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Apple clubs Cube

Ends production indefinitely... maybe

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Apple has canned the Power Mac Cube, the company finally admitted today.

The 8in square computer was launched less than a year ago.

In a terse statement, Apple certainly said it has decided to "suspend production of the Power Mac G4 Cube indefinitely".

But the company also said that there is a "small chance" that it will ship an "upgraded model" at some point in the future.

We'd be surprised if it ever does. Apple's comment smacks of a company desperately trying to spin news of the decision so it doesn't sound like an admission of failure.

'Failure' is not too harsh a word. We're rather fond of the Cube, but a design flaw in the power switch mechanism, what seemed to many observers like crakcs in the plastic moulding - more of an aesthetic issue this than a real problem - and the difficulty Apple had selling it against the cheaper iMac and the more powerful and more expandable Power Mac minitower doomed the machine from the start.

A shame, perhaps, given the Cube's leading edge design and aesthetics (at last, a computer that doesn't look like a computer).

Hints that the Cube was not long for this world emerged last month when numerous Apple resellers claimed the product was in very short supply. That it was unlikely to be updated followed from not only very poor sales but, ultimately, because the Cube's bad reception persuaded Apple to disband the computer's design team.

Still at least Apple's decision has ensured Cube owners have a profitably future flogging their 'limited edition' computers to willing buyers for huge sums on eBay. ®

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