As was widely predicted, Apple Computer Inc. used the Paris Apple Expo to show off a radical redesign of the iMac, its first consumer computer to feature a PowerPC G5 processor.
The keynote speech was delivered by Phil Schiller, the companys senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, in the absence of CEO Steve Jobs, who is on leave after successful surgery for pancreatic cancer, and received a excellent reception from a packed crowd of Mac users, eager to get their first glimpse of the new machine.
Touted by Schiller as "the worlds thinnest desktop computer," the new iMac resembles a thicker version of Apples LCD Cinema Display series, with the entire computer, including optical drive and power supply, built into a single case two inches deep. The system comes in three models. The low-end machine, priced at $1,299, is based around a 17-inch LCD and 1.6GHz PowerPC G5 processor, and comes with a 533MHz front-side bus, 256MB of DDR-RAM, and a slot-loaded CD-RW/DVD combo drive.
The middle system, priced at $1,499, ups the speed of the processor to 1.8GHz with a 600MHz front-side bus, and swaps the combo drive for a DVD-R/CD-RW SuperDrive. Both models come with an 80GB Serial-ATA hard drive.
Click herefor photos of the new iMac.
At the top of the range comes a 20-inch version, identical to the midrange model other than the larger screen and a 160GB hard drive; it is priced at $1,899. Although all the models can be equipped with Bluetooth and 802.11g wireless networking, none of them comes with this as standard. Apple claimed the iMac will begin shipping worldwide in mid-September.
The release of the iMac comes at a crucial time for Apple, as it has effectively been without a flagship consumer model for over a month. In early August, the company admitted in a statement that its inventory planning had been "less than perfect," after retailers ran out of G4 iMacs with no new stocks available.
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