Just reserved for educational institutions...Although Apple's latest hardware made all the news, there were changes that were not mentioned, as well as a few things that stayed the same. Perhaps the most noteworthy is the 17-inch iMac, which despite no longer being available to the general public can still be bought under certain conditions.
Back when the first rumors about the new iMac began surfacing and saying that Apple was going to drop the 17-inch model entirely, many doubted because Apple would lose out on an important segment. When it comes to educational purchases, screen size is not a key factor, and it can even be a problem in certain locations as each individual computer requires more room. Also, while Apple's new iMacs are cheaper than the previous same size models, the entry level iMac is more expensive than it used to be, which is again a big factor as educational institutions usually purchase large quantities of computers.
Not surprisingly, given all these factors, Apple has not totally discontinued the low-end iMac, and has informed its channel partners that the late-2006 17-inch iMac will remain available for educational institutions indefinitely. Only authorized schools and universities are actually allowed to purchase the $899 systems, meaning that students will have to opt for one of the machines available to the general public.
The specs of the machine have remained unchanged, with a 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 2MB shared L2 cache, 512MB memory, 160GB Serial ATA hard drive, 24x Combo drive, and an Intel GMA 950 graphics processor with 64MB of DDR2 memory.
Other Apple hardware has also received small modifications that have gone unnoticed, such as the Mighty Mouse. The new mouse that ships with the aluminum iMacs may look the same visually, but the side buttons have lost their color, and the cord of the device is significantly shorter than with previous versions. The chord was shortened supposedly in order to cut down on desktop cutter, and has gone from 30 inches down to 18.5 inches.