Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, August 25, 2021

ring around
Apple’s strategy with the iPod from the beginning was to use it as an introductory device. It’s purpose was to introduce consumers to an Apple product, let them experience the quality of it, and then sell additional items. The prime complementary merchandise for the iPod is the iTunes Music Store — a natural, since you’ve got to have something to play on your music player, and the IMS is specifically designed to work with the iPod.

A secondary aim was to use the iPod to help spur sales of the Mac. There are now signs of that strategy working in at least one critical market segment: College students. Students enamoured of the iPod are choosing Mac Powerbooks instead of Wintel notebooks for the back-to-school season.

This validates Apple’s decision to expand the iPod market by offering them preformatted in Windows. The early criticism of that move was that it would hurt Mac sales by removing an incentive from the typical computer buyer to switch. This development suggests that it’s irrelevant. What’s more, it points out to consumers placing greater importance on the hardware and look-and-feel in deciding on their computer hardware.

Naturally, this wouldn’t be happening if the pricing and software options weren’t right:

Now that Microsoft Office is available for Macs, [salesman Jeff] Guba says, students can work with many Windows programs, such as Outlook for e-mail and Word for documents. “That made a big difference,” he says. [Note: This is not really accurate; MS Office has been available on the Mac OS for several years; it’s always been compatible with Windows documents and systems, even though some programs (notably Access) aren’t available for the Mac.]…

Besides the afterglow of iPod, other factors are giving Apple laptops a boost:

-Viruses. Internet viruses that affect Windows machines “have gotten out of hand,” says Charles Hendee at New York University’s computer store. “Every week, we have three or four people switch for just that reason.”

-Price. Unlike Mac desktops, which tend to cost more than comparable Windows machines, entry-level iBook laptops are competitively priced, at about $949 with Apple’s education discount.

This isn’t going to vault Apple to the top of the computing heap. But it’s a nice little gain.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/25/2004 11:04:18 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Tech | Permalink |

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  1. Apples strategies always seem to require a long gestation period to take effect, unfortunately, shifts in technology sometimes outpace those periods, like with the Newton.

    Whatever happened to the ’switcher’ ads? Im kind of glad theyre gone, to be honest. I don’t think they really inspired that many people to switch.

    The thing that bothers me about Apple and the iPod now is that its starting to seem like its all they care about, that and the ITMS. Where is the new hardware? Where is the 3GHZ G5? Wheres the G5 iMac? Zip. Nada. Nothing. Nothing but little feature upgrades here and there.

    Comment by The \\\’Belt — 08/26/2004 @ 11:23:55 AM

  2. I bought my last new Mac in 1999 and when it becomes un-upgradable I probably won’t buy another. They’re just too expensive and they use too many off-the-shelf parts to justify their inflated cost. For people who can’t resist downloading spyware and can’t configure a firewall, theyre great because they insulate them from so many of the virus threats out there these days, but I don’t need that level of ‘protection’, at least not for the price that Apple charges.

    Now if they made a retail box version of OSX for x86 processors, that would be something I would be interested in. They’ll never do it though, because they aren’t interested in offering driver support beyond a small short list of manufacturers.

    Comment by The ‘Belt — 08/26/2004 @ 11:26:50 AM

  3. […] 0-character limit on comments, thus resulting in his leaving two back-to-back comments for this post, I thought I’d announce this for everyone […]

    Pingback by Population Statistic — 08/26/2004 @ 06:09:39 PM

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