|We received word from an anonymous Observer who received information from an Apple rep saying that Apple was canceling the LaserWriter 8500, their sole remaining Laser printer offering.
Our Observer asked for us not to quote from the letter or reveal their name, but it includes a letter from an Apple rep suggesting that a customer look to third parties for future Laser printer needs. The letter also says that Apple may return to the Laser printer business in the future, though the LaserWriter 8500 would not likely be a part of that return.
We are awaiting word from Apple confirming or denying this information.
[Updated 3:15 PM] We have received word from an Apple spokesperson on this. Nathalie Welch, Products and Platform PR Spokesperson wrote us with the following:
Apple PR does not comment on rumors and speculation so I can't confirm or deny your reader's statement about the LaserWriter 8500.
But as a bit of background, Apple has been pretty much out of the printer business for more than a year now. Instead of spending resources to produce Apple-branded printers, we work with leaders in the printing industry to ensure great new printer products work flawlessly with the Macintosh platform.
As for the LaserWriter 8500, we reserve the right to offer Macintosh customers printers with unique characteristics not readily available via 3rd parties.
The Mac Observer Spin: This is actually not a bad move for Apple. Apple's line of Laser printers have been very successful, but there are other companies out there who are in a better position to provide laser printers for Macs. If this does turn out to be a reliable report, watch for an announcement from Apple and another company like Hewlett Packard involving Mac Laser printers. This is a fantastic opportunity for Apple to let the rest of the industry fill in this important sector for Mac users.
The bottom line is that with the P1 coming out soon to round out Apple's product line, they don't really need to be in the printer business.
[Updated 3:15 PM] Ms. Welch's response pretty much falls in line with what we are saying. Apple just doesn't need to be in the printer business. Thanks for your help Ms. Welch!