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Apple Touts 180,000 .Mac Subscriptions, 80,000 New Members In Two Weeks

Apple Touts 180,000 .Mac Subscriptions, 80,000 New Members In Two Weeks

by , 8:00 AM EDT, October 2nd, 2002

Apple announced yesterday that 180,000 people have subscribed to .Mac, the formerly free service known as iTools. Apple announced at MACWORLD New York that iTools would be turned into a new service called .Mac that would require a US$99.95 yearly subscription. A deadline of September 30th was set for this conversion, after which iTools would be terminated. Apple also immediately began adding new features to .Mac, and offered existing iTools members a discount price of US$49.95 for the first year.

Apple announced on September 17th, two weeks ago, that some 100,000 .Mac subscriptions had been sold. This means that the company almost doubled its subscriber base in the last 14 days. Apple is reportedly working on getting at least a 10% conversion rate for the 2.1 million iTools accounts that it boasted, and a two week extension to October 14th for US$49.95 conversion accounts will help the company work towards that goal.

Apple's 4th fiscal quarter ended on Monday, September 30th. Apple has been working to meet break even projections during the quarter. Apple should be able to claim all 180,000 subscriptions during the September quarter, which amounts to approximately US$8,991,000, assuming all of the accounts are .Mac conversions, added to the bottom line. With most of the development costs for .Mac written off long ago under iTools, that means that a good portion of that money will be reflected as profit.

Apple's press release:

Apple® today announced that more than 180,000 Mac® users have subscribed to Apple's .Mac suite of Internet services since it was launched in July.

"The launch of .Mac has been a phenomenal success," said Sina Tamaddon, Apple's senior vice president of Applications. "And now we're adding iSync support in .Mac, enabling users to synchronize their calendars and address books across multiple Macs connected to the Internet."

.Mac includes 100MB of Internet storage, seamlessly integrated into the Mac® OS X Finder™; Internet hosting for personalized homepages, iPhoto™ digital photo albums and iCal calendars; e-mail service with IMAP, POP and web-based access; and anti-virus and backup software.

.Mac is a subscription-based service priced at US$99.95 (US) per year. New Macintosh® customers can sign up for a free, 60-day .Mac trial at www.mac.com. .Mac is available through the Apple Store®, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

.Mac requires Mac OS X version 10.1.3 or later, 128MB SDRAM, internal CD-RW or DVD-R drive (to create CD or DVD backups), and Netscape 4.7 or Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later. Some features, such as Slides, Backup v.1.2 and iCal, require Mac OS X version 10.2 "Jaguar." The Virex anti-virus software, Mac.com e-mail, iDisk, HomePage and iCards features of .Mac can also be accessed using Mac OS 9.

You can find more about .Mac at Apple's Web site.

The Mac Observer Spin:

.Mac's detractors have pointed to the low conversion rate as an indication that the service was a failure. Our take is that there were lots of iTools members waiting until the last minute to convert, and this announcement from Apple reinforces that idea. The company has found almost US$9 million in new revenue at a time when it is needed. Measure the conversion rate in any way you want, but the revenue can not be denied.

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