Apple has introduced larger-screen versions of its top-selling iMac desktop computer and is offering an updated MacBook notebook.

The refashioned glass and aluminum-clad iMac starts at US$1199 ($1600) with a 21.5-inch widescreen LED display, Apple said yesterday.

The Mac is the company's biggest moneymaker, accounting for 40 per cent of revenue. Apple said yesterday that it sold a record 3.05 million Macs last quarter, which helped drive earnings past analysts' projections.

"We're really happy to announce the final products of our holiday lineup," Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, said.

A 27-inch iMac starts at US$1699, Cook said. Previous iMacs had 20-inch and 24-inch displays. The new models are thinner than predecessors, more environmentally friendly and have Snow Leopard, an operating system which was released in August. .

"The message here is they are shifting the lines between a TV and an iMac, clearly geared more toward media," said Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray in Minneapolis. "These new products should cause Apple's Mac business growth rate to increase in the December quarter."

The iMacs come with the company's new Magic Mouse, which is based partly on the multitouch technology used in the iPhone and iPod Touch player and can be configured as a one- or two-button device. "Once you use it, you'll never want to use another mouse again," Cook said. The mouse will also be sold separately for US$69.

The white polycarbonate MacBook has inherited some design features and technology from the more powerful MacBook Pro models while retaining the same US$999 starting price, Cook said. That includes a seamless "unibody" design, seven-hour battery life and widescreen LED-backlit display.

The changes are "meaningful," said Piper Jaffray's Munster, who recommends buying Apple shares. "Sometimes they do small adjustments. This one is more substantial."

Customers switching from PCs running Microsoft's rival Windows operating system are a "major part of our growth", Cook said. Microsoft will release a new version of its software, Windows 7, today to win over buyers who decided to skip its last update, Windows Vista.

Cook said Apple is confident users will continue to switch from Windows to the Mac. "Whether it's Windows 7 or Windows 10 or Windows 95 or 2000 or all the Windows, people are just sick of all the headaches that go along with it," Cook said. Windows 7, combined with personal computers to be released this month, will provide simple, fun and productive computing "at price points that fit every shopper's budget", Jay Paulus, a director of Windows Client Product Management, said in an email. "That's value and choice you won't find on any Mac."

Demand for Mac notebooks has outpaced that of Apple's desktops. Yesterday, the company said notebook shipments rose 35 per cent, compared with a 16 per cent drop in desktop shipments.

To help spur desktop orders, Apple also introduced a faster version of its Mac Mini, a machine sold without a monitor or mouse, that offers more storage and double the memory. Prices start at US$599.

Apple climbed $8.90, or 4.7 per cent, to $198.76 in Nasdaq stockmarket trading yesterday. The shares have more than doubled this year.

The company yesterday reported fourth-quarter profit and revenue that topped analysts' estimates, driving shares up to levels not seen since the iPhone emerged two years ago.

Net income in the period ended September 26 jumped 47 per cent to $1.67 billion, or $1.82 a share, on sales of $9.87 billion, a gain of 25 per cent from a year earlier.

Apple sold 7.4 million iPhones and 10.2 million iPods last quarter.

- BLOOMBERG