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A new study has some humorous comments at Mac owners' expense, but reveals some serious market trends

Mac users and Mac-loving analysts often use phrases like “the halo-effect” to explain increased sales of Mac computers and OS X due to iPods and iPhones.  Now, the stock market site The Street has created a humorous video analysis that offers up a new explanation for this and more commercial phenomena -- the "snob"-effect.

In the video, The Street says that on average Mac users surveyed were discovered to be “self centered, arrogant, conceited” and truly "snobs".  The site says this has many real commercial ramifications, so all jokes aside, the "snob"-factor warrants serious attention.

Mac users, apparently concerned with self-image, were found to buy tooth-whitening products at a far greater rate than PC users.  Mac users are also more likely to visit Starbucks, buy organic food, and own hybrid cars.  Furthermore, Mac users buy on average 5 new pairs of sneakers a year, well above the average for non-users. 

Mac users prefer notebooks to desktops, station wagons to SUVs.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mac users prefer "green" products, even at a higher cost.  Perhaps more surprisingly, Mac users are quite law abiding and are more likely than not to pay for music -- perhaps more due to the popularity of iTunes than their moral inclinations.  Mac users are more satisfied with their purchase than PC users.

Interestingly, people surveyed with an "open personality" were found to be 60% more likely to buy a Mac.  Some of the more esoteric observations on Mac users character are flattering, others aren't.  Mac users were found to be more liberal, socially and politically.  Mac users are also less modest and more assured of their own superiority.

The interesting part about The Street's video, is that while obvious poking a bit of fun at the Mac crowd, it does illustrate some practical market trends that can be exploited for the benefit of more effective advertising and marketing to the growing crowd of Mac, iPod, and iPhone "snobs"

Hopefully there won't be too many hurt feelings, and await a possible comment from Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs.



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Writing
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 2/18/2008 11:21:34 AM , Rating: 5
This hardly seems like anything new. Mac users have been notorious for being snobs like Steve Jobs himself. This was true during Steve's first tenture at Apple and continues to this day. Some of the other statistics are simply confirmation that it goes further than just buying a Mac, they go the whole nine yards.




RE: Writing
By geeg on 2/18/2008 11:25:59 AM , Rating: 2
Steve Jobbs is actually mentioned in the book "The No A..hole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't" where his "a..hole" attitude is indeed a winning strategy for his business.


RE: Writing
By ThePooBurner on 2/18/2008 12:17:24 PM , Rating: 5
I am reminded of this accurate assessment made some 5 years ago. Observe!

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2002/07/12


RE: Writing
By Cobra Commander on 2/18/2008 11:28:39 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Now we have The Street telling us what we already-know. I don't see this is so important that Apple would spend more than 5 minutes talking about it, let alone comment publicly about it. I know I wouldn't care if I were Apple. Half of the bullet points listed in this blurb is only going to make them more proud of themselves so what's the point? That snobbery is going to hurt the bottom line? If so, unless there's a known business case elsewhere that demonstrates as much I'm not going to give this another second of thought.


RE: Writing
By JAB on 2/18/08, Rating: -1
RE: Writing
By UNCjigga on 2/18/08, Rating: -1
RE: Writing
By joemoedee on 2/18/2008 12:48:27 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Well there *are* those of us, like myself, who don't use a Mac but really believe Apple is a trend-setting firm that's helped other consumer electronics firms with UI, focus on the consumer, ease of use, etc.


I agree. I've used PC's 98% of my computing life, and I know a lot of the features I've grown to love came out of Apple to begin with. Their innovation and refinement of features has been a driving force in a lot of what we see today.

quote:
I really think there would be less Apple-bashing if Jobs and his crew would simply make OS X independent of their hardware and available to the broad base of x86 users across the globe.


True, but the implications of going that route would be a tremendous undertaking. Additionally, you have to spread the driver support at least 10 fold, to encompass all of the hardware on the market. In the controlled environment, Apple is better equipped to make sure their product works on a select bunch of hardware.

I think it would be going too far off of the normal Apple course to do so. One feature highly touted by Apple users has been "It just works", which would be hard to say if you expanded its hardware selections by that much. What they're doing currently is working, they need not stray.


RE: Writing
By UNCjigga on 2/18/2008 1:03:50 PM , Rating: 2
Just because they open up to other vendors doesn't mean Apple has to be as open as Microsoft. The goal for Apple isn't 92% market share, but rather expanding their current global share to 10% or maybe up to 20% max. They could work only with Dell, HP, Sony, Lenovo and Acer to start, and limit their support to a few Intel chipsets. They can mandate use of their own BIOS, and ignore the build-it-yourself market altogether. Hell, they can even mandate WHERE you can sell an "Apple compatible" computer, keeping the retail market to themselves and making OS X a build-to-order option for web orders from the manufacturer only. As long as they have the right OS X licensing program in place, there's no reason for them not to do this.


RE: Writing
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 2/18/2008 1:18:08 PM , Rating: 3
Apple hardware has nice margins, why would they allow Dell or HP to cut in on those margins?


RE: Writing
By UNCjigga on 2/18/2008 2:43:24 PM , Rating: 1
Because they would charge Dell/HP/etc. a fee for that license? Don't get me wrong--3 years ago if Apple would have proposed something like this, Dell/HP etc. would have laughed in their faces and shared the joke with Microsoft. Nowadays, with Windows Vista failing to win over consumers and Microsoft putting XP on extended life support, I'm not so sure the OEMs would be laughing.

I guess the business case would be based on "Designed for X" licensing revenue + additional sales of OS X vs. cannibalized sales of Mac hardware and additional support costs for OS X. I still think it could work out in Apple's favor.


RE: Writing
By Penti on 2/18/2008 3:45:51 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention the fact that both Dell and HP orders computers from the same ODMs as Apple. So it's like saying nVidia would manufacture ATi GPUs when they are already manufactured at the same plant. No they couldn't right now since they are later then ATi to move to 55nm but it's kinda pointless for them to use there lines to produce the competitions products. In the short therm it also means they would have to produce less of there other products.


RE: Writing
By Steve Guilliot on 2/18/2008 3:57:22 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
I really think there would be less Apple-bashing if Jobs and his crew would simply make OS X independent of their hardware and available to the broad base of x86 users across the globe.


Never gonna happen. Who is going to write tens-of-thousands of drivers to enable that? You'll be in trouble if you solely rely on third party manufacturers to write drivers for their own hardware, as we've seen with Vista which took a year.

What happens when things like release schedules, planned features, performance, and system stability become dependent on the actions of external companies?

MS has been criticize since the beginning for stuff like this. Apple's closed architecture has shielded them thus far. Jobs knows this.


RE: Writing
By rockyct on 2/19/2008 1:15:04 AM , Rating: 3
Exactly. Apple stuff "just works" because of how closed the environment is. Look how long it took Apple to release a Vista compatible version of itunes.


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