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Apple pares a small number of jobs

update The cuts, which are the latest in a series of small-scale moves by the Mac maker, will affect its sales and support staff, CNET has learned.

update Apple Computer on Thursday cut a small number of jobs as part of an ongoing restructuring effort, CNET has learned.

The cuts, which are the latest in a series of small-scale moves by the Mac maker, came in its sales and support operations.

A company representative would not go into specifics about the latest cuts or say how many jobs were affected.

"Apple remains one of the few large companies in the Valley who hasn't had major layoffs in these challenging times," the Apple representative said.

In a February filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple said it cut 375 jobs in the quarter ending Dec. 31 and planned to cut 50 more jobs. Apple took a $24 million restructuring charge in its January earnings report.

Apple also cut an undisclosed number of sales jobs in August, as well as a small number of jobs in its iServices consulting unit in May.

However, the cuts at Apple have been far less than those at Compaq Computer, Hewlett-Packard, Gateway and Dell Computer, all of which saw thousands of jobs cut last year amid a brutal PC market. And an Apple representative said that despite layoffs the company's total number of employees has grown in the past year.

Separately, Apple on Thursday said it has acquired Zayante, a maker of chips and software related to FireWire, a high-speed method of connecting computers and add-ons such as video cameras and hard drives.