Apple Computer will round out its simplified product line early next year with a portable counterpart to its new iMac desktop, Apple officials say.
Giving the keynote address at Macworld Expo Singapore '98, David Moody, Apple's director of worldwide desktop product marketing, said that Apple had rationalised its product line to address two market segments -- professional and consumer -- using two configurations -- desktop and portable.
The Macintosh G3 and the Powerbook G3 fill out the professional segment, while the iMac, due to be launched on August 15 at a price of $US1,299, will be the desktop consumer product, Moody said.
"In the first half of 1999, we will be able to show you something completely new at the portable end of the consumer space," he added.
Moody said Apple's decision to equip the iMac with Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports has won a positive response from peripherals vendors. Mass storage products like Imation Corp.'s LS-120 120M-byte SuperDisk, Iomega's 100Mb Zip drive, and SyQuest Technology's 1G-byte Sparq drive are all being readied in USB form, Moody said. Major printer manufacturers are also preparing USB adapters, he said.
During the Macworld conference, Jeff Martin, Apple's senior director of worldwide design and publishing, suggested that the iMac product along with Apple Internet software such as WebObjects, could have special significance for Asia.
"We believe that the Internet is a way that Asia can bounce back from its economic downturn," Martin said. "The Internet helps smaller businesses reach out to new partners and find new markets, and it is Apple's aim to help everyone become a Web publisher."
Apple, based in Cupertino, California, can be reached at http://www.apple.com/.