“One step at a time and don’t over reach” was the game plan for Apple’s recovery. This lesson was learned the hard way with products like the Apple III and the Lisa (and sometimes the lesson has to be repeated as evidenced by the Cube). They’d hit the market with a shocking new device which dominated the electronics headlines…. but they had more. They just needed to wait a little longer before they rolled out the next secret weapon.
The Bondi Blue iMac had more than enough market sizzle to generate attention for the remainder of the year. New fruit colors came out in January 1999 which spawned a new look in everything from clock radios to electric grills. Apple was still getting front-page coverage and changing the market.
Then, in late 1999 (October 2, 1999) it was time to hit the market again with a refreshed iMac. This time, it needed more than new colors to regain press headlines. This was a true second generation iMac and one designed to attract the traditional Apple user, not just the PC neophyte.
Apple’s mainstay had been the professional graphics artist, photographer, and videographer. The new iMac followed step two in “The Apple Way” perfectly: “find that one thing you do better and make that one thing matter.”
Apple was going in for the kill and the weapon of choice was FireWire.