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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Apple Launches New iMac

SAN FRANCISCO -- Apple Computer Inc. on Monday launched a lamp-shaped computer in a radical redesign of its most popular desktop, the iMac, which now sports a dome-shaped base sprouting a twisting turning flat-screen monitor.

Announced in a blaze of hype, the ghostly white iMacs feature some of Apple's hottest technology, like its newest microchip and optical drive, and will ship this quarter, chief executive Steve Jobs said at the Macworld Expo trade show.

Apple was aiming to increase its market share by putting its best in consumer boxes, but also risked cannibalizing its own market if professionals took to the snazzy lower-priced machines, analysts concluded.

Shares in Apple closed down just over 3 percent, or 79 cents, at $22.90 on Nasdaq after the product announcements. The stock has rallied near 58 percent from a low of $14.83 on Oct. 3 last year.

The new iMac, which will ship by the end of this month, will be priced at $1,799 and will include a drive capable of writing data and transferring video to DVDs, as well as a 38-centimeter screen and a G4 Power PC microchip.

"I don't think we'll be able to make enough iMacs to meet demand this quarter," Jobs said in an interview.

The cheapest new iMac will cost $1,299, although Jobs said Apple would continue to sell two models of the older line of colorful iMacs with computer and drive integrated into a standard monitor.

The announcement of the new desktop computer line and a 36-centimeter portable iBook PC capped weeks of speculation over what new products Apple would unveil at Macworld, a venue to promote upcoming software and hardware releases.

Apple, which arranged a cover story from Time magazine -- irking some other media with the exclusive -- had promised a show "beyond the rumor sites," although it failed to deliver faster microchips and new consumer devices along with widely expected flat-screen iMacs.

The new iMac "barely" met the hype, but was a surprisingly fresh and catchy design, said analyst Rob Enderle of the Giga research group.

"They really should have done this last Macworld," he said, pointing to flagging sales of the current line of candy-colored iMacs.