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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Popular iMac Computers Sell Out Upon Arrival in Japan
  • September 17, 1998 (TOKYO) — Apple Computer Inc.’s new personal computer, iMac, is becoming extremely popular in Japan after its release on Aug. 29, and supplies cannot keep up with demand.
    A recent survey by Nikkei MAC revealed that retailers are in a bind in that new computers are sold out immediately after the products arrive in their shops.

    More than 8,000 units were sold at retail shops in just two days after the new computer hit the market. Advertisements in weekly magazines, women magazines, on TV and radio are contributing to the high popularity of iMac.

    The retailers that sold out the first-round shipments of iMacs have begun accepting advance orders. “Every day we get advance orders for 10 units on average. Demand is so strong that supply cannot catch up with it,” said a retailer in Akihabara, Tokyo, an area with a concentration of electric/electronics stores.

    At present, after about two weeks from the release of iMac, the supply shortage is serious. There are nine retailers authorized to sell iMacs in Akihabara, and five in Nipponbashi, Osaka, which is the most well-known electronics-store district in the Kansai region. All of them have been out of stock since Sept. 1, according to the Nikkei MAC survey.

    Almost all of the stores expect that the next shipment of tens or several hundreds units of iMac computers will arrive at their stores by Sept. 12. The retailers told Nikkei MAC that they will have to send all of the computers to the users on their waiting lists.

    Asked about the duration of time the users must wait until they receive the new computer, retailers in Akihabara said one week, while retailers in Nipponbashi, Osaka, said about two weeks.

    According to the retailers in Akihabara, Apple Computer told them that the iMacs ordered on the second weekend of this month (Sept. 12-13) will be shipped to them in about one week. The retailers in Nipponbashi, on the other hand, said the manufacturer told them that the ordered computers will arrive at their stores before the end of September.

    There is a slight difference in the remarks by the retailers in Akihabara and Nipponbashi.

    Most of the retailers said they received an additional shipment of iMac computers only once or twice in September. Some of the retailers said they have not received any additional shipments since the beginning of September. Asked about the volume of the additional shipments, the retailers who received the bulk said it was 200 units, while those who received less said it was less than 20 units.

    The combined number of iMacs sent out to users from retailers in Akihabara and Nipponbashi during the past two weeks after the initial shipments were sold out totaled far less than 1,000 units, according to an estimate by Nikkei MAC.

    The number of users on the waiting list is increasing steadily. Some retailers have adopted a system in which they receive advance payment when they accept an advance order. Despite this system, some retailers are receiving advance orders for about 10 units daily. Many of the ordered computers have yet to arrive at users’ offices and houses.

    Nikkei MAC estimates the combined number of advance orders accepted by the retailers in Akihabara and Nipponbashi, on and before Sept. 11, at more than 1,000 units.

    Related stories:
    Apple Japan Enjoys Large Demand for iMac PCs
    Sales of Apple Computer’s iMac PC Begin in Japan

    (Nikkei MAC)

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