PDA

View Full Version : MacBook Air ~ Will Clean Up in the Style Markets




TanToday
Jan 22, 2008, 06:12 AM
Interesting how everyone seems to miss out on WHOM might be the main market for this product. It just MAY BE, that Steve Jobs and his gang have identified one more VERY PROFITABLE overlooked market.


Defending Apple's MacBook Air

posted on: January 20, 2008

Blogs worldwide are moaning about the MacBook Air's deficiencies, ranging from its slow processor, its lack of an optical drive and wired ethernet, its lack of a user-replaceable battery, and of course, its high price. All we need now is someone predicting that it will be the death of Apple (AAPL) and the second coming of Microsoft (MSFT), and the moaning will be complete.

Frankly, it strikes me that these people who about the feature set are a bit like the thsose who complain that Ferraris don't have enough trunk space. Apple's going to sell if not a gazillion, at least a few million MacBook Airs in its first year. Why? Because Apple has identified an untapped and very profitable market niche for the MacBook Air that will expand its market share: fashion designers and luxury hospitality companies.If you're an executive at Ralph Lauren or Prada, the ugliness of carrying around a Dell laptop would give you hives. For these people, style and design isn't a luxury; it's an essential job requirement. And its a category of people whom the computer industry has not served well to date with boxy designs, techie jargon, and a general rejection of the value of fashion. Said another way, how many computers look good with an Armani suit?The same could be said for the concierge desk at the Four Seasons, or the reception area at the W Hotel. In the hospitality industry, there are two types of products: those for the front of the house (customer-facing) and those for the back of the house (production). Most computers are designed for the back of the house. But you could put a MacBook Air on a glass desk in any one of those front of house environments, and it would fit right in. It's a product designed for this market.To give you a better concept of this target market, let's do a quick rundown of the published MacBook Air deficiencies with a synthetic fashion executive who is looking for a new laptop, and has admired the design of a MacBook Air:


* Slow processor: "Seems fast enough to me. I have people who can do spreadsheets if it doesn't suit my needs."

* No optical drive or wired ethernet: "I don't want to have to lug around extraneous baggage, and wires and physical media are so last century."

* No user replaceable battery: "If I need it replacing, I'll send it out. I like the fact that the Apple store will service it for me."

* High price: "Expensive? It costs less than my suit."

Fashion isn't about gigahertz and feature sets. It's about design, elegance, and lifestyle -- said another way, it's about focusing on a few, essential and beautiful things, and leaving everything else out. And for the fashion industry -- and the hospitality industry and TV shows and countless other image-driven businesses -- the MacBook Air will be right at home.

Disclosure: Author is long AAPL.


http://www.blackfriarsinc.com/blog/index.html



Cybergypsy
Jan 22, 2008, 06:15 AM
Thank you great find....

TanToday
Jan 22, 2008, 06:23 AM
Yes, it was.

I'm a 60 year old computer GEEK, one of the first out there. And I've seen stuff come and go, and ALWAYS the other GEEKS are the ones you constantly hear about, whining for more power, speed, and complexity.

HOWEVER, look around you, really look. How many of those that you know in real life lust after what YOU lust after? In my circles, it is only a very few. Most that I know, and work with, think computers are like death and taxes, a necessary evil. The don 't WANT more power, they don't WANT this and that, they DO WANT, "COOL-PRETTY-EASY-SNAZZY" ... and more importantly, they want to LOOK GOOD and have others jealous of them.

The MacBook Air will slam home HUGE in the "must impress someone" markets. The same ones that pay $12,000 for a Rolex that doesn't keep time any better than a $30 Chinese watch. The same folks that pay $1,000 more for pretty kitchen or laundry APPLIANCES, and there are not many out there, but the 15% of the world that IS this way, is actually a MUCH BIGGER market than the GEEKS that want speed, number crunching, and dazzling mega graphics.

Think of it this way, now they can get FEWER GEEKS, and MORE NORMALS.

I see this as potentially being as important as the TOTALLY weird iPod was, as much a fashion statement as music player. Think about it, isn't the iPod just a player, yet how many want the PRETTY ONES? Isn't the iPhone more or less a phone, but it is PRETTY? And on and on.

The world works on WANTS, more than NEEDS. And Steve and gang know that, and are more than willing to give you what you WANT, .... AFTER .... they create that NEED TO WANT ONE.

Right?

TanToday
Jan 22, 2008, 07:39 AM
11:21 PM
Sun Jan 20th

The Macbook Air makes more sense if you live or have traveled to Asia. Sub Notebooks are the rage here, with the likes of Sony, Samsung and Fujitsu successfully selling millions of similar slivers of technology to executives, fashionasitas and the female user population.

