I have a theory about Apple and their view on "switchers"

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by BGil, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. BGil macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2005
    My theory is that Apple isn't really targeting switchers as much as they would like the Mac community to believe. I think Apple says their targeting switchers because it reinforces the belief that Apple hardware and software is better and that's why Mac users should pay more for it (and that's why others are "switching" to it).

    If Apple was really targeting switchers then why not advertise about the Mac not having any viruses? Instead they advertise Spotlight and Dashboard. My mother's eyes would gaze over if I tried to sell her on a Mac by saying, "With Spotlight, you can find anything on your computer as quickly as you type. Search your entire system from one place: Files, emails, contacts, images, calendars and applications appear instantly". But the second you mention, "completely immune to viruses" her ears perk up. Even if they've never dealt with a virus personally they've definitely heard about them on the news and at the watercooler.

    I've seriously tried to tell two very casual Panther users about Spotlight and why they should upgrade to Tiger and their eyes glazed over. I don't think Apple is stupid enough to not notice this phenomenon, I think they just aren't targeting switchers at all. Only Mac enthusiasts and users get excited over Spotlight and Dashboard. On people who are Mac fanatics because of their of "superiority complex" or people who are ginuwine Apple lovers (or Microsoft haters) would care about those Longhorn posters at WWDC 2004. Advertising "virus immunity" over Spotlight and "Introducing Longhorn" would have been much more beneficial to actually attracting switchers but not as good for reinforcing the ego of many Mac Fanatics.

    If the Mac Mini's lack of a keyboard and mouse is due to PC switchers already having keyboards then why does the Mini not come with a PS/2 adapter? The majority of PC users with keyboard and PC over 2-3 years old have PS/2 keyboards. I don't really think that Apple expects switchers to go to the store to pick up an adapter (they aren't that easy to find at brick and mortor stores) or even know that they exist. And why would Apple want a switchers first major experience with a Mac to be with a PC keyboard anyway? A few of the rather crucial keys are different, there's no eject button, and there usually aren't any USB ports on it. It's already hard enough to figure out that they option and shift keys on a Mac keyboard don't have the symobls on them that are used within the OS, now add the confusion of the Windows key being the Apple/Command Key and a few other inconsistencies.
    And PC keyboard don't usually have USB ports on them. That means the two USB ports on the Mini are swallowed by the mouse and KB. Do they really expect switchers to go out and by a hub too?
    So basically, they didn't include a keyboard and mouse because the people they were targeting (Mac users) already have keyboards and mice that work great with the Mini/Mac issues I mentioned above.

    Additionally, companies like Dell, HP, Compaq, and E-Machines have made a killing in the Mini's price range because they offer a ton of power and really high-specs for a LOW PRICE. The Mini doesn't offer that at all. It's not designed to target people who bought machines from those companies at all, it's designed to appeal to people who typically buy Macs for their design.
    I bet the Mini's sales primarily consist of people who had older Macs and wanted to upgrade but didn't want to fork over $1500 for an iMac or people who wanted to add another Mac to their collection but didn't want to spend that much either. I bet the Mini seriously ate into the sales of iMacs and that's why they won't see upgrades as fast as iMacs and other products.

    My prediction is that if Apple is really targeting switchers with Leopard and Mactel, then they'll put iLife back in it. The only reason they removed it was because the people they were targeting (Mac users) already had iLife and knew enough about it to buy a new version. What's the point of buying Leopard and installing it on a Dell if it doesn't come with any apps?

    Why is it that they advertise the iPod and iTunes everywhere (Superbowl ads) but they don't advertise OS X anywhere? Because the people they target their OS/Mac marketing toward already know about the Mac OS (because they already own Macs).

    How many switchers did Apple really target by keeping their new technology (G5) in a price range that was more than triple what the average PC user pays? Supposedly, G5's are much cheaper than P4's and A64's to make so Apple could make a $600-1000 headless box that competes with P4's and A64's in that range while still having enough money left over to make a compelling design-- but why do that when you can take the same technology double or triple the price and sell it to the extremely small user base that will buy nearly anything you sell?
    Apple knows that this is the only way to remain profitable in todays PC industry outside of out "Delling" Dell and they're going to milk it for all it's worth. Get a small user base that is extremely dedicated to you, keep them thinking everything you do is superior (that comment about other companies buying monitors that Apple rejects was complete BS BTW) so they'll pay outrageous prices for your products. Sony to an extent does the same thing with their PC's (although much less so than Apple) and it seems to work for them.

