Hot off the Press - Mac News
July 1, 2004 - Reuters Contributing Story

Apple admits New iMac on the way, BUT... delays will stall it till September '04

Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL - news) announced on Thursday plans for a next-generation iMac desktop computer, but said it won't ship until September, missing its original internal schedule.

"Apple has stopped taking orders for the current iMac as we begin the transition from the current iMac line to an all-new iMac line which will be announced and available in September," read the statement. "We planned to have our next generation iMac ready by the time the inventory of current iMacs runs out in the next few weeks, but our planning was obviously less than perfect. We apologize for any inconvenience to our customers."

Current iMac have slowed in recent quarters and APple didn't give specification details about this forthcoming iMac replacement.

Shares of Apple fell nearly 6 percent to $30.40 in after-hours trade.

Apple's statement was somewhat unusual in that the secretive company hasn't said anything publicly about redesigning the iMac, analysts said.

Analysts said that Apple shouldn't be hurt by the lack of an iMac for the back-to-school shopping season, which is important for the company, because it has emphasized other models for the education market.

In the education market, Apple has historically emphasized its iBook notebook PC and the eMac desktop machine rather than the iMac computer, which has a circular base and a flat-panel screen that hovers above it.




"From a back to school point of view, those are their products and they are pushing hard on notebooks for education," said Roger Kay, an analyst at market research firm IDC.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment beyond the statement issued by the maker of the Macintosh (news - web sites) computer and iPod digital music players.

Apple may have had a problem with a supplier of the flat-panel displays used in iMacs or another component, Kay said, adding that sales of the current iMac have been slowing in recent quarters.

Apple had a hit with the original iMac all-in-one design which had a traditional video monitor and came in colors like blueberry and tangerine. Other computer companies, such as International Business Machines Corp. had nowhere near the success Apple did in the quirky all-in-one PC category.

"They did remarkably well with the original iMac and then they got another pop with the flat-panel version," Kay said. "But the current iMac line has been tapering down for the last few quarters."

In regular trade, the stock fell 24 cents, or less than 1 percent, to close at $32.30 on Nasdaq.


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