CUPERTINO, Calif. -- Apple Computer Inc. rolled out Monday its Macintosh TV device, combining an Apple Macintosh personal computer, television and CD-ROM stereo system into one compact unit.
Apple said it would sell the system for $2,079 and target users at home and in higher education institutions.
The company said the Macintosh TV reduces both the cost and space requirements if the TV, computer and CD-ROM player were bought separately and underscored its business strategy to reach new users in the home and education markets.
The Macintosh TV includes a cable-ready 14-inch color TV and double- speed audio CD player. It can be hooked up with a videocassette recorder, a camcorder, laserdisc player or video game player.
'The computer industry and the consumer electronics market are converging, and Apple is at the forefront of this transition,' said Brodie Keast, director of product marketing for the Apple personal computer division. 'With Macintosh TV, Apple extends its popular all- in-one computer design with new media capabilities that create a whole new category of computing and entertainment devices.'
Apple has been trying to carve out a niche in the lucrative consumer electronics field. It has sold about 50,000 of its Newton MessagePad, its foray into the field, in less than three months.
Apple has been scrambling to adjust to the brutal price competition in its core computer business. It announced last week a new series of deep cuts in its Macintosh lines and simplification of product lines.
The price cuts, which range to as high as 35 percent, are designed to keep customers from delaying purchases of Apple PCs until the company begins rolling out an advanced line of machines next spring, powered by the PowerPC microporcessor being developed by Apple, International Business Machines Corp. and Motorola Inc.
Apple's cuts were the latest in a series designed to pump up sales of its flagship Macintosh line. Those cuts have eroded its profit margins.
Apple reported last week a slim profit of $2.7 million for its fourth quarter ended Sept. 24 on sales of $2.14 billion. The results were slightly better than expected.
Analysts are uncertain about Apple's future and whether new ventures such as the much-hyped Newton MessagePad will succeed in moving Apple back into solid profitability.