8. It saved Apple, too
Why is this man smiling? Because the iMac helped revive his company.
In 1996-97, the media pronounced Apple all but dead. The company lost $878 million in 1997, but under the renewed guidance of Steve Jobs, it earned $414 million in 1998 -- its first profit in three years. Those results stemmed from both reducing operating costs and from iMac sales. And yet the iMac meant more than just financial returns: the symbolic impact of Apple once again having an exciting, innovative product marked a victory in the hearts and the minds of the public, and it proved that Apple still had the chops to stay in business.
Thanks to continued innovation in the iMac line and beyond, Apple is now more profitable than ever, and will likely continue to be so. But even with the iPhones, iPods, and iTunes dominating today's news, we shouldn't forget that Apple's 21st-century success can be traced directly back to iMac's launch a decade ago.
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