Apple shock and awe is totally different. It is like waking up one morning and suddenly everything has changed. It is like Marty McFly waking up back in the future to find his mother happy, his father a successful novelist, and Biff waxing the family car. One day you turn around and Apple is everywhere doing things that amaze and delight you.
The iMac appeared on the cover of the March 27, 2000 Time Magazine with Steven King peering out of the screen. The story inside was on video editing using FireWire. It had also been a two-page story in Time on December 20, 1999. An iMac connected to a camcorder was the climax of the Oprah Show on January 20, 2000. FireWire was on the cover of MacWorld. On the cover of the Dell Computer product guide. In-flight magazines were talking about FireWire. USA Today and every major daily were carrying stories on video editing using FireWire. Suddenly, Apple was on the front page of everything and FireWire was on page two. The Steve Jobs keynote speeches were lead stories around the world with CNN doing live updates from the convention center on their blog. Apple sales were growing 3X the rate of the PC market. Where could they go from there?
After Blue Dalmatian and Flower Power, Apple computers took a hard right turn. Gone were the wild candy colors. October 2001, the iPod was released with a new, classic, white look. A look that would be replicated in the iMac G4, released in January 2002. The new look was classy but still cool. Going forward, Apple computers took on a look of sophistication befitting a premium priced computer and more importantly, a look that would look right in a corporate environment. Now, the multi-year plan had reached the intended goal.
With the new Apple cool look, corporate sales started coming in. Keep in mind; home computer sales are only 30% of total PC sales. The big target, from the introduction of the Bondi iMac, was to get Apple out of the niche market and into the big pond. The small fish in the small pond was now a big fish in a big pond.
Well played, Mr. Jobs.