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Apple Computer Shares Tumble on IMac Delay

Updated:
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Shares of Apple Computer Inc. fell more than 5 percent Friday, a day after the company announced a delay in the release of the next-generation iMac.

The company said it has stopped taking orders for existing iMac models, even though the replacement model won't be available until September. That means Apple will miss the back-to-school rush, a critical sales period for computer makers.

``We planned to have our next generation iMac ready by the time the inventory of the current iMacs runs out in the next few weeks, but our planning was obviously less than perfect,'' Apple said in a statement posted at its online store.

Shares of Apple were down $1.68, or 5.2 percent, to $30.62 in morning trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Apple's computer business, which was a pioneer in the 1970s, has been losing market share for years to PCs running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows. Apple's biggest success in recent years has been the stylish iPod music player, which works on both PCs and Macs.
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