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Cupertino hopes second times the charm with its graphical woes

Apple's fancy new 27-inch iMac has an attractive screen and decently powerful hardware incorporated into a sleek body.  Unfortunately, some customers' experiences with the computer have not been so “magical” thanks to a variety of problems including cracked screens, non-booting machines, yellowed screens, and graphical issues.

Apple already tried to address its graphical woes with a firmware update in December.  However, many users in the company's support forums reported that the update did not fix their machines' poor graphics performance.  Apple has since delayed shipments of the larger iMacs, perhaps to try to buy time.

Now Apple has released a second firmware update and is hoping the second time is the charm when it comes to graphics problems.  The new update is dubbed "27-inch iMac Display Firmware Update 1.0", not to be confused with the similar-sounding previous updated named "27-inch iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0".  Available here, the update is only 294 KB, and is available for any Apple operating system Mac OS X 10.6.2 or later (all the new iMacs ship with Snow Leopard, so its unlikely you'd find one with something else).

Apple has apologized for the shipping delays, saying that they were caused by the model being such a "huge hit".  The model was reportedly the best selling single desktop model of Q4 2009 (though PCs and PC brands of course outnumbered it overall).  The problems affecting a handful of the new computer's buyers have apparently done relatively little to harm the model's sales.

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RE: "huge hit"
By ralniv on 2/2/2010 3:19:00 PM , Rating: -1
Look at the sales #s for 4Q09 and you'll see why Apple is having parts shortages. Data from the NPD market research group shows that Apple increased it's market share (relative to 4Q08) in premium priced PC's (i.e. <$1k) from 79% to 90%. They doubled their share (from 5% to 10%) of $500 to $1000 PCs. These represents huge growth in units sold.

The display problems being discussed here are a nit compared to Apple's growth in volume. The so-called large # of people complaining about bad displays is what I call the Newegg or Amazon phenomena. Who is most likely to post feedback after buying hardware? The people that are pissed off because their hardware was broken. Same thing here.

RE: "huge hit"
By ralniv on 2/2/2010 3:20:44 PM , Rating: 2
parenthetical should be (i.e. >$1k)

RE: "huge hit"
By omnicronx on 2/2/2010 3:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
Why are you looking at marketshare? Its completely irrevelent in this situation.. Sales have not gone up in the quarter, and that's what would create production shortages, not an increase in share because a PC company was not selling as well.

I also don't agree with your findings, Apple's PC Marketshare is down in Q4 Y/Y.. Especially when you consider that this is not a 500-1000 part, even if they did double their share in this area.

Apple is having part shortages because their hardware is defective, plain and simple..

RE: "huge hit"
By foolsgambit11 on 2/2/2010 5:58:58 PM , Rating: 4
Data from the NPD market research group shows that Apple increased it's market share (relative to 4Q08) in premium priced PC's (i.e. <$1k) from 79% to 90%.
Wait, you're telling me that an Apple is a PC?

What's amazing about NPD's number to me is that the average cost of Windows PCs sold was $475, while the average Mac sold cost $1361.

But seriously, those numbers are impressive. NPD did note, however, that all of the growth in the computer industry has been in the sub-$1k market. That 90% number for Apple really means they've hit market saturation with their current business model, and they either need to expand the size of the market (doubtful) or expand into other markets. What's their plan for gaining market share in the sub-$1k market? Is that what the iPad's for? The base model is still priced higher than the average PC, and I'm not even sure if it counts as a PC. Though, if people buy it instead of a PC, the end result is the same for Apple - a bigger chunk of the sub-$1k pie. But I don't see that happening in huge numbers.

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