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Apple iBook falls from top-selling notebook slot

But Mac maker on course for record $2.4bn Q1 revenues

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Apple's ebullience over shipping 1.35 million Macs in the three months to 31 December 1999, as joyfully proclaimed by CEO Steve Jobs this week, was tempered today when it emerged the iBook's two-month run as the best selling notebook has come to an end. According to the November stats from market researcher PC Data, which monitors sales through US retail, online and mail order channels, the blueberry-coloured iBook was outsold by Toshiba's Satellite 1555CDS. Even so, it still notched up stronger sales than machines from Compaq, which took the number three and number four slots in PC Data's charts, and Sony (number five). At this stage it's not clear whether sales of the tangerine iBook during November would have been sufficient for the notebook's overall to keep it at the top of the tree. PC Data doesn't count the two models as one, even though they are identical apart from their colour. In October, the blueberry iMac outsold the tangerine version by a factor of 9:1, so it's unlikely that combining the two models' sales would make much of a difference to the overall score. In the desktop PC category, the iMac, in any of its forms, failed to make the top five, being pushed out by much cheaper Wintel machines, some as low as $470. Of course, that's without a monitor, but it goes to show how the perception of an ultra-low price, even if it's not matched in practice, is affecting consumer buying patterns. Still, 1.35 million Macs isn't a bad sales figure and, on the basis of previous results, should see Apple posting revenues of around $2.4 billion and profits of at least $140 million before exceptional items when it reveals the last quarter's figures, on 19 January. For the previous quarter, it posted a profit of $90 million before exceptional items and sales of $1.34 billion. ®

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