Japan Watch: iBook and iMac G4 Take # 1 Positions


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Heading Japan's national notebook PC sales is Apple's own iBook 700, an piece of good news in a sea of troubles. Better still, despite the weeks of inventory, the iMac G4 is still wowing people in Japan, making Apple's performance a double-sided # 1.

While Sony's Vaio series retains its traditional presence in the top 20 (racking up 7 slots in total), all three of Apple's retail iBook models (not BTO) are in the top 20. The # 1 model is the high-end Combo (CDRW/DVD-ROM) with 12.1" display.

At # 11 is the 14.1" top-of-the-line iBook Combo, which demonstates that the larger-screened models really do sell - something which is revealing, given the Japanese market's preference for sub-notebooks (the PowerBook 2400 is another good example and has a cult following).

In 19th position is the iBook 600 (12.1") with CD-ROM.

Like the iBook Combo drive, the most popular model of Japanese desktops is the iMac LCD model is the 800MHz SuoerDrive (DVD-R/CDRW) model. Debuting at a very respectable # 4 is the new eMac, fitted with the CDRW.

The base Power Mac G4 800 is also holding the fort at # 7, while the good old Snow iMac 600 (the old CRT one) still sells well enough to hold the # 12 spot. And the Power Mac 933 isn't doing too badly at all at # 19.

Analysis: This is an impressive performance, with two of Apple's most expensive consumer models hitting # 1 simultaneously in a market CFO Fred Anderson recently highlighted as a weakness (along with Europe). It also suggests that consumers will buy more profitable, high-end models, if the buyers appreciate the value equation. As IGM have noted previously, Apple needed to cut iMac prices - and now it will be forced to, in order to clear weeks of inventory. Make the DVD-R model cheaper and you'll clear inventory - and more - in no time. Guaranteed.