NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Apple Computer unveiled its first personal computer designed exclusively for schools Monday, a move some say is intended to defend its position in the education market.
Apple's new eMac is a white one-piece desktop machine priced from $999 to $1,999 that resembles Apple's original iMac, which it introduced in 1998. Apple hopes the new PC will win back some educators who are turning to low-priced machines that run Microsoft's Windows operating system, such as those offered by Dell Computer Inc., which surpassed Apple in shipments of desktop education PC's, according to some market researches.
Apple's (AAPL: up $0.79 to $23.80, Research, Estimates) shares, which have steadily risen from their 52-week low of $14.68 last fall, jumped about 4 percent in trading Monday following the announcement.
Dell has been cutting into Apple's market share with education PCs that are more powerful than the original iMac and cost as little as $600 excluding monitor, Rob Enderle, an analyst at market research firm Giga Information Group, told the Wall Street Journal.
Additionally, some school districts have been hiring technology managers from firms that use mostly Windows machines, making it harder to sell Apples, particularly in light of the huge price difference, the report said.
"Apple was losing a lot of bids," for large sales to school districts, Enderle told the Journal.