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iMac tops superstore sales third month running

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Apple's iMac has notched its third consecutive month as the top-selling desktop PC in US computer superstores, according to ZD Market Intelligence (ZDMI). ZDMI's numbers show that the iMac, launched in the States on 17 August, propelled Apple's marketshare from under two per cent to over six per cent. That figure fell to below five per cent throughout September and October. October marks the third full month that the iMac topped superstore sales, coming in ahead of much cheaper Wintel machines, some as low as $699, almost half the price of the $1299 Apple box. Still, sales have been falling off. Across the US channels, iMac sales were 50 per cent down in September on their August total, said ZDMI. And sales slipped further last month (see Apple targets low-income families as iMac sales decline). That prompted Apple to launch a hire-purchase scheme since replicated in the UK. The effect of the programme, in either the US or the UK, has yet to be revealed through research. Numbers for November and December will be essential to measure not only the long-term success of the iMac but in many ways of Apple itself, at least as a major IT player. ZDMI analyst Matt Sargeant said the latest figures show Apple moving into the Christmas sales period from a reasonably strong position, thanks to the iMac's ability to attract buyers who in the past have turned awat from Apple because of the high price differential over equivalent-specced Wintel machines. ®

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