In excess of 80,000 .Mac users have subscribed to the service in recent weeks, Apple claimed yesterday.

The company has now sold over 180,000 subscriptions to its service.

Sina Tamaddon, Apple's senior vice president of applications, explained: "The launch of .Mac has been a phenomenal success. Now we're adding iSync support in .Mac, enabling users to synchronize their calendars and address books across multiple Macs connected to the Internet."

Industry observers had expected former iTools users to rush to acquire .Mac subscriptions as the deadline for the end of the half-price sign-up deal approached on September 30.

Apple has now extended that deadline until October 14. This means Mac users can sign up for the companies suite of formerly free services for just $49.95, instead of the standard $99.95 price tag. New Mac owners can also sign for a 60-day .Mac trial on the company's Web site.