Just a week after Apple Computer Inc. introduced an $899 iMac for the education market, on Wednesday the company stopped selling the discounted computer to individual customers.
As of Wednesday, the 17-inch school-targeted iMac had been pulled from the Apple online store accessible by individuals. However, it remained as one of the three iMac options in the e-store for institutional sales.
The iMac was priced $300 under the next-most expensive model, also a system that boasted a 17-inch LCD screen. The $899 iMac, however, sported a smaller capacity hard drive, and omitted the optical Superdrive and support for Bluetooth.
When it launched the discount computer, Apple touted it in a press release as "available immediately for education customers through the Apple Store for Education." As late as Tuesday, TechWeb had verified that the iMac was for sale to individual K-12 and college teachers, students, and staff members.
Some Apple enthusiast Web sites theorized that the $899 iMac had been cannibalizing sales of the $1,299 and $1,699 17- and 20-inch systems ($1,119 and $1,599, respectively, to teachers and students).
An Apple spokesperson declined to directly reply to TechWeb's question of why the low-priced iMac was yanked from individual customer sales, and would only say that "[It] is not available to individual education customers, it is for institutions only."