Apple woos its faithful with new product lines

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Wed, Feb 15, 2006 - Page 10

Apple Computer Inc yesterday introduced a slew of new products, including its first computers deploying Intel chips and iPod accessories, to woo local Apple lovers.

"The debut of our new iMac desktops and MacBook Pro notebooks, which use new Intel Core Duo microprocessors, was six months ahead of schedule," Kong Yuk-loong (江旭龍), general manager of the local branch, said at a press conference.

These products made their first appearance last month in the US at the Macworld Expo -- an annual event in which Apple shows off its latest products and initiatives.

The company said last June that it was abandoning the Power PC processor line from IBM Corp, which it had used for 14 years, and chips from major supplier Freescale Semiconductor Inc.

Starting from NT$46,900 (US$1,452), the new iMacs come in two models, one with a 17-inch display and 1.83 GHz dual processors and another with a 20-inch display and 2 GHz dual processors. They are said to deliver twice the performance of previous models.

The new models will be available next week.

Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro, which it is claimed has four times the performance of the PowerBook G4, will hit stores next month.

Weighing 2.09 kg, the 15-inch laptops feature 1.67 GHz or 1.83 GHz dual processors and start at NT$74,900.

In the last quarter alone, Apple shipped 1.25 million Macintosh computers globally, up from 1.05 million units a year ago.

It also sold 14 million iPods, nearly three times in the same period a year ago.

"Users can also look forward to iPod accessories, since there are now more than 2,000 such devices tailor-made for the digital music players," Kong added.

Among others, the company launched a device combining wired remote control with FM radio capability for iPods. It is set to be launched next month.

However, despite its aggressive product launches, Apple has been hindered by negative news regarding recent product problems.

The company is looking into reports that the new Intel-based iMacs are experiencing video problems which prevent the graphics from being viewed as intended. The video glitch is noticeable when users start the media software Front Row.

Moreover, a lawsuit was filed against Apple last week in the US demanding the company recall and replace allegedly defective iPod nano music players.

also see story:

Apple faces lawsuit over damaged iPod nano music players