Lower Cost Macintosh Personal Computers Target New Customers

FREMONT, Calif., Oct. 15, 1990 -- PRNewswire -- In a move to reach more people with Macintosh personal computers, Apple Computer Inc. today announced a suite of new low-cost Macintosh products. These new products effectively reduce the entry price to Macintosh computing by 50 percent. Additionally, the products integrate innovative sound input capabilities that let customers quickly and easily add sound to their documents while retaining all the powerful, easy-to-use features that customers demand.

"To reach new customers, we didn't just lower the prices of our existing products. We redesigned these computers from the ground up with the features customers have told us they value most," said John Sculley, Apple's chairman and chief executive officer. "In doing so, we've raised the standard of what customers can expect from low-cost personal computing. Many people have told us that they wanted Macintosh, but price was a barrier. With this introduction, we can break down that barrier. These new computers mark an aggressive new corporate commitment to reach more people with Macintosh."

The computers were designed to reach new customers in business, government, education and the home. The newest members of the Macintosh family are the Apple Macintosh Classic, the lowest cost Macintosh; the Apple Macintosh LC, the lowest cost color Macintosh; and the Apple Macintosh IIsi, the lowest cost Macintosh II. Each computer shares the flagship characteristics of Macintosh: unsurpassed ease-of-use, built-in networking with "plug-and-go" simplicity, compatibility with thousands of innovative applications, and a solid foundation for computing today and in the future.

Recognizing the importance of lowering the cost of the entire system, Apple also introduced several low-cost peripherals that complement the new computers. Among these are new color and monochrome monitors and extras such as an expansion card that allows Apple IIe- compatible software to run on the Macintosh LC.

Apple revealed today that initial market acceptance for the new products has been strong. In fact, the company has received more initial orders for the Macintosh Classic than any other computer in the its history.

Macintosh Classic

As the most affordable member of the family, the Macintosh Classic lowers the suggested retail price of Macintosh computing by more than 50 percent. Its small, all-in-one design embodies the valued features of the most popular Macintosh model ever, the Macintosh SE, while keeping the familiar transportable design. Suggested retail prices for the Classic, which uses the Motorola 68000 microprocessor, start at $999. Apple believes that the Macintosh Classic will attract many first-time computer buyers.

Macintosh LC

The Macintosh LC represents a totally new modular design. The slim, elegant computer offers customers a robust, yet low-cost color system. The Macintosh LC reduces the suggested retail price of color Macintosh computing by 60 percent. The LC includes built-in support for three monitors and supports up to 256 colors, sound input, and optional Apple IIe software compatibility with more than 10,000 applications. Built around a 16-megahertz (MHz) Motorola 68020 microprocessor and offered for a suggested retail price of $2,499, the Macintosh LC is expected to be a popular choice for both newcomers to computing as well as Macintosh Plus or Macintosh SE owners looking to upgrade.

Macintosh IIsi

The Macintosh IIsi lowers the cost of Macintosh II-class computing by delivering the performance of the Macintosh IIcx for more than $2,200 less (based on suggested retail price). The capabilities of the IIsi will appeal to customers who must balance performance and affordability. Although the lowest cost member of the Macintosh II line, the Macintosh IIsi retains the most desired features of the high-end, modular systems--high performance, most monitor options, and industry-standard NuBus expansion. The Macintosh IIsi provides built-in support for any of four different monitors and up to 256 colors or shades of gray, as well as the new sound input capability. Featuring a sleek new design and high performance derived from a 20MHz Motorola 68030 microprocessor, the Macintosh IIsi will appeal to customers who need even more responsive computers. The basic configuration of the Macintosh IIsi has a suggested retail price of $3,769.

