20 years ago, on May 6, 1998, Steve Jobs introduced the first iMac in one of his famous keynotes. It was a watershed moment for Apple, marking the beginning of a remarkable turnaround after the company had spent most of the 1990s flirting with irrelevance. The iMac was also Job’s first major project after having returned to Apple in December 1996.
Interestingly, the iMac, or the Mac in general, started Apple’s return to form in the late 1990s, but it has done little more than lay the groundwork for the company’s rise to where it stands today. As the following chart illustrates, Mac computers gradually lost relevance to Apple as the company introduced one blockbuster product after the other (think iPod, iPhone and iPad) in the first decade of the 21st century.
In each of Apple’s past three fiscal years, Mac sales accounted for 11 percent of the company’s revenue, down from 86 percent in 2000.