Ahead of pre-orders for the new iMac beginning on Friday, Apple’s Colleen Novielli and Navpreet Kaloty joined the “Upgrade” podcast on Relay FM to talk in-depth about the new product. In the interview, Novielli and Kaloty touched on the new design, including some of the more controversial design elements, as well as the M1 chip inside.

Navpreet Kaloty serves as an engineering program manager at Apple, while Colleen Novielli is the company’s worldwide senior product marketing manager for the Mac. Both were featured prominently during Apple’s “Spring Loaded” event last week, which introduced the new 24-inch iMac.

Novielli explained that Apple’s reasoning for bringing color back to the iMac this year is that the “time for color is now.” The colors are designed to give users more personalized options for their iMac and the ability to have the iMac match the decor of the room in which it’s placed.

“The colors are designed to bring a sense of brightness, optimism, and joy. I think we can all agree that’s something everyone needs at the moment,” Novielli explained.

The new iMac design has been controversial for a pair of reasons, including the white bezel around the display and the chin beneath the display. In defense of the white borders, Novielli explained that it’s really more of a subtle “light gray” rather than the “Apple white” that you’re used to on other products.

“The borders are meant to complement the typical home design, for one, and blend into the background. The light gray borders are awesome. The lack of the stark contrast provides a more seamless experience for the user,” Novielli explained.

As for the chin on the front, Novielli explained that this is what allows the color to shine. Furthermore, Apple was able to pack all of the iMac’s components in the chin and reduce the thickness of the iMac to just 11.5mm. In total, the new iMac features a 30% smaller footprint and 50% less volume than the previous 21.5-inch iMac.

Novielli also explained that, even though there is no Apple logo on the chin, the one on the back is more visible because the iMac is so light that Apple was able to lower the hinge point of the stand.

Novielli was also asked about making the Touch ID Magic Keyboard available separately from the new iMac, but no new details were provided. She did, however, highlight that the Touch ID Magic Keyboard will work with any M1 Mac.

Also in the interview, Kaloty explained that the switch to the M1 chip in the iMac impacted “every aspect” of the iMac. In addition to the new design, this also included things like the switch to all USB-C/Thunderbolt ports on the back, as well as the magnetic power connector and speakers.

In regards to the new magnetic power connector specifically, Kaloty said that Apple has custom designed power and signal pins that “perfectly self-align” for easy connectivity. Apple also did a lot of “fine tuning” to make sure the iMac cable only comes unplugged when intended.

You can listen to the full interview in episode 350 of the Upgrade podcast on Relay FM. You can find it on the Relay FM website or in Apple Podcasts.

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