Best Buy, anointed last October as one of three exclusive national retailers for Apple, has no iMacs for sale. The Eden Prairie, Minn., retailer has virtually none of Apple's discontinued, Bondi-blue original models available for purchase. And more than a month after Apple shipped its five new iMac flavors, Best Buy has yet to stock any of them.
Apple Computer confirmed that Best Buy-one of three national retailers, in addition to CompUSA and Micro Center-lacks iMacs. "They don't have the new iMacs yet, but they're working on a launch plan," a spokeswoman said. Sources close to Best Buy say the retailer is not currently equipped to showcase all five of Apple's recently released iMac flavors-strawberry, blueberry, grape, tangerine and lime-in its 300 stores.
Best Buy is reportedly expecting to have the new models in stock by May. The new iMacs shipped in mid January.
Didn't take the folks at AST Computers long to come out with a new line of desktops and notebooks. Along with hitting the street running with Pentium III-based systems, the new Bravo desktops feature a DVD movie playback system, enhanced graphics, audio and speech-recognition capabilities. Pricing for Pentium III-based desktop systems starts at $2,099, while a new line of notebooks starts at $999.
The systems will be available directly via AST's Web site (www.ast.com), or through a toll-free tele-sales effort.
Guio Barela, a former Tandy vice president who left to launch ICXpress, recently left a subsequent position he took at Insight to join Multiple Zones as senior vice president, corporate development.
Jay Kerutis, vice president of Merisel's retail division, left the company last week to join Digital River as vice president of sales.
Levin Consulting named three of its top consultants vice presidents: Ron Crocco, Michael Flink and Jeff Morgan.
Is Intel becoming fashionable? At the Intel Developers Conference in Palm Springs, Calif., last week, executives held the first-ever PC fashion show to highlight more desirable PC designs. Intel showed off one orange pyramid design that it previewed last year. There were also round-shaped computers, tower-shaped systems and several with flat screens. "Why have components when you can turn them into a beautiful bouquet?" inquired Pat Gelsinger, vice president and general manager of Intel's desktop products group. On the mobile side, Intel offered details on a new technology it said will allow mobile CPUs to reach clock speeds of 600MHz by year's end.
See that muscular fellow taking the bull by the horns on page one of this week's issue? Looks to us like the same dashing figure you missed at Retail XChange last month. Haven't figured out his identity? We promise to name him, and the writer of this beloved column, in our next issue.