Apple Computer Inc. updated its consumer MacBook notebooks with faster versions of Intel Corp. computer chips as it works to attract holiday shoppers.
Three new models of the MacBook, Apple’s lowest-priced notebooks, are available today with Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors, Cupertino, California-based Apple said in a statement. Starting at $1,099, they are 25 percent faster than the original Intel MacBooks released in May.
Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs began switching to Intel chips in January and now offers the processors in all desktop and notebook Macs. The machines account for 46 percent of sales. Apple updated its MacBook Pro notebooks and iMac desktop with Core 2 Duo chips, which use less power and run more quietly than the older Core Duo, in the past two months.
“We’re happy to have completed the transition to Intel Core 2 Duo in all our notebooks in time for the holiday season,” Philip Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, said in an interview. “Notebooks are big sellers for us and account for more than half of our Mac sales.”
Sales of Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro systems rose 63 percent in the quarter ended Sept. 30, while desktop revenue rose 10 percent.
The company may sell a record 1.81 million Macs this quarter, said UBS AG’s Benjamin Reitzes, the second-ranked computer analyst according to Institutional Investor magazine. The current record was set in the quarter ended Sept. 30, when demand from back-to-school shoppers drove up shipments to 1.61 million machines.
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