In Asia lugging around an ugly Dell or be seen in a Starbucks with it is considered a major fashion faux pas. The Macbook Air is the first real indication that Apple is finally taking the Asian market seriously and going after it in a major way.

So yes, the Macbook Air will look strange to most Yanks, just as Hello Kitty, Pokemon, Karaoke, Cosplay, Anime, etc still do. But in Asia and the rest of the hip capitals of the world, the Air is going to sell very well.

Add in the oil gazillionaires of the Middle East, and the Ruskie Mafioso's, and the other "LOOK AT *ME*" markets, and I smell a winner here, one that just about EVERY Geek isn't even aware of as even human.

Remember, the world turns on DESIRES, not on NEEDS, once you have more money than you reasonably need for meeting life's basic necessities, in kicks the desire and want for status, admiration, and lust.

And despite ALL of the realities of the MACHINE here, Apple isn't selling hardware as much as it is selling DESIRE with this one.

In six months, this will be a MUST HAVE, for every Hollywood starlet, executive, and sheik, and Singaporean entrepeneur.

Watch.

NickFalk
Jan 22, 2008, 07:43 AM
I fail to see how this would extend Apple's market at all. Surely this market segment allready buy macs when they need a computer?

TanToday
Jan 22, 2008, 08:01 AM
Nonsense.

Just look at how few Apples are sold in Japan, and how many could be.

AND don't forget, the overlooked, gotta have MORE THAN ONE market.

I have three Rolex watches. Three.

I have ONE need for a watch, and that would have been met perfectly by one $100 good Japanese watch.

How many people have more than one watch, car, stereo, Mp3 player, etc, etc?

You keep on thinking LIKE A GEEK, get outside the box, and think like a normal person that wants to do things, be admired, seen as cool, and could give a rats patootie about such "essentials" as FIREWIRE, MOVIE EDITING, and other esoteria. Face it, I would bet that of all the people with KEYNOTE on their laptops, less than 10% have EVER given a presentation using it. Same with so many of the other applications that everyone "must have"...they don't understand them, they don't use them, but they BUY them just in case....right?

For the average Joette or Muhammad out there, what they do use, word processing, simple spreadsheets, internet browsing, and media WATCHING, they can do all this on the MBAir in style, fast enough to be useful, AND get the ooh and aah's from their friends that is for so many of them, the very highest goal in life.

ViveLeLivre
Jan 22, 2008, 08:12 AM
The MacBook Air. Because chihuahuas in prada bags are so, like, last year.

What a lame rationalization.

How much market share can the rich hipsters represent anyway? If every fashionista wanted to buy one of these, they'd still represent less than 1% of the total buying market.

NickFalk
Jan 22, 2008, 08:30 AM
Nonsense.

Just look at how few Apples are sold in Japan, and how many could be.

AND don't forget, the overlooked, gotta have MORE THAN ONE market.

I have three Rolex watches. Three.


Well I am a geek, but normally I pride myself with an open mind, and when it comes to computers I see them more as tools than computer for computer's sake.

While I appreciate your ideas about having more watches than you need, it's somewaht less practical to have different laptops simply because of the need of data (documents, music, spreadsheets whatnot) having to be moved to different machines several times.

I could be wrong, but as I also mention in my blog I believe the Air mimics the Cube too much. It will definitely sell, but I doubt it will be a huge hit.

As for Japan. Yep certainly a wildcard, but traditionally they've really gone for the smallest-possible form factor allthough this can of course change...

TanToday
Jan 22, 2008, 08:33 AM
How much market share can the rich hipsters represent anyway?

Let me reverse that one BACK to you.

How much market share does the ENTIRE Apple line warrant? Under 7% ?

Seems to me, that a stock that rises from $15 to $150 or more, over seven years, that ONLY caters to that 7% can and will find a pretty good wallop if they can ONLY reach another 1%. After all, adding ONE MORE percentage to the 7% they already have is a GAIN of 14%.

And that ain't so shabby, now is it?

{ Why are Geeks so slow to understand just how TINY the market for Geekstuff really is, compared to cool stuff for the average bimbo or Joe? }

diabolic
Jan 22, 2008, 08:38 AM
It will definitely sell, but I doubt it will be a huge hit.

Every product doesn't have to be a huge hit to be a success.

Whether you agree with the original post or not, I'd bet at least half of iPhone sales have been solely on the basis of "I think it's cool," so it could probably work for the MBA as well. These forums were full of posts telling everyone how badly the iPhone was going to flop and how phones with Windows Mobile kicked the crap out of it in functionality. None of that mattered at all.

There are a lot more people out there that spend money on things geeks would consider stupid than you'd want to believe.

icepick1985
Jan 22, 2008, 08:47 AM
if i had the money, i would buy one mac pro for some business and work stuff and an air for reading mail and surfing the web. That would be pretty sweet.

