Though Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs unveiled no new Mac systems at this weeks Macworld Expo/Tokyo, he did introduce a number of hardware enhancements, including Bluetooth wireless networking, a larger flat-panel display and a more capacious version of the companys iPod MP3 player.
However, Apples most talked-about hardware tweak affected pricing, not features: Jobs used his Wednesday morning keynote address to announce a $100 increase in the price of the new iMac he rolled out at Januarys Macworld Expo/San Francisco.
“I have good news and bad news for you,” Jobs told the crowd. The good news: Apple has shipped 125,000 new iMacs so far but has still been unable to keep up with consumer demand. According to the company it is now shipping more than 5,000 new iMacs per day and plans to catch up with demand by the end of April.
The bad news: “We either had to remove features or raise the price. We had to make this choice, and we looked at $100, $150 or $200, and we decided on a price adjustment of $100, or 20,000 yen in Japan.”
However, “We will honor all existing reseller orders at the old prices,” Jobs said.
The new suggested retail prices for the new iMacs are $1,399 for an entry-level version that includes a 700MHz PowerPC G4 processor and CD-RW drive, $1,599 for a model that includes a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo optical drive, and $1,899 for an 800MHz configuration with a DVD-R/CD-RW SuperDrive.
In other news, Jobs demonstrated support for Bluetooth wireless connectivity under Mac OS X. Starting in April, users of Version 10.1.3 of Apples Unix-based OS will be able to purchase a $49, Universal Serial Bus-based Bluetooth adapter and download public-beta software that will let them detect and exchange data with cell phones, PDAs and other devices at a transmission rate of up to 1M bps and a range of 30 feet.
In addition, Jobs unveiled a $499, 10GB version of the iPod, Apples FireWire-enhanced MP3 player, which joins the $399, 5GB model the company introduced in October. Finally, Apple rolled out the Apple Cinema HD Display, a $3,499 flat-panel monitor with a resolution of 1,920 by 1,200 pixels.
Jason D. OGrady is creator of PowerPage.org, a mobile technology site focusing on Apple PowerBooks.
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