The absence of any deal with Oracle Corp on network computers or an investment from the database company to cement such a position led to a spate of rumors Tuesday about what Apple Computer Inc left unsaid in unveiling its build-to-order plans and G3 systems on Monday. Although Apple denied the presentation made by acting CEO Steve Jobs had been changed at the eleventh hour, sources we heard from said that Jobs did in fact deliver a different presentation from the one originally prepared, throwing sections of the company’s PR apparatus into a tizzy. Other observers, such as the macrumors web site said the significant difference between the planned and actual lengths of Monday’s announcements and the intensity of the original hype spread directly from the top at Cupertino compared with what was actually announced – as well as it originally being planned with a half an hour of time after the close of the stock market – suggested that perhaps certain events hadn’t come to pass as they’d been expected to. Analysts at Credit Suisse First Boston had been suggesting for months that Apple implement a build-to-order strategy (but outsource it, since Apple didn’t have the experience with the model) (CI No 3,212). Following Monday’s news the bank said the Apple Store is at least a beginning, and suggested the speed at which Apple extends the strategy to its entire product line and then begin to build to dealer orders, will be key to its success: Only then will it be a true BTO model. Apple’s starting off putting only the new G3 PowerPC models through Apple stores.
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