Unfortunately, price is often the initial thing. But a lot of it is what he said: they aren't educated as to some of the issues (they haven't experienced it)... in other words, they are very much looking at buying a computer like buying a car (or a hammer), or something else that has more limited/occasional use. They say, "a tool is a tool, right?". The Hegemony of MS and Android and the race to the bottom of their OEMs has only re-inforced that impression, and have educated people to think they are buying something like a car or a hammer. That's the problem, and why people think that price is enough to consider.
In reality, of course, the obligatory car analogy (or thinking of a computer like a car) falls far short. A car takes you from A-B, whether that is a Yugo, a Toyota or a Ferrari. People might see some merit in a BMW or Mercedes (comfort, speed, reliability, quality, safety, resale value), but at the end of the day a Ferrari is over the top for most people on the planet. It's what, ten times the price or more of the average car? And costs more to keep and run, so that only two people can go faster only some of the time (on a race track). It's an expensive enthusiast's hobby, a fancy toy, or a luxury.
But is "computing" merely going from A-B for most people, most of the time? Certainly not when it comes to expectations over time, as technology progresses and more and more people do more and more things they never thought possible.
No, the better analogy is a house. We will ignore the luxury, multi-million condos on the beach or in the mountains (Ferraris), and we focus on your average house. You can build your own. You can buy one in the city. You can buy one on a farm. You can buy one with a yard. You can buy an apartment...
However, everyone knows the value and nature of wisely choosing a long-term investment like a house, and all the issues involved. They know that you have to live with it every day; they know you have to be comfortable with your own home; they know that there is a lot that goes on within the walls -- that you aren't just buying the postcard version in the agent's ad.
Now, you can spend 150,000 or 300,000 (proportionally much closer together than the price of an average car and a Ferrari, as is the difference in price between an Apple product and the competition); and you can spend it with different priorities in mind : You might want a family home in the suburbs, or you might want a professional apartment in the city; whatever.
BUT, what is much more obvious to people about buying homes than to people buying computers or cars, is the idiocy of spending only 150,000 and then bragging about all the features (yard, conservatory, porch, attic, garage, hot and cold water), while in reality having something unliveable (un-usable) that is falling down around your ears, needs a new roof, new heating, new kitchen, new carpet, has dry-rot, has fungus...
If it's a fixer-upper and it's a 300 yr-old structure that needs a little TLC, then that is one thing, and it is part of the charm. But if you haven't done your due-diligence and had surveys taken, and if the structure is just poorly designed, built and fitted, then you need to get a clue before you make a purchase (like, check out all the urban myths); you are only hurting yourself -- all the more so if price really is a big issue to you!
MS and Google have only dumbed-down the initial critical decision; only for users to have to face critical and mind-numbing decisions, privacy concerns and maintenance issues every day thereafter, and to throw money and time down the drain that they didn't anticipate. Way to build trust and loyalty.
You have to live with it every day, but you are stuck with an unhealthy pile of crap that depresses you and keeps you from getting on with life in other areas because it is so high-maintenance; and no amount of "features" is going to make that any better. You have to live in it and you want to enjoy it; but you don't want to have to constantly deal with it or have to pay someone else to deal with it for you. That's what people need to experience and what people need to see or be educated about; and the Apple Stores probably help in that regard: showing that it doesn't have to be that way.
So, let's ditch the car analogies, and let's do houses! When choosing a house, you also have to research the neighborhood, schools, nearby shops and transportation routes. If a purchaser takes all that into account and just wants the "perfect location" even if they have to camp on the floor of a barn, or just wants a prefabricated rabbit hutch to live in because her priorities lie elsewhere, then good on them. But "everyone" knows that up front cost is the least of their worries when it comes to a house (in fact it can be a complete trap); they know that there is a lot more to moving in and making a place their home.
That's what gets me. I mean, I have no money to burn; so I am ultra-careful what I do with it. But the very people that say that price is such an issue very often don't go and do their due diligence (other than comparing prices between the same two crappy products). It just doesn't make sense. (And I blame the dumbing-down and numbing of the world by MS ;) ).
Set a hammer on a table in a house, and ask someone who is about to purchase a computer or a smartphone if they would give more attention to the purchase of the hammer on the table or the house around you. A computer or smartphone purchase deserves a little more consideration than the purchase of a hammer.
[Just waiting for loads of people to tell me how Android or Windows "home ownership" is no hassle whatsoever.... yet they still have to take the garbage out, mow their lawn, pull weeds and wash their windows, etc., all the time professing to absolutely love it.]
Edited by krabbelen - 8/16/13 at 4:18am