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What would it take for the Masses to switch?


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kaidomac

 
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I think that price is the major barrier for people to switch to Macs. The Mini is the cheapest new Mac on the market right now and it starts at $600, while $299 at Dell gets you a fast PC complete with keyboard, mouse, and 17" CRT monitor. It's hard to beat that deal when you're on a budget, which 99% of consumers are. I think that Apple