Apple has sold in excess of 200,000 subscriptions to .Mac – its suite of Mac Web-services – the company revealed yesterday.

Apple has also shifted 280,000 copies of Mac OS X 10.2 – and remains optimistic that 5 million (20 per cent) of Mac users will have migrated to OS X by the end of the year.

Looking at its fourth-quarter hardware sales, Apple said PowerBook and Power Mac G4 sales continue to be "sluggish", despite the introduction of dual-processor configurations of pro desktop Macs. Apple believes professional users have been hurt by the continuing softness in the economy. A total of 176,000 Power Macs have been sold – including server configurations – to a value of $346 million; the number of PowerBook G4s shifted was 58,000, adding $142 million to the company's coffers.

Apple's consumer portable iBook sold 182,000 units in the quarter. The company also sold 76,000 CRT iMacs, 113,000 LCD iMacs and 129,000 eMacs in the quarter. Shipments were 14 per cent down across the board. iMac sales accounted for $372 million in sales.

Apple's US sales rose in value – from $808 million to $863 million – from the last quarter. However, revenues across all markets fell year on year. The European, Middle East and Africa market saw unit shipments slip 21 per cent year on year, while revenues fell 15 per cent.

The company reduced its channel inventory to five weeks, while the cash-conversion cycle is now 3-7 days. Gross margins also fell, as Apple continues its attempt to deliver products at aggressive price-points to a soft market.

Apple has maintained its investment on research and development, with spending staying the same as the year-ago quarter, at $116 million. The company spent $446 million on research and development during the year.

Looking forward, Apple expects operating costs to increase – due mainly to it extending its retail chain in the coming months.