mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Comparing Apples to Oranges, or at least PC's....

Slashdot had a link to a BusinessWeek article on things that Apple should do to improve sales.
The Slashdot article focused primarily on them touting security, but I'm more interested in the others - because I think they are wrong, and that the author doesn't really understand the Mac market.

He starts off saying that Apple should compete more on price, because the desktop computer market is driven by price, not style. While that is true for a large portion of the market, that doesn't mean that that is the portion of the market that Apple should go after. Car pricing is competitive too, but nobody is suggesting that Mercedes should price it's products more like Kia. There is a market for higher-end goods at higher prices.

The fact is that Apple is never going to underprice Dell or Compaq/HP - they aren't going to have 30% of the market, so they aren't going to have the economies of scale that Dell has. That's why they have to compete on style and quality, not price.

He suggests ditching the all-in-ones, pointing out that iMac sales have been slow - but part of that has to be canabalism from the cheaper eMacs. When you add the features of the iMac and the cost of a good flat panel, the price is actually pretty reasonable.

He also suggests Apple give a trade-in for PC owners switching. I've always thought that the Switch ads were not the best of ideas. I actually own both a PC (a homebuilt AMD Athlon desktop running XP Pro) and a MAC (12" Powerbook, 866). I know several techies who also own both Macs and PC's, and in this era it's not unusual for households to have multiple PC's (one for wifey, one for hubby, one for the kids, a laptop for the road, ect). Instead of stressing switching, why not promote swinging - stress how easily PC's and Macs can live on the same network, how compatible file formats are between Mac and PC, and why a Mac might work better in certain situations than a Windows box (photos, video, graphics, kids, laptop, ect). Instead of trying to convince people to switch to Apple, I think it would be better for them to convince people to add a Mac to their lives.


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