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iMac sales return to launch peak

Apple takes of advantage of pre-PIII Wintel slowdown

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iMac sales shot back up to their original level in January, according to the latest figures from research agency ZD Market Intelligence (ZDMI). ZDMI's figures derive from a survey of US retail outlets. They show that the iMac accounted for 6.6 per cent of retail PC sales in January. That's exactly the same share the consumer computer achieved in its first month, August 1998. That compares with around two per cent for the previous two months. In September, with the Mac enthusiast demand sated, Apple's retail share dropped to 4.4 per cent. Since then the figure has grown slightly but was clearly reaching a plateaux of around 5.3 per cent by last December. The sudden hike in January, almost certainly due to the introduction of the faster, 'Revision C' multi-colour iMac (through ZDMI claimed the cause may have been the uncertainty in the Wintel market pending the release of the Pentium III), suggests Apple timed the launch of its upgrade almost perfectly. Essentially, it gave the line a shot in the arm just as sales were beginning to slow. ZDMI's figures tie in with recent numbers from Intelect, which showed Apple's retail sales increased by 176 per cent between January 1998 and the same month this year -- when, according to PC Data, the iMac was the fourth best-selling desktop PC, sharing the top five table with machines from Hewlett-Packard and Compaq. ®

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