Apple Lowers Price On iMac, Adds DVD/SuperDrive Options To eMacs, Same Processors

Apple has announced several changes to its consumer desktop line, including both the iMac and eMac products. Apple has added a Combo Drive to its low-end eMac, bringing DVD playback options to the US$1099 model. The company has also introduced a new SuperDrive option for US$1499 to the eMac line, which is also a first for the eMac family.

In the same press release, Apple lowered the price of the low-end and mid-range iMacs back to the same price as when they were introduced. The CD-RW unit is now priced at US$1299, while the mid-range combo drive is priced at US$1499. All three 15" iMac units are once again priced at their introductory prices, as Apple lowered the price of the SuperDrive model at MACWORLD New York. Apple raised the price of the iMac line earlier this year due to rising component prices. Those component prices have largely fallen in recent weeks.

There are no changes in the processor for any of the iMac or eMac models. The price changes in the iMac line are reflected immediately at the Apple Store. The new DVD options are also reflected at the Apple Store, but the company says that those units wonit ship until later this week, for the Combo Drive, and at the end of August, for the SuperDrive model. Appleis press release:

Continuing to offer the industryis best digital lifestyle computers, Apple® today enhanced its popular eMac and iMac® lines for home and schools. eMac, the most affordable G4-based computer ever, now comes in two models: one featuring a Combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive for $1,099 (US), the same price as the prior CD-RW equipped model; and one featuring Appleis SuperDrive for burning DVDs and CDs for just $1,499 (US), the industryis lowest price for a computer with DVD-burning capability. Making its popular flat-panel iMac even more affordable, Apple is also lowering the prices of the CD-RW and the Combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW models $100 (US) each, to $1,299 (US) and $1,499 (US) respectively.

"Now, for the first time, users can burn their own custom DVDs on an under-$1,500 computer," said Steve Jobs, Appleis CEO. "Our amazing SuperDrive and award-winning iMovie and iDVD applications ushered in the era of personal DVD burning, and this groundbreaking low price point will further reinforce Appleis lead in this rapidly-growing market segment."

At $1,499 (US), the new SuperDrive-equipped eMac model is the industryis lowest cost way to author and burn custom DVDs that play in most consumer DVD players. Appleis award-winning iMovie and iDVD applications come pre-installed on the new eMac, enabling users to edit their video and create and burn their own custom DVDs.

In addition to being the most affordable PowerPC G4 system ever, the popular eMac features a stunning 17-inch flat CRT in a remarkably compact design that is 8 mm less deep than the original 15-inch iMac. The innovative flat-panel iMac features a stunning 17-inch widescreen or 15-inch flat screen LCD that appears to float in mid-air, allowing users to effortlessly adjust its height or angle with just a touch.

Both iMac and eMac offer 700 MHz and 800 MHz PowerPC G4 processors with Velocity Engine and include Appleis industry-leading suite of digital lifestyle applications including iPhoto for managing and sharing digital photographs, iMovie for creating digital movies and iTunes for creating a digital music library. Models with the SuperDrive include Appleis iDVD software. With five USB ports and two FireWire ports, both iMac and eMac offer easy plug-and-play connections to popular peripherals such as digital video camcorders, digital still cameras, printers and scanners.

These price changes are currently reflected at the Apple Store. You can find more information on the iMac and eMac line at Appleis Web site.