engineered to work without a fan, and features a new sound system with Harman Kardon speakers. iMac is available in Blueberry.
  • iMac DV: With a suggested retail price of U.S. $1,299, iMac DV has the same configuration as iMac, but runs at 400MHz, has a 10GB Ultra ATA hard drive, 4x-speed slot-load DVD-ROM drive with DVD video playback, two 400Mbps FireWire® ports and iMovie software. iMac DV is available in five colors: Blueberry, Grape, Lime, Strawberry and Tangerine.
  • iMac DV Special Edition: With a suggested retail price of U.S. $1,499, iMac DV Special Edition has the same configuration as iMac DV, but comes with 128MB SDRAM and a 13GB Ultra ATA hard drive. iMac DV Special Edition is available in a stunning Graphite enclosure.

The Mac Observer Spin: These are hot, sexy new machines. As we remarked in our live coverage of the announcements, M. Jobs appeared visibly moved over the new products. As evidenced in the above press release, M. Jobs called the new iMacs the best products Apple has ever shipped. During the presentation itself, he talked about how quiet the models are for more than 2 minutes, a long time to devote to such a seemingly minor feature. This is definitely the mark of an Insanely Great product and while it is overshadowed by the DVD, FireWire, and new case design for most people, we think it is the most important aspect of the new machines.

The DV models with their ability to play full screen DVD movies and the ability for consumers to make their own movies is going to have a huge impact in the consumer market. Apple will have to get the message out and truly make it apparent to non-techies that it will be easy to make your own movie, but if they can do so, Christmas will be a very big month for Apple indeed.

Blue Line Studios



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