How does Apple snag PC users?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Here's a general question for you all. I was sitting here trying to figure this out, because I seem to keep seeing the same trend over and over, but it might just be in my head.

For the most part, every PC user I know who has bought a Mac bought an iBook. The main reason being that for the longest time they were the only competitvely priced hardware that Apple sold.

After getting the iBook and using it for a while, most of these users were ready to get another Mac, this time with more power. (and higher price tag)

So my question is this. Do you think that Apple would do better to offer at least one machine at a really competitive price that might be underpowered, but would show off the OS and hardware vs. better hardware but a hefty price tag?

I just think to myself that there are a lot of users who bought iBooks that would have never used a Mac in their lives if the iBook had been just a few hundred more. Of those users, almost all have fallen in love with the Mac OS and hardware, and have stuck with Apple. Many of these users have bought additional machines.

Should Apple have a machine they sell at cost, or with razor thing margins to try and pull users away from the PC side?


p.s. As a side note, every company that's tried to take Dell on in a price war gets their corporate ass handed back to them on a silver platter.


  • Reply 1 of 3
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    The thing is that people have always been willing to trade power for portability. Everyone understands that if you have a machine as small as an iBook it's not going to be a powerhouse.

    People's expectations of desktops are, I think, different: If it's going to sit there like a lump, hum like an idling jet and take up real estate then it had better be able to move.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    johnrpjohnrp Posts: 357member
    they do now.. emac
  • Reply 3 of 3
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member
    Apple would not be smart to try and start a price war with Dell. They sell at nowhere near the volume that Dell sells at, and even by doing very small margins (say 6-8%), they're not going to raise the volume they sell by enough to offset the difference in profits. I think Apple said they make about 28% profit margins (at least that's what I heard in their last conference call), and if they were to cut that down to 6-8% margins, they'd have to sell 2-3 times the current amount to make the same profits, something I can't see them doing, at least not in the current economy.

    Now, I'm not sure where they make the most profits on, I'd imagine the PowerMacs right now. Their best shot at the consumer would obviously be to cut their prices on the eMac/iMac. To be honest, I think they could cut their prices on the eMac by $100, and the iMac by even $150, and still make very healthy profits... I'd guess around 20%. The problem I see is that Dell is advertising a lot of PCs at the $599-$799 range on TV, and Apple simply can't compete in that area. There certainly is a "cool" factor to Apple, but it comes at about a $200-$300 premium to a Dell PC. Can consumers justify it? I don't think so... hence Dell gains marketshare.

    The iBook is by far Apple's most competitive offering... if they could get the eMac down a bit more in price, then maybe they could compete a little more with Dell for desktops.
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