Gateway released an all-in-one PC at DigitalLife this week in New York, touting the PC as a fresh page in their efforts to reinvent themselves.
The One part, however, shouldn't be confused for the first.
Gateway has had all-in-on PCs in its lineup since the spring of 1999 when it released the Profile in Japan. That PC, which combined an CRT monitor with a PC, came to the states in June 1999. The company then followed up in the succeeding years with the Profile 2 (similar but different processors), the Profile 3 (a PC married to an LCD screen with almost a Holstein cow motif), the Profile 4 (similar to the 3 but slimmer and silver), and the Profiles 5, and 6 (which changed the color to basic black). There was also a profile 5.5.
None of these made a huge dent in the public consciousness or in Gateway's sales. Many of them could easily be confused with the Snarvik rotating cutting board from Ikea. Dell had some clunkers in the style department too with the WebPC. But there are other issues. Other than the original iMac, few all-in-one PCs have sold well. Consumers tend to veer toward notebooks, which are all-in-one by definition, or desktops. The monitor lasts longer than the PC too. Thus, desktop owners tend to want the monitor separately.
On a historical note, Apple sometimes gets credit for the first all-in-one LCD desktop PC 2002. (Remember all that fanfare? The Time magazine cover.) That distinction actually belongs to the IBM Net Vista X. The Net Vista X got canned after it didn't sell well. Apple soon after revamped the design of the first flat panel iMac, which sort of looked like a desk lamp from an Office Max clearance sale, to the more familiar design they have today.
But not all PC design flourishes are strange. Look at this PC from Touchdown Industries: it's an official NFL helmet with a PC inside. Winning at Halo 3 isn't everything. It's the only thing.
Who knows? Maybe the seventh time will be a charm.