The Usenet rumor mill has been grinding the low-cost Mac into a fine flour. Evidently, some people have heard that Apple is striking a deal with Tandy, the computer name behind Radio Shack, either to build and market or just to build a low cost Mac. Few are happy with Tandy marketing a low cost Macintosh, but it was pointed out that DEC contracts with Tandy to build low cost computers, so perhaps a Tandy-built, Apple-marketed Mac is on its way.
Interestingly enough, other rumors have surfaced claiming that Apple is contracting with Toshiba to build a light (6-8 pound) Macintosh Portable to replace the freeweight that currently calls itself portable. Toshiba's PC portables are among the cream of the crop, so if this rumor is true, perhaps we will be seeing some very nice Mac portables from an Apple-Toshiba combination.
These two bits of information might indicate that Apple is stepping from its proprietary pedestal. Even if Apple does not actually license any part of the Macintosh to Tandy or Toshiba (Apple, Tandy, and ToshibaI like the ring of itAT&T), contracting out the manufacturing of the Mac is still a major step in that direction.
InfoWorld -- 23-Apr-90, Vol. 12, #17, pg. 110