August 31, 1998 10:15 AM PDT

iMac hits Japan

Apple Computer delivered the iMac to the eager arms of consumers in Japan this weekend, traditionally the second biggest market for Macintosh computers.

Japan has always been a strong market for Apple and the novel design of the iMac appears to have whetted the Japanese consumer's appetite for the newest Macintosh.

Pre-release demand has been so great that a number of the selected iMac dealers have stopped taking advance orders for the machines, according to Nikkei Business Publications, a Japanese news conglomerate. Apple Japan is aiming at Japanese sales of iMac of 300,000 units for the first six months after its launch, a spokesman for Apple Japan said.

Many resellers are not guaranteeing delivery of pre-ordered iMacs to all customers because they don't know if they will have enough units to meet demand.

The iMac, a translucent, modular computer complemented by "Bondi Blue" accents, went on sale in the U.S. on August 15 to great fanfare. The $1,299 computer has been selling strongly in the U.S.

Supply in Japan will likely be quite constrained initially because of heavy demand in the U.S., sources have said. The iMac will be price at 178,000 yen, or about $1,227 Apple announced earlier.

In addition to the iMac, 48 peripheral devices from 16 different firms, including Matsushita Electric and Imation, will be marketed in Japan for use with the iMac, according to Apple Japan. Complementary peripheral devices include high density disk drives, floppy disk drive, memory boards, and mice.

Reuters contributed to this report.

 

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