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Macintosh Price Drops

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Augury of upcoming Apple product introductions is often made easier by the company's tendency to dramatically lower prices shortly before they add new items to the hardware lineup. Last week, Apple allowed us to anticipate a group of new products (expected, according to rumor, to be introduced at Macworld Expo in Tokyo on 10-Feb-93) by dropping many of the prices (suggested retail and/or "real" end-purchaser prices) on the bottom half of its product line.

As the below chart shows, Apple slashed prices on the lower end of its family: the Classic II, LC II, and IIsi. The reductions are most dramatic in the IIsi, which with the addition of an inexpensive math coprocessor (via one of the two Apple slot adapter cards, either of which can be had for under $200, or an assortment of third-party options) becomes a serious option for a respectable desktop computer. The IIsi rests high on the price performance curve with a monochrome monitor, math coprocessor, keyboard, 40 MB hard drive, and 3 MB of RAM coming in under $1500.

  SERIALIZED PRODUCT                           OLD SRP    NEW SRP
  Macintosh Classic II
     M1543LL/A  Classic II 4/40HD              $1,079  $1,079 *
     M1542LL/A  Classic II 4/80HD              $1,209  $1,079
  Macintosh LC II
     M1701LL/A  LC II 4/40HD w/System 7        $1,239  $1,239 *
     M1723LL/A  LC II 4/40HD w/System 6.0.8    $1,239  $1,239 * **
     M1707LL/A  LC II 4/80HD w/o keyboard      $1,349  $1,349 *
     M1387LL/A  LC II 4/160HD w/o keyboard     $1,489  $1,489 *
  Macintosh IIsi
     M0491LL/B  Mac IIsi 3/40HD                $1,729  $  969
     M0364LL/B  Mac IIsi 5/80HD                $1,999  $1,199
     M0954LL/A  Mac IIsi 5/160HD               $2,139  $1,429
  Macintosh Color Display (14")
     M1198LL/A  Macintosh 14" Color Display    $  589  $  539
  Higher Education Smart Solutions
     B1051LL/A  Mac IIsi 5/80 Business S/W     $2,198  $1,398 **
     B1057LL/A  Mac IIsi 5/80 General Faculty  $2,198  $1,398 **

Products marked with * are those whose retail prices stay the same, but whose "channel" prices have dropped. Dealers now pay less for the products, which generally means the end user prices will drop as well. These "channel" price reductions often either precede or follow changes in the suggested retail price. It's important to realize, therefore, that a change in the SRP may NOT change the end user's final purchase price, since such a change may not have a corresponding "channel" price change. The items marked with ** are only available through Higher Education channels.

The standard caveat applies here, of course. If you opt to take advantage of the new, lower prices on some of this equipment, which Apple obviously feels is heading for obsolescence, you may kick yourself when you see what arrives next week. Or, if you decide to wait, you may miss out on the chance entirely, since quantities are limited and are likely to be depleted quickly. No matter how you slice it, though, I can hardly think of those IIsi bargains as anything but win-win choices.


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