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Monday, March 20, 2006, 12:00 pm PT (03:00 pm ET)

Apple waves goodbye to PowerPC iMacs

Apple Computer's Intel transition appears to be in full force, with the company recently selling the last of its iMac computers with PowerPC processors.

Customers visiting Apple's online store this week will no longer see an option to purchase iMacs with IBM's PowerPC processor. Instead, customers seeking a non-Intel Mac are left to choose between select PowerBook, iBook and Power Mac models.

Until very recently, Apple retained stock of its 20-inch 2.0GHz PowerPC-based iMac, which it was selling alongside the new Intel iMac offerings for $1499. The model had previously been declared "End-of-Life" along with its 17-inch counterpart, which disappeared from the company's online store about a month ago.

It was nearly eight years ago that Apple introduced the PowerPC iMac on May 6, 1998 at its Cupertino, Calif.-based headquarters. The first iMac, a bulbous bondi-blue desktop computer, packed a whopping 233MHz PowerPC processor and 32MB of RAM.

"We designed iMac to deliver the things consumers care about most—the excitement of the Internet and the simplicity of the Mac," Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said at the time. "iMac is next year's computer for $1299; not last year's computer for $999."

Today, Apple's iMacs continue to sell for relatively the same price, starting at $1299 for the 17-inch model and scaling up to $1699 for the 20-inch version.