Independent Macintosh dealers are starting to show interest in the ModBook, a Mac tablet computer that's being built by Axiotron, a contract hardware manufacturer, and distributed by reseller Other World Computing.
Two weeks after its introduction, the Axiotron ModBook, which reseller Other World Computing called "the One and Only Mac Tablet" computer," is starting to lure independent Macintosh dealers.
"We have had significant reseller interest," said OWCs Lawrence R. OConnor.
"We would prefer not to disclose the number of pre-orders, but to say the leastwe are very pleased," he said. The ModBook tablet Mac was designed and is being manufactured by Axiotron and marketing by Other World Computing.
OConnor said that the company expects to ship the ModBook, an Apple MacBook modified with a Wacom digitizer to turn it into a tablet computer, in early April. He added that if Apple refreshes the MacBook line before April, any enhancements in the new model will make it into the ModBook.
Resellers who want to carry the ModBook will have to be certified by OWC, OConnor said.
"We wont just be selling to everyone who wants to sell itwe will require Apple Certified Service techs at the location, and other criteria that will be disclosed when we roll out our reseller program," he added.
"Part of the authorization includes the ability of a reseller to support the warranty," OConnor said. "The ModBook is an aftermarket enhancement to a standard Apple MacBook computer. The installation of this enhancement voids the Apple warranty. We will require that the reseller provide a warranty equivalent to that which Apple provides on the solution," he said.
"We expect that we will sign up to be a dealer for the ModBook," said Fred Evans, product manager at Apple specialists First Tech Computer in Minneapolis, Minn. "We are pretty excited by the product and are looking forward to getting our hands on one."
Evans said that OWC has been active in courting resellers. OWC is "looking for dealers to sell the MacBook throughout the country," he said.
Evans added that First Tech, which sells both Windows- and Mac OS-based computers, has experience gauging the interest in tablet computers.
Read more here about how Macintosh sales have remained a major contributor to Apple profits even after the company switched to Intel processors.
"We have sold a number of Windows-based tablets to certain customers in the past," he said. "Obviously, a Mac-based solution wasnt an option."
"We see this appealing to certain vertical markets, like medical, manufacturing and education," Evans said.
"Id expect that the ModBook would be sold as part of a custom solution. For example, it may be sold with an inventory solution with inventory management software and a bar-code scanner. When we bring it in, we will hold customer briefings to introduce it and let prospective business customers get a hands-on trial," he said.
An Apple representative declined to comment on the product.
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