New iMacs draw record pre-orders

Laying to rest fears over the appeal of the Mac 'lamp', Apple says it's received far more advance orders for the new iMac than for its popular predecessor

Apple Computer says its new iMac is proving popular with consumers, receiving far more pre-orders than the original iMac. Apple's fortunes are considered to be largely dependent on its ability to deliver popular new products, but some design successes -- like the discontinued Cube -- failed to appeal to buyers.

Over 150,000 pre-orders for the new iMac have been received in the three weeks since it was announced, Apple said. That compares with about 100,000 pre-orders for the original iMac, which were taken over a two-month period in 1998. The first iMac went on to put Apple back on the map and made a huge impact on consumer industrial design, spawning me-too PCs from the likes of eMachines.

"It's sure looking like the new iMac is going to be a huge hit with both Mac users and PC switchers," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, in a statement.

Besides a new design and the replacement of its CRT monitor with a flat-panel display, the new iMac is touting easy-to-use software to draw consumers. Macintoshes now include a suite of applications for digital photography, music and video called respectively iPhoto, iTunes and iDVD, which Apple hopes will form the hub of consumers' "digital lifestyle".

At its introduction at Macworld earlier this month, the new iMac had drawn some raised eyebrows, with some finding its lamp-like design a bit odd.


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