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Wednesday, July 12, 2006, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

Apple pulls educational iMac from online store

Apple Computer on Wednesday pulled the new $899 educational iMac from its educational online store without giving reason.

Announced last week as a replacement for the company's eMac line of computers, the new all-in-one desktop sports a 17-inch display and 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo processor.

When contacted by AppleInsider, sales representatives for the Mac maker said the computer's placement on educational store for the past week was "a mistake" and that the model "was only meant to be available to educational institutions."

But several other correspondents who contacted the company were given a variety of other explanations for computer's disappearance. One was told the new model "wasn't selling well" and therefore was removed.

However, informed speculation points to the contrary. At just $899, the educational iMac sells for $400 less than its similar, but more fully equipped retail counterpart.

It's believed that student interest in the new Mac may have been so strong that orders had begun to cut into sales of Apple's higher priced, higher margin iMac retail models.

In its announcement last week, Apple clearly stated that the "17-inch iMac for education" was available "immediately for education customers through the Apple Store for Education."

The $899 iMac remains available for purchase through Apple's online store for educational institutions.