Apple’s new flat panel G4 iMac has been unveiled a bit early thanks to Time magazine. While the article is scant on details, a picture accompanying the article shows that the familiar ovoid, all in one shape of the iMac has been completely replaced with a hemispherical base and a flat panel display connected by a metallic neck. The high-end iMac will also sport a SuperDrive, and Time indicates that Apple is also poised to unveil a new core application called iPhoto.
The weekly magazine’s latest issue features a cover article that sports a picture of the new consumer machine and is already in the hands of subscribers; Time customarily mails issues to subscribers earlier than they’re available on newsstands. As MacCentral went to press with this article, the cover story was also available through Time Canada’s Web site.
Time’s article is scant on performance details. Author Josh Quittner provided some rough specs, however: the base of the new iMac is reportedly 26.4 centimeters in diameter, or roughly 10.4 inches. The neck that connects the iMac’s base and screen is described as articulated, capable of bending while maintaining its angle. iMac designer Jonathan Ive calls the new design “a little cheeky.” Prices specified on Time’s Canadian Web site for the new consumer desktop machine range from $1,299 to $1,800, but it is unclear whether those figures are in Canadian or American currency.
DVD-RW drives, which Apple dubbed “SuperDrives,” can write to DVD-RW disks, and those combined with Apple’s iDVD and iMovie software makes it possible for you to cut your own home movies which can then be played back on consumer DVD decks. iDVD has been a core consumer application for Apple ever since the introduction of the first SuperDrive-equipped Power Mac G4 a year ago at Macworld Expo San Francisco 2001, but up until now it’s only been available as an option on Apple’s line of pro desktop systems. Jobs has said he hoped to introduce a SuperDrive-equipped consumer machines within a year, and Time’s coverage reveals that Apple’s new $1,800 top end iMac will at last make good on that goal.
Time also indicated that a fourth core consumer application is joining iDVD, iTunes and iMovie software. iPhoto has been developed for archiving and manipulating digital pictures, organizing photos shot with and uploaded from a digital camera by “roll,” accessed through thumbnail images displayed on a scrolling sheet. A 10-page photo album printing service will also be available to enable iPhoto users to print hardcover books using an online publisher, for an additional charge of $30.
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