iMac Tops U.S. Retail/Mail Order Holiday PC Sales

Tim Byars (
Thu, 21 Jan 1999 17:46:48 -0800

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL - news)'s popular
iMac personal computer was the number one selling PC through retail and
mail order channels during the 1998 U.S. holiday season, according to
research company PC Data.

In overall PC sales, the iMac fell from the top spot in November to number
three in December. It is still the number one selling PC since its
mid-August introduction and led overall sales in the fourth quarter, the
Reston, Va.-based PC Data reported.

The report comes after Apple stock surged to a 52-week high last week when
the company added five new fruit colors to the aquiline iMac range. The
stock then dropped on analyst concerns about pricing of the hot-selling

The iMac accounted for 6.2 percent of all fourth quarter unit sales and 7.2
percent of the dollar volume, the PC Data report said.

PC Data counted the holiday season as October through December 1998.

Shares of Apple were trading at $38.625 in early afternoon trade, down
$1.9375.The stock was down 18 percent from its year high of $47.31.

The average price for the iMac was around $1,224 during the fourth quarter,
according to the report by Reston, Va.-based PC Data. Apple priced the new
iMac color range at $1,199. It cut the price of the original iMac to
$1,049, down from its August launch price of $1,299.

Other best-sellers in the fourth quarter were three Compaq Computer Corp.
(NYSE:CPQ - news) Presario PCs. Rounding out the top five was the
Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HWP - news) 6355 computer.

Leading sales in the crucial December sales month was the Compaq Presario
5170, followed by the Presario 5150. After the iMac, the eTower, from
EMachines, a privately held supplier of low-cost computers, captured fourth

Apple stock fell over five points to close at $41.375 last Thursday after
Salomon Smith Barney analyst Richard Gardner cut his rating on Apple's
stock from a buy to a neutral. Gardner said he was disappointed Apple did
not lower prices during the December quarter.

The popularity of iMac continues to increase the Cupertino, Calif.
company's market share in the PC retail and mail order channel, lifting it
to 9.6 percent in the fourth quarter from 6.7 percent in the second
quarter, PC Data said.


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