Inexpensive computers used to be a contradiction in terms, but in America one company is making inroads into retail sales with a $US399 offering.
Two months ago a little-known company called Emachines began selling some of the cheapest desktop computers you can find on a retail shelf. As soon as they hit the stores, the curious began snapping them up and within the first six weeks of release, an impressive 180,000 Emachines were sold.
So big has been the impact of this new price point, after December sales receipts are tallied Emachines is expected to rank as the sixth largest desktop PC retailer for the month, according to a US industry analyst. For December sales in the US, Emachines should come in behind only Compaq, Packard Bell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Apple.
Emachines aren't loaded with last quarter's leftover components either. The e-tower sports a Cyrix M-II 266MHz MMX chip and is loaded with a 24x CD-ROM drive, a floppy drive, a V.90 PCI fax modem, a 2GB hard drive, and 32MB of memory. There is a one-year warranty on the machines and monitors are not included.www.emachines.com