IN A MOVE apparently intended to win back market losses to Dell, Apple has cut prices on their eMac machines to $699 for educators, $779 for normal buyers. This, according to Apple's resident PR monkeys, buys the lucky customer a "stunning" (their words) 17-inch CRT, 128 MB of RAM, a 700MHz G4, and a 40 GB HDD, and a standard CD-ROM.
Not a bad offer from Cupertino, but it doesn't seem to be the kind of deal that's going to win back many buyers who've decided to become Evil PC People. Dell's own 2350 series, after all, can be configured with a P4 Celeron 2.0, a full 512 meg of DDR RAM, a 60 Gb HDD, 48X CD-RW, and a 17" CRT. We don't know if the Dell CRT is as "stunning" as the Apple version, but it certainly seems better value — the entire Dell package ships at $749 — and dropping the included RAM to 256 meg would put the Dell box at a lower cost for a much more powerful overall package.
It may be that Apple is fated to lose the education market in the end just as it's lost every other market they once possessed. Educators choosing to go with Apple or Dell ultimately have to decide whether to use a system they might prefer — or to offer computer instruction on the computers students are going to be using in their professional lives.
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News source: The Inq