Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 7th Apr 2004 05:50 UTC
Apple By most counts, they're a hit. But they were intended to woo new users to the fold, yet Mac market share has only budged -- lower, says BusinessWeek.
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Time To Correct Mac Price Misconceptions
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Apr 2004 15:54 UTC

I'm a long time Windows PC user (16+ years), but after purchasing my first Mac a few weeks ago -- a dual processor PowerMac G5 -- I'm what Apple has affectionately classified as a "Mac switcher." I made the switch simply because I'm a savvy consumer who saw an outstanding product at a fantastic price.

In the weeks that I've owned my new computer, my wife -- who managed to get a few hours in on the machine on the rare occasions that I wasn't using it -- was so impressed, that she too decided to make the switch and picked up a 12" powerbook from a local Apple reseller.

Before shelling out any money, we made sure to compare prices and feature sets from at least four other PC manufacturers. Like the G5, we were so impressed with the PowerBook's price relative to its feature set, that choosing it over the competition was a no-brainer.

When telling others of our purchase however, I was somewhat perplexed with the response they gave. Most inquired about how much money we spent between the two machines. While it's true that we had indeed spent a lot of money, the comments I received eluded to the notion that our new computers must have cost a lot of money, if only for the simple fact that that they were both Macs.

I clarified my purchasing decision by making note of the fact that comparably equipped PCs from at least 5 other manufacturers were in fact more expensive. For some, the only way of convincing them was by going to each manufacturer's Web site and making multiple side by side comparisons. I expected it to some degree. Such thinking is commonplace amongst many computer buyers.

The situation has compelled me to define the word "expensive?" I keep finding this word thrown around by various individuals who may mean what they say, but don't necessarily always say what they mean. Worse yet, the continued misrepresentation of this word has only furthered its misuse.

I would like to ask the osViews community to help me define the word "expensive." Does expensive refer to something which (a) costs a lot of money, (b) costs more money than what I have, or is it (c) something that costs more than the equivalent product from another source?

While all of these are true to some degree, when people user the term to describe the price of a Mac, what is often said is the (a) definition. However, what is perceived by many that hear that, is most often the (c) definition. As a result, the misappropriated (c) definition gets propagated by others.

The "expensive" misconception does a major disservice for my new preferred platform. It's now in my best interest to see that the platform grows, but as long as people perceive that they're not getting their money's worth, it's growth potential is hampered.

The fact that you can't custom build a Mac yourself doesn't help the misconception though. With a PC, you can custom configure your computer and buy less and therefore pay less. But that doesn't make it less expensive, but rather, more configurable.

After making side by side price comparisons with several individuals who doubted the price to performance advantage, I was surprised to see the same individuals -- who previously were calm and collected -- get overly defensive and turn somewhat irrational.

I'm embarrassed to admit it now, but I too had similar feelings when I first considered a Mac. It doesn't make sense now, but I had to come to terms with the fact that I wasn't admitting any sort of defeat by making a switch and it was only I that had the most to gain if I researched my options properly.

So, I took up the challenge that was put before me, made the comparison and then was surprised to learn that Apple's new computers were indeed less expensive.

I wish more people would stop trying to justify their computer purchase to the world by spreading lies about alternative computing platforms. It does a disservice to the entire computing populace as a whole.