New iMac: Modem Optional

Appleis new iMac lineup now ships without a built-in modem, just like its big brother, the Power Mac G5. Instead, Apple is selling an external USB modem for users that need dial-up Internet and fax connections.

Odds are, Apple chose to eliminate the modem because more and more consumers are using broadband Internet connections. Apple did a similar thing by removing the floppy disk drive when the iMac was introduced, since fewer and fewer users needed them.

The Apple USB Modem is molded out of the same white plastic as the iMac. It supports speeds up to 56kbps, faxing at 14.4 kbps, caller ID, wake on ring, telephone answering and modem on hold, and retails for US$49.