Sound Input Capability

The new sound input capability is standard on the Macintosh IIsi and Macintosh LC. Both systems come with a microphone that allows customers to record and store their voice. In addition to built-in sound input in the new Macintosh LC and IIsi systems, every Macintosh since its introduction in 1984 can play back the recorded sounds stored in word processing documents, spreadsheets, databases, and electronic mail messages. And, any Macintosh user can add sound input using third-party digitizers.

"We expect to see customers use sound like they use graphics today--with the ease and power of cut-and-paste simplicity," said Sculley. "Developers such as ACIUS, T/Maker, Microsoft, CE Software and Ashton-Tate are heartily endorsing the technology and are introducing products that deliver sound input as a common element of personal computing."

Apple is also providing a new version of system software that standardizes the way developers implement sound, making it an intuitive and simple process to use.

"The addition of sound input to these new Macintosh computers lets us offer even more powerful and easy-to-use applications--applications that are only possible on the Macintosh," said Heidi Roizen, president and CEO of T/Maker Company. "That's why we feel strongly that Macintosh applications give customers a clear and unique advantage over users of other computers."

Apple II Software Compatibility

Apple also announced a small expansion card for the Macintosh LC that allows it to run the more than 10,000 applications written for the popular Apple II line. The Apple IIe Card runs Apple IIe compatible software while taking advantage of the hard disk, floppy disk, monitor, and built-in networking ports of the Macintosh LC. The Apple IIe Card also provides support for joysticks and 5.25-inch floppy disk drives. The $199 suggested retail price of the card positions it as an important bridge for those customers, particularly elementary and secondary schools, who want to move to Macintosh but wish to protect an investment in Apple II software. Lower Cost Displays

Rounding out the new Macintosh announcements are two new displays--the Macintosh 12-inch RGB Display and the Macintosh 12-inch Monochrome Display. These displays retain the distinctive characteristics for which Apple displays are known--sharp focus, high contrast and vibrant colors. Customers can now have a 256-color capable, 12-inch display for $599 suggested retail price or a high-resolution 12-inch monochrome display with a bright, easy-to-read screen for a suggested retail price of $299.

Pricing and Availability

Also, for the first time, the new computers will be available simultaneously in the United States, Europe and the Pacific region. The Macintosh IIsi and Macintosh Classic are available in volume worldwide today. The Macintosh LC will ship in limited quantities in the fourth calendar quarter of 1990 and will be available in volume worldwide in late January 1991. Manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) and configurations, through all Apple authorized resellers in the United States, are as follows: Product MSRP Availability - Macintosh Classic, 1MB RAM/SuperDrive Floppy $999 Immediate - Macintosh Classic, 2MB RAM/40MB Hard Disk $1,499 Immediate - Macintosh LC, 2MB RAM/40MB Hard Disk $2,499 Limited

Quantity-Calendar Q4 1990

In Volume-Late January 1991 - Macintosh IIsi, 2MB RAM/40MB Hard Disk $3,769 Immediate - Macintosh IIsi, 5MB RAM/80MB Hard Disk $4,569 Immediate - Macintosh 12" RGB Display $599 Immediate - Macintosh 12" Monochrome Display $299 December 1990(i) - Apple IIe Card $199 March 1991

(i) -- Existing Apple High-Resolution Monochrome Monitor is currently available. The suggested retail price is reduced to $299 effective immediately.

(Prices and configurations may vary outside the United States.)

The Macintosh Classic and the Macintosh LC include a keyboard. A choice of keyboard is offered separately with the Macintosh IIsi. All systems come standard with a mouse, complete documentation, Macintosh System Software, HyperCard 2.0 software, training disks, and a one-year limited warranty. As with all Macintosh computers, these three new systems will run System 7.0, Apple's next major release of the Macintosh operating system.

NOTE: Apple, the Apple logo, Macintosh, and HyperCard are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Classic is a registered trademark used under license by Apple Computer, Inc. NuBus is a trademark of Texas Instruments.

CONTACT: John Cook of Apple Computer, 408-974-3145

Copyright (c) 1990, PR Newswire