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Apple cuts prices, unveils servers

Apple Computer lowers prices on its popular Power Macintosh G3 machines, and will also release new server computers.

Apple Computer (AAPL) has lowered prices on its popular Power Macintosh G3 machines and released new server computers for the first time in a while.

In addition to price cuts ranging up to about 17 percent, Apple

An Apple server
G3 servers will come in a similar minitower package
will roll out new servers based on the G3 desktop computers, as previously reported. Apple claims the new servers will pack twice the performance of their predecessors, which could result in a needed sales boost for the company in the education and business markets.

Price cuts will come in desktop and minitower versions of its Power Macintosh G3 line. Apple cut the prices of the basic G3 desktop system with 233-MHz PowerPC 750 chip from $1,999 to $1,699. A G3 minitower with 233-MHz PowerPC 750, built-in modem, and extra communications software will be priced at $1,999, a reduction of $150.

The biggest price reduction is reserved for the G3 minitower system with a 266-MHz PowerPC 750. The system was priced at $2,999, and has been cut 16.6 percent to $2,499. A 266-MHz desktop system that was priced at $2,299 is now priced at $1,999.

The popularity of the new G3 systems helped propel Apple to a first quarter profit. Company officials have noted that the second quarter is typically a slow one, but the price cuts could keep systems sales relatively high. Nevertheless, some resellers are beginning to experience shortages of products such as the G3 notebooks, and the older Power Macintosh 8600 and 9600 systems are also getting hard to find in some areas.

The servers mark Apple's renewed interest in a market which it has lately not been particularly active. The company's last new product offering was in August of 1997, but Apple had dropped the product off its lineup recently.

That has changed with the introduction of workgroup servers with either a 233-MHz or 266-MHz PowerPC 750 processor, a 24X CD-ROM drive, high-performance 4GB hard drives, and built-in networking capabilities. Prices for the Macintosh Server G3 with 233-MHz processor and 64MB of memory is $3,749 and $4,999 for a 266-MHz system with dual hard disk drives and 128MB of memory.

Apple also cut prices on several monitors, including the AppleVision 750, which was reduced from $849 to $699, and the AppleVision 750 AV, which was reduced from $949 to $799.