Retailers report swift G3, iMac sales

New G3 Macs selling fast -- grape and lime most popular iMac colors.

It's too early for solid sales numbers on the latest Mac models, but Apple resellers say that both the new blue-and-white Power Mac G3 systems and five-color iMacs have been selling briskly since their introduction at January's Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

"The iMac is selling well, and we have no problems meeting demand," said Geoff Westerfield, vice president of merchandising at ComputerWare, a San Francisco-based Mac retailer with 10 stores in California. The new iMacs are available in blueberry, grape, lime, strawberry and tangerine.

"We track which of the five colors of iMacs sell best in our stores and post the list internally each week," Westerfield said. "We have found that the blueberry and grape models seem to sell the best, and that the tangerine is the least-popular color." So far, however, ComputerWare hasn't suffered a backlog of tangerine iMacs, he said.

A representative at the San Jose, Calif., outlet of CompuTown, another San Francisco chain with five stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, said the lime iMac has been selling best there. However, he said, blueberry and strawberry iMacs are selling best in the chain's San Francisco store.

A sales representative for the San Bruno, Calif., outlet of Dallas-based CompUSA said the grape iMac seemed to be selling best at his store, while tangerine was the least popular.

At the high end of Apple's (Nasdaq:AAPL) line, ComputerWare's Westerfield said, his outlets are having a hard time meeting the demand for Power Mac G3s with DVD pre-installed. Potential buyers who come to ComputerWare are holding off on buying the new G3 desktop systems until they can get a model equipped with the DVD drive, he said: "The sale isn't lost, but it's deferred."

While the CompuTown and ComputerWare dealers said they aren't having trouble filling orders, the CompUSA representative reported that his store didn't have enough blue-and-white G3 desktops or iMacs to satisfy demand. Although consumers are definitely interested in the hardware, they won't buy the systems if they can't try them out in the store, he said.


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