1999: Apple surprised us again. Everyone expected that Apple would announce a faster iMac at Macworld – more speed at the same price (most of us expected 300 MHz). And just about everyone figured on a February 1 release.
I think we were all stunned when Apple dropped the existing iMac to $1,049 effective immediately and announced the immediate availability of a faster iMac at only $1,199 – and in your choice of non-Bondi colors: Blueberry, Tangerine, Lime, Grape, and Strawberry.
But is it a better value?
For 14% more money, you gain 14% in speed. That’s enough to justify the extra cost by itself!
But you also gain a larger hard drive. The cost of a 6 GB drive vs. a 4 GB drive is about US$40 more, which drops the cost of the increased speed to about $110.
Now it’s a 14% speed improvement for 11% more money. Considering that most manufacturers try to squeeze out a premium price for a faster model, the 266 MHz iMac is quite a value!
Looking it over, I have to say the old iMac and the new iMac represent a lot of value for the dollar, although the 266 does offer more value. The extra speed of the new iMac will make things run more smoothly, but 14% is not a whole lot faster. And 4 GB is a lot of space – 6 GB seems like overkill! (Sure, next year it’ll seem small, but today I’m using Macs with 2.1 GB and smaller drives, so 4 GB would be a dream come true.)
Maybe it just boils down to one question: What color do you want?