Apple Updates iMac Firmware - InformationWeek

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Apple Updates iMac Firmware

The release aims to correct flickering in the 27-inch iMac display.

Apple has updated the display firmware in the 27-inch iMac to correct a flaw that caused the screen to flicker intermittently.

Apple's latest update for its largest iMac addresses one of several problems reported by customers over the last several months. Along with flickering screens, buyers also have complained of cracked displays and yellow-tinged screens.

Display firmware update 1.0, released Monday, is the second update released by Apple to fix image corruption or display flickering. The company in December released a firmware update for the ATI Radeon HD 4670 and 4870 graphics cards, made by Advanced Micro Devices.

The 27-inch iMac was introduced in October, along with a 21.5-inch model. The all-in-one desktops have proven popular. The company in the fiscal first quarter, ended Dec. 26, 2009, sold 1.2 million Mac desktops, an increase of 70% from the same period a year ago. The majority of the desktops were iMacs.

The strong early sales could explain the delay in shipping the 27-inch iMac. While the 21-inch model ships in 24 hours, the larger version ships two weeks after it's ordered. The delay suggests that the 27-inch model is more popular than expected. Market research from NPD Group has shown that people typically prefer desktop monitors around 21 inches.

Apple and other computers makers have benefited from an improving PC market worldwide. After being hammered in the first half of the year, the market in general recovered in the second half, ending the year 2.3% higher in terms of shipments than in 2008, according to IDC. Rival Gartner pegged 2009 growth year-over-year at 5.2%.

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