In the 1990s, Apple was in trouble: salesmen CEOs left it sinking, another thought his job was to point it in the right direction, and it came down to co-founder Steve Jobs to fix it. The iMac, designed by Jony Ive and his team, did the trick. [The Verge]
The iMac contradicted every rule of the PC industry of the mid-'90s. Instead of being modular, it was a self-contained unit (with a built-in handle!). Beige was out, and translucent blue-green plastic was in. The iMac looked like nothing else in the computer industry.
But the iMac wasn't just a rule-breaker when it came to looks. Jobs made a series of decisions that were surprising at the time, though he'd keep repeating them throughout his tenure at Apple. The iMac gave no consideration to compatibility or continuity and embraced promising new technology when the staid PC industry refused.
These things were nightmarish to work on, from a tech's perspective. I wish the colors of the current models were as vivid, though!