Iomega has moved to make sure resellers are not faced with the same dilemma presented by its previous products with its new Zip 750MB drive -- the lack of a security lock.
It seems like a small thing, but the vendor has watched its business in the education market erode for want of a slot that would allow teachers to lock down the portable Zip products.
"In education, the thing just walks. The business we've lost because you couldn't put a security lock on it is considerable," said Scott Dillon, senior manager for Australia and New Zealand. "Resellers would ask us if it would void the warranty if they drilled a hole in the drive in order to attached a lock".
Thankfully Iomega's newest Zip drive addresses this issue. The vendor has also taken feedback from its distribution channel to heart, reducing the number of stock keeping units (SKUs) by incorporating PC and Mac technology on the same disks.
"Distributors have always complained about the number of SKUs," Dillon said. "But now our disks carry both formats so you only need the one [disk]."
The Zip 750 is also backward compatible with the old 100MB and 250MB disk formats, although speed is compromised. Similarly, the device will work with USB 1.0 connections, but reaches its maximum 50x50x50 read/write/rewrite speeds through a USB 2.0 connection. Iomega expects to bring its FireWire version to Australia in November.
For now, the vendor will continue to supply 100MB and 250MB disks, but pricing for the older disks will drop significantly. A 100MB 10-disk pack, which used to retail for $229, will now cost just under $200, while the price of 250MB disk packs will drop from $369 to $300.
The new product also incorporates Iomega Sync, a bi-directional synchronisation software application for the PC that resides on the Zip disk itself. An Apple version is due later in the year.