    What do you guys think?
  2. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    Just a few thoughts on the virus thing... you're right that we don't have any viruses that affect us, but it's wrong to say that the platform is "completely immune to viruses". Yes, none have emerged yet (due in no small part to OS X) but we are by no means immune.

    The current lack of viruses may well be attractive to potential switchers – the problem is though that it's something that to a degree is out of Apple's hands. The concern might be that if they really push the Mac as a virus proof platform, it's making OS X more of an attractive scalp to virus writers. There are certainly people out there who would like to have the bragging rights and kudos that would go with writing an OS X crippling virus, the folks at Cupertino probably realise that they don't need any further encouragement. And if the Mac is heavily sold as the 'virus-free computer' then it would do a huge amount of damage to the company's credibility when (not if) a virus emerges.

    Basically, what I'm saying is that if Apple boast about being virus-proof it will, sooner or later, come back to bite them on the arse.

    Just my twopenneth worth. ;)
  3. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I think Jaffa Cake said it well... and that was going to be my response :eek:

    "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."

    No need to brag and issue the challenge.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg
  4. iSaint macrumors 603


    May 26, 2004
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    I agree with what was said here so far. As to why I switched...being slightly above average knowledge user - what I read about the stability of OS X, lack of viruses, eye-candy. Plus one of my friends who is a computer science major and I were switching at the same time. I was fed up with my Compaq and W2K and their problems with W2K stability, viruses, fixes, patches, spyware, adware, pop-ups, etc. So far, in almost a year, I've had little or no problems with my iBook. It's hard to convince others, however, as I believe most people are scared of computers to begin with. Scared because they think they'll break something or do something wrong.

    As far as price, my iBook was around $1,100, and I bought a 4G 20g iPod for $69 (Cram 'n Jam). I could have bought a $699 HP or something, but I would be facing the same maintenance and stability problems as before. This is my first laptop, btw, and I love it.

    There's a complete smarta** in my graduate teaching classes (because he couldn't get a job as a computer science graduate) who is totally smarmy about my iBook. This from the guy who got the BSOD on his Compaq during a class presentation. HE said HE could write a virus for Macs... :rolleyes:

    This is slightly off topic, but I just wanted to present my view as to why I switched to Macs last year, and haven't looked back! Reading MacRumors helped a lot in my decision, as did the Apple web site.

    P.S. I would love to buy a Mac Mini for my daughter. We have the keyboard and mouse and screen, and the 80g HD would be a great backup space for me. She finds the Mac platform easy and fun to use. :D
  5. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Are you suggesting that Leopard will run on a Dell?
    From what limited knowledge I have of the Mactel switch, that won't be the case.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  6. IndyGopher macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    Judging by the number of "will Apple ever release a multibutton mouse" threads here, I would say that including a mouse with the mini is a waste of money. Apple also sells their keyboards for 3x as much as you can get them for from Wal*Mart, and a lot of people are not big fans of the newer (USB) Apple keyboards. People also complain endlessly on here about how much Apple asks for displays... but as soon as they release a machine that doesn't include any of this stuff, so that people can buy the ones they prefer without paying for ones that will go on a shelf, then they get grief from OTHER people about not including them.

    I think the mini is aimed at people wanting a second computer. Whether their first one is a PC or a Mac, the mini makes a fine second computer.

    Also, your statement about PS/2 keyboards and mice is misleading. The HUGE majority of name-brand (Dell, HP, Compaq, Gateway) sold at retail (ie, crappy consumer-line machines) have come with USB mice and keyboards since at least 2000. We're talking about the $500-$999 integrated video, plastic case, no legacy ports, built-in WinModem piece of crap PC's here... Mac people who have PC's tend to have nicer PC's.. because they tend to buy PC's for specific purposes (like games) and don't buy the lowest end PC stuff that nevertheless is the greatest percentage of PC's out there in the hands of people who would WANT to switch to a Mac.

