Apple is expected to announce big system price cuts on Friday, taking it head-to-head with PC pricing for the first time. A similar move was made at the weekend in the US and it would be unusual if the UK arm didn't follow suit with cuts that are broadly in line. The reductions are an attempt to shore up the company's flagging market share.
Prices on Apple's latest 180MHz and 200MHz PowerPC-based Performa 6400 systems were cut by 20 per cent in the US, despite the fact that the units only commenced shipping two months ago. Apple also introduced attractive rebates for users buying Apple monitors and printers and released a Performa aimed at the digital video editing market.
Apple preceded the cuts by today releasing the PowerBook 1400 line, also expected to be priced aggressively. Expected street prices start from £1,680 + VAT. Although the PowerBook was a huge hit when first released, the most recent 5300 line suffered from bugs and some units were recalled. Apple said it had learned its lesson and is confident the 1400 will be a stronger product.
"The 1400 will be our new mainstream product," said Peter Lunn, PowerBook business and marketing manager. "It's been through four months of customer feedback and it's a very, very stable product. One of the issues with the 5300 was that it was a new product design team and they were finding their feet." Lunn said Apple will follow up with a premium PowerBook line in the first half of 1997.
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