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On The Flip Side
by Michael Munger

Future Power's iMac Rip-off Analyzed By Michael Munger
July 12th, 1999

At the recent PC Expo, a company called Future Power had the balls to release a computer based on the iMac. They named it the E-Power. Apple has filed a lawsuit against the company though Future Power denies any illegal move.

Hello? Anybody with at least one functioning eye can see that Future Power's designers must have had the original iMac plans on the drawing board next to them while conceiving the E-Power!

Seriously, does someone at Future Power actually think they are fooling anybody out here in the real world? The curves are the same, the size is the same, the concept is the same, the features are at least very similar (built-in Ethernet which is not common on PCs, a 56K modem, etc.), heck, they even have five "gemstone" colors! Perhaps they think that calling Blueberry "Sapphire" will throw us all off track. All of these aspects are nothing more than bad copies of Apple's iMac features. Just look at the keyboard and you will see how similar it is to the iMac's.

Not only did they copy the industrial design, but the "Internet ready" expression used and the lower specs for consumers (Celeron processor, not Pentium III) show how original this product is. Even the name is not creative. E-Power, iMac...

I told you so! I predicted that this would happen. On May 4, I authored an editorial titled "How Long Before The iPC?" and I stated:

PC makers hate to see Apple stealing their customers with innovation. They cannot stand it, and it will not take too long before they produce a replica of the iMac. Will they name it the iPC?

Ok, I was wrong... They named it the E-Power...

The outcome is clear. Future Power does not have the right to sell this new machine, and Apple cannot lose its lawsuit. Once again Apple has shown that the PC industry is no good at creating, but skilled enough to copy, follow like a sheep, and rip Apple off.

It is sad to witness such events. Don't you want to have clean competition from your opponents? Wouldn't it be great to find one day that PC clone makers can come up with their own brilliant innovations? I would have much more respect for them if they could break out of their chains and conceive gems just as Apple does.

Unfortunately, creativity and the PC platform have nothing in common.

Blueberry iMac
"Sapphire" E-Power

Your comments are welcomed.

Michael Munger is a French Canadian living in Montreal. He discovered the Mac in 1994 while studying journalism, the profession he loves and practices. He also studied history and communications. In addition to his work at The Mac Observer, he authors the iBasics tutorial column at Low End Mac, and cofounded MacSoldiers in 1998.

You can find more about him at his personal Web site.

You are welcome to send me your comments or you can post them below.

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