Back to the Future
The first great design triumph to come from the Jobs-Ive collaboration was the iMac,
a desktop computer aimed at the home consumer market that was introduced in May 1998.
Jobs had certain specifications. It should be an all-in-one product,
with keyboard and monitor and computer ready to use right out of the box.
It should have a distinctive design that made a brand statement.
And it should sell for $1,200 or so. (Apple had no computer selling for less than $2,000 at the time.)
"He told us to go back to the roots of the original 1984 Macintosh, an all-in-one consumer appliance," recalled Schiller.
"That meant design and engineering had to work together."
The initial plan was to build a "network computer," a concept championed by Oracle's Larry Ellison,
which was an inexpensive terminal without a hard drive that would mainly be used to connect to the Internet and other networks.
But Apple's chief financial officer Fred Anderson led the push to make the product more robust
by adding a disk drive so it could become a full-fledged desktop computer for the home. Jobs eventually agreed.