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Apple's new iMac will boost ailing desktop division, analyst says

A KGI analyst believes Apple's desktop shipments will plunge 79 percent year over year when the company announces its financials tomorrow.

Apple executive Phil Schiller showing off the new iMac.
Apple executive Phil Schiller showing off the new iMac.
James Martin/CNET

Apple's newly redesigned iMac could be its desktop division's savior, according to one analyst.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors in a research note recently that he expects Apple to post just 264,000 desktop unit sales during its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended in late September. Those sales represent a 79 percent decline compared with the same period last year. AppleInsider, which obtained a copy of the note, was first to report on Kuo's comments.

The new iMac, however, should turn things around, according to Kuo. He says that Apple's fiscal first-quarter shipments will rise by a whopping 434 percent quarter over quarter, thanks to Apple's new all-in-one desktop.

Apple plans to announce its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings tomorrow. The company's fiscal first-quarter includes the holiday-shopping period and closes at the end of 2012.

Apple unveiled its new iMac at yesterday's iPad Mini event. The computer is just 5mm thick at its edge and comes with a new display that reduces reflection by 75 percent. Apple also boosted the device's processors, offering quad-core Intel Core i5s. The 21.5-inch version, which starts at $1,299, will launch next month. Apple plans to ship the 27-inch model, which comes with a starting price of $1,799, in December.

It's no secret that Apple's desktop business has been holding the company back a bit. During its fiscal third-quarter that ended in late June, Apple revealed that it sold 1 million desktops and generated $1.3 billion in revenue, representing a 13 percent decline in units and 19 percent drop in revenue compared with the same period in 2011. Apple's desktop division was one of the few black marks on a quarter that saw the company generate $35 billion in revenue.

All of this talk of desktops, however, fails to mention that Apple's Mac Pro has largely been ignored by the company. That desktop hasn't been updated in two years and is believed to be suffering on store shelves. Petitions have surfaced on the Web, calling for Apple to update the Mac Pro. So far, Apple has not responded with anything concrete that would indicate an update is coming.

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