Apple Declares Luxo-Lamp iMacs “Obsolete”


Apple has declared the iMac Flat Panel as obsolete. CC-licensed photo by Windell H. Oskay,

Apple has officially declared the iconic “Luxo lamp” iMac as an “obsolete” computer.

Several models of the iconic machine, which won as many enemies as fans for its unusual lamp-like design, will be declared obsolete on September 15, according to

The obsolete designation means that Apple service centers will no longer stock parts for the machines –and will no longer repair them — though third-party repair shops likely will.

The Luxo-lamp iMac caused a huge stir when it was introduced in 2002. It made the cover of Time magazine and is now exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.

The machine was the first iMac to feature a flat-panel display, which floated above its CPU, housed in a white plastic dome. The screen was attached by a double-jointed chrome arm, which realigned the screen with the slightest touch of a fingertip, but then kept it in place — no mean feat of design.

The machine was a bear to design, according to Apple’s head designer, Jonathan Ive. At first Ive tried to glom the guts of the computer onto the back of a flat panel display, but the early prototypes were inelegant. Then, during a walk in Steve Jobs’s back garden, Jobs told Ive that each element had to be “true to itself,” which led the designer to look at sunflowers as inspiration, and seperate the screen from the body.

A few years later, Ive was able to marry the guts to the screen, and newer iMacs are much closer to Ive’s original conception, but the freaky-looking Luxo-lamp iMac remains a firm favorite of many.