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Apple drops iMac pricing restrictions

Resellers win right to charge what they like for consumer Mac

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Apple is understood to have ended the restrictions is places on the prices US retailers can charge for iMacs. According to US newswire TechWeb, citing a source at MacWorld Expo in San Francisco, Apple has lifted its Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) scheme, allowing retailers to charge whatever they like for the consumer computer. The MAP restrictions recently came under fire from Apple dealers after US retail chain Best Buy began pricing the iMac at $999, $300 below Apple's recommended retail price of $1299. Best Buy soon put the price up to $1099, but it was believed to be losing money on each sale even then. However, the precedent was set, and Apple clearly has had to back down from its attempts to get the likes of Best Buy to push prices back to the recommended level (and margins are tight enough at that price point). Still, with the new, 'Revision C' iMacs launched this week coming in at $1199 (£799 exc. VAT in the UK), there's likely to be plenty of older machines in the channel which dealers are going to have to get rid of, and the ending of the MAP restrictions should help them do so. However, whether that will help Apple UK clear the heap of unsold Revision A iMacs believed to be sitting unclaimed at its Cork factory will remain to be seen. ®

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