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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • [MACWORLD Expo/Tokyo] Color Is Important Factor for Consumer Market: Apple VP
  • February 23, 1999 (TOKYO) -- Nikkei Personal Computing magazine interviewed Phil Schiller, vice president of worldwide product marketing at Apple Computer Inc., about the U.S. company's strategies for the consumer market.
    Schiller visited Japan in conjunction with the MACWORLD Expo/Tokyo '99 held at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba prefecture, near Tokyo.

    Nikkei PC: Is there any possibility that the iMac will have more color variations?

    Schiller: We do not have any concrete plans at this moment. We understand that the iMac should have more variations in color than in specifications as a consumer product. There is a possibility that it will have more color variations to differentiate it from other products in the future.

    Nikkei PC: Does that mean portable models scheduled to be put on the consumer market in the future may have color variations too?

    Schiller: I hope so. The color variations are important on such PCs, not because they are "portable" but because they are "personal." It is quite natural that everyone cares about the shape and color of his or her house or furniture.

    Nikkei PC: Japanese users hoped that a portable model would be made public in Steve Jobs' lecture on underlying strategies. Will that happen?

    Schiller: As we have already announced, a portable model for consumers will be introduced after the middle of this year.

    Nikkei PC: Could you tell us about the transition to modern I/O, such as universal serial bus (USB) and FireWire (IEEE1394)?

    Schiller: They are right on schedule. Developers supporting us are increasing in number. The iMac helped spread the USB in the last half of 1998. We want to promote the spread of FireWire (IEEE1394) by introducing the Power Macintosh G3 series this year.

    Nikkei PC: What is the purpose for establishing the consortium on patents related to FireWire announced the other day?

    Schiller: It has been necessary for peripheral manufacturers to conclude an agreement with each of the patented manufacturers in order to adopt FireWire. The consortium is designed to promote the spread of FireWire through the centralized unit.

    Nikkei PC: Neither Intel Corp. nor Microsoft Corp. of the United States participated in the consortium. Do you think that FireWire will be a defacto standard without their support?

    Schiller: FireWire is already a defacto standard. Whether or not PC manufacturers adopt it does matter. Sony Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp. already introduced PCs equipped with FireWire as standard specifications.

    Microsoft is also associated with FireWire in various forms. Everyone in any industry will tell you that FireWire is the defacto interface.

    Nikkei PC: What are your plans for application software other than hardware and the operating system?

    Schiller: We have already developed various application software programs, including a DVD player in addition to QuickTime and AppleWorks (ClarisWorks in Japan). AppleWorks has the largest share in the educational market, both for Macintosh and Windows versions.

    Nikkei PC: But in Japan, ClarisWorks is available in version 4.0, which is older than the English version, and Claris Draw is not yet scheduled to be upgraded.

    Schiller: The Japanese edition of ClarisWorks version 5.0 is being developed. We are reviewing other Claris products on the basis of their marketability, and will decide whether we will continue making efforts to develop new versions.

    Related stories:
    Most Japanese iMac Buyers are New Mac Users, Jobs Says
    Apple, Sony, Others Agree on Licensing for IEEE1394 Patents

    (Nikkei Personal Computing)

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    Updated: Mon Feb 22 21:11:14 1999 PDT