Umax's J700 computer represents the last vestige of Apple's licensing program, which the company all but dismantled this summer when it bought back the Mac OS license of Power Computing, the largest clone maker, and stymied Motorola's efforts to secure a new licensing agreement. Apple restructured the licensing of the Mac OS in large part because it felt that the clone companies were "cannibalizing" sales of Apple hardware.
Taiwan-based Umax survived the clone shakeout partially because of its plans to focus on geographical markets that Apple has had trouble serving, especially East Asia. Apple has indicated that intent to expand into new markets is a requirement for gaining a Mac license. Umax is also thought to be paying higher licensing fees than it has in the past for the OS 8 license, which is good through July 1998.
Umax may be looking to expand its role as the sole major clone vendor. The company has recently expressed interest in helping Apple develop and produce peripherals and even computers.
Targeted at business users, the J700 computer features a 233-MHz 604e PowerPC microprocessor, 24MB of memory, a 2GB hard drive, a 24X CD-ROM drive, and a 10 Base-T Ethernet networking card.
The J700 will ship in October at an estimated street price of $1995.