NPD analyst: Apple buyers are buying mostly on brand name

“Is this true? How is it possible? NPD vice president of industry analysis Stephen Baker says it’s simple: “The average price of a non-netbook Windows PC is under $600. It’s hard to see what functionality you could add to a Windows notebook to make it worth $1,200 to $1,500 to someone.”

So what is Apple giving people for an extra thousand or two thousand dollars? “Apple is giving them Apple,” Baker said. “They’re the only ones willing to sell computers at that price level. They’re like Mercedes that way. In tech, we tend to think performance is most important, but most people want functionality. Yet there are lots of people who want to say, ‘I want to be cool and drive around in a fancy car.’ An Apple computer makes you cool, it makes other people jealous.”

In other words, you’re getting nothing much more than brand kudos for spending the extra $1000 on an Apple laptop.

(Please note before commenting: I don’t actually agree with this. But I think it’s worth reminding people that “Apple has 91% of the $1000+ market” has a negative spin, as well as a positive one.)

Posted via web from Ian Betteridge’s lifestream

  • http://www.recedinghairline.co.uk Christopher Phin

    The brand is definitely important, but say that 'an appetite for alternatives to Windows' is also driving purchasers. With half of Macs sold going to folks who have never owned a Mac before, and with our sister Windows titles struggling while MacFormat and Linux Format's circulation rose last year by around 25%, it looks like there's a trend that's not just about brand.

    Unfairly or not, I think the perception of Vista has contributed to this; it'll be interesting to see the stats once 7 starts making its impact on the market.

  • Wes

    Words mean things… did they say 91% of the market for $1000+ computers go to Apple, or did they say “9 out of every 10 dollars is spent on a plus $1000 computer from Apple”? Those can mean very different things.

  • Ian Betteridge

    91% of spending – so it’s revenue share. And that’s part of the point I’m making. It’s important to look behind the headlines before leaping to a conclusion over whether something is good or bad.