Apple is cool

Om Malik, in another fit of Apple-loving, has yet another post up about how great Apple is.

Let me first state that I don’t really have any issues with his conclusions, but I do have a few points to make.

He compares Apple buyers to people who buy expensive jeans. I think this is an excellent comparison. Diesel jeans and Levi’s both serve the same purpose and do their tasks equally well. Some people fall for the marketing and the whole cachet that comes with the more expensive jeans. Others buy the Levi’s, get their work done, and buy a couple of meals with the money they save. I wish I had access to the statistics on this, but I would bet the farm that the percentage of Apple users among Diesel jeans wearers, is much higher than the percentage of Apple users among Levi’s, or even Wranglers, wearers…even adjusting for the income differences between the two groups. Apple is all about style and cachet. The Dell’s of the world are about putting a box on your desk. You can do the same things with either, just as you can with a pair of Diesel jeans or a pair of Levi’s, but one is cooler than the other.

Om ends his little tirade with a note about how, yes, Apple doesn’t have a great track record, but we should forget about that because, well…I don’t know why we should forget about it, but Om thinks we should. He’s right, of course (rather Mark Twain is right), that historical trends, are not a guarantee of future performance, but it’s surely an indicator.

With those things said, I agree with what I think Om’s overarching theme is: Apple is becoming a force to contend with in the PC world. It’s not because their products are necessarily better (I can do everything that someone with their fancy G5 can do with my XP Pro box) but because their products have that ephermal quality called “cool”.

Update: In a somewhat tangential note, Cringely has a good idea, about how Apple is going to increase their market share…See item #3 in his 2006 predictions.

  1. There is no denying that you can do whatever a mac do on a PC, probably even more. But the fact is that if you even want a decent environment to download images from your camera and organize them, you have to know about picasa, and then go and download it. What if you want to make a podcast? You might be able to do it better, but hey its still effort. On the other hand, on the mac i have garageband and iphoto both conveniently available without any extra effort. This convenience is very important to a lot of people. And not all of those people are lazy and dont wanna do anything. For example, the hour i would spend making a windows box equivalent to a mac one, (and an hour only because i have been a very heavy user of windows and know what software i would need…people who dont have much to do with the tech world, which is most consumers, would take much longer, even if they ever would manage it,) would cost me at least a 100 dollars in actual money. The amount i make in an hour. And I have not even spoken about the monetary effects of the stress, and the fact that these are all disparate software which dont play nice with each other.

    While for a lot of people, Windows, and Linux are great, for example if you have unsupported software your company uses, or you love having tons of apps, there are many people for whom a mac is entirely sufficient, and is all they need. Not only is it all they need, it does stuff they need to do best. For example, download music to an ipod and make a podcast.

    Oh and yeah, did i mention the hour my computer would spend everyday running various anti spyware software, and those spent fixing the mess zone alarm and norton had created on my computer?

    Finally, all the OS’es do somethings really well, and there is no need being an OSX hater because it doesnt work for you. It works brilliantly for a lot of people.

  2. I think you misunderstood me. I am in no way an OS X hater. I think it’s probably the best OS out of the box out there.

    Apple’s are also the best for “new” people for all the reasons you mention.

    However, for experienced users, an Apple is a hard sell because of the fact that we already know how to make XP do exactly what we want and Apple’s carry a premium. This premium is worth easily worth it to some, but for many it’s a hard sell.

    As far as a couple of your other points…spyware and viruses are best avoided through smart use of your computer. I’ve had one virus in 15 years of computing, and I don’t run AV software. I never have spyware because I know how to use the internet safely. Every couple of months I’ll fire up AV and spyware scans just to be safe, but I’m always clean. Its a kind of “dirty secret” of advanced PC users…most of them don’t run AV software, but advise others to do so. Most people aren’t savvy enough to avoid the pitfalls.

    This of course, again couples with the point that XP works fine for advanced users…

  3. I really loved your blog but noticed it doesn’t load quickly in my browser. I thought you might like to know.”

Leave a Reply