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Ex-Wintelers' share of iMac userbase up, claims survey

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The number of iMac converts is booming, a survey by MacHome magazine has claimed. Of the 2400 new iMac owners quizzed, 26 per cent said the iMac was their first Macintosh. A staggering 29 per cent of this group had moved across from Windows or other non-Macintosh operating systems. This compares with Apple figures one month ago, where 12.5 per cent were switching from the Wintel platform (see Apple ships 278,000 iMacs). The survey also revealed that the typical iMac buyer is male, in his 20s with no children, and uses the machine for general home use. 30 per cent of respondents bought their iMac from a local retailer, 29 per cent from CompUSA. A quarter went through the more traditional Apple route of buying from mail order companies. The results follow a continuing downturn in iMac sales. Figures for September were down 50 per cent on August, the month the machine was launched. Last month sales fell again. What is not yet clear is whether the increase in the percentage of Windows converts from 12.5 per cent of buyers to 29 per cent is a sign of increased interest from that community or just a result of the tail-off of dedicated Mac buyers -- nearly a third of a small pie, isn't nearly so satisfying as 12.5 per cent of a much larger pie. The real test for the iMac will be whether sales pick up over the Christmas period, and whether, now the initial marketing campaign is over, the finance plan, offering the machine for $29.99 a month over 67 months, can provide a sustained boost. ®

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