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January 10th, 2000

[11:00 AM] MACWORLD Expo Wrap-up: Iomega Joins the FireWire Crowd
by John Braun

We were able to spend some time at the Iomega booth and get some details on their upcoming FireWire offerings. Two of their flagship products will be offering FireWire support some time in Q2 2000. FireWire connectivity will be provided in a slightly different manner from some FireWire offerings. The company will be offering adapters that work with their current Zip and Jaz product versions.

The company will be releasing an adapter for their Zip 250 drive later this year. Throughput of the current product is around 0.9 MB/sec, but a company spokesperson told The Mac Observer that throughput with the $99 adapter will be 2 to 3 times that. A specific release date is not available, but the company is shooting for some time in the second quarter.

Similarly, Iomega will be offering another adapter for their Jaz drive. Expected throughput with this adapter, also priced at $99, will approach 5 to 8 MB/sec.

The Mac Observer Spin: As mentioned in a related article nearly every storage peripheral vendor has or will be offering FireWire support. This push from the Mac market should help FireWire acceptance for all platforms, as it did for USB.

Iomega's approach allows them to be more conservative in their entry to the FireWire market. It also allows for owners of some legacy Iomega products to migrate to FireWire without having to buy entirely new units. The other side of that coin is that each FireWire adapter adds a full US$99 to the cost of each product, so this is definitely a mixed blessing. We expect Iomega to eventually offer full FireWire versions of their products, but we think they are trying to gauge the success of FireWire before jumping into it.

For those who were not able to attend MACWORLD, the company had a great booth complete with a Beatnik Jazz band and plenty of models in berets and turtlenecks. They put on a good show.

Iomega - MACWORLD Expo SF Special Report

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