The hype and excitement has been building all week as we got closer to the MACWORLD San Francisco keynote, which takes place this morning. Apple has been providing teasers and other hints on its home page, with a different message every day this past week. Shortly after midnight on Monday morning, Time.com added its January 14th issue to its Web site that brings most of the speculation to a close.
The article includes a picture and story of a brand new iMac, presumably the one that should have been kept under wraps until after the keynote itself. Adding fuel to that argument is the fact that the story was pulled after a few hours, and replaced with last weekis cover story. Those who have already bought the newsstand version still have access to the spoilers, of course, with reports careening around the Internet that the East Coast has already seen the new issue on the streets as early as late Sunday evening.
The iMac, according to the article, "features a fast G4 chip, just like Appleis top-of-the-line machines", with a flat-panel monitor mounted atop a hemispherical base, and is to be priced from $1299-1800. The top-end $1800 model is also equipped with a combo DVD/CD-R optical drive. Along with this comes iPhoto, a product for downloading, storing and organizing digital camera photos. From the Time story:
There comes a time in every important Jobs project, usually when the thing appears to be finished, that he sends it back to the drawing board and asks that it be completely redone. Some people say this trait is pathological, a sign of his control-freak perfectionism or his inability to let go. "Itis happened on every Pixar movie," Jobs confesses. Itis also what he did when Ive presented him with a plastic model of what was to be the new iMac. It looked like the old iMac on a no-carb diet, a leaner iMac in the Zone. "There was nothing wrong with it," recalls Jobs. "It was fine. Really, it was fine." He hated it.
Rather than give his O.K., he went home from work early that day and summoned Ive, the amiable genius who also designed the original iMac, the other-worldly iPod music player, the lightweight but heavy-duty titanium PowerBook and the ice-cube-inspired Cube desktop, to name but a few of his greatest hits. As they walked through the 1,000-sq-m vegetable garden and apricot grove of Jobsi wife Laurene, Jobs sketched out the Platonic ideal for the new machine. "Each element has to be true to itself," Jobs told Ive. "Why have a flat display if youire going to glom all this stuff on its back? Why stand a computer on its side when it really wants to be horizontal and on the ground? Let each element be what it is, be true to itself." Instead of looking like the old iMac, the thing should look more like the flowers in the garden. Jobs said, "It should look like a sunflower."
A picture of Steve Jobs and the iMac appears on Timeis cover with the caption "Flat-Out Cool!". The cover story is titled "Appleis New Core," and was available earlier this morning at the Time Canada site. Depending on when you are reading this, it may be available again. It may well also be published at Timeis main Web site, and has been mirrored (currently) by forked.net.
Another snippet from the article:
Remember when computers used to be cool? Deep inside One Infinite Loop, the Silicon Valley address of Apple Computeris Industrial Design Lab, they still are. Never mind that the Valley is a grim place these days and that the gold rush has given way to the deep funk. Forget that the Internet bubble has burst, and that Ma and Pa investors are wearing a what-were-we-thinking? grimace of fiscal remorse. Right here, right now, sitting on a butcher-block table, bathed in the sunlight that pours in through spyproof frosted-glass windows, is-repeat after Steve Jobs now-the quintessence of computational coolness, the most fabulous desktop machine that you or anyone anywhere has ever seen.
ThinkSecret has posted screenshots from the article.
The Mac Observer will be providing our usual live coverage of the keynote, so stay tuned for more information as we get it.