The Apple renaissance

Once counted out by computer industry insiders, Apple Computer Inc. is establishing a solid new niche in the personal computer market. Yesterday, the company (once again headed by founder Steve Jobs) announced that it has sold 800,000 of its new ‘iMac’ computers since their introduction in August.

The iMac was the top selling retail PC in November, according to PC Data Inc., and continued to sell strongly through the holiday season. PC Data reports that buyers comprised both computer neophytes and converts from ‘Wintel’ PCs running versions of Windows.

The iMac’s innovative style and ease of use has definitely caught on within a certain market segment. I used one for a week on an assignment recently, and although I’m not a ‘Mac’ person, I did enjoy its ease of use and excellent keyboard.

The iMac’s success has prompted the company to offer a new series of iMacs with a faster processor and a selection of five new colors for those who don’t like blue/green. The new line will sell at about $150-$200 more than the original machines, which have been marked down for a limited time.

Apple has also introduced a new line of its Power Macintosh G3 professional desktopomputers, which are aimed at graphic designers and power home users. The company had even more good news this week with Microsoft’s release of a new version of its Internet Explorer browser for the Mac. Microsoft holds a significant investment in Apple.