Why do people purchase Apple products?

Fri, Jun 12, 2009


Matt Buchanan of Gizmodo is peeved that the aesthetic difference between Apple’s consumer and Pro lines aren’t as easy to discern as they used to be.

The new products also don’t show how special you are for paying the most to buy the best. The cheap models and the pricey ones are identical. Your crazy high-end 32GB iPhone 3GS looks just like that other guy’s $99 iPhone 3G. Every unibody MacBook is now a Pro—whether you spend $1200 or twice as much. The old distinctions have been erased.

A leveling of class distinctions in Apple products is going to sting people who valued the affectation of elitism that came with using Apple’s top-of-the-line products. Even subtle differences—like the premium paid for the matte black MacBook over the otherwise identical shiny white one, were signals, beamed out to the others in the coffee shop, declaring who was “da boss.” You know, the guys who wore the white earbuds with pride five years ago. Admittedly, sometimes those guys need a left hook to the kidneys (and sometimes, we are those guys). Maybe it’s good to make the best technology accessible to everybody, with no indicators of who paid more for what.

What a ridiculous premise.  The average Apple consumer buys Apple products because they think the products are cool, not because they think the products will make them cool.  I strongly doubt that anyone is gonna hold off on buying a new 32GB iPhone or a 13-inch MacBook simply because strangers won’t be able to discern how expensive they are at a glance.

Besides, if looking cool is really your top priority, buying a $2,000 MacBook Pro is probably the last thing you should be thinking about.


1 Comments For This Post

  1. Joe Leo Says:

    I think I understand what the guy is saying, in that you knew who people were by the products they had. If you were a professional, you wouldn’t be touting around a cheap plastic MacBook around.

    Now, if you were just the average, uh, “Joe,” and you were lugging around a 17-inch MacBook Pro, then you would look cool, because people would think you were a graphic designer, or some kind of creative professional.

    So, I understand both arguments and see both ends of the spectrum.

    Maybe that woman in Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” ad campaign, though anti-Apple, really is a nod to Apple and makes Apple users look much better than the ad implies. (The being too cool factor, or Buchanan’s argument about being cool).

    ; )

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