Going The Wong Way I'm ALWAYS going the Wong way

Apple:Geeks :: Coach:Girls

Well first off, it’s not totally all-inclusive and definitive to say that only geeks want Apple computers or that all girls want coach purses. But you know what, for now that will be the title.

Secondly I took this idea from those old SAT analogy questions. Sick as it may be, I rather enjoyed the SAT. It was challenging without being impossible. Plus every time I took it (I only took it once “for real”), it was different. Whether that meant different passages to read and answer from or different math questions, I enjoyed that it was a new challenge that I hadn’t exactly encountered yet.

Anyways, those were definitely unimportant asides. I really want to just say that I think that Apple is keeping their prices artificially high in order to appeal to a certain part of the market. They want to be the ultimate that everyone desires. They want to be what Coach purses are to girls. Okay okay you can choose any of the myriad of popular expensive brands of purses, but I just needed an example. And that seems to be a popular one nowadays.

Coach is a company that produces leather goods and sells them on a very high profit margin. Economists have hypothesized that they are selling “affordable luxury” that is both recognizable as a luxury product while also being reasonably within the budget of many people. That is to say that it’s thought to be “nice” and it’s also well-known to everyone.

Apple is the same thing to geeks (and artists and movie makers and perhaps even all computer users).

Despite your opinions, I’d say that you must admit that Apple has a well thought-out business model. They customize software (including the operating system) to work very well on their devices. I’m mainly speaking about their computer here rather than their other devices, but I suppose that it holds for those as well. So they are determined to do something and do it well. They will sell very few product lines, and they are not determined to be able to support everything under the sun like Microsoft is with their Windows product. Have you ever thought about how much easier that makes their job? They know exactly what they must do while Microsoft has to build a product that is so good that it can conquer “the unknown.” If Apple were unable to get something to work just right with their goal, they could just say “forget it” and be done with it.

And upon this business model, Apple has kept their prices high. They sell good products, but they charge a premium for them as well. And seeing as how they have increased their market share from 3.2% to 7.6% in 3 years (reference), something is working for them.

Personally, I’ve been keeping an eye on the Macbook Pro for the entire time that it’s been out (and probably even as soon as rumors started circulating that it was going to be produced). I was eager to see what Apple was going to do with that platform. I knew that there would be problems with such new technology (and I was proved correct with the plethora of reports from the first few generations but I digress). I do intend to still buy one. But just for curiosity’s sake I recently priced laptops from both Dell and Lenovo. I was able to get hardware that was as good (or better) and at cheaper prices. It was fairly dramatic to say the least.

What does that mean? It means that Apple laptops are also “affordable luxury.” It means that you don’t need one. You could get a very usable functioning laptop for thousands less. Or similarly you could use the same amount of money and get a laptop with more cutting edge components. But because Apple keeps their prices high, people will always hold them on a pedestal. They will be the ideal instead of just a choice. And that works out just fine for Apple. But just like I don’t understand the whole deal with buying fancy purses (saying “it’s quality” just doesn’t cut it all of the time), I’m not sure if I’m totally comfortable with Apple all of the time. I think that on a case by case basis I would advise people to honestly figure out what they need. And i think that many times that will lead to the conclusion that Apple is not the place for them. Yeah, if I were a girl I might just be that one with the homemade bag on her shoulder.