The Pippin is a 66MHz PowerPC 603-based book-sized device with CD-ROM drive that uses a standard TV screen for display and a handset for input. It is aimed as an easy to use device for vertical markets, multimedia applications and entertainment. The Pippin has previously been manufactured under licence in Japan by Bandai but has never been available in the UK.
Katz Media Ltd., a subsidiary of the Norwegian holding company Katz Media, is to manufacture the Pippin in Ireland and will sell the product in the UK, France and Scandinavia from April.
A basic multimedia player specification with 8Mb RAM, eight-speed CD-ROM drive and three software titles will be priced at around £400 including VAT. An Internet-enabled version with 33.6Kbit/sec modem, cordless remote control with keypad, and Mosaic-based Web browser with Java support will cost about £550 including VAT.
Katz Media UK general manager David Dews said the device would initially be targeted at business-to-business vertical markets such as electronic commerce kiosks: "It's very low-cost and low-support but later in the year we'll offer it as a device for education and home markets."
The Pippin will be distributed through Apple distributor MCM which owns the Computer Warehouse mail-order reseller. Katz Media has also signed an agreement for Bandai to localise its software titles for European markets. Dews expects availability of around 50 titles in time for the April shipment.
Katz Media can be contacted by telephone on 01279-817583.