When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, the future of the company was not entirely certain. Apple was famously saddled with a convoluted and confusing product line. More than that, the company lacked direction and a true sense of purpose. As a result, there was a lot of pressure during the 1997/1998 timeframe for Jobs and Apple to deliver something special.
The original Bondi Blue iMac was the first major product released under Jobs’ second tenure at Apple, and it delivered in a major way. Released in 1998, the iMac featured an all-in-one design along with an elegant translucent blue shell. To put it mildly, the original iMac did not look like other computers, thus embodying Apple’s ad slogan at the time—Think Different.
The iMac was an eye-catching machine that quickly became a hit. More broadly, it signaled that Apple was a force to be reckoned with in the tech industry again. Notably, the original iMac shipped without a floppy drive and introduced the world to the ‘i’ product branding scheme that still defines the company’s products today.