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P.M. BRIEFING : Mac Demand Overwhelms Apple

From Times Wire Services

Apple Computer Inc. says it can’t keep up with demand for what has become its hottest-selling machines, its new low-cost models.

Demand for the $1,499 Mac Classic, which the Cupertino-based personal computer maker introduced in October, has “absolutely surprised” the company, according to Michael Spindler, Apple president and chief operating officer.

Apple introduced its three low-cost computers--the Macintosh Classic, Macintosh LC and Macintosh IIsi--in October as the first step in regaining market share lost during two years of strategic and management shifts.

Apple shipped about 30,000 Macintosh Classics in November and December, according to International Data Corp., a high-tech research firm. Apple insiders said the company could have shipped 50% more, or about 45,000, if it had anticipated the strong demand.

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