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Apple shipped 278,000 iMacs in the first six weeks of the machine's availability, interim CEO Steve Jobs claimed today after announcing the company's Q4 resultsmaking the consumer computer the fastest selling Mac in company's history. At the same time, Jobs revealed the results of a survey of 1900 iMac buyers. The stats suggest 29 per cent of iMac customers are first-time PC buyers, while 12.5 per cent were moving across from the Wintel platform. The rest were existing Mac owners. While the company still has a long way to go to regain its former glories of the Mac II era and, later, the Power Mac launch (though it has about as much chance of reliving the halcyon days of the Apple II as NT 5.0 shipping bug-free first time out) the iMac stats are encouraging. High sales among existing users was to be expected, but increasing your user base by 114,000 is no bad thing, especially when 34,750 of them have passed on a new Packard Bell or Compaq. Still, the company is going to have its work cut out maintaining that figure over the christmas period, a time when sales become slightly more skewed toward Little Johnny's desire for a shit-hot Quake II machine than the more mature Internet interest that has presumably driven iMac sales. It's also interesting that Apple hasn't talked much about sales of its Power Mac and PowerBook systems, suggesting there's not much to write home about here. In fact, knock off the 278,000 iMacs sold in six weeks from the total number of units Apple shipped in the entire quarter and you end up with a figure (556,000) well below the 635,000 units it shipped in Q1. Difficulty building enough PowerBooks will undoubtedly have hit the company hard here, but it's perhaps telling that a stack of speed-bumped Power Macs doesn't seem to have helped much. ® Click for more stories

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