Apple boasts profitable year, new OS upgrade

Apple boasts profitable year, new OS upgrade

Apple this week [subbed] announced fourth-quarter earnings of $US106 million, bringing the company its first profitable year in three years.

The vendor's revenues for the quarter were $US1.6 billion with unit shipments rising 28 per cent year-over-year and ending inventory dropping to $US78 million, or six days of inventory, the company said. For the same quarter a year ago Apple posted a loss of $US161 million on revenues of $US1.6 billion.

For the year, Apple's revenues were $US5.9 billion and earnings were $US309 million, compared to fiscal 1997 revenues of $US7.1 billion and a net loss of $US1 billion.

Also this week [subbed], Apple announced that its new operating system upgrade, Mac OS 8.5, will ship worldwide this weekend [subbed]. The upgrade features Internet search technology and PowerPC-native AppleScript which runs up to five times faster than before, the company said.

Contributing to the results boost was a slew of new Apple customers, with more than 40 per cent of iMac buyers purchasing their first Apple computer, the company said. Of those 12.5 per cent were "converts" who own Windows PCs running on Intel microprocessors, Apple said citing a survey conducted by Audits & Surveys.

Apple shipped 278,000 iMacs in the first six weeks the computer was available, making it the fastest selling Macintosh ever, according to the statement.

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