[clari.nb.apple] Apple Promises a Steady Hand, Low-End Mac

newsbytes@clarinet.com (02/04/90)

Computer Chairman John Sculley, hoping to allay fears
over Apple's future, promised a low-end Macintosh and more 
consistency in management, at the annual shareholder's meeting.

Apple's chief told the crowd: "We can build an expectation that
there will be more consistency in how we manage our business,"
and assigned much of the job to newly appointed Michael Spindler, 
chief operating officer. "With Spindler there is a better chance we
can do it with less disruption than in the past."

As Apple faces an imminent decision about layoffs, comes to 
terms with a 10 percent increase in profits compared to the
previously anticipated 20 percent, and copes with an industry-
wide slowdown, the company also seems to be rethinking its
global strategy. Specifically, Apple is facing a battle in
the price arena where competitors include IBM and compatible
companies, whose offerings increasingly have the ease of use
associated with Apple computers but are dropping in price
far faster.

Sculley told shareholders that the firm must note a market 
which is "changing at the lower end." Sculley admitted
that the first-time user market is significant, but disappointed
analysts at a meeting the next day by telling them that a
low-end Mac would not come from the company this fiscal
year, ending September 20, 1990.

Sculley told one reporter that the delay in getting products to
market could not be blamed on engineers, "It isn't
getting engineers to work harder, they work extremely hard as 
it is. It's getting decisions to be made faster, and getting
the integration between manufacturing and what's shipped
in the marketplace and what is happening with the product

Apple is expected to introduce the high-end IIXi Macintosh
next month, but that offering will run in the area of $10,000, 
according to inside reports.

(Wendy Woods/19900202)