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Apple apes Swatch as iMac ships in multiple colours

Consumers more interested in shades than CPU cycles, claims Jobs

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As iMac sales passed the 800,000 mark, Apple announced the latest revision of the consumer computer, increasing its spec, lowering its price and introducing a range of new colours. The new version, which began shipping in the US today, sports a 266MHz PowerPC 750 (aka G3) processor, up from 233MHz, and a 6GB hard drive (up from 4GB). The price falls from $1299 to $1199 -- earlier iMacs fall to $1049. The iMac will continue to be available with its distinctive translucent blue casing, but buyers will now be also able to choose from purple, green, orange and red -- though Apple names them after fruit to allow them to be trademarked and thus forcing peripherals manufacturers to pay the Mac maker to use them. Apple interim CEO Steve Jobs suggested keen iMacs fans might like to consider collecting the entire set. Actually, not long after taking up his current position, Jobs did say he would like Apple to become in some ways the IT equivalent of trendy watch manufacturer Swatch, so it seems he's had his way at last. Jobs also claimed this approach to computer design would "take consumer computing to a whole new level". However, The Register would like to remind readers that ICL offered a line of coloured Wintel boxes back in the late 80s. To be fair, these were bog-standard PCs sprayed red, blue or green, and so not quite a swish as the iMac, but the principle's the same. Speaking at the MacWorld Expo keynote in San Francisco, Jobs unveiled the latest iMac buyer statistics, taken last month, which showed that the structure of the market for the computer has changed little since its introduction. While the percentage of first-time computer buyers and Wintel users migrating to the Mac did increase, from 29 to 32 per cent and from 12 per cent to 13 per cent, respectively, that still leaves the combined total of existing Mac customers at 55 per cent. ®

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