Apple sees early success for iMac

But it needs to sustain high order rates if the product's to be a winner

Apple's gamble on customers being ready to buy machines that look different appears to be working so far - the company yesterday said it had received over 150,000 orders for its new iMac in the past week. The all-in-one semi-translucent machine is due to ship on Saturday, and although its $1,299 price tag doesn't reach the sub-$1,000 prices in the PC killing zone, it's Apple's first attempt to start building mass sales again as part of its turnaround strategy. The iMac will benefit from early-adopting nostalgia freaks, as it recalls the original one-piece Macs, but beyond that it needs to pick up new customers as well. An early ordering kick was to be expected, but the key will be the extent to which Apple can maintain high sales levels in the weeks to come.

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