You People Need To SPEND (8/23/02)
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Look out, folks; rumors of changes to Apple's production plans are once more surfacing from Taiwan. We've seen this plenty of times in the past, since Taiwan is where Apple contracts out the actual building of most of its gear, and thus there are plenty of opportunities for people in the know to drop a tasty hint now and again to the local press. Of course, the accuracy of some of these rumors leaves a bit to be desired (remember the wider screens and choice of colors that were supposedly going to hit the iBook line in July of last year?), but heck, we figure that any tidbit from the land where this stuff is actually being put together is worth at least a quick once-over, for entertainment purposes if nothing else.

Unfortunately, this one's not nearly as wacky as an alleged major iBook update slated for two months after the product was introduced; what's more, it's got a faint scent of truth about it, and if it is true, the news isn't particularly great. According to an article at DigiTimes.com, Apple is applying the brakes when it comes to making the 15-inch LCD iMac, with production allegedly slated to cease entirely in October. Apple has already admitted that sales of the systems have been drastically slower than originally anticipated, but reportedly now the company is looking at selling just half as many as it first projected for 2002-- 500,000 instead of a million. We've got two words for you: Yeee-ouch.

So this claimed production slowdown is reportedly intended "to allow Apple to reduce inventory accumulated from more positive days," and while the up side is that it's also meant to "make room for an upgrade to the 17-inch" model, bear in mind that the 17-inch iMac costs a whopping $1999. Granted, that's an absolute steal for what you get (zippy G4, SuperDrive, widescreen LCD), but we think it's pretty safe to say that anyone expecting Apple to increase market share by pitching a $2000 system at the consumer market in today's hole-in-the-head economy needs to bite the bullet and switch to a better grade of crack.

Don't go all Chicken Little on us, though. Like we said, just because a report comes from Apple's manufacturing hub doesn't make it gospel. ("Apple PDAs are rolling off the assembly lines!" leaps to mind.) And even if iMac sales come out to be just 50% of projections, well, hey-- it still did better than the Cube, right?


 
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The above scene was taken from the 8/23/02 episode:

August 23, 2002: Apple plans to open two new retail stores on August 31st-- and the AtAT staff plans to be at one of them. Meanwhile, the bigwigs behind Macworld Expo are talking about moving the summer gig back to Boston, and a report from Taiwan has 15-inch LCD iMac production ceasing completely in two months' time...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3747: Wauwatosa, Here We Come (8/23/02)   This is just going to be a quickie episode, folks, because the AtAT staff is currently gearing up for BabyTour 2002, and we leave for the first leg (to the hopefully presciently-named town of "Happy Jack, AZ," if we're reading this itinerary correctly) in just about five hours from now...

  • 3748: 2004: Beantown-Bound (8/23/02)   Speaking of travel, have we mentioned that we mostly just find the whole shebang to be one royal pain in the nether regions? "Broadens the mind; expands the horizons"-- yeah, right, whatever. All we know is that even leaving aside the newly-added complication of toting a baby along, getting from Point A to Point B frequently involves lack of legroom, long waits in depressing fluorescently-lit environments, "food" that only qualifies as such in the same way that ketchup qualifies as a vegetable, and various and sundry other indignities we could just as soon live without...

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