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September 20, 1998

APPLE FACES THREAT FROM SUB-$500 PCs

By CBR Staff Writer

The march of the sub-$500 PCs, set to hit world markets before the end of the year, is now set to threaten Apple Inc’s revival. Korean company eMachines Inc plans to copy the iMac’s design with a $499 Windows-based machine due to be launched next Spring. eMachines is jointly-owned by Korean Data Systems and Trigem Computer, which has already announced plans to launch a $499 266MHz PC in November (CI No 3,494). Apart from copying the iMac’s distinctive appearance, eMachines PC will use a 333Mhz Celeron processor, with 32MB of memory and a 3GB hard drive. The iMac has swept into an unexpected number one position in PC markets throughout the world and designers believe its distinctive rounded feminine appearance has attracted first-time buyers faced with identically angular competitors. By offering the same kind of design at well under half the price of the iMac, and with the added attractions of being able to run a much bigger range of Windows-based software, eMachines designers hope to erode Apple’s market share. Trigem’s boss Yong-The Lee believes that by getting the price of PCs below the $500 barrier, they can fuel explosive growth in the market in the same way that videos became universal devices once their price dropped below $500.

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