Apple’s New iMac Is All Display

Apple Computer took the wraps off its new iMac family
with a design that puts the entire computer into the
flat-panel display.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker introduced three new iMac
desktop computers after a two-month delay with the IBM-built G5 processor.
The company is taking orders now starting at $1,299 and will begin
shipping worldwide in mid-September.

The 17-inch model comes with either a 1.6GHz or a 1.8GHz PowerPC G5
processor, and the 20-inch only comes with a 1.8GHz chip.
All come standard with 256MB of RAM (which is expandable up to 2GB). The
17-inch model comes with an 80GB hard drive and a DVD/CD-RW combination
drive, while the 20-inch model comes with a 160GB hard drive and a
DVD-R/CD-RW SuperDrive.

Most striking however is that the entire computer, including the power
supply and slot-load optical drive, is built right in to the two-inch thick
display. All the I/O ports line up neatly along the rear right side for easy
access.

“Just like the iPod redefined portable digital music players, the new
iMac G5 redefines what users expect from a consumer desktop,” Philip
Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing said
in a statement. “With the entire system, including a gorgeous 17- or 20-inch
display, just two inches thin, a lot of people will be wondering ‘where did
the computer go?'”

The new iMac G5 desktops offer three USB 2.0 ports and two FireWire 400
ports for plug-and-play with peripherals, such as Apple’s iPod, digital video
camcorders, digital still cameras and printers.

The new model offers an
optional internal Bluetooth module and includes a built-in antenna and card
slot to support an optional AirPort Extreme Card for 54 Mbps 802.11g fast
wireless networking. It also includes built-in 10/100BASE-T
Ethernet and a 56K V.92 modem for fast Internet access. The new computers
also come with Mac OS X version 10.3 Panther pre-installed. Apple is
currently working with developers on its Mac OS X version 10.4 Tiger, but
no official release date has been set.

A Merrill Lynch research report released Tuesday called the design
“impressive” with the new iMac weighing 15 pounds lighter in its 20-inch
incarnation.

However, the financial firm said Apple still has some risks to overcome,
including a creative market that might not upgrade, a continued PC share
loss and increasing iPod competition.

“Apple would not comment on the IBM PowerPC supply issue, but it would
seem improved enough to announce the iMac and take orders to be delivered in
later September,” Merrill said in its report.

The company could use the boost in desktop sales. While its global PC
market share slipped to 2 percent last year from 9.6 percent in 1991,
according to statistics published by analyst firm IDC, the Macintosh maker
only managed to edge itself up again to 2.2 percent in the April to June
timeframe this year.

Apple said sales of its iPod music player and iTunes download site
have helped boost computer sales. But the company still makes 60 percent of
its revenue from computers.

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