The IBM-branded drives will be sold through IBM's Authorized Assembly Program Partners as well as its network of resellers and systems integrators. Iomega has similar distribution deals with other major PC and notebook vendors, but this partnership is unique because the drives will be sold through the Assembly Program, an Iomega spokesperson said.
Iomega's Zip drives offer high-density removable storage and are fast replacing traditional disk drives. IBM's Zip drives can be installed in addition to or as a replacement for the floppy drive. Zip disks hold about 100MB of storage, far more than 1.44MB used in most computers today and are close to 20 times as fast as traditional disks at retrieving information.
The drives will be available with 15 models in the PC 365, PC 300 GL, PC 300 XL, PC 330/350 and PC 300 PL lines, Iomega said. IBM already includes Zip drives as a build-in option on these low-end desktops, which feature Intel's Celeron and AMD processors.
IBM's Zip drive is expected to have an estimated retail price under $100, in a kit which will include the necessary installation tools.