A Korean joint venture is developing an iMac lookalike which will be available in the US in January, priced $499.
eMachines, a joint venture between Tri Gem and Korean Data Systems (KDS), is developing a Windows-based iMac clone that will sport a distinctive colour, but will not be transparent. It will also have a floppy disk drive, unlike the iMac.
KDS already sells an all-in-one machine that it calls a "moniputer" in Korea.
Young Song, marketing manager at both eMachines and Tri Gem, believes that Apple, "Just brought back the concept at the right time. We've concluded it's time again too." KDS is also planning a $500 PC which could be available in the US by Christmas, and said a number of leading retail chains will stock the machines.
On the corporate front at least one consultant, Rob Enderle, desktop analyst at Giga Information Group, believes fully featured PCs will drop to below $1,000 next year.
In fact Intel's own processor roadmap for early 1999 calls for basic business PCs to be priced as low as $800. These systems will include 333MHz Celeron processors and a chipset which will integrate audio and three-dimensional capabilities.
eMachines says it will introduce its first two machines in November. One will be priced at $499 and the other at $599. Both will include monitors and will use the upgraded version of the Celeron chip. A $499 PC that has a DVD drive and connects to a television will follow in January.
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