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Apple cuts price of iMac model

Apple Computer quietly shaves $100 off the price of its most powerful 15-inch flat-screen iMac, the model that can burn both DVDs and CDs.

Apple Computer has quietly cut $100 from the price of its most powerful 15-inch flat-screen iMac.

The version of the lamp-shaped desktop that can burn both DVDs and CDs now sells for $1,699 after the price drop, which was made Saturday. The model had already seen its price trimmed by $100, when Apple introduced a 17-inch iMac with DVD burner in July.

Apple cut the cost of its two lower-priced 15-inch flat-panel iMacs in August.

In several overseas countries, Apple also cut the price of the low-end iMac equipped with a CD-burner to $1,199 from $1,299, a representative said. That model remains priced at $1,299 in the United States.

Sales of the flat-panel iMac fell short of expectations in the June-ending quarter. Next week, Apple reports sales for the three months that ended Sept 30.

The flat-panel iMac debuted in January and was initially in short supply. In March, Apple hiked prices because of high display and memory costs.

Sales of the iMac began to taper off in June, prompting Apple to cut shipments and eventually drop prices.

Gateway has also been running ads noting that its all-in-one, the Profile 4, is cheaper than the iMac. However, Gateway does not offer a model with a DVD burner.

Apple's price move brings the DVD burner-equipped iMac closer in price to a comparably equipped PC. Although it is not an all-in-one machine, a custom-built HP Pavilion with a 15-inch flat panel display, a DVD burner, a 2.4GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor, the same 60GB hard drive and 256MB of memory sells for $1,513 after a $150 rebate on the flat screen.