For a company with only four per cent of the total PC market, Apple swaggered like a heavyweight contender last week at its Macworld Expo show in New York.
But it was Apple's users who scored the most significant points, forcing one of California's biggest banks, Wells Fargo, to reverse its decision to stop offering Mac based online banking services.
Mac users inundated the bank with protests after it announced it would only support the Windows version of Quicken, the personal finance software it offers as the basis of its home banking service.
The bank argued that it was too costly to support the 7,000 Mac users, who make up only one per cent of its online customer base.
But a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo said that "vocal opposition to the plan" from customers caused the bank to reverse its decision and remain one of 45 US financial institutions that support Quicken for Macintosh.
The climbdown came just two months after Intuit itself, the maker of Quicken, reversed a previously announced decision not to make an updated version of Quicken for Macintosh available in 1999. The software company changed its mind after Apple's interim chief executive Steve Jobs persuaded Intuit's CEO that he was serious about the consumer marketplace.
Apple's consumer focus - a weak area in recent years - was the central topic at Macworld Expo, where software and peripheral vendors announced products for the translucent aqua-coloured iMac machine, launched in May and scheduled to ship on 15 August.
A total of 19 printer, scanner, storage and other peripheral vendors announced their commitment to support Universal Serial Bus on the machine, with some even promising products that will go 'beyond beige' to fit with the iMac design statement.
Jobs claimed in his keynote speech that 177 new or upgraded applications had been announced in the 63 days since the first iMac announcement. He also announced that the $1,299 machine would have a 56Kbps modem as opposed to the previously announced 33Kbps one - which early testers saw as a major performance drawback - and would run a new version of the Macintosh operating system, MacOS 8.5.
Jobs told his audience that the company was now operating in the black, had gone "beyond surviving" and was poised for growth. He said: "Apple is coming back in a big way. We have a stable, healthy business."
However, he could not divulge details of last quarter's profit figures yet, but indicated they would be higher than the previous quarter's $55 million.
Ben Waldman, general manager for Microsoft's Macintosh division, said sales were up 50 per cent on last year.
That information touched off a buying spree from Wall Street investors and Apple's share price hit a 52-week high of $33.625 on Friday. The 52-week low is $12.75.
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