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October 5th, 1999

[4:30 PM] Rebate Program From CompuServe Puts iMac In US$599 Range

In another very significant announcement from Apple today, the company announced that CompuServe had extended its famed rebate program to people purchasing new Apple computers. The rebate program offers a US$400 rebate to Mac buyers who sign up for a three year contract with CompuServe. That rebate places the new 350 MHz iMac model at US$599 after the rebate. According to Apple and CompuServe:

Apple and CompuServe, the value leader in Internet access and subsidiary of America Online, Inc., today announced an extension of the successful retail rebate program designed to make getting online with Apple computers easier and more affordable.

Beginning in November, Apple and CompuServe will introduce the first rebate offer made available to Mac users. Consumers who sign up for CompuServe for the Mac will receive a rebate in connection with the purchase of a Macintosh computer. The rebate applies to Macs purchased at CompUSA and J & R ComputerWorld and are an extension of the ongoing and successful rebate program—available through the holiday shopping season—already in place with these stores.

"AOL and Apple are celebrating a decade of partnership together in which AOL has always been a premium Internet service choice for Mac users. Now CompuServe joins the family. CompuServe's rebate program with Apple marks the first time that Mac users can take advantage of our rebate program, and we are excited to bring new value to consumers who love their Macs and want CompuServe's robust content to help them manage their lives," said Audrey Weil, AOL SVP and General Manager of CompuServe.

"We are glad to be working with CompuServe to make Macs more affordable than ever," said Mitch Mandich, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Sales. "90% of our iMac users join the Internet, so we know the rebate program with CompuServe Internet access will be a real winner among our audience."

We have not yet found a specific URL for Observers to find more information on how to receive the rebate. CompUSA units will be receiving the information shortly, though we expect it to take at least a few days to penetrate through the floor ranks. We will post an update when we have more information.

The Mac Observer Spin: Analysts have been awaiting some form of announcement along these lines for months as Apple took PR hits for not having cheaper units. This agreement between the two companies finally puts Apple on more even footing in the minds of consumers, especially those who may be less savvy to the differences between platforms. If CompUSA pushes this as hard as they have the PC rebates, iMac sales are simply going to explode.

This going to mean a huge fiscal 1st quarter for the company, absolutely huge. Apple's fiscal 1st quarter is the 4th calendar quarter (i.e. the holiday shopping season).

Blue Line Studios



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