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iMac top-selling PC in US

Number one retail seller in November pushes Apple marketshare to ten per cent -- but can it last?

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Apple's iMac was the top-selling desktop computer in the US retail and mail-order channels in November, research from PC Data has found. The consumer-oriented computer notched up a marketshare of 7.1 per cent by volume and 8.2 per cent by sales. Those figures pushed Apple's overall marketshare to ten per cent, twice what it was then the iMac was launched back in August. PC Data's numbers suggest Apple has been able to extend the iMac's initial sales momentum into the holiday season, thanks to clever marketing techniques, such as offering iMacs through a three-year hire-purchase scheme. However, the decision of US chain Best Buy to drop the price of the iMac from $1299 to $1099 has raised some concerns that sales may be tailing off this month. And in the Christmas buying period, that would be bad news for Apple. Here in the UK, prices appear to be sticking to the £999 launch price point. That said, reports in the US media suggest that this price reduction isn't being matched by other retailers, and that it's largely down to the very large volumes of iMacs Best Buy ordered when it signed up to sell the machine. Best Buy's rival, CompUSA, hasn't discounted the computer's price tag, but instead chosen to bundle more hardware and software, which is tantamount to the same thing. Price cuts are on the cards anyway, as Apple prepares faster versions of the iMac and possibly even an alternative version of the computer aimed at mainstream business buyers. Certainly, Apple interim CEO Steve Jobs recently said he wants the iMac to compete with sub-$800 machines, and will ultimately bring down prices to around $100 above the baseline for similarly specced Windows machines (see Apple set to cut iMac prices year on year, claims Jobs). ®

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