byDan Lurie||July 14th 2006 at 9:00amJuly 14th 2006 9:00 am
A little more than a week since Apple began offering a rock-bottom priced iMac configuration targeted at educational customers, the company has stopped offering the machine to anyone other than institutional buyers. The $900 replacement for the eMac differed from the baseline consumer model only in its loss of superdrive, dedicated graphics, bluetooth, and Front Row caused a big stir with students heading back to school this fall.
Rumor in the ether is that this is par-for-the-course for an education product release. The cycle goes like this: Product is announced >> lots of people get excited and order it >> Apple realizes that if they keep getting orders at the current pace, they won't be able to supply the institutional buyers who they originally targeted >> Apple pulls product from mainstream consumer stores >> ...time passes... >> the educational buying season ends >> Apple allows us regular people to place orders again.