Apple Denies Major G5 iMac Push at iPod Users

PARIS, FRANCE - Despite Appleis efforts to show the fine lines and design traits between the iPod and the new iMac G5, Apple executives are denying any official marketing campaign is afoot to entice iPod users to buy the new slim line Mac.

In announcing the new iMac G5 Tuesday, Apple touted the similarities in style and design between the two products. "From the creators of iPod. The new iMac G5," Appleis homepage said, showing side views of the iPod and iMac. While it appears on the surface that Apple is hoping its cross-platform success of the iPod will result in converting Windows users, a company executive told The Mac Observer it is not what it appears to be.

"We think itis incredibly obvious what the traits are between the two products," said Tom Boger, Appleis director of worldwide product marketing. "They both have similar traits of elegance and simplicity. Weire simply pointing out that the inspirations that lead to the iPod are the same inspirations we used to create the new iMac."

Mr. Boger said there is not a major marketing campaign in the works to go after iPod users using Windows PCs to get them to buy the G5 iMac, but that "we certainly wonit turn down their business."

Mr. Boger emphasized that Apple products have always had a higher standard of design and functionality than Windows PCs, and that there is nothing wrong in playing up that fact.

While denying the marketing tie-in is a way to sell the iMac G5 to iPod users, a number of marketing tools from Apple clearly reference the similarities. Appleis promotional video for the new iMac is full of iPod references and moves through subliminal shots of both products comparing their look. One video shot fades from the fourth-generation iPodis click wheel into the power cord ring of the new iMac.

In addition to its home page, Appleis Web site also has various references to the two products, including one that reads, "What if you could fit your whole life -- all your music, all your photos, all your movies, all your e-mail -- in a computer as fun and useful as an iPod? Now you can. Introducing the futuristic iMac G5 in 17- and 20-inch widescreen models."

Banners in Appleis booth at Paris Expo also show the two products side-by-side.

Despite a denial to product ties, industry watchers apparently donit believe Apple. "Itis no accident," Stephen Baker, an analyst with NPD Group Inc. told The Washington Post "This is a case of the tail wagging the dog -- sales of the iMac are being driven by the iPod."