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Apple cuts prices on laptops

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start quoteWe want to feed that momentum and keep the strength going.end quote
-- Greg Joswiak, Apple

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -- Apple Computer announced it had cut prices on two of its popular PowerBook notebook computers by as much as $300, in a bid to spur more sales of the devices.

The 12-inch PowerBook now starts at $1,599, lower by $200, and the 15-inch PowerBook now starts at $1,999, down as much as $300 depending on configuration, the Cupertino, California-based company said. The price of the 17-inch PowerBook, which began shipping in March, remains unchanged at $3,299.

When Chief Executive and co-founder Steve Jobs announced the 12-inch and 17-inch laptops, which are more profitable than desktop computers, in January, he called 2003 "the year of the notebook" for Apple.

"We want to feed that momentum and keep the strength going," said Greg Joswiak, head of hardware product marketing for Apple. Apple said that the 12-inch PowerBook is the smallest full-function laptop computer available and that the 17-inch PowerBook boasted the largest screen available on the market.

Depending on laptop sales

All three PowerBook models are less than an inch thick.

In Apple's fiscal second quarter, the company said that 42 percent of the computers it sold were notebooks, compared with an industry-wide average of about 25 percent.

In Apple's second quarter, it sold 133,000 iBook laptops and 166,000 PowerBooks. PowerBook unit shipments in the second quarter rose 64 percent from the previous quarter and 87 percent from the year-ago quarter, Apple said.

Joswiak said that Apple did not cut the price of the 17-inch PowerBook because it was still a good value at that cost.

"It's going strong at that price," Joswiak said. "It's been selling very well."

There were no price cuts on iBooks, which start at $999.

Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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