But hey! Didn't cracked a jackpot yet! ;D

Jiddick ExRex
Jan 22, 2008, 09:06 AM
This thread fails to deliver because the OP uses a phrase like 'I have THREE Rolex watches' and then combines it with 'think outside the box like normal people'.

I am pretty content with not showcasing that I am a shallow, filthy rich, fashion ridden, god awful excuse of a human being.
I mean, the only inaccurate description of myself here would be the filthy richness anyway... :o

johnnyjibbs
Jan 22, 2008, 09:44 AM
It's true that this is the sleekest laptop yet, but then I would say that arguably Apple's other laptops are also the most stylish out there (other than the MacBook Air).

I work in Notting Hill so I fully expect a few MacBook Airs to be turning up in the independent coffee shops in the coming weeks... :cool:

TanToday
Jan 22, 2008, 09:56 AM
T

I am pretty content with not showcasing that I am a shallow, filthy rich, fashion ridden, god awful excuse of a human being.


Nor am I.

BUT there are a TON that are, I bought my Rolexes in the mid 70's for around $600 bucks each, give or take. Today, they are worth multiples of that amount. WHY? Because the world is richer, money is now found in the sands of Arabia, the snow of Siberia, and the former Rickshaw drivers now driving Merc's in Shanghai.

I'm driving at a POINT HERE people, this isn't about YOU...get it? YOU are not the market, YOU are on a GEEK BOARD, filled with Apple GEEKS, talking to OTHER APPLE GEEKS.

Apple ALREADY owns your wallets, now do they or not?

Apple is now going after the wallets of those who are NOT currently apple Geeks, but in reality, this is the computer equivalent of the iPhone. The GEEKS are using Blackberries, THEY thought the iPhone was a toy for the hoi polli, didn't they, they STILL DO, for that matter. But there are now over 5 MILLION people showing off the neato cool iPhone and they don't give a rat's patooi that the BLACKBERRY crowd thinks they are dumb, dumb or NOT, their OTHER friends, the ones with normal phones { that right NOW have about ten features that NO ONE USES } are admiring them, and thinking how "with it" those iPhone users are.

The MacBook Air is the same thing, it is a STYLE statement, that just happens to do basic computing tasks quite well too.

NickFalk
Jan 22, 2008, 01:09 PM
I think you in many ways paint most of us with a geek-brush that's at least two numbers too large. As I said I am*a geek, in the way that I love technology and machines that goes "ping".

The main reason I a mac-user is however that I find it to be a better tool for creative-stuff. Video-editing, creative-writing or other stuff. If I look at those of my friends who own macs I would say they are in general less*interested in technology for technologies sake than most of my PC-owning friends.

The reason I am skeptical towards the Air is actually that it's less usable*as a creative tool. And if you look at the majority of complaints it seems the lack of processor-power and optical drive is what concerns people the least...

netdog
Jan 22, 2008, 01:17 PM
The reason I am skeptical towards the Air is actually that it's less usable*as a creative tool. And if you look at the majority of complaints it seems the lack of processor-power and optical drive is what concerns people the least...

Right, this is a lifestyle product. Web, mail, word processing, etc., all on the go, all in light package, all with a great screen (better than the MacBook).

It isn't a tool for creating any more than the Duo was. To me, this is the rebirth of the duo minus the dock.

All that said, I have a Mac Pro, and the Air makes a perfect portable complement to that machine. If one needs their portable to be powerful for creative tasks, the current 15" and 17" MBPs are already the best on the market. I don't. Many don't. This is the first laptop in Apple's current lineup not targeted toward the user who needs their portable to be as powerful as many desktop machines.

Finally, Air is beautiful, and I like beautiful things.

For all of those reasons, the MacBook Air is going to be a huge success.

NickFalk
Jan 23, 2008, 02:29 AM
Fair point, fair point. I still believe though that a lot of people who are contemplating buying a MacBook Air might end up with a regular MacBook instead. And no this is not because the Air is not a product I want. I do want one, I just won't buy one. ;)

The reality is of course that most Apple-products aren't for me. I got my MacPro, and therefore the Mac mini & iMac is useless. I can still see the point with these products though, as their target-demographics seems fairly obvious. The Air's demographic might very well be clear to some, but I'm just not convinced that it's large enough to defend the kind of money Apple have put into this baby. Not my problem, I know, and perhaps it's designed mainly to work as a signal-product to pull people in to the stores...

KingYaba
Jan 23, 2008, 02:53 AM
I have the feeling the Air may end up like the 20th Anniversary Mac. I cannot wait to see the sales figures. I hope it catches on because I want my AAPL to go up. :)