Interesting Arstechnica poll

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by whooleytoo, Jun 26, 2003.

  1. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #1
    There's an interesting poll on Arstechnica at the moment (I think the correct URL is http://arstechnica.com/forum/sympoll/index.php?dispid=5), asking what users think of Apple's announcements.

    Considering the poll is relatively large (over 20,000 at time of writing), the numbers are quite interesting.

    21% are already Mac users.
    4% have switched from Unix and Windows.
    2% are going to switch from Unix and Windows soon.
    7% are considering switching from Unix and Windows.
    24% found the Mac compelling, but too expensive.

    That's 13% (roughly 1 in 7) who have switched or about to; or a whopping 37% who are favourable to the Mac (with the price being the main obstacle). And remember, if one excludes the Mac users from this poll, the percentages are even more impressive.

    If these demographics are true of the PC market as a whole, it's a very positive sign for Apple.

    Mike.
     
  2. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #2
    Re: Interesting Arstechnica poll

    -whooley

    I only wish they were.

    unfortunately the respondants to this poll (the sample) is most likely not casual users that only use their computers for email and word processing folks (some call them the 'sheep'). These are the type of folks who get MSN because they wan EMail that is more 'fun', and want to surf with others remotely due to "advanced Microsoft Software" (surely you've seen the ads).

    They may be online, but will not know about Arstechnica, and by extension, the poll.

    The second group is all of the Business users who have their office machines bought for them by IT (large bulk of the market share of computers go here).

    The polled sample represented here are most likely fairly advanced users who understand the impacts of computing technology.

    And, to you point, it is encouraging to see these numbers from that demographic, because not too long ago, this is where most of the Mac v. PC arguments have traditionally been. And it's nice to see the minds opening a little.
     
  3. whooleytoo thread starter macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #3
    Re: Re: Interesting Arstechnica poll

    You're probably right. I dug a little deeper in the forums at this (and other mixed mac/pc websites), and this was the conclusion most of them came to wrt the large Mac-using percentage.

    Still, it was refreshing to see the poll was (roughly) backed up by the numbers on the forums, with a relatively large number of PC users who'd happily switch if there were an inexpensive option.

    Mike.
     
  4. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #4
    Re: Re: Re: Interesting Arstechnica poll

    I think you just hit the nail right on the head. You have these people (myself included) who build very capable PCs for a very small amount of money. But Windows sux, and Linux can be a pain. I'd love to get my hands on another Mac (my Mom has my old 6400 - still works). But the cost is prohibitive.

    I wish Apple had a cheaper, headless Mac.

    Ah well. Either I save my pennies for when the G5 ships, or I buy a laptop. Either way. I don't really want an i/eMac. I could buy a new 1.25 G4... but I won't. :p

    I think Apple could still have a REALLY cheap, upgradable mini-tower and still make money on it.
     
  5. Fender2112 macrumors 6502a

    Fender2112

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    #5
    Knock, Knock...

    24% found the Mac compelling, but too expensive.

    I hope someone at Apple reads this.:eek:

    I'm no rocket scientist, but I think to sell 24% at a lower margin is better than selling 0% at a higher margin.

    Apple's low end products have been overpriced for a really long time. When I saw the specs for $1999 G5, I shook my head and said "Why bother?" I have a feeling that for 2k I can get a pretty decent Dell (I'll check this later).
     
  6. ddtlm macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Fender2112:

    But would the revenue gained from getting those extra users outwiegh the revenue lost through sales to users who were willing to pay the higher price?
     
  7. shadowfax macrumors 603

    shadowfax

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    #7
    Re: Knock, Knock...

    as clarence thomas said about civil rights activists: all they do is bitch, bitch, bitch, whine, and moan. apple has known this for a long time. they seem to be happy being a niche market company and being better. as steve said to bill in pirates of silicon valley, "We're better than you. we have better stuff." to which bill replied, "don't you get it? it doesn't matter!" apple, even when their hardware performance sucked, was always better. better design, better software... better hardware quality. now their hardware is better or on par on the speed issue, and you want to go tackling the nature of the company? deep down, i don't think apple wants to be as big as MS. they just want to be better. and as long as they are small, they won't be able to afford to give customers the cutthroat prices PCs give you. that's a compromise they make. if you want them to make the PC compromise, well... i hope they don't listen to you :p
     
  8. Fender2112 macrumors 6502a

    Fender2112

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    #8
    The idea is to find a balance. You lower your margin a little, but sell more units. Over a given time frame (fiscal year) you still net the same of amount of profit. The bonus is that you have put Macs in the hands of people who may have went the "other" way. These people (the 24% on the bubble) tell two friends, and they tell two friends.... Word of mouth is very cheap advertising.

