Originally posted by Messiahtosh
You are entirely wrong and your perspective sickens me frankly. Apple has a lot of highly paid people working for them that study the market and they know all of this a lot better than we do. Sometimes I ask myself why I come here and waste time speculating about stuff that professionals pour over for a living. I only do it because I like to use my limited knowledge, which is so because we all only have access to so much information; but I come here to see how close my thinking is in line with Apple's own.
Apple does not mind being a status symbol, what company would? But it that does not mean that they dont want more sales, because ultimately the employees at Apple will lead more elite lifestyles if their company can get more money; which leads to the employees getting more money as well.
Apple wants to sell machines, but not at the expense of the brand or the health of the company.
"If they arent selling it, it wouldnt help them if they were." That is one quote you may want to think about.
Apple works on making new things to sell that would help their bottom line and also their EVENTUAL bottom line (as a cheap Mac might do). Apple has people that just figure out statistics (it is their job, it is marketing!) about whether or not certain things will really help the company. They have Ph.D's working on solutions!
It is (if you dont know) very hard to get a job at Apple. The competition for a job there is very intense, if you have ever looked at the educational backgrounds of their execs, it is intimidating. Harvard MBA's, Stanford, Carneggie Mellon, UCLA, USC, Michigan, Princeton, etc.
Apple is in a tough position because they should WANT to keep their brand value high, while also catering to the average person. It is a win/win situation if it can be had, but it is hard for that solution to be produced. Sony is able to do it, VW is able to do it, and so many other companies are able to offer "quality at ordinary people prices."
Apple can do that and they want to, they are just figuring out how to. There is no way Apple is just ignoring problems it has, they wouldnt be in business if they did.
What makes you think that I don't know what I'm talking about? What's my real name? Where do I live? What do I do for a living? What kind of car do I drive? What kind of computer do I use? Do I own my property or do I rent it? You seem to know an awfull lot about about me without actually knowing anything about me?
Actually, I'm a professional branding consultant. That means that I've done the further education thing and that I am a fully qualified professional. You may not like were I'm going with my argument, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong. I do this every day for a living. I'm commissioned by everyone from one-man-band start-ups to the UN. I'm no where near as good as the people Apple employs, but I probably understand the way that these things work better than most of the people here.
But let's get back to Apple and your arguments, because I'm afraid you've just contradiced yourself there.
Yes, Apple employs in house marketeers, and I'm sure it also commissions external consultants. I'm sure Apple regurally employ the people who are the best in their field to work on their marketing campaigns, and that they're all highly qualified. People like Chiat-Day, Frog Design, IDEO. Steve Jobs himself is also on the board of GAP and Pixar, and it's rumoured that even Disney are now courting him. These people all know what they are doing, and Apple has money in the bank. They are successfull at what they do.
This begs the question, why does Apple have such a small market share?
Has anybody ever stopped to consider that it's intentional?
Of course they'd rather sell more machines - it's a business after all.
But it's important to remember that Apple wants to sell more machines on Apple's terms.
It's a fact that everybody harps on about how Apple should produce 'cheaper' kit. It's also a fact that Apple has never ONCE produced a 'cheap' piece of kit. You always pay a premium for the Apple brand. They may represent better value to the end user, but don't confuse better value with more affordable. Often better value means paying a little extra but getting a greater ROI. When creating a lifestyle brand, the customer should always feel as though they are spending that little bit extra, but that it's worth it in the long run. For many people, the most expensive G5 fully loaded with RAM offers better value for money than any other computer out there.
It's interesting that your argument also relies on two brands that are actually premium brands, both of which employ this style of marketing. VW and Sony are brands which are recognised the world over. They are both respected brands.
Firstly, VW. The VW Golf GTi has long been a status symbol, and VW is considered by many to be a premium brand. It is the car that all executive wannabes drive before they get their first 3 series BMW. It's market value retention is second to none for that class of car. VWs products are recognised for their quality and reliability, and their authorised showrooms are always spotless. They have these brand values because they have spent time and money marketing themselves as such. Did you know for instance, that it is against the VW brand guidelines to say that one of their cars has a 'Sale' price, this is to protect the brand values - VW should never be seen to have to offer their cars in a sale. Dealerships can, and have, lost their franchises for infringing these guidelines.
VW, like Apple is a premium brand.
Likewise you pay a premium for Sony products. Flat panel Sony TVs are currently more expensive than budget brands like LG Electronics and Beko. The Sony product line is generally recognised as offering quality and reliability. It is rarely recognised as being 'cheap'. It is still regarded by many as being a brand that offers value for money. You won't see Sony marketing themselves as being 'cheaper than Beko'. It's more likely that it'll be the other way around.
Both these brands are indeed able to sell to everyday people, but their products are compelling enough for these everyday people to pay a little extra for them. This is exactly what Apple is doing at the moment. It has had incredible success with the iPod, which is more expensive than most MP3 players.
Producing cheaper products at the expense of design, easy of use, functionality and reliability won't do Apple any favours in the long run.
So how close to you feel your views are to a professionals?