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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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Theory of mine
By uhgotnegum on 2/18/2008 12:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
Purely untested theory of mine.

I think that a Mac user would tend to be someone who is generally somewhat antiestablishment or rebellious in nature.

Not meaning that in a bad way, I swear.

That's not to say all Mac purchasers are that way, but it would make sense that someone who has *probably* used PCs in school or at a friend's house would tend to be more used to the Windows interface and would follow that in his/her own purchase. To "rebel" from that "easier" road makes me think the person tends to be more of a "free spirit," generally.

Trying not to use colloquialisms to describe a Mac user, and I'm sorry for generalizing, but I would expect that a Mac user would tend to be more left-thinking, be more conscious of environmental issues(read: higher priority), and (insert additional generalization here).

I'm not judging a Mac user, and it's not like I'd expect every one of them to act this way, but I would imagine that the type of person I've described would be interpreted as more "snobbish" (or whatever) because he/she is less interested in another's perception of him/her. Personally, I think that's the wrong conclusion to draw, but that's probably how these "results" were interpreted.

--It's not the most refined theory ever...I invite anonymous (, not you "legion"...ha) to help clarify/support or just shoot me down.

RE: Theory of mine
By Donkeyshins on 2/18/2008 1:53:09 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I'll bite - I think that Mac users are more 'NPR liberal' types while the truly anti-establishment folks are Unix users.

RE: Theory of mine
By Donkeyshins on 2/18/2008 1:56:43 PM , Rating: 2
And to clarify, I mean Unix users who like to use the console. I don't think Mac users care what's under the hood of OS-X - e.g. Solaris, BSD, various and sundry flavors of Linux.

RE: Theory of mine
By gandralf on 2/18/2008 10:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
Well... not really. I am, and I know a lot of a mac user who uses the unix behind it. I know one designer and one manager that don't care about it, but one manager (me!), 4 developers and two network administrators who uses it (Unix stuff) on a daily basis.
One of the reasons that I bough my mac was exactly that: the power of Unix without Linux headaches. Yes, I am (used to be) a hardcore Linux user.

RE: Theory of mine
By kelmon on 2/19/2008 3:40:25 AM , Rating: 2
This comment just goes to show how rubbish the article itself is since, for me, that is a fairly accurate statement. While I choose a Mac because it just works better for me than a Windows machine I honestly do feel as though it is slightly rebellious. Sad, I know, but definitely more on the button than suggesting I buy 5-pairs of trainers per year (more like 1-pair every five years unless I'm heavily playing sports) or that I drink in Starbucks (, Costa Coffee for me, when I get the chance).

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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