Speculation rose last week that Apple will pitch itself against PC manufacturers, with sources at the company tipping the launch of an IBM compatible machine in the next six weeks.
Officials at the company have cloaked the project in mystery, but a representative said that plans were in progress to introduce more IBM compatible products.
'Compatibility is a very important part of Apple's message,' he said. 'We have plans for compatible products but they are all based round the Power PC reference platform.' Charles Smulders, an analyst at Dataquest UK, said compatibility depended on whether it would be a machine running the 32-bit Windows NT operating system.
'In the current framework it doesn't sound compatible with a significant proportion of the installed base. Two years down the line, that (Windows NT) becomes more relevant. If they are using their own interface that's not compatible.' David Hemming, managing director of non-Intel company Panther Computers, said: 'They have got to do something. We know Apple is in trouble with their balance sheet and something like this is almost inevitable.' He said that Texas Instruments, NEC and Motorola were all preparing to manufacture 32-bit processors in 1997 as part of the push to NT. 'I wouldn't be surprised if Motorola was encouraging Apple.'
Phil Spivey, Motorola UK and Eire country manager, said he was unaware of the plans. 'We are close at various levels, but at the sales level we compete. It is at the much higher levels that we work very much closer together.'
- Apple will release a PCI version of its IBM card using the Pentium chip shortly.
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