August 9th 2002
By Mike Flaminio
Apple legal's recent cease and desist to Zettabyte Solutions, which was selling a SuperDrive-equipped eMac, has raised some speculation.
The question centers around whether Apple intends to equip the eMacs with DVD-Rs, or if it was merely to protect sales of the two high-end iMacs (15" and 17").
Mac rumor site SpyMac said recently that users can expect an October refresh of the eMac.
The details, thin though they be, are surprisingly unspectacular (particularly for a rumor). No speed bumps are anticipated, with the DVD-R as a possible build-to-order option the biggest cat in the bag.
Analysis: A DVD-R eMac would be an ideal education and consumer solution, as Zettabyte discovered. Has Apple indenfified two very different markets for iMac and eMac? A DVD-R eMac would crossover with the low-end iMacs on price, but would of course lack the LCD, as well as the ground-breaking iMac design.
Would the DVD-R eMac at around $1,400-$1,500 push you towards it? Or would you still buy the iMac?
The other serious question this raises is about the forthcoming Power Macs: surely if the eMac were to have DVD-R as an option, it's time for Power Macs to have DVD-R across the board (perhaps as a delete option on the base PM with a CDRW in its place for those wanting a really budget-priced Power Mac.