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VENTURA COUNTY REPORT / JACK SEARLES

Practical Cuts Modem Prices

April 06, 1993|JACK SEARLES

Practical Peripherals of Thousand Oaks, one of the three largest U.S. makers of modems that link computers with fax machines and other computers, has jumped headlong into the computer industry's price wars.

Effective immediately, Practical has cut the suggested retail price of more than half its modems by as much as 47%. The changes affect 14 of its 27 modems.

The cuts are being made in answer to similar moves by many of Practical's competitors, spokeswoman Nancy Stokesberry said. "But we also hope to attract first-time users into the market and to encourage current users to upgrade their models," she said.

Practical's deepest cut will lower the list price of its PM9600 modem to $199 from $379, a 47% reduction.

Because of further discounting that is common among computer retailers, consumers are likely to pay even less than the new list price, Stokesberry said.

She denied that Peripheral is making the cuts because of a slowdown in orders. "We had sales of more than $50 million last year, and that represented an increase over the previous year," she said.

Higher-priced modems offer greater transmission speeds than cheaper ones, Stokesberry said. Some of the more expensive models are also compatible with both IBM and Apple Macintosh personal computers.

Practical, a subsidiary of privately held Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc. of Norcross, Ga., does not disclose its exact revenues or the size of its payroll, but Stokesberry said the Thousand Oaks firm employs more than 700 people.

More than three-fourths of Practical's products are modems. The company also makes other computer-related equipment. All manufacturing is done at the company's headquarters on Conejo Ridge Avenue.

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