I’m uncomfortable about Apple
I am happy with Apple’s strategy, to the extent that I am informed of it. I am likewise happy with the pricing of the Mac. Apple has successfully segmented the market and focused on high end consumer units, especially portables. It is classic; right out of Michael Porter’s book.
Microsoft’s response has been disjointed and ineffective. First Seinfeld and Gates; now the phony price comparisons. The “we are cheaper message” is pathetic and desperate. Does anyone believe that today’s teenagers buy computers based upon price? And it is the teens where Apple is waging the war. Today’s thirty somethings grew up with Microsoft, playing Doom. Tomorrow’s thirty somethings are growing up with Mac, managing their music. Mac is now number one among incoming freshmen a many colleges and universities. And the trend is up.
The Mac also has a future in the living room, though it may not be called a Mac.
As for the notion that Apple needs to lower prices to “show that it cares”. When that day comes, I am selling every last share. The way to “care” is to innovate, create great products that people want to buy, and sell them at the price that maximizes long-term profit.
Apple can’t do enough to market the productivity gains from using the best OS and applications. In any discussion of pricing, one MUST factor in this simple question: How much is your time worth?
I am not AT ALL uncomfortable with Apple pricing.
Agreed 100 percent. This is one of the main points of the I’m a Mac/PC ads that is too often overlooked by critics who contend the ads are only about Macs being cool: The ads are about how Macs “just work.”
I’ll gladly pay more for a Mac to have it just work. I earn my living on Macs. I am up against constant deadlines on Macs. And I do NOT need an IT department to manage my Macs. They just work, and when they don’t, I can usually fix the problem.
My Windows-using colleagues, however, aren’t so lucky. They need trained, Microsoft-certified IT personnel to fix their problems, be it a corrupted XP registry, malware slowdowns, or the myriad other problems I see in Windows machines in the corporate workplace every day. And talk about short-sighted business? “Macs are expensive!” Yeah, and multi-dozen-staffed IT departments are a bargain by comparison….
As for how much is time worth? In nearly ten years at the same corporation, I have lost count of the times I have met a deadline (websites, trade show graphics, investor presentations) measured in the mere minutes. NO room for equipment error. None. Pushing often-times SIX year old hardware to the limits, like a 933MHz Quicksilver still in service. Always getting the job done. That’s priceless.
TOC and the value of time…that’s summed up in their message of “it jut works.” That’s why I’ll never use anything else. As for why Apple doesn’t push this message more towards enterprise users? Well, IT departments control enterprise purchases, and what IT department is willing to make itself largely obsolete? Apple no doubt knows this, and markets accordingly. To consumers. Where “cool,” likewise, has value.
mrmwebmax (formerly mrmgraphics)
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I am not going to pretend to be a financial expert. I will however make a point that many Apple products cost less today than at the time of their introduction. Lets take the iMac for example (disclaimer ... I own one). My iMac 24” unit w/2.8 GHz, 2 Gig RAM and 500 Gig HD set me back $2400 or so a year ago. The new modes are coming in below two grand for the 24” units. The 20” units are a steal. Go compare them with the equivalent HP models and see which is less costly.
The least talked about Apple computer is the Mini. $599 gets you a lot of Multi-media power in a small desktop footprint. Even the iPhone is less today than at its introduction. Do you remember the uproar when Apple did lower the price? Just check the pricing history of Apple products.
The problem that Dell and the other OEMs have is MS’s current marketing blitz. MS is/has convinced the public that you only need to spend a few hundred to get a computer capable of running Vista. That approach is killing high-end gaming machine makers. Like Apple they make their money off hardware sales. MS is subtly killing the market for boutique systems and therefore innovation. At this rate none of the OEMs will make their targeted margins on the per sale basis. Imagine how Dell and the others better known companies not being able to distinguish themselves from say SystemMax and other third tier beige box makers.
Anyway one of the other posters said it better. Apple has its niche. As cloud computing grows it won’t matter what OS is used. In the end it will be about productivity and the individual’s budget. I use both Windows and OS X. Neither company pays me for my opinion. I simply recognize a good value when I see one and I am willing to pay for exceptional quality.
Here ya go calebcar; this should make you feel better (it does me)