The iPad has been around for a long time at this point but plenty of people would still rather a touchscreen Mac running macOS than a tablet running iPadOS. And while Apple doesn’t seem keen to make that happen, that doesn’t mean that a touchscreen Mac has never existed. Because it very much did.
Not only was there a touchscreen iMac, but it was based on perhaps the most iconic iMac ever — the iMac G3. And someone got their hands on one.
YouTuber Michael MJD was able to get hold of a touchscreen iMac G3 and put it through its paces and, surprisingly, this 1999 touchscreen iMac works pretty well.
Getting touchy with an iMac
The story goes that while Apple didn’t produce any touchscreen iMacs, some companies did. They were part of the Apple Value Added Reseller program which allowed them to take Apple hardware and then add features to them. In the case of a company called Elo, touchscreen capabilities were added to a standard iMac G3.
It’s thought that the modified iMacs were built to be used as kiosk machines with custom software, but this one appears to be running standard Apple fare. And it works surprisingly well given the technology at play back in 1999.
Unlike some competing companies, Elo’s iTouch technology didn’t layer anything over the iMac’s display in order to make the touchscreen magic work. The technology is explained in the video so we won’t spoil anything here, but the result is an incredibly clean installation that even Jony Ive himself might have been proud of.
Whether or not we’ll see a touchscreen iMac like this in the future is anyone’s guess, but if we do, it certainly won’t be the first.