Thursday, July 06, 2006

Apple waves goodbye to its last CRT Mac

New $899 iMac completes company’s switch to LCD screens

Image: Steve Jobs
The Associated Press

Updated: 8:20 a.m. MT July 6, 2006

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Apple Computer Inc. completely rid its product line of bulky cathode-ray-tube monitors on Wednesday, becoming one of the first major PC makers to sell only flat-panel displays.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based maker of Macintosh computers introduced an $899 iMac specifically for schools and students, replacing the eMac, which was the company's last remaining CRT-based model.

The move is part of an industrywide trend both in computers and televisions toward the use liquid-crystal display, or LCD, monitors, which are sleeker, less weighty and more power-efficient than their older CRT counterparts.

Apple was among the first computer companies to bet big on LCD in 2001 when it used the thinner technology to replace all of its CRT displays except for its candy-colored, egg-shaped iMac line. By January 2002, Apple replaced those CRT-based iMacs with a revamped, space-saving design featuring a swivel LCD display.

Apple's new, lower-cost iMac for schools, students and teachers features a 17-inch flat-screen display and a 1.83-gigahertz Intel Core Duo processor. It's a substantial price discount from Apple's least expensive iMac sold at $1,299. That model has the same microprocessor and screen size as the education version but includes a larger hard drive and the ability to burn DVDs.

The low-cost iMac is sold only to qualified education customers — mainly schools and colleges as well as individuals who are teachers or college students.