Apple: Rumours of a $300 price cut on G4 machines

Steve Jobs may be Mr Popular at the moment, but not everyone thinks Apple is dealing with its latest drama in an acceptable manner.

A source at Apple says the company is "rumoured" to be considering a $300 price drop for customers affected by the company's G4 fiasco.

Less than 48 hours after news broke that Apple would sell customers G4 machines equipped with slower processors than ordered with no price change, the company seems to be buckling, albeit reluctantly.

On Thursday, the company's UK spokesman suggested to ZDNet UK News that Apple was stuck between a rock and a hard place. "Based on feedback from our channel and our customers we needed to get these machines out fast to meet demand," he said. He explained that some customers absolutely had to have the "power of a G4" and that Apple would ship the slower machines to satisfy that demand.

He confirmed no price reductions would be made, despite the machines being fitted with slower processors, and suggested that because the price of RAM had increased in recent months, customers were in fact getting "a hidden discount".

Challenged on whether he thought it was fair that customers should receive slower machines than ordered and be expected to pay the same price he said, "Of course this is an awkward position to be in. We'd rather not be here but the customer has the right to say, 'I don't want this.'"

A spokesman from another major international vendor, who spoke to ZDNet on condition of anonymity, said it wasn't the cleverest PR tactic for a major vendor: "This is not a scenario we would entertain. We would definitely look at bringing the price of the slower machines down. I think it fair to assume the customer would expect that."

The UK spokesman could not confirm if Apple would make an announcement regarding possible price cuts today but he did suggest that any US price changes were "likely" to be seen worldwide.

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