Apple designers held four key factors in mind when designing the new iMac, said company vice president of hardware product marketing, Greg Joswiak.

Speaking to Macworld US, Joswiak explained those factors: elegance, simplicity, innovative design and perfect iLife compatibility.

On the latter point, Joswiak said: "It had to be perfect for iLife, perfect for that digital lifestyle, for how you work with your photos and your music and your movies - that has to be a space that we own. We can't concede that to anybody, and we want the iMac to be the best way to work with the digital lifestyle."

Joswiak also warns that a G5-equipped PowerBook may be some way off: "Certainly we were trying to learn from the iMac, but not like, "Oh, there's this breakthrough now, expect it next month."

Apple anticipates high demand for the new product, "people get excited about our products", but Joswiak warns that its likely demand will outstrip supply.

"This is the most compact design we've ever done for an iMac, yet it's the most accessible," he says, pointing out that customers should be able to service the Mac themselves.