    Apple is not trying to get Joe Gamer to buy a Mac mini (at least, not as a replacement for his PC) However, Sally Homemaker who uses her $400 Dell to write emails, keep track of the bills with Quicken or Excel, surf the web, etc who bought the computer 2 years ago and doesn't even bother trying to get online much anymore since Spyware wrecks the machine in half an hour when she does, is very much the sort of person the mini would benefit as a replacement machine.

    I think the mini is not aimed at everyone.. but that it fills a need. The marketing could certainly do with some improvement, but with the looming Intel switch-over, I am not sure that Apple is looking to gain ground right now, as much as to just not lose any more. After all the machines are back on the same page, so to speak, I think they will market the hardware (other than iPods) again.
  7. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I do agree that apple knows that its money comes from the "faithful." I think they do want switchers, but they don't really want to beat Dell in the low end and mass markets. Apple is something of an elitist company (that comes in part directly from Jobs), and I think they like it that way. They are highly profitable and successful with their current business model, and I'm not sure that they are even interested in making the whole world run on macs.
  8. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Depends on how you tell your mother about Spotlight/Dashboard. I told Mum that I'd upgrade her to Tiger (makes life easier on the support telephone when she's looking at the same system) and she asked why?

    My explanation for Spotlight was 'you know how you're always complaining you can't find stuff? Well, you'll be able to type something from the file into a box and find things instantly'. My mother loves Spotlight but I think she loves Dashboard more - she could never be bothered opening up a browser and going through her bookmarks to find the Yellow Pages or a weather forecast... now they're just there! She's even telling her friends about her widgets!
  9. Ajsfiremouse macrumors newbie


    Jul 8, 2005
    I agree with all that was said here. I think the Mac Mini is more focused toward people who want or need a second computer. I also think that people who would like to make a switch to a Mac would like to take it slow and buy a lower end Mac without having to have there whole desk taken up by a eMac (no offence to the eMac users out there ;) )They can have a flat panel display, whether or not it be an Apple one, and still have room for a keyboard and mouse.

    And so what if you need to go out and spend $60 for a Apple keyboard and mouse? You can even find some lower end 'Made for Mac' keyboard and mice.

    I almost think that people who allready have a Mac are going to buy another one with very little motovation. Sure, the iPod seems to get a lot of the lime-light these days, but if you are looking for an alternitive to a Windows based PC you are goning to stumple over the Mac sooner then later. And I read somewhere that a lot of people who buy an iPod and use a PC end up switching to Mac (mind you, I am not sure how accurate that remark is).

    I also think the remark that Steve Jobs made about the reject Apple Displays being used by other companies a little out there. They are over priced (at least in my opinion) but they sell, so who cares?

    But in any case, most people who do switch to Mac have very little complaints about the hardware or software (besides it being over priced).


  10. EGT macrumors 68000


    Sep 4, 2003
    I try and keep away from the family when it comes to computers. I'll never let any of them use the powerbook again.

    "Why are the close icons on this side?", "God, there is a lot of things on the top" (Menu bar), "One button?!?", "Does it have paint?" (Nephew :p)

  11. FF_productions macrumors 68030


    Apr 16, 2005
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    I want to bring this topic back up, because its been really bugging me lately. I always get these stupid advertisements about dell, and their "sweet" deals on pc's. I was thinking about switching back to pc, but I discovered that it is all about the OS, and I just love the Mac no matter the pricing, I've gotten past that.

    I am just begging for Apple to come out with some comercials about their computers, along with the iPod commercials that are starting to get old. It's been a very long time since they have come out with a commerical promoting this OS/computer (Last one I believe was the g5). I can't wait for the day to come when I can walk into a best buy/circuit city and pick up a Mac. Maybe it will never happen, well maybe apple will never get the advantage over microsoft because quite frankly, the internet is not enough to convince switchers!!!! Sure they've made tons of money off the iPod, but why not show the world the big picture, the computer/OSX! PROVE the G5 is the fastest computer, if nobody knows about it, it's going to be hard to say such a statement.

    Anybody else still have an opinion on this?

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