A nasty rumor has surfaced recently on the nets, claiming that Apple has either discontinued the StyleWriter entirely or has made it exclusively available to the consumer electronics channel. The rumor is not entirely unfounded, because Apple has removed the StyleWriter from some price lists temporarily not because it is unpopular, but because it is too popular. Rest assured that the StyleWriter is here to stay, although it may take a while to get one.
The StyleWriter is in short supply right now because Apple severely underestimated the demand, and has run into a long lead time to produce more. Apple purchases the inkjet engine for the StyleWriter (manufactured by Canon) months in advance, and Canon cannot currently deliver more units than Apple has ordered.
As a result, Apple has taken the StyleWriter off the price lists for some of its channels, notably government, K-12, and one of two higher education channels. This is because, for these channels, Apple must legally deliver ordered products within a certain length of time, and since they can not be sure of being able to do that, they do not want further orders placed.
Sears and other consumer retail outlets selling the Performa line will have trouble getting StyleWriters for a while since Apple estimates two months or so before the shortage clears up. So don’t worry if you have your heart set on a StyleWriter, but if you’re not picky, you might consider the comparable, though slightly more expensive HP DeskWriter.