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Notes: eMacs, iChat video, mini iPods and revised retail bonuses

eMacs
Following last week's blurb on eMac price reductions, sources with ties to Apple claim that company does not have plans to refresh it's eMac product-line until at least April.

iChat Video Technology
Earlier this month, Apple released iChat 2.1 public beta, which supports video-conferencing with the new AOL Instant Messenger 5.5 for Windows. Meanwhile, AppleInsider has learned that certain members of Apple's QuickTime development team have been repositioned to work on iChat.

According to reports, the iChat development team is hard at work on a new 'video related' technology that has yet to be announced or previewed. Previously, independent sources cited the internal testing of an 'AppleCare Video' service aimed at improving the company's customer services.

Revised Apple bonus last quarter
Issues stemming from Apple retail store holiday bonus policy, which have been made public over the last week, appear to be more controversial than than previously suspected. A second followup to the conflict is planned for the immediate future.

In the meantime, Apple retail sources have shed some light on the reasoning behind last quarter's 'revised bonus' program, briefly mentioned in last week's article. "The reason for the revised goals that allowed more stores to get bonuses was because of low inventory on some items, causing loss of some sales," one source said.

The retail CPU goal for each store was reportedly dropped to 95% of the original goal, mostly due to short supply of the 15-inch Power Book G4, while iPod sales-goal was lowered to 90% of its original target as a result of the much publicized world-wide iPod shortage during the holiday quarter.

"Those revised goals allowed more stores to get the bonus," one Apple retail employee said. "Some of us think this need for a fair lowering of the goal and raise in the number of people getting a bonus resulted in the bonus pool being spread more thin than it was supposed to originally be, and allowed Apple to capitalize on the cloudy language of the original memo, and give us all a lower bonus."

Official iPod mini launch on Friday
According to reliable sources, it appears that Apple will officially roll-out the iPod mini at 6 pm on Friday at all Apple-owned retail locations. Stock of the iPod miniatures will begin to roll into locations this week, but the outlets have been restricted from selling the product before the official launch time.