The iMac G4 (nicknamed the iLamp) was a computer that was produced by Apple from the beginning of 2002 to mid 2004. It replaced the aging iMac G3. It had a 15-inch LCD which was mounted on an adjustable arm above a hemisphere containing a full-size, tray-loading optical drive and a fourth-generation CPU (the PPC 74xx-series). The iMac G5 replaced the iMac G4 in 2004.
The iMac G4 was incrementally upgraded. They were made available with 17-inch (43 cm) and then 20-inch (51 cm) widescreen LCDs over the following two years.
The iMac G4 was one of the biggest improvements and advancements in Apple Inc's growing empire of Mac desktops. The computer was considered completely separate from the previous, half egg shaped G3 models. Some new features included a flat-panel LCD screen, with diagonal measurements up to 20 inches; tray loading DVD+CD drive; and many more features. Critics and consumers took to the new Mac style nicely, but many missed the slot loading drives that were available in earlier models. The floating monitor was easily adjustable, and stood at any angle around the dome-shaped bottom. Unlike previous iMac models, the iMac G4 came only in white, and was not translucent like the iMac G3s.
The Gateway Profile attempted to compete with the iMac G4 in the all-in-one LCD computer market. A reviewer noted that the Profile had better processing power, due to its Intel Pentium 4, whereas the iMac was hampered because its G4 chip lacked the 1MB L3 cache that the Intel chips had. The iMac had clear advantages in LCD screen quality (it uses a digital LCD as opposed to an analog LCD), aesthetics (particularly the flexible monitor arm), and multimedia. Ending up, the reviewer concluded that the iMac was good for introducing users to a Macintosh, but he noted that their (relatively) high prices were approaching that of laptops, which are actually portable and have higher resolution LCD screens. The Profile would also be undercut by numerous OEM offerings (including one from Gateway) that bundled an LCD screen with the box containing a Pentium 4.iMac versus Gateway Profile
- January 7, 2002 — Apple introduces a new iMac line with three models. It has a new futuristic form factor and contains a 700 or an 800 MHz G4 processor, and is only available in white. The display is now a 15-inch LCD, easily positioned by the "swing arm" attaching it to the base. (15-inch, 800 MHz model is M8535LL/A)
- July 17, 2002 — A new 800 MHz model with a 17-inch screen and an updated GPU is added to the line. (M8812LL/A)
- February 4, 2003 — The line is slimmed down to two models, one with a 15-inch LCD and a new 1.0 GHz model with a 17-inch LCD (M8935LL/A). AirPort Extreme as well as Bluetooth are available on the 17-inch model. The 15-inch model is largely identical to the January 2002 models.
- August 2003 — The iMac 15-inch and 17-inch models are upgraded to a 1.0 GHz and 1.25 GHz G4 processors, respectively (M9285LL/A, M9168LL/A). New features are USB 2.0 and DDR memory, and they both now support AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth.
- November 18, 2003 — 20-inch screen model (M9290LL/A) is added that is capable of a 1680 × 1050 pixel screen resolution, and features a 1.25 GHz G4 processor.
- Appears in Fastlane in Billie's office at the Candy Store.
- Appears in many episodes of Queer as Folk (North American TV series) during seasons 2, 3 & 4. The iMac G4 belongs to Brian. It is his desktop and is located in his loft. The iMac G4 is only one of many Apple Computers used on the show. Like for example Michael & Ben's eMac, and Michaels' iMac G3 at his comic book store.
- In the television show The Drew Carey Show The iMac G4 in Drew's office shots many times.
- In the movie Meet the Fockers, Jack Byrnes has a learning room with several iMac G4's.
- In the movie The Pacifier, Seth Plummer is seen with an iMac G4 in his room.
- There are many iMac G4s in the office of Matthew McConaughey's character in the 2002 film How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
- In an episode of the sitcom Scrubs, Dr. Kelso is seen using an iMac G4 and being excited by how easy it is to move the screen. The iMac G4 is also frequently seen at the Nursing Station. On this iMac G4, the Apple, Inc. logo has been replaced by the Sacred Heart logo.
- In season 2-3 of the school survival sitcom Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide Ned, Moze, and Cookie have a new teacher named iTeacher who is teaching via webcam and is seen teaching classes on an iMac G4.
- In the movie School of Rock, two iMac G4s can be seen in the corner of the classroom. The students later use the iMacs for their security cameras. One can also be seen in Zack Mooneyham's room running iTunes visualizations during the musical montage.
- In the television show George Lopez the family owns an iMac G4.
- In the British sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, Edina owns an iMac G4, which sits in the kitchen. At one point, it is used for a dial-up video conference.
- In the sitcom Still Standing, Brian has an iMac G4 sitting on his desk in his room.
- In the drama The O.C., Seth Cohen owned an iMac G4 which was constantly seen in his room.
- In What I Like About You, the sisters own two from season 1 through season 3.
- In the movie Love Actually, adverts for "The All New iMac" can be clearly seen during the airport scenes at the end of the movie.
- In the 2003 release of the movie the Hulk (film) an iMac G4 is seen in Betty Ross' lab at the end of the movie.
- In the Television Show The Bernie Mac Show Vanessa has a iMac G4 in her room.
- In the season 2-3 of Alias, Jennifer Garner, playing Sydney Bristow, has the G4 in her home office.
- In the 2008 American film, Nim's Island, both Jack and Nim Rusoe use an iMac G4 to connect to the rest of the world.
- In the movie "Never Back Down" Jake Tyler has a G4 iMac in his room.
- The German sitcom Weibsbilder shows a G4 iMac in its intro and extro credits displaying the show's logo.
- MadTv uses iMac G4 computers as props in some of their skits
- Fall Out Boy's music video for This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race shows three girls using an iMac G4 to view a photo of Pete Wentz.
There is an orange one in Ready, Set, Learn.
Timeline of iMac models