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Umax rolls out $999 Mac clone

Umax ups the ante in low-cost computing with sub-$1,000 Mac clones and price cuts on existing models.

Umax Computer hopes to capitalize on the rapidly growing market for low-cost computers with the introduction today of a new $999 Mac clone, while at the same time cutting prices on current models by up to 20 percent.

Packard Bell and Compaq have already experienced strong sales of their recently introduced sub-$1,000 Windows-based PCs.

Market research firm Computer Intelligence reported that in February sub-$1,000 PCs from these companies were chiefly responsible for a six percent gain over February 1996 sales of desktop and portable PCs in the U.S. retail market.

Computer Intelligence has also reported that Mac clone vendors were helping to grow Mac OS market share in the retail channel, a trend that could get a boost with the new Umax systems if the reception of Compaq and Packard Bell systems are any indication of the interest in sub-$1,000 computers.

Umax is aggressively trying to expand the consumer segment of the Mac OS market, according to Phil Pompa, vice president of marketing. He said in a statement that the new systems should appeal to first-time buyers and other price-sensitive buyers.

The C500LT/140 will ship with a 140-MHz PowerPC 603e and can be upgraded to faster processors. The system has an 8X CD-ROM, a 1.2GB hard drive, a floppy drive, and two PCI slots for expansion.

Umax also introduced another entry-level system, with higher performance. The C500i/180 comes with a 180-MHz PowerPC 603e, has 256K of cache memory, and adds a 33.6-kbps external modem. The system will have an estimated street price of $1,195.

In related news, Umax reduced prices from $200 to $500 throughout the SuperMac lineup. For example, the high-end S900/180 with dual 180-MHz 604e processors was priced at $3,699 and is now priced at $3,295, a reduction of 11 percent. The J700/180 with a 180-MHz 604e was priced at $2,499 and is now priced at $1,995, a reduction of 20 percent. The C600/200 with a 200-MHz 603e was priced at $1,699 and is now priced at $1,495, a reduction of 12 percent.

All systems are currently available, according to Umax.