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TECHNOLOGY : Apple Unveils Lower-Priced Power Macs

August 08, 1995|From Reuters

PALO ALTO — Apple Computer Inc., stepping up its offensive against computers made by rivals with powerful Pentium chips, unveiled three competitively priced Power Macintosh machines Monday.

It also introduced several products and services designed to expand Apple's presence in the Internet applications market.

The new computers--the Power Macintosh 7200, 7500 and 8500--range in price from about $1,700 to $4,700, the lowest yet for Power Macs, which have sold well in the 17 months since they were introduced.

The PowerPC microprocessor that powers the machines is Apple's weapon against Intel Corp.'s Pentium chip, which has become widely used in newer IBM-compatible personal computers.

Intel, whose chips power about 85% of the world's PCs, keeps slashing Pentium prices, in effect taunting Apple to cut Mac prices. Macs typically have sold at a premium of several hundred dollars over the IBM-compatible computers.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple is determined to narrow the gap. The products were unveiled at the Apple trade show, Macworld Expo, in Boston.

Analysts said lowering prices and offering more features on its computers is also an essential step toward stemming the tide of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95 operating system upgrade, due out Aug. 24. Apple also lowered prices on some existing Power Macs.

"I applaud the price cuts because I thought the price-performance of Power Macs was not as compelling as I thought they would be vis-a-vis the Pentium machines," said Philip Rueppel, an analyst at Alex. Brown & Sons.

Apple said the Power Macintosh 7200 series is designed for small- and medium-sized businesses and home offices.

The Power Mac 7200, built with PowerPC 601 processors running at 75 or 90 megahertz, will ship with 8 megabytes of RAM, a built-in 1.4-megabyte Apple SuperDrive floppy disk drive, an internal 500-megabyte hard disk drive and an internal quad speed CD.

The Power Macintosh 7200/75 is expected to be priced between $1,699 and $1,749, the 7200/90 between $1,899 and $1,949.

Apple said that in a recent independent study by Competitive Assessment Services, the Power Mac 7200 systems outperformed Windows computers based on equivalent clock-speed Pentium processors by 24% overall.

The Power Mac 7500/100 features built-in video input, high-resolution graphics and CD-quality stereo. It comes with 16 megabytes of RAM, a built-in 1.4-megabyte Apple floppy disk drive, an internal 500-megabyte or 1-gigabyte hard disk drive, an internal quad speed CD and other features.

It ranges from $2,699 to $2,799 with the 500-megabyte drive and $2,999 to $3,099 with a 1-gigabyte hard drive.

The most powerful offering is the Power Mac 8500, which is aimed at media markets. Like the Power Mac 9500 model introduced in June, it uses the new PowerPC 604 processor.

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