Nov 17, 2005, 10:28 AM
Link: Is there or Is There Not a Halo Effect? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20051117112848)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug
Nov 17, 2005, 12:16 PM
No analysis of raw sales numbers is going to "prove" or "disprove" the iPod gateway effect. (Sorry, I don't get the "halo" metaphor so I'll use my own.) After all, Mac sales have plenty of OTHER reasons to be up: Tiger's a great OS, the iMac G5 is a great product line, Apple has some pro apps that can't be touched, Vista is embarrassingly delayed and stripped of features, Windows is increasingly bombarded by viruses and security breaches, etc. etc.
To "prove" the gateway effect you need surveys of customer impressions and changes in perception--and I suspect Apple (and others) HAVE been doing those studies, whether they share with us or not. (I've heard of some small scale surveys by analysts, but nothing big.)
You also need time.
I believe the gateway effect is real, is big... and is slow. Most people don't even have Macs on the radar. Computers HAVE to be Windows. They don't know why... they just don't ask the question. An iPod helps them ask the question. Could something maybe work better for me than Windows? That's powerful, but it does NOT make them suddenly scrap their current computer. They may well buy a Mac as a result of owning an iPod, but most likely LATER. When their current machine needs a replacement. Or maybe the machine after that. People don't get out of long-held habits overnight. The gateway effect is real, but the effects have barely begun to be seen.
Also, remember that the gateway/halo effect has two levels: the personal level (I like my iPod--are Macs this great?) AND the overall level (higher Apple mindshare even among NON-iPod owners, thanks to the iPod's success and press). Both levels are great for the Mac.
Nov 17, 2005, 01:15 PM
You also need time.
I believe the gateway effect is real, is big... and is slow.
I agree... Apple's mindshare is growing which is what will help the market share grow. There are several people who put off buying an iPod until they got new computers since their Win 98 boxes couldn't use it them easily.
They replaced their computers in 2003/4 and started buying iPods. They're not ready to buy new ones yet but they are more likely to consider buying a Mac next time.
Anecdotally, when I bought my Powerbook in 2004, most people who found out looked at me oddly or asked me why. Now people find out I have a Mac and they're asking questions about it because they've heard so much about Macs, their security and their ease of use and they tell me that they're considering purchasing.