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April 3, 1989

THREAT OF MACINTOSH CLONES LOOMS FOR APPLE…

By CBR Staff Writer

The gang of Taiwanese companies threatening to make life a misery for Apple Computer Inc with clones of the Macintosh, first revealed here back last August (CI No 1983), are ready to show off their product – indeed it was a little-noticed feature of the Jonathan Computers GmbH stand at the Hanover Fair last month and the thing looks like a real problem for Apple because Apple Deutschland confirmed to Newsbytes that as far as they could tell, it does not violate any Apple copyrights. The reason for this is that the machine is being offered with ROM sockets but no ROM BIOS chips – but in the US, Macintosh Plus 128Kb ROMs can be bought mail-order from several vendors for about $90 each. Moreover the West German monthly for the Mac market, MacUP, has reportedly spent several days testing the Jonathan and found it to be fully compatible. The machine, which would be more powerful than a Mac Plus as a result of having an internal hard disk as standard, and cheaper than a Mac SE, is still some way from market, because Akkord Technology Inc, the Taiwanese firm that is touting it, will not start marketing it until it is sure that all legal issues are resolved. Akkord was formed by Happy Joiner Co Ltd which designed the chips and Hung Tung Electronics, and raised some of its $7m capital in Japan and the US. The box uses a 68020 processor, and may initially be marketed as a lap top with 512 by 348 pixel liquid crystal display – it is expected to be shown in that configuration at Comdex/Spring. The company is also working on a Mac-compatible workstation for June, according to Asian Sources. But Akkord is not the only company that Apple has to worry about: Powder Blue Inc in Salt Lake City, Utah is selling a machine called the BlueMAQ, which looks like an IBM Personal Computer but contains a Macintosh Plus-compatible logic board and 128Kb ROMs, at from $3,700 to $6,000, with a 65Mb disk and 12 amber monitor from Samsung Electronics.

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