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November 23rd, 1999

[12:30 PM] Move Over Dell & Toshiba, Here Comes The iBook! Apple Claims 11% Of Portable Market
by Staff

Apple announced late yesterday afternoon that the company commanded a significant share of the US portable market in October. Apple claimed 11% of the US portable market ad the Blueberry iBook took the top spot. According to Apple.

Apple's blueberry iBook™ is the number one selling portable computer in the US retail market in October, according to the most recent monthly hardware report by PC Data. The complete report is available at Based on this report, the combined sales of Apple's iBook and PowerBook® portable computer lines give Apple® an 11 percent share of the US retail portable market in October.

"iBook is clearly hitting the mark with consumers," said Stephen Baker, PC Data senior analyst and director of Hardware Research. "iBook sales momentum heading into the holidays appears very strong."

"iBook is the first portable designed expressly for consumers and students," said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO. "Customer response has been incredible and we are working hard to meet the tremendous demand."

iBook features a 12.1-inch TFT display for super-crisp images and video; a PowerPC G3 processor for Pentium-toasting performance; built-in 56K modem and 10/100BASE-T Ethernet networking; and a built-in USB port and CD-ROM drive. iBook is the first "wireless ready" portable computer, with two built-in antennas and an internal slot for Apple's AirPort™ wireless networking card (optional). With AirPort wireless networking up to 10 computers can share one Internet connection at speeds up to 11 megabits per second and distances up to 150 feet (half a football field)—all without wires. iBook's design innovations include a rubber-coated translucent enclosure for durability, a pullout handle for safe carrying, and a unique "latch-less" closing mechanism for faster and easier access.

You can find more information on the iBook at Apple's web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: One month does not a computer empire make, but this is a darn good month's announcement indeed. The real news will come with the full 4th quarter (Apple's 1st fiscal quarter) and the holiday buying season. If Apple can claim that kind of market share for the full quarter, the iBook will definitely proclaim itself as a market force.

It is also very interesting to note that despite the Girlie epithet and other insults hurled at the iBook in its short life (so far), consumers have obviously taken to the little beast. Just like the iMac before it, which was also called a failure by the PC punditocracy from the onset of its introduction, the iBook is so far showing that Steve knows best.

One warning is in order though. When Apple first released the PowerBook in 1992, the first year it was a blowout product. The following year the PowerBook did not maintain that performance as the pent-up demand among existing Mac users was met during the first year. It is always possible that this will be the case for the iBook. Apple has never had a true consumer portable in its product line. It is possible that the initial success of the iBook is occurring as pent-up demand is being met. If that is the case, sales will fall off as that demand is met. The big difference between Apple then and Apple now is Steve Jobs and his executive team. It is likely that no such comparisons can be made.

Our outlook is that the iBook will be an ongoing success, just as its bigger brother, the iMac, has enjoyed. What do you think? Talk back in The Mac Observer Forums.

In any event, congrats to Apple!


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