NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Two weeks after announcing it would not develop new versions of Quicken for the Macintosh, Intuit Inc. reversed itself Tuesday, saying it is preparing a new Mac version of its popular software program for release in 1999.
Intuit and Apple Computer Inc. made a joint announcement stressing Intuit's commitment to developing the Quicken personal-finance program for the Mac.
The companies said Intuit changed course after Apple disclosed its upcoming consumer products and strategies.
On Wednesday, Apple is expected to provide additional information about its new products, including a new line of PowerBook computers.
Industry analysts said Apple will introduce new Powerbooks designed around its G3 processor with a wide range of options and prices expected to start around $2,250 for the lowest-cost model, and going up to $5,395.
The systems will also include the fastest PowerBook to date, with a 292-megahertz PowerPC chip.
"There could be all sorts of other stuff, too," said Lou Mazzucchelli, an analyst at Gerard Klauer Mattison & Co., adding Apple could also unveil another online store, but one targeted specifically to the education market.
"It would allow teachers and school systems to build to order (Apple products) on the Web," he said. Apple has had some success selling Macintoshes and other products over the Internet at its Apple Online store since November.
"It will stem the defection, certainly," Mazzucchelli said of Apple's declining share of the education market.
A spokesman for Apple declined to comment.
Some analysts speculated Apple may also provide some details on its future consumer products launch, which Apple has only hinted at in the past few weeks.
Apple and Intuit also said they will explore ways to develop new personal-finance opportunities for Macintosh users on the Web through Intuit's Web site, Quicken.com.
Just days after Intuit made its initial statement that it had no plans to develop new versions of Quicken for the Mac, Steve Jobs, Apple's interim chairman, said the companies would make a joint statement regarding a renewed relationship.
Analysts had speculated that Apple would sweeten the deal, perhaps offering Intuit some kind of subsidy to convince the company to continue support of its flagship product for the Mac.
Apple and Intuit will work together to promote the current version, Quicken 98. But the companies said Apple's new consumer-products strategy is what impressed Intuit.
"Now, having seen what Apple is planning for consumer products, we're thrilled to announce renewed support for the Macintosh," said Mark Goines, senior vice president of Intuit's Consumer Division.
Shares of Intuit (INTU) were down 1-1/8 to 52-7/8 while Apple (AAPL) shares gained 5/8 to 29-11/16.