Exclusive – The Next Generation iMac Exposed!

On April 1, 2001, in Opinion, by Ralph J Luciani

Thanks to mole operative (iDeep Throat) in Apple Computer’s Cupertino Campus comes this startling information on the major revamping of Apple’s consumer products as well as the dramatic shift in their marketing and design philosophy.

Apple has apparently learned some lessons from the many iMac ripoffs. The computer company that revolutionized the industry is set to save millions of megabucks by curtailing both innovative technology and cutting edge industrial design. Sure it will be bland and less colourful but it appears it is the only way to draw large numbers of Wintel customers who fear radical change and creative design.

Currently in the final stages of the design criteria, the following models are being set for prime time. It is not clear if they will be released to the public at July’s MWNY or MWSF 2002. For this exercise we will concentrate our focus on the box design only. Gone is the rounded watermelon look replaced by a sleek more angular case.

The iMac Dell-ta-ta
(this model was inspired by Dell’s business model Dimension 8100)

This new iMac design in midnight gray adds a brushed aluminum look framing around Apple’s superdrive. The full width speaker bezel, located just below, wraps around both sides of the unit. For better sound reproduction two speakers are located at each corner (facing front and to the side) plus a sub woofer located in the centre. The all-in-one design sports a 17″ screen and is a trim 15″wide x 15″high x 16″deep. Keyboard and mouse are also matched with the brushed aluminum look. The traditional Macintosh chime has been replaced by a fanfare – hence the “ta-ta” added to the name.

The iMac Compact
(this model was inspired by the Compaq Presario 5000)

This ground breaking design uses the same 17″ all-in-one unit as the iMac Dell-ta-ta with the following exceptions: The case is finished in a flat beige with the face plate surrounding the superdrive area available in 5 plastic interchangeable colours that snap on. The colours are Ruby, Amethyst (purple), Orange, Emerald and Blue. Some early problems have been encountered with the face plates. Small hair line cracks seem to show up at the edges depending on the light source. Apple insists that these are not cracks but part of the plastic molding. The problem will be rectified by the time the units ship. (Special Report: iDeep Throat concurs that the crack is not a crack. He feels they may be a nose hairs – he will continue his surveillance of this critical matter).

The iMac Big B
(this model was inspired by the IBM Inspirati A10i)

This original design uses the same 17″ all-in-one unit as the iMac Compact. The case colour is Charcoal with matching keyboard and mouse. (Special Report: iDeep Throat has spent many hours analyzing the colour gradation between the Dell-ta-ta’s Midnight Gray and the Big B’s Charcoal with his colour sync monitor. His expert opinion is that they are both the same colour – black). This colour decision by Apple may have real import as to the appeal to Wintel buyers. Black, Charcoal, and Dark Gray seem to be the top colours other than beige that are acceptable to Wintel purchasers.

The iMac eMach
(this model was inspired by the eMachines eTower)

This novel design uses the same 17″ all-in-one unit as the iMac Big B but with major changes. The colour is beige and the superdrive is replaced with dual floppy drives (back to the future?). Most important, although the screen is 17″, in order to keep the price low the maximum resolution is 512 x 342 pixels (as in the the original Mac Plus). A portable set of speakers less a sub-woofer are supplied in place of the built ins. (Special Report: iDeep Throat has found that the price/point for manufacture of this box is about $2.) With Apple’s traditional markup of 500 to 1000% it bodes well for Fred Anderson’s, Apple Chief Financial Officer, predictions of higher income from increased unit sales.

Special thanks to agent iDeep Throat who has put his life and job on the line to make this information public (let’s not concern ourselves, at this time, about the ramifications of his signed anti-disclosure contract). He believes that the public has a right to know about the inner workings at Apple. Stay tuned. Coming soon: a recording of Steve Jobs reprimanding an engineer for not adding enough colour to Max OS X’s jelly bean look.


Ralph J. Luciani

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