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eMac evokes price shock for students

Some college students eager to snap up the new computer are surprised by the price tag when they try to buy one from Apple Computer's online store.

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Educating with Apple's new eMac
Greg Joswiak, hardware marketing director, Apple
Some college students eager to snap up the new eMac were surprised at the price tag when they tried to buy one this week from Apple Computer's online store.

The reason for the shock is twofold. First of all, the less expensive of the two models was not initially available for college students, although Apple says it will be available by the end of the week. Second, the price for college students is $50 more than the pricing announced Monday.

The eMac, which Apple introduced Monday, is similar to the original iMac, but is built around a 17-inch monitor and sold only in the education market to schools, teachers and college students. Because it uses a flat-screen version of the traditional monitor, the eMac takes up roughly the same amount of space as the 15-inch iMac.

Apple said the $999 and $1,199 prices it announced are for educational institutions, which will make up the vast majority of eMac purchasers. Apple typically offers college students prices that are better than the retail price, but not as low as those offered to schools and colleges.

The two models listed for college students were the high-end model, at $1,249, as well as a $1,516 custom-built model that included more memory and a tilt-swivel stand.

The main reason schools get lower prices is that they tend to buy in huge volumes, said Greg Joswiak, senior director of hardware product marketing for Apple.

"They get the very best price that we can provide," Joswiak said in an interview late Tuesday.

Initially, college students could only order the $1,249 and $1,516 versions of the eMac that include a combination CD burner/DVD drive.

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However, Joswiak said Apple will also make available to college students the version of the eMac with a CD-ROM drive, at $1,049.

"We've had enough customers ask for it that we'll put it up there," Joswiak said.

That model, however, does not include a modem.

Joswiak said the initial response to the all-in-one eMac has been strong from schools.

"We are doing something uniquely for them," Joswiak said. "That's really what this product was about."