Clear Net picked as the iMac's ISP

Clear Net has been appointed as the out-of-box ISP for New Zealand buyers of Apple's new iMac computer. In a strategy managed from Australia and replicated throughout the region, all iMacs for the New Zealand market will ship pre-configured to dial into Clear Net. Apple Computer's share price has soared over $US40 this week on the back of Apple's announcement that it had 150,000 US pre-sales ahead of Saturday's official iMac launch.

Clear Net has been appointed as the out-of-box ISP for New Zealand buyers of Apple's new iMac computer.

In a strategy managed from Australia and replicated throughout the region, all iMacs for the New Zealand market will ship pre-configured to dial into Clear Net.

The ease and speed of set-up of the all-in-one iMac are a key marketing point for Apple, which has made a promotional video showing a 10-year-old boy (and his dog) unpacking, starting up and connecting an iMac to the Internet in 10 minutes, while a university graduate takes half an hour to do the same with a consumer PC.

The ISP chosen for US customers, Earthlink, has sweetened its offer with a month's free usage for iMac customers, but there is no sign at the stage that such an offer will be available here.

The iMac ships with a 56Kbit/s modem that is K56 Flex and V.90 compatible.

Apple marketing manager Bronwyn Sinclair says Apple will also be working with third-party vendors such as Imation (makers of the floppy-compatible SuperDisk drive) and Hewlett-Packard to promote Universal Serial Bus peripherals for the iMac.

"We may also look at doing bundles involving some of the other software manufacturers were handle via Renaissance, but we're still working on that."

Meanwhile, September 12 has been provisionally set aside as "iMac Day" - and what Apple NZ managing director Paul Johnston quipped at an unveiling of the first sample machine in the country would be "the Teletubbies of the computer world."

Even then, Johnston expects only to be able to get display machines into retail outlets and does not expect the company to be in a "stock situation" until October, when a sizeable stack of pre-orders will have been cleared and more machines delivered from Apple's Singapore plant.

Apple Computer's share price has soared over $US40 as US markets wobbled this week, on the back of Apple's announcement that it had 150,000 US pre-sales ahead of Saturday's official launch. It now appears that Apple's major danger with the product would be a failure to meet demand.

In New Zealand, the iMac's debut will be accompanied by a significant marketing campaign, including the sponsorship of a new music compilation CD and a high-profile presence in the promotional newspaper distributed for January's Sweetwaters music festival. Promoter Daniel Keighley is a longtime Macintosh user.

IDG has also entered the spirit of the product with the launch of iMac World, at www.imacworld.com.

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