Feature Article
iMac. Or should that be iPC? IBM is ripe to build it, why don't they?

November 1, 1998
By Scott Lewis

The iMac, as you probably know unless you live under an Internet rock, is Apple's latest thing to penetrate the home market with a cute little computer.

But what if your not a Mac fan. IBM just introduced a new series of laptops called... get this... the i Series. When will the little i not be used with a product to indicate it has anything to do with the Internet?

The main point here is that IBM should build an iPC. The iMac is essentially a Mac laptop chassis attached to a 15" monitor.

IBM's ThinkPad i Series Laptop is priced as low as $1,499. And that includes an active matrix screen. The active matrix screen has to cost much more than a traditional monitor. How hard would it be for IBM to take the chassis of the i Series, attach it to a monitor, and call it an iPC.

They could even leave in the floppy. And I bet it could cost closer to the magic $1,000 mark. The sub $1,000 market is littered with computers with similar specs to the i Series, and they are as limited in there expansion. An iPC would make a great computer for those that need a basic computer, but will never need to upgrade and need little (USB) expansion.

My in-laws would be perfect customers for a computer like that. They want a computer, but mainly so they can keep up with the times and enjoy it with their grandchildren. What better machine than an iPC. It would be software compatible with PCs, and they could get on the Internet to check out Emeril Live recipes.

If IBM has any doubts about this idea, just look what the iMac did for Apple:

Apple earned $106 million in its fourth quarter and has enjoyed its first profitable year since 1995. Apple cofounder and chief executive Steve Jobs said, "For today at least, we're going to stop and smell the roses." The company's success has been attributed largely to the popularity of its new consumer product, the $1,299 iMac promoted as a computer designed for easy access to the Internet. (New York Times 15 Oct 98)

IBM could make a killing, and truly re-enter the PC market with the iPC. What do you think? I am planning on suggesting to IBM that they make it. If they do, I hope they send me some of the royalties for the idea. I think they should color it red, and offer a 17" monitor.

Read more on the i Series from CNET's