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Apple CFO Fred Anderson yesterday predicted continued year-on-year growth for the Mac maker and looked forward to significant improvements in the Christmas 1999 quarter. Anderson's comments followed the release of Apple's latest Q2 results, which saw the company beat Wall Street's earnings per share expecations by five cents, and the company notch-up computer sales-based profits of $114 million plus an $89 million sale of ARM shares. During the quarter, Apple shipped 905,000 machines, including 487,00 iMacs. That represents an increase of nine per cent and 39 per cent, respectively, on the last quarter, and an overall improvement of 40 per cent on last year's Q2. Anderson also noted that "current bookings from" educational institutions were up 22 per cent on the same period last year. That said, he didn't specify how well Apple was doing in other markets, most notably small, medium and large businesses. However, he said that, based on PC Data figures for the US retail channel, Apple's marketshare for the first two weeks of the quarter was 11.5 per cent, up from 6.3 per cent last year. In Japan, the company had 13.1 per cent of the retail market, up from seven per cent. Looking ahead, Anderson said he anticipated Apple's revenue and unit shipments to continue to increase, with a slight improvement next quarter but much better, double-digit growth in the December 1999 quarter. He also predicted the second half would show significant year-on-year growth. As per usual, Anderson wouldn't discuss unannounced products, but he did hint a major product transitions are set to take place for the December quarter, presumably as Apple rolls-out new iMacs in the run-up to Christmas, but it's possible Anderson's comment hint at the real release date of the G4 Power Macs too. He also said iMac price cuts are on the cards, based on customer demand. He also said Apple was still happy with the relatively high price of the iMac, especially when compared to the new generation of sub-$1000 and sub-$500 machines: "We sold close to 500,000 units with a $1199 iMac. We're very comfortable with iMac demand." Apple is monitoring the free PC phenomenon, said Anderson, but as yet the company doesn't feel it's a solid strategy: "We don't think most customers are interested in locking themselves into a three-year commitment to an ISP to get a free PC," he said. ® Our thanks to Mac newssite MacInTouch for the details of Anderson's comments

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