Tech Throwback: 23 Years After The iMac G3 Launched, Apple’s New Line Is Colorful Again - Play

The 2021 iMacs recall the days when your Apple desktops can come in Aquamarine, Strawberry, or Grape.  

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Every editor or creative professional worth their salt in the late 90s to the early 2000s—and, of course, every kid who bullied their parents into buying them one—is most likely familiar with the iMac G3.

Launched in 1998, the compact desktop was meant to be a step up from Apple’s Performa model, which was losing badly at the time to the Windows PCs flooding the market.

Steve Jobs’s answer then? Make ‘em simple and make ‘em colorful. That first line of computers carrying the iMac name came in everything from Aquamarine, Lime, and Strawberry to Blueberry, Grape, and Tangerine, which is shown on a plastic frame around the machine. Its flex back then mirrored the growing marvel of the time: it could connect to the internet in two steps as opposed to the cumbersome wires and ports of a PC.

Getting out of a funk

After that 1998 line, the iMac has since gone for more muted palettes, opting first for white and then for largely silver models. While the macbook pro and macbook air have been a little looser when it comes to its hues (hello rose gold) the desktop became thinner, sleeker, but stayed mostly the same color-wise. (If you want to see a timeline, click here.)

The new iMac comes in seven colors—including silver if that floats your boat

The overall design itself has apparently been “stagnant” and “neglected” since 2012. That’s why, yesterday’s announcement of the new iMac came as a surprising delight for those nostalgic for their little translucent plastic wonders.

The new iMacs are just 11.5 millimeters thin, featuring a side profile that “practically disappears” as described by Apple. Its other highlights is an array of technological gobbledygook that the public understands as a marker of the ever increasing machine and graphics power boasted in these launches: 11.3 million pixels, 4.5k retina display, 500 nits of brightness, FaceTime 1080 HD, and over a billion colors.

With no disrespect to that cool billion, the colors that are immediately on the minds of everyday buyers are the ones on the iMac’s casing, which includes green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, and blue. It’s the first time in 23 years since the desktop has had non-monotone options.

This new line still does come in silver. Some habits are just hard to break.

The new iMac will be available in the second half of May 2021. For more information, visit

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