By Peter Conmy
Apple slashed prices on its new-look iMacs and by so doing, massively simplified stocking options for the channel last month, when it rolled out its new product line.
Apple slashed prices on its new-look iMacs and by so doing, massively simplified stocking options for the channel last month, when it rolled out its new product line.The company also showed its old flair for innovation when it added an eight inch by eight inch cube, “suspended in crystal,” to its G4 line of Pentium III-challenging workstations. The entirely new iMac line is listed on www.apple.com at a price of US$799 and features four new models in new colours; Indigo, Ruby, Sage and Snow, which join the existing Graphite colour. The new iMac family offers fast PowerPC G3 processors now running at up to 500 MHz and larger storage up to 30 Gbytes. The iMac DV models also include iMovie 2, the next version of the consumer digital video editing software. "Stunning and Accessible" “iMac is now more stunning and accessible than ever,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iMac is simply the world’s best computer for connecting to the Internet and making desktop movies in the home or classroom.” But though there is still a wide range of iMac colours, it is far easier with the new line-up for resellers to decide which models to hold and stock, based on what their customers are traditionally willing to spend. The base-level systems for example, likely to be the most popular for consumers, are only available in Indigo—a decision which should dramatically ease the pressure on resellers to get their stocking mix right. The powerful, feature-rich high-end iMacs are only on offer in Graphite or Snow. Prior to this change, all iMacs were available in all five colours, giving resellers a tough choice on how many of each they would need to hold. Apple’s other star, the G4 Cube, is designed to deliver the performance of a Power Mac G4 in an eight inch cube suspended in a crystal-clear enclosure. The G4 Cube is less than one fourth the size of most PCs, yet houses a 450 MHz PowerPC G4 processor with Velocity Engine that reaches supercomputer speeds of over three billion calculations per second, according to Apple. “The G4 Cube is simply the coolest computer ever,” said Jobs. “It is an amazing engineering and design feat, and we’re thrilled to finally unveil it to our customers.”