Apple’s Mac flies in under the radar

The facelift may help revitalize an important lineup that — while seeing growth tail off in the early part of 2012 — yields 14 percent of revenue and still racks up sales growth numbers that are the envy of a flagging PC world, reports Reuters.

On Tuesday, Apple took the lid off a slimmed-down iMac and a 13-inch laptop with a vastly improved screen, setting the stage for a potential revival in sales even as Hewlett-Packard and Dell Inc struggle just to stay level.

Earlier this year, Apple had also launched an updated MacBook Air – a product analysts say spawned over 20 touch-enabled designs from rivals called “Ultrabooks,” which run Microsoft Corp’s upcoming Windows 8 software.

Apple remains No. 3 in U.S. market share behind HP and Dell. But the Mac’s premium pricing, at $1,000 and above, and its subsequent outsized margins mean a spike in revenue growth can give its bottom line a significant boost.

“The pricing and feature set of the refreshed iMac present an attractive combination, and I would not be surprised to see the new iMac stimulate desktop sales in the December quarter and beyond,” Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes said.

The decades-old Macintosh line that helped set a stumbling computer company back on its feet — today overshadowed in both revenue and media appeal by the popular iPhone and iPad — saw growth drop to single-digit percentages in the first two quarters of 2012 for the first time since 2009.