Front face of an orange iMac (24-inch, M1, 2021)
DeveloperApple Inc.
Product familyMacintosh
Release date
  • PowerPC-based
  • August 15, 1998 (1998-08-15) (G3)
  • January 7, 2002 (2002-01-07) (G4)
  • August 31, 2004 (2004-08-31) (G5)
  • Intel-based
  • January 10, 2006 (2006-01-10) (plastic)
  • August 7, 2007 (2007-08-07) (aluminum)
  • October 20, 2009 (2009-10-20) (unibody)
  • November 30, 2012 (2012-11-30) (slim unibody)
  • October 16, 2014 (2014-10-16) (slim unibody with Retina 5K display)
  • December 14, 2017 (2017-12-14) (iMac Pro)
  • Apple silicon-based
  • April 20, 2021 (2021-04-20) (M1)
Operating system
RelatedMac Mini, Mac Pro
WebsiteApple – iMac

iMac is a family of all-in-one Mac desktop computers designed and built by Apple Inc. It has been the primary part of Apple's consumer desktop offerings since its debut in August 1998, and has evolved through seven distinct forms.[1]

In its original form, the iMac G3 had a gumdrop or egg-shaped look, with a CRT monitor, mainly enclosed by a colored, translucent plastic case, which was refreshed early on with a sleeker design notable for its slot-loaded optical drive. The second major revision, the iMac G4, moved the design to a hemispherical base containing all the main components and an LCD monitor on a freely moving arm attached to it. The third and fourth major revisions, the iMac G5 and the Intel iMac respectively, placed all the components immediately behind the display, creating a slim unified design that tilts only up and down on a simple metal base.

The fifth major revision (mid-2007) shared the same form as the previous model, but was thinner and used anodized aluminum and a glass panel over the entire front. The seventh major revision (late 2012) uses a different display unit, omits the SuperDrive, and uses different production techniques from the older unibody versions. This allows it to be thinner at the edge than older models, with an edge thickness of 5.9  mm (but the same maximum depth). It also includes a dual microphone setup and includes solid-state drive (SSD) or hard disk storage, or an Apple Fusion Drive, a hybrid of solid-state and hard disk drives. This version of the iMac was announced in October 2012, with the 21.5-inch (55 cm) version released in November and the 27-inch (69 cm) version in December; these were refreshed in September 2013, with new Haswell processors, faster graphics, faster and larger SSD options and 802.11ac Wi-Fi cards.[2]

In October 2014, a major revision of the 27-inch (69 cm) iMac was announced, whose main feature is a "Retina 5K" display at a resolution of 5120 × 2880 pixels. The new model also includes a new processor, graphics chip, and IO, along with several new storage options.[3] A major revision of the 21.5-inch (55 cm) iMac was announced in October 2015. Its main feature is a "Retina 4K" display at a resolution of 4096 × 2304 pixels. It has the same new processor, graphics chip, and I/O as the 27-inch iMac, along with several new storage options.[4]

On June 5, 2017, Apple announced a workstation-class version called the iMac Pro, which features Intel Xeon processors and standard SSD storage. It shares the design and screen of the 5K iMac but is colored in Space Gray rather than silver. Apple began shipping the iMac Pro in December 2017.[5] The iMac Pro was discontinued in 2021.[6]

On April 20, 2021, Apple announced a 24" iMac (actual diagonal screen size is 23.5 in.[7]) with an Apple M1 processor, its first as part of its transition to Apple silicon.[8] It comes in seven colors (Silver, Blue, Green, Orange, Yellow, Purple, and Pink) with a 4.5K Retina display. On the base configuration, the M1 iMacs come with two Thunderbolt 3/USB 4 ports, and two USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 2 ports on the higher configurations.

  1. ^ Olivarez-Giles, Nathan (May 3, 2011). "Apple updates iMac line with quicker processors, graphics and Thunderbolt I/O". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  2. ^ "Apple Updates iMac". Apple. Archived from the original on September 25, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  3. ^ "Apple Introduces 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display". Apple. Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  4. ^ Molina, Brett (October 13, 2015). "Apple adds retina display to new iMacs". USA Today. Retrieved February 4, 2023.
  5. ^ Kastrenakes, Jacob (December 12, 2017). "Apple's iMac Pro will be available starting Thursday". The Verge. Archived from the original on August 9, 2020.
  6. ^ Jazmin Goodwin (March 7, 2021). "Apple is discontinuing the iMac Pro". CNN. Archived from the original on March 9, 2021. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  7. ^ Apple. "Apple official website". Apple. Archived from the original on June 7, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  8. ^ "iMac features all-new design in vibrant colors, M1 chip, and 4.5K Retina display". Apple Newsroom. Archived from the original on April 20, 2021. Retrieved April 20, 2021.

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