Apple Details PowerPC Technology Upgrade Options for Current Macintosh Models

Early Purchase Plan Enables Current Quadra Buyers to Reap The Benefits of Macintosh Technology Both Now and Later

Markham, Ontario--January 5, 1994--In anticipation of the debut of its next-generation PC platform, Macintosh(TM) with PowerPC(TM), Apple Canada Inc. today unveiled how current, and new, Macintosh customers can upgrade to PowerPC technology. Specifically, Apple announced plans to offer both logic board and processor upgrades based on the PowerPC 601(TM) chip for a wide range of Macintosh systems.  The upgrades are designed to provide current Macintosh customers with access to the power and performance of the new PowerPC technology, developed jointly by Apple, IBM and Motorola.

As of today, Canadian Macintosh buyers will have the benefit of an early purchase plan which bundles a PowerPC processor upgrade card and monitor with all new purchases of Quadra 610, 650 and 950 computer systems. The promotional bundle is available immediately through Authorized Apple Canada Dealers for approximately $150 dollars more than the cost of the same bundle without the PowerPC upgrade.

"The promotion allows new Quadra customers to work with and benefit from their purchase today while still planning for the future growth of their computing needs," explained Andrew Scoular, product manager for Apple Canada Inc. "As native PowerPC versions of their favorite applications become available at the time of launch, they can upgrade their system to take advantage of productivity gains by installing the processor upgrade card."

Customers who buy systems through the early purchase plan will receive the processor upgrade card when the new Macintosh with PowerPC systems are introduced in the first half of 1994.

"We expect PowerPC to revolutionize the PC industry and help Apple maintain its technology leadership," said David Wright, vice president marketing for Apple Canada Inc. "While we expect Macintosh with PowerPC to attract new users to the Macintosh platform, we want to enable our current customers to reap the benefit of the sophisticated PowerPC technology as well. These upgrade options underscore our commitment to making PowerPC technology available to the broadest number of customers possible."

Logic Board and Processor Upgrades to Boost Performance of Current Systems Both the logic board and processor upgrade card products are designed with the PowerPC 601(TM) chip to provide 2-4 times the performance of the existing Macintosh models when running native applications. Details on the upgrade options are as follows:

Apple expects to provide logic board upgrades for the Macintosh Quadra(TM) 840AV, 800, 660AV, 650 and 610 models, the Macintosh Centris(TM) 660AV, 650 and 610 computers and the Macintosh IIvx, vi products. Additionally, owners of the Apple Workgroup server 60, 80 and 95 will be offered logic board upgrades to PowerPC processor-based systems which will run a version of the Macintosh System 7 operating system for the PowerPC processor.

Logic board upgrades will provide these existing Macintosh models with the full functionality of PowerPC technology and AV-enabled technologies, including speech recognition, text-to-speech, telecommunications and advanced video capabilities. Dealer installation is required.

Apple plans to offer a lower cost processor upgrade card for the Quadra 950, 900, 800, 700, 650 and 610 models, as well as the Centris 650 and 610 computers. This processor upgrade card will provide customers with a high-performance yet low-cost upgrade option that is also user-installable. The processor upgrade card takes advantage of the Processor Direct Slot (PDS) in these Macintosh 68040-based systems. With the addition of this processor upgrade, systems run at twice the speed (megahertz) of the Motorola 68040-based system they are upgrading. For example, a 25 MHz system will run at 50 MHz with the addition of the PowerPC processor upgrade. Availability and Pricing Apple plans to ship the PowerPC technology upgrade products simultaneously with the introduction of the new Macintosh with PowerPC systems in the first half of 1994. Logic board upgrade products will be available through Authorized Apple Canada Dealers and are expected to range in price from $1,500 to $2,900.

The PDS PowerPC processor upgrade card purchased as a bundle with a Quadra 610, 650 and 950 will be available at the special promotional price only until the launch of the new Macintosh with PowerPC systems; after which, the PDS card will be available through Authorized Apple Canada Dealers for approximately $750. At launch time, the PDS card will be available as a separate item and also can be installed to upgrade Quadra 900, 800 and 700 systems.

Apple develops, manufactures and markets computer systems for use in business, education, science, engineering and government. A recognized pioneer and innovator in the personal computer industry, Apple has defined computing to mean empowerment of the individual. It seeks through technology to provide people with easy and affordable access to information and computing power. Apple Canada Inc. is headquartered in Markham, Ontario and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Apple Computer, Inc. Apple products are available at more than 300 Authorized Apple Canada Dealer locations across Canada.

For more information contact:

John Elias National Public Relations (416) 586-0180

Apple and the Apple logo are registered trademarks; Macintosh, Centris, Quadra and System 7 are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. PowerPC, PowerPC 601 and PowerPC 603 are trademarks of IBM.