The iMac cometh

The Apple iMac makes its official arrival in New Zealand tomorrow, on what the local distributor has decreed 'iMac Day'. AppleCentre stores in six centres will have the attention-grabbing translucent computers for the public to see, touch play with and place on order - but not walk out the door with.

The Apple iMac makes its official arrival in New Zealand tomorrow, on what the local distributor has decreed 'iMac Day'.

AppleCentre stores in six centres will have the attention-grabbing translucent computers for the public to see, touch, play with and place on order - but not walk out the door with.

Apple New Zealand marketing manager Bronwyn Sinclair says the 174 iMacs shipped here, more than the company had expected in its first allocation, have gone initially for display and promotional use. A pile of back orders for the machine is not expected to be fully cleared until next month.

The Singapore Apple assembly plant where Apple computers for New Zealand are made has been almost exclusively turned over to making iMacs for the world market in recent weeks. Demand remains strong in the US, where some customers have reported delays in obtaining other G3 Macintosh models via the online AppleStore.

Although peripheral manufacturers have had more than a year of USB (Universal Serial Bus) on the Wintel platform, the paucity of peripherals for the USB-only iMac has been the major blemish on a successful launch.

Sinclair says Apple has confirmed the availability of one USB printer, the colour inkjet Epson 740 and the Umax . MacByte Technology has an Ethernet-to-Localtalk converter and a four-port USB hub. The Imation SuperDisk, which also provides the floppy disk drive the iMac leaves out, is not expected until the end of this month. There is no sign yet of the USB-to-serial converters promised by Apple to allow the use of existing peripherals.

Customers who order an iMac this month will be eligible to win the value of the iMac back, and from tomorrow the first 500 iMac orders through AppleCentres will pick up ClearNet vouchers, free iMac t-shirts, and a $300 MetaCreations software bundle.

In Auckland, the iMac will be at MagnumMac, Logical Systems, Pro Imaging Systems, Electric Box Company, the Apple Education Centre and the centre court at St Lukes Mall; in Hamilton at AppleCentre Waikato and Totally Mac; in Wellington at MagnumMac and Educational Systems Limited; in Christchurch at MagnumMac; in Tauranga at AppleCentre BOP; in Dunedin at MagnumMac.

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