by Tonya J. Engst
On February 3rd, Apple announced price cuts, free deals for potentially irate customers, new PowerBooks, and the shipping of the Quadra 700 upgrade board.
Price Cuts -- Those who have watched the Macintosh market over the past several years will not be surprised to learn that Apple has announced yet another round of list price reductions. Low-end buyers will be happy to see a $200 drop in price for a StyleWriter, $500 drop in price for a Classic II, and almost $1000 drop in the price of a Mac LC. High-end buyers will save lots of cash to the tune of about $1200 on a typical IIsi and $2000 on a IIci.
Keen market observers will note that Apple usually drops prices in an especially sweet way when it is about to discontinue a model. In light of the fact that Apple also announced a future direction of having all Classics, Classic IIs, and LCs ship with 4 MB of RAM, and that Apple also announced a new 4/40 PowerBook 100, we might expect the 2/20 PowerBook 100s, the 2/40 LC and Classic, and possibly the 3/40 IIsi to be discontinued rather soon. With the rest of the line-up, though, the future is anyone's guess.
Freebies -- Naturally, recent purchasers of Macintosh systems may want some of their money back, since they could have saved enough money to buy a few airplane tickets to somewhere warm and sunny (substitute somewhere cold and dreary if you live in a currently pleasant climate) if they had only waited a week or two before buying. In an effort to salvage customer satisfaction (and presumably to increase Claris's installed base), Apple has a special offer for some recent purchasers who took advantage of the Macintosh Right Now promotion extension (between 01-Jan-92 and 02-Feb-92). So, if you bought one of the following packages:
Macintosh Classic with a StyleWriter or Personal LaserWriter LS
Macintosh Classic II with a StyleWriter
Macintosh LC with a StyleWriter or any Personal LaserWriter and an Apple monitor.
You should call Apple at 800/695-2506 and be prepared to send them a copy of your invoice to get one of the following free gifts:
MacWrite II and MacPaint 2.0 bundle
MacDraw II and MacPaint 2.0 bundle
AppleCare for one of the above-mentioned hardware packages.
The offer is good through 14-Mar-92, but you should also keep in mind that Claris just chopped the price of MacWrite II from $249 list to $129 list. So if you were going to pick up that MacWrite II bundle, it might be worth snagging a different one and actually buying MacWrite II. People who purchased MacWrite II between 01-Apr-91 (hmm) and 31-Jan-92 will get a free upgrade to MacWrite Pro when it ships, hopefully before I retire. If you buy MacWrite II now at the lower price, you'll have to pay $69 to upgrade to MacWrite Pro.
Apple doesn't have an offer for people who didn't buy one of these packages, sorry. I think Apple would do better to make an offer to anyone who purchased a now-discounted Macintosh or printer. Such an offer would go even further to enhance customer satisfaction, and Claris needs to increase its an installed base. Resolve needs to compete with Excel and 1-2-3, and MacWrite II needs to maintain its installed base since MacWrite Pro has slipped far behind WordPerfect 2.1, Nisus Compact, and Word 5, all of which shipped recently.
The Bottom Line -- We won't publish all the new prices, but for those who are interested, here are the highlights (model, old suggested retail price, new suggested retail price):
68000 Macintoshes: PowerBook 100 2/20, no floppy 2,299 1,999 PowerBook 100 2/20, floppy 2,499 2,199 Classic 2/40 1,499 1,349 Classic 4/40 1,649 1,499 68020 Macintoshes: Mac LC 2/40 2,499 1,549 Mac LC 2/40 w/VRAM 2,499 1,549 (Yes, these are priced identically. One of those marketing mysteries, I suspect.) Mac LC 4/40 2,649 1,699 Mac LC 4/80 w/VRAM 2,999 2,049 68030 Macintoshes: Classic II 2/40 1,899 1,349 Classic II 4/40 2,049 1,499 Classic II 4/80 2,399 1,649 Mac IIsi 3/40 3,769 2,499 Mac IIsi 5/80 4,569 2,999 Mac IIci 5, with floppy 5,269 3,299 Mac IIci 5/80 5,969 3,999 Mac IIci 5/160 6,369 4,599 Mac IIfx 4, with floppy 7,369 5,099 Mac IIfx 4/80 8,069 5,799 Mac IIfx 4/160 8,669 6,399 StyleWriter 599 399