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View Full Version : Do you think Apple products are luxury items?


iAlan
Feb 7, 2003, 08:05 AM
There has been a lot of talk recently in different threads about the price difference for Apple products between countries.

Are Apple products concidered luxury items in your respective countries? How do they compare in price to other PC products?

I know my Mac is a necessity, even though I only use it for the internet (yeah Safari), listening to music (yeah iTunes), organizing my digital pictures (yeah iPhoto), making movies (yeah iMovies), burning DVD's (yeah DVD Studio Pro), making kick-ass presentations (yeah Keynote-although i have to use my PB at the office as I have an IBM box for work, and given I give 3-6 presentation monthly, I am thinking of conning my boss into getting me a new AlBook for presentation work- and boy, I blew everyone away last week with my first client presentation on Keynote)

Hey Apple is perfect regardless of price!!

Mr. Anderson
Feb 7, 2003, 09:43 AM
I don't know if I'd go so far as to say they were luxury items. In a few cases any computer could be considered such. But Apple's are also design oriented in that they look better asthetically than most other machines. That contributes to some of their appeal.

You might pay a little more for a mac, but not overly so.

D

kiwi_the_iwik
Feb 7, 2003, 09:53 AM
When I was growing up in New Zealand, we always considered Apple products to be synonymous with quality. Of course, that reputation tended to keep the prices high - PC's of the same callibre were hard to come by, and their prices were markedly lower.

The cost certainly didn't sway my opinion of Apples - and especially Macs when they first came out in 1984 (I bought my first Mac - a second-hand 512KE - in 1985). In fact, they were cutting edge. Windows hadn't even made an impression yet, so many PC's were still chugging away on DOS: but THIS system was amazing and intuitive. Sod the cost - I had to have one.

It's a fitting testimony to Apple's build integrity that my first Mac still chimes perfectly on power-up. I'd feel confident in predicting that there's not many PC users who'd have the same confidence with their 19 year-old computers...

:D

MacBandit
Feb 7, 2003, 10:21 AM
Computers are a luxury item. Do you need them for food? Do you need them to breath? Are they necessary to life and to allow you're heart to continue beating?

Yes I know some of us would argue they would as soon die but the truth is we don't need any of them. Life went on millions of years without them.

So my answer is yes, they are luxury items but no more then any other computer or electronic device.

MrMacMan
Feb 7, 2003, 11:01 AM
Only the top of the line Power Mac/ Powerbooks are.

Look if you get a screen bigger than 21" then you have a luxury item, that is just beyond needed.

Nipsy
Feb 7, 2003, 11:41 AM
I have mentioned Apple being a luxury computing brand many times, and I'll explain why:

Luxury items are items which are the high end part of a broader commodity market, not items required to survive.

For instance, a digital watch can be had for $10. It it a commodity item (widely available & price driven, low brand awareness & loyalty). Swiss watches (for the most part) are luxury items (smaller availablity, quality driven, high brand awareness & loyalty).

To extrapolate on the watch analogy (since the car one has been beaten to death), let's compare the Swatch Group to the computer market.

The Swatch Group consists of several companies, but I'm focusing on two brands, one a commodity brand, one a luxury brand: Swatch & Omega. Imagine swatch as your vanilla beige box PC, and Omega as your Apple.

Swatches are inexpensive commodity items, purchased cheaply and in mass by consumers who are looking primarily for price, and a name they've heard of. Sure, you can get a watch even cheaper (the equivalent of a no name PC), but you'll pay a SMALL premium for the Swatch name. There's nothing hugely special about their design, tooling, fit, finish, etc. The Swatch watch is like Dell, HP/Compaq, Gateway, Sony, etc. Cheap, functional, nothing special about it. When the battery runs out in a few years, you may buy another Swatch, but you may also buy a Casio, a Timex, etc. because the Swatch didn't inspire you. This sort of price/convenience based purchasing is indicative of mass market commodity items, like throwaway watches, and yes, consumer Wintel PCs.

Omegas are considerably more expensive to purchase and own (like Apples) even though they perform the same function. They share some parts with Swatches (as Apples share HDs, RAM, etc. with PCs), yet people pay a premium for them. Why?

Design & Finish: The Omega is tooled very carefully, and built very solidly. This is similar to the massive attention to detail which Apple applies to its industrial design and build quality. The turned steel back of a watch is very similar to the turned steel bottom of an iMac. Neither is oft seen, but the attention to detail is still there. The same is true of the El Capitan case, which was good when it came out, and almost perfect now. There is no equivalent in the commodity PC world.

Quality: Many of the Omegas (and Apples) made in 1984 are still running just fine. Most of the Swatches (and PCs) made in 1984 have been scrapped, primarily because they stopped working.

Stability: The Omega watch is likely to be chronometer certified, meaning it is very accurate. The Swatch may be off 10 secs or more per day. This equates to the productivity/stability you get with an Apple vs. a PC. XP is pretty good at not crashing, but OS X is better. More importantly, OS X makes it harder for your time to be wasted (Pop ups, virii, spam, etc.). People will pay a premium to avoid these things.

Loyalty: Loyalty is very uncommon in the commodity item world. Owning a Swatch is unlikely to make you a lifetime Swatch owner. Owning an Omega might. Similarly, the longevity of Apples products, coupled with all their other plusses has given them rabid brand loyalty (so much so that it is taught in marketing classes). If you've used Dells for 10 years, but the HP is $250 cheaper for the same machine, will you still buy a Dell? This sort of brand oyalty is really indicative of luxury or niche market status.

Apple, to me, is clearly a luxury brand. I pay a premium for something I feel is better than something else, even though they provide similar funtionality. Same with Omega/Swatch. Same with Porsche/Honda. Same with Armani/Hanes. Same with Sony/Yorx. Same with Waterford/Bic.

You can do the same things with either of the the items from the pairs above, but you may pay more for the item which does it with higher style, better quality, or more careful design.

This to me is the clear divider between luxury and commodity items.

arn
Feb 7, 2003, 12:42 PM
posted in wrong section