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November 10, 1997updated 01 Sep 2016 3:02pm

APPLE “THINKS DIFFERENT” WITH BTO WEB SALES MODEL

By CBR Staff Writer

Ending much speculation about what it was up to, Apple Computer Inc has introduced the first initiative of its new Think Different campaign by thinking a little bit more like direct marketers Dell Computer Corp and Gateway 2000 Inc. On Monday, the Cupertino, California company launched The Apple Store on its website, giving customers the opportunity to buy built-to-order Macintosh computers over the internet. Apple reckons that it has now become the only manufacturer to offer US customers its entire core product line through retail channels, resellers, and the internet. Like others who have made the switch to some form of direct sales model (Compaq Computer Corp, for example) Interim CEO Steve Jobs was quick to point out that the move to the web does not constitute any abandonment of its reseller commitments, describing The Apple Store as a neutral proposition as far as pricing and product allocation are concerned. Apple’s new method of selling comes with the introduction of its Power Macintosh G3 computers, based on the next-generation IBM/Motorola PowerPC G3 processor. The new systems, which start at $2,000, feature processors running at speeds up to 266MHz and a 512K L2 cache running up to 133MHz. They are available now in either desktop or minitower configurations and will be the first systems offered on a build-to-order basis. Other systems may be added to the BTO scheme at a later date. Apple also announced a PowerBook G3 notebook with a 250MHz processor, 5Gb hard drive, 20x CD-ROM drive and built-in ethernet/modem. It is available immediately for $5,700.

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