Ever the renegade, Apple Computer is bucking another long established PC trend by actually raising the cost of its existing machines.
The hike will add $100 to the price tag of all three of Apple's much heralded iMac machines, effective immediately. The iMacs will now be priced from $1,400 to $1,900.
The company said that the move is in response to rising component costs, in particular for memory and liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels, which have gone up following supply shortages.
Launched in January the new iMac, with its dome shaped base and LCD screen giving it the look of an angle poise lamp, won design plaudits as well as significant consumer interest.
However, shipments didn't start until February and problems quickly arose as the company rushed to meet demand.
Raising prices is nothing new for Apple. It upped the price of its Power Mac G4 in late 1999 shortly after its launch due to a processor shortage.
On that occasion the company planned to raise the price for machines already ordered at the original price. This time the company says it will fulfil existing orders at the original price.
But fulfilling the orders has been no easy task for the company. Although it says it has shipped more than 125,000 iMacs, it needs to ship a further 100,000 if it is to meet Wall Street's first-quarter revenue forecasts.
Apple said yesterday that it had ramped up production to an additional 5,000 units a day.
This would bring it close to forecast targets, but analysts are questioning whether the shortages that have forced the price increase will limit the company's ability to keep production running at that level.
While some of the largest US distributors are telling iMac customers of a five-week waiting list, Apple has been eager to show that it has not been favouring its own stores with the sought after machines.
The company claims to have only sold about 25,000 new iMacs through its retail stores, with the vast majority going through other sales channels.
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