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Jobs Splits iMac Line

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In an invitation-only event in Cupertino, Apple Interim CEO Steve Jobs introduced two new iMac computers. The new low-end iMac will sport a 350 MHz G3 processor, 64 MB of RAM, a 100 MHz system bus, and optional Airport wireless networking capabilities - like those found in the Apple iBook - and will retail for $999, making it (just barely) Apple's first official foray into the sub-$1,000 computer market. Expected to retail for $1,300 to $1,500, the higher end iMac DV will feature a 400 MHz G3 processor, a special tray-less DVD-ROM drive, and two FireWire ports offering high-speed connectivity for external devices like video cameras and hard disks. The iMac DV will also come with iMovie, a consumer version of Apple's Final Cut Pro video editing software, which Apple apparently hopes will reveal a market for consumer video editing it has been trying to find for more than three years, beginning with Performa 6400 video editing systems. The new iMac systems don't have cooling fans and sport a transparent plastic chassis. The base models will be available in blueberry, while the the DV models will be available in the now-traditional five iMac colors plus a graphite iMac DV Special Edition (with added RAM and hard disk capacity) matching the Power Macintosh G4 product line. All the new iMacs will sport the Harman/Kardon Odyssey sound sytem, offering greater audio fidelity and bass response, enhancing the iMac both as a gaming platform and for playing back music or video. An iSub 6-inch subwoofer and "SoundStick" slim vertical speaker towers can further enhance the iMac's audio capabilities.


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