Apple Moves Into Consumer Markets; Announces PowerPC Toaster
CUPERTINO--June 9, 1995--Encouraged by support for its use of retail channels to sell its hardware, Apple today announced a broad set of plans to enter other home markets previously dominated by department- store giants such as Sears and Walmart.
Apple's newest addition to the Macintosh line, the Macintosh Toaster©, is its first offering in this new arena. It's a PowerPC© 601-based system running at 120 Mhz and sporting an 500-megabyte hard drive, a PCI bus, and two slots for bread. It is rated at eight slices per minute -- four times as fast as conventional toasters.
"We're really pushing to make Macintosh technology pervasive in the home," says Michael Spindler, Apple president and CEO. "The toaster seems like a great place to start. After all, everybody has one, toaster technology really could use a boost, and everyone thinks the Performa* looks like a toaster anyway."
In a revolutionary step for a computer company, Apple also plans to provide a peripheral food processor attachment for the system. "Now users will be able to combine the power of word processing with a handy device that can blend milkshakes and dice onions with ease," adds Spindler. A software enabler shipped with the product will allow users to mince their words.
Two new advertising campaigns, "The Toaster For The Best Of Us" and "The Power to Toast Your Best", are already underway. The products are scheduled to ship next month, but due to the high demand expected for them, insiders say that orders probably won't be filled until sometime after the year 2000.
A competitor, NuCook, is already planning to market a clone of the MacToaster*. It will be compatible with the same kinds of bread, but will also come with a wok and a detachable set of Ginsu knives. "We're not worried about that at all," states Mike "Ro" Soft, project leader for the MacToaster*. "If their toast comes out looking anything like our toast, we'll sue their pants off."
If this initial offering proves popular, Apple intends to introduce a vacuum cleaner and a dishwasher, both based on Apple's popular graphical user interface. Spindler refused to confirm or deny rumors that plans are in the works to port this interface to Pentium-based Sears Kenmore brand appliances.