Umax is reorganising its US operations. The changes are being interpreted as a move away from the company's threatened Mac cloning business.
The US activities of Taiwanese Umax used to be organised in two separate entities: Umax Technologies Inc., which sold imaging products, and Umax Computer Corp., which sold Macintosh clones.
Now, all marketing and sales for these and new product lines will be brought together under Umax Technologies, with all manufacturing being regrouped as Umax Computer.
Company spokesperson Mark Rawlins said the new structure was designed to create synergies between product lines. He said new product lines to be added to the company's portfolio include soon to be announced Intel-based desktop PCs, as well as Intel-based notebook computers, network hubs and routers.
Umax is one of the sole remaining vendors still selling Macintosh clones. The company's license for the Mac OS expires this summer, and might not be renewed.
Mark Rawlins denied that the restructuring foreshadows the company's exit out of the Mac cloning business. "Our Mac clones are going full blast. New systems were announced at MacWorld and further systems are on the drawing board", claimed Rawlins.
Rawlins said he remained confident that Apple would decide to sign a new licensing agreement with Umax. "Apple has just noticed that it can make a profit with Umax as a partner", said Rawlins, referring to Apple's most recent quarterly results.
Umax has earlier indicated that it wishes to offer machines in market segments where Apple itself is not present, such as sub-$1000 dollar systems and very high-end graphical systems.
Apple has, up to now, refused to approve any clone systems based on the latest PowerPC processor, the PowerPC 750 or G3. Umax is currently circumventing this policy by offering Mac clones with an older processor built into the system, but with a G3 upgrade card shipped in the box. A Umax spokesperson claimed this ploy does not breach its contract with Apple.
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