If it looks like an iMac: eMachines copies Apple

In a move likely to inspire legal challenges, PC maker eMachines has announced a new PC that resembles Apple Computer's popular iMac. California-based eMachines will sell its Powerful PC at $US799 retail or as low as $399 with rebate offers for bundled Internet access.

In a move likely to inspire legal challenges, PC maker eMachines has announced a new PC that resembles Apple Computer's popular iMac.

Irvine, California-based eMachines will sell its Powerful PC at $US799 retail or as low as $399 including rebate offers for bundled Internet access, the company said in a statement.

The new machine integrates the PC with the monitor, like iMac. It also comes in colors such as translucent "cool blue", similar to Apple's highly praised design of its iMac. The computer will include Intel's Celeron 433MHz processor with 128Kb on-chip cache, 64Mb of memory, a 6.4Gb hard drive, a 56Kbit/s modem and multimedia capabilities. A networking controller based on the HPNA (Home Phone Networking Alliance) specification is built into the machine, allowing it to connect to other PCs and household appliances such as VCRs, eMachines said.

The machine will be available immediately, only at Circuit City stores in the U.S.

Whatever retail success eMachines finds with this product could be offset by legal challenges from Apple, however. Apple has been aggressive about protecting the iMac design, including launching lawsuits against Daewoo Telecom of Korea and Future Power, its joint venture that sells PCs in the U.S., alleging they illegally copied its industrial design.

Apple Computer Inc., based in Cupertino, California, can be reached at +1-408-996-1010 or on the Web at http://www.apple.com/. eMachines can be reached via its Web site: http://www.emachinesinc.com/.

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