    On the other hand, maybe Apple is content with their sales volume. In this case, they charge the higher price because they know that 5% of the buyers out there will buy Macs. Which is fine unless you are a sharehold. Then you might have gripes about wanting to increase volume. But that's another whole topic. :)
     
  9. ddtlm macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Fender2112:

    Yeah, and I strongly suspect that the balance point is much closer to where Apple prices their things now than it is to were all the price-whiners want it.
     
  10. Fender2112 macrumors 6502a

    Fender2112

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    #10
    I suspect not. These days, Apple pretty much designs their Power Macs around industry standards. This is bound to keep cost down. If the 970's are cheaper than the G4 chips, as rumored, then this also keeps cost down.

    In the retail world you have three things: 1) Product 2) Price 3) Service. The PC makers all offer the same product - an x86 with Windows. They have to keep their prices competitve with each other, not Apple. Service is the only area where PC makers get a chance to set themselves apart.

    Apple, on the otherhand is a bit different. They have a niche product which is unique. No one else offers OS X on a PPC. As such, they get a premium price for their product. Apple doesn't have to be competive with their price because there is no competion. However, neither can they be rediculous with their pricing. Service? Apple has to be competive with the PC makers in this area. People who pay a premium price don't want to get screwed when something goes bad. Bad service leaves a bad impression no matter how good the product or the price.
     
  11. shadowfax macrumors 603

    shadowfax

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    #11

    or.......
    if apple doesn't have any competition on their hardware, they don't on service. why do you think they have to keep their service up to compete but not their hardware? if apple is worried about losing people over crappy service, they should be more worried about losing people to x86 over crappy harware and "crappy" prices. apple competes on all three levels. also, PC users also have plenty of different products to sell and thereby set themselves apart. x86 is a lot of things--Celeron, PIV, Athlon... DDR SDRAM, regular SDRAM, RAMBUS.... it's not nearly as homogenous as apple's PPC lineup. so the different PC companies set themselves apart in that respect.
     
  12. Fender2112 macrumors 6502a

    Fender2112

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    #12
    To continue on a bit...

    I think if Apple wants to increase their market share, they have margins that can allow them to be agressive with their pricing.

    PC folks used to make the stand that a Mac can't run so and so software or use such and such hardware. That gap has all but closed now that many hardware and software products are cross platform. The biggest complaints I see on the message boards are that Macs are too expensive and there are not as many games. Yes, Macs are more expensive. And we don't have as many games, but the ones we have are the GOOD ones.

    The point is that hardware and software combatability are no longer the obstacles they used to be. Only the price. And Apple holds the key to this. If they want more market share, they lower the price. If they want less, they raise it.

    I think the conditions are right if Apple wants to turn the tide on the Wintel world. They have a better product and their service is at least on par with PC makers. I also think many PC users are tired of being at the mercy of Microsoft. They would rather be at Apple's mercy. All Apple has to do is turn the price down a few notches, if they so choose. If not, I will still buy a Mac because I am at Apple's mercy.
     
  13. Fender2112 macrumors 6502a

    Fender2112

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    #13
    1) In reguards to service, in my last comment (maybe the one before, it's late), I agree that service IS where Apple has to be competitive.

    2) In reguards to PC folks having a lot of choices. I agree. But when it's all said and done, you still have an x86 box that runs Windows. For any given price point, what are the real differences? What does Dell's $2000 product offer that you can't get for the same price from Sony, Gateway, HP or any other PC maker.
     
  14. shadowfax macrumors 603

    shadowfax

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    #14
    better quality? better design? and of course better support. ;)

    but really where it comes in is dell would have better prices for the same hardware than other companies, so it is a price battle instead, if you want to look at it that way. most of this argument is based on perspectives, as following from the assumption that sales is an equation with only the 3 variables you mentioned.
     
  15. Fender2112 macrumors 6502a

    Fender2112

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    #15
    How much better are you talking about? Pocket change or lap dance? :) I don't shop PC's. I just know that at CompUSA, of the brands they carry, none of them jumped out at me as being signifcantly cheaper. Except eMachines :::shiver::: But that takes us back to product :p
     
  16. alset macrumors 65816

    alset

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    #16
    Re: Re: Knock, Knock...

    That doesn't mean that the conversation really took place. It might have, but the movie is only a movie, not a documentary.

    As for cheaper Macs, I'd love to see them. Still, the reality is that I am satisfied just as long as Apple stays ahead of the curve and I can use the software I need.

    Dan
     
  17. Fender2112 macrumors 6502a

    Fender2112

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    #17
    Re: Re: Re: Knock, Knock...

    Ah...then you are also at the mercy of Apple just as I am. If I have to be a slave to a beast, at least let me have the pretty one.:p
     
  18. shadowfax macrumors 603

    shadowfax

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    #18
    Re: Re: Re: Knock, Knock...

    don't you get it? it doesn't matter! ;)

    i don't care if they said that or not, it's what apple has been doing. they make better stuff, and they still lose. it doesn't matter to bill. he came out on top with his windows.
     

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