|PC Data has named the iMac as the number one selling computer in the 4th quarter of 1998. The iMac represented 6% of all unit sales and some 7.2% of all dollar sales. According to PC Data's senior hardware analyst Stephen Baker:
"The average price for the iMac was approximately $1,224 during the quarter. Not only was iMac the leading SKU during the holiday buying season, but it is the only product to break into the top five best-selling PCs for five months straight. Despite falling from the top spot in November to number three in December, the iMac was the number one selling PC since its mid-August introduction, capturing 6 percent of total unit sales during that period, in addition to leading overall sales in the fourth quarter."
The remaining members of the Top 5 were dominated by the Compaq Presario with three entries and a unit from HP. In the month of December, new manufacturer eMachines which makes a sub-US$500 product called the eTower based on the Cyrix MII chip broke into the top 5 at number 4, right behind the iMac.
The Mac Observer Spin: WooooHoooooo!!!!! for Apple! It has been known for sometime that the iMac would likely be the top selling unit for the 4th quarter (Apple's 1st fiscal quarter), but this announcement from PC Data makes it official. It would have been nice if the iMac could have held on to the top spot in the month of December, but a 5 month reign in the Top 5 is in and of itself quite remarkable.
The next challenge for Apple is to remain in the Top 5 during the current quarter. Apple is pushing the new multicolored iMac 266 units in TV commercials that emphasize the new colors. It is unclear if the current strategy will work with consumers, but The Mac Observer thinks it will, though sales will probably not be as high as in previous quarters. Apple's new blue and white G3s will almost definitely NOT make the Top 5, but this is fine as they are not intended to be a consumer item.
The next Top 5 contestant is likely to be the P1 and/or the MacMate which could see a huge push in the consumer market. Both of these products will be priced to sell and at least the MacMate will have cross-platform appeal. Neither product is expected to be released in the near-term future, though Steve Jobs and Company could surprise us all. Once again.
Apple - PC Data