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Apple offers cash for Cubes

Rebate to be used to tempt buyers

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Apple is to offer US buyers $300 cash-back in an attempt to beef up sales of its poor-selling Power Mac G4 Cube, Mac retailers have claimed.

The $300 deal, describe by resellers cited in a Cnet report, will be used to entice customers who want to buy a Cube along with an Apple monitor. If they choose Apple's bottom-of-the-range 17in CRT display, the rebate covers much of the $499 cost of the screen.

The cost of the Cube - $1799 without a display - has been cited as the main reason why buyers tempted by the computer's unique styling have decided not to put down their credit cards.

Indeed, Apple cited lower-than-expected Cube sales as one of the key reasons for its anticipated 30 per cent drop in profits for the quarter, Apple's fourth of fiscal 2000, ended 30 September.

And the company has also had to face down claims the Cube's plastic casing contains cracks. Apple maintains they are no such thing - the marks are 'mould lines', it says. It's almost certainly right, but once you're aware of them, the marks do detract from the Cube's otherwise clean lines.

Apple is no stranger to the use of rebates to encourage sales. It recently offered rebates to shift some of its older PowerBook models, and the Mac maker is believed to be planning to extend that with a $200 rebate on current PowerBooks. That is expected to clear the shelves and so pave the way for upgraded models. ®

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