A UK distributor said the Mac clone market will die if US reports that Apple plans to raise licensing fees are true. US sources believe Apple is considering charging system builders a fee for each Mac clone they build.
Sukh Rayat, managing director of distributor Flashpoint, which sells PowerPC motherboards, said: ?If that happens, Apple can kiss that market goodbye.?
Mac clone builders such as Umax are already up in arms about the $5,000 they have to pay to Apple simply to have the systems qualified, according to another source close to the company?s plans. Apple, he said, has taken its time to license its systems to third parties and many feel its entry into that market was too late. For it to leave the market now will make it look foolish, he added.
A representative of Apple said that, although he had heard the rumour, he was unable to confirm or deny its truth.
The news comes a day after Umax kept its options open by launching an Intel-based machine and a hybrid running on both PowerPC and Pentium. In the past year, the growth rate for Mac clonemakers' sales has outpaced that for Apple-badged machines.
* Rumours that Motorola will come to Apple's rescue by making a bid for its troubled PowerPC partner were circulating in the industry today. Neither company was prepared to speculate. However, Motorola's own computer business was left in the lurch by the decision not to support NT on PowerPC, and it has enough money to make a bid for Apple, some analysts claim.
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