CAMPBELL, Calif. — Apple Computer Inc. announced another round of price cuts Monday in a bid to bolster sales and market share amid an industrywide price war.
The cuts--Apple's third in as many months--slash prices up to 34% for many of its most popular products. Apple is the nation's second-largest computer maker.
Analyst Bruce Lupatkin of the Hambrecht & Quist brokerage in San Francisco said Apple's action brings its prices more in line with those of IBM-compatible personal computers, its main competitors.
"But one shouldn't read too much into a singular price reduction because price cutting is endemic to the PC industry right now," Lupatkin said.
Monday's announcement was the latest salvo in a fierce price war that has brought PC prices down by an average of about 50% over the last 18 months.
The reductions, effective immediately, include Apple's top-of-the-line Macintosh Quadra 950 systems, Apple Workgroup Server 95 computers and PowerBook notebook machines. The company also began offering rebates on some Performa personal computers and printers. Performa is targeted at first-time home computer and small business users.
"The price reductions, and the Performa rebates, are part of our overall company strategy to take aggressive actions in order to increase our market share," Apple USA President Bob Puette said in a statement.
Last week, Apple said it would lay off 2,500 employees--nearly 16% of its work force--as part of a broad restructuring designed to bolster profit.
Apple stock gained $1.25 on the NASDAQ market Monday, closing at $38.00.