Apple starts new year with price cuts

InfoWorld |  Hardware

THE INDUSTRYWIDE SLOWDOWN in PC sales has taken a bite out of Apple Computer as well.

After warning of disappointing first quarter financial results last month, Apple Computer this week started the new year with deep price cuts across its lines of desktop and notebook systems.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company trimmed as much as $1,000 from some of its high-ticket systems. The high-end 500-Mhz G4 Cube with 256MB SDRAM memory was shaved by $1,000 to $2,799. Entry-level prices for Apple's PowerMac G4 Cube were slashed from $1,799 to $1,499. The 500-MHz PowerMac G4 was trimmed from $3,499 to $2,499. Entry level PowerMac G4 systems were cut from $1,599 to $1,299. The company also cut prices on its notebook lines. The 450-MHz PowerBook was reduced from $2,499 to $1,999, and the 500-MHz version was cut from $2,999 to $2,199.

The current price cuts follow promises from Apple executives last month to reduce channel inventories to normal levels and make room for new products and programs Apple will be rolling out in 2001. Additionally, Apple is expected to introduce new products next week at the Macworld Expo conference in San Francisco.

When the company released the profit warning in early December, Apple officials cited slower-than-expected sales during October and November as well as lower-than-expected channel sell-through and unplanned sales promotions and pricing actions. Official quarterly results, which Apple officials expect to include a net loss of between $225 and $250 million, will be announced on Jan. 17. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in the earnings press release that it will be the company's first non-profitable quarter in three years.

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