Just when we thought all the Mac cloners had gone, Austin, Texas- based Mactell Corp emerges as one firm not yet ready to throw in the towel. Formed in 1996, Mactell is in fact one of three remaining clonemakers alongside Umax Data Systems Inc and Powertools Inc. Both Powertools and Mactell currently operate under a sub-license from Taiwanease-company Umax, and currently have a license for MacOS 8. Mactell launched its XB Tanzania family of Macintosh clones last week, claiming they were the most powerful available for under $1,000. The machines use 200MHz PowerPC 603e processors and come with 14 monitors. Mactell vice president of Mactell Pat Berry claims the company still has a chance of licensing the next generation Rhapsody operating system from Apple, and is still talking to Apple about extending the current license beyond August of next year, when its current one runs out. Rhapsody has not been specifically mentioned, he said. Apple haven’t said yes but they haven’t told us to stop coming to see them either.The company already has an order for several million dollars worth of equipment from Umax Taiwan which its says should see it through on its lower end machines until the end of next year. It will also be unveiling five new machines, all based on Umax motherboards at the upcoming MacExpo show. Mactell currently sells into the retail market and also has a number of OEM agreements for the boxes with several small European and US based companies. However the company says it cannot be 100% dependent on Apple and will be looking to sell Digital Equipment Corp Alpha’s – another doomed platform, surely – and Intel based Windows NT boxes into the same kind of market, should its bid for a license from Apple fail.
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