Apple Unveils New iMacs With Intel Core 2 Duo Chips

Apple on Wednesday rolled out a $999 iMac with a 17-inch screen, a 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 512 Mbytes of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM (expandable to 2 Gbytes) and a 160-Gbyte hard drive. Previous 17-inch iMacs had a starting street price of $1,299.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company also unveiled a brand-new, 24-inch widescreen iMac. Priced at $1,999, the system sports a 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo processor with 4 Mbytes of shared L2 cache, 1 Gbyte of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM (expandable to 3 Gbytes) and a 250-Gbyte hard drive.

Rounding out the upgraded iMac line are a 20-inch model with a 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo processor ($1,499) and a 17-inch model with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo processor ($1,199).

Apple VARs said the Intel-based Macintosh computers have been selling briskly all year.

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George Swords, marketing manager for PowerMacPac, a Portland, Ore.-based Apple specialist, said the iMacs had previously been selling "ridiculously hot. Really, really selling well." About 60 percent of the early adopters of the Intel-based iMacs were previous Mac users who were upgrading, and "the rest are ex-PC people," he added.

Apple's switch to Intel and more competitive pricing are spurring sales against rivals such as Dell, according to Swords. "Moving to Intel was a wonderful thing to do," he said. "The [Mac OS X] operating system runs better on Intel than it ever ran on PowerPC."