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Mac clone market sheds another

Pioneer Electronic of Japan is abandoning the Mac clone market, while Daystar Digital will "pare back" its operations.

Apple Computer?s (AAPL) decision to shut down most of the Macintosh clone market has claimed another dropout, this time Pioneer Electronic of Japan.

Daystar Digital is also paring back Macintosh-clone related operations.

Apple?s refusal to license the Macintosh operating system to Pioneer leaves it no choice but to stop making Macintosh clone computers, according to a report in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan?s largest business daily.

Apple told Pioneer early this month it will no longer license upgrades to the Mac OS, according to the newspaper. The electronics manufacturer will therefore abandon plans to market a new line of Mac clones later this year, said the report.

Pioneer was the first company to sell Macintosh clones in Japan, debuting its machines in 1995. Japan is the second largest market for Macintosh.

Separately, Daystar Digital, a Georgia-based maker of Macintosh-compatible multiprocessor workstations, is paring back Macintosh clone-related operations, according to executives at Daystar.

Daystar sold high-powered workstations that could use up to four PowerPC 604e processors.

Steve Jobs, the interim Apple CEO, said at a major industry conference last week that clone vendors weren?t paying a fair price for the operating system license and that Apple would go broke if clone vendors didn?t pay a higher price for the license.

Macintosh clone vendors Power Computing and Motorola have also dropped out of the Macintosh clone market, among others.