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Apple stock hits ten-year low

News that the largest Mac clone maker will move into the Microsoft-Intel space sends shares of Apple Computer down 7.5 percent.

Shares of Apple Computer (AAPL) today hit a ten-year low, following news that its largest Macintosh clone vendor will also build computers on the Microsoft-Intel platform.

Apple shares fell 7.5 percent to close at 13-3/16 today, down 1-1/16 from yesterday. That marks a new 52-week low for the stock, which has been trading at its lowest levels for the decade. The troubled computer maker generated heavy volume with 4 million shares trading hands.

That volume surpasses even that of last Thursday, when an unidentified investor dumped 1.5 million shares. Apple generated volume of 3.4 million shares and saw its price fall to 14-11/16, down 7/16 from the previous day. Speculation has centered on Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, who received 1.5 million shares in the sale of his Next Software company to Apple for $430 million.

Market makers today said the pressure on Apple's stock was attributed to its largest OS licensee, Power Computing, which yesterday revealed it would expand into the Microsoft-Intel platform.

That bit of news was included in Power's initial public offering filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday.

Power, a fast-growing Macintosh clone maker, said it's planning to broaden its product portfolio to include desktop and portable computer systems that use Intel processors and the Windows operating system. It will also build Microsoft Windows NT-based server products that will jointly support Macintosh and the Microsoft-Intel platform.