Apple goes direct

Apple goes direct

Apple Computer has revealed its plans to sell computers directly through the Web, and also to allow customers to configure their machines to their own specifications as well as buying "off the rack".

While the online Apple Store is currently US-only, Europe and Japan are expected to follow suit in MayÐJune of 1998 and Apple Australia says it will adopt the Web store concept before the end of next year.

A spokesperson for Apple Australia said: "this is the '90s, and businesses have to start doing business on the Net or they will be left behind. Apple is not alone."

The online store is intended to complement, rather than supplant, sales through Apple's traditional reseller and retail channel, but some analysts have predicted that the cost savings inherent in the direct model may lead Apple to undercut the prices offered by its resellers.

Also announced by interim CEO Steve Jobs was a new line of Power Macintosh computers based on a third generation (G3) PowerPC processor. A minitower, a desktop and a PowerBook using the new processor were all unveiled.

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