Apple's iMac tops US holiday sales

Apple's iMac tops US holiday sales

Apple Computer's iMac was the top-selling PC model in the US during 1998's peak holiday shopping season, from October through December, according to a recent report from PC Data, which provides hardware and software companies with point-of-sale data and analysis.

Now that Apple is focused on consumer's needs, the company is doing a good job of delivering products for which there is demand, said Stephen Baker, senior hardware analyst for PC Data.

The iMac accounted for 6.2 per cent of all unit sales and 7.2 per cent of the dollar volume in the retail and mail-order channels for the fourth quarter, according to a PC Data statement this week. The iMac began shipping in mid-August 1998.

Although the iMac slipped from the top-seller spot in November to the third-highest seller in December, it has remained a number-one selling PC since its introduction, said Baker. "The iMac is the only product to break into the top five best-selling PCs for five months straight."

Priced at about $US1224 in the fourth quarter of last year, the iMac's increasing popularity has lead to Apple's growing market share in the retail and mail order channels, PC Data said. Apple's overall market share in the fourth quarter was 9.6 per cent, up from 6.7 per cent during the second quarter.

It's likely that the iMac will continue to lead in the first quarter of this year, Baker said.

The important question will be: "Assuming that Apple has fulfilled a lot of demand for consumer-focused Apple products, where will the company go to get new customers?" Baker asked. "They are going to have to fight with Wintel for new users, upgrade users and second-time buyers."

Another best-seller was Compaq' s Presario line of PCs, PC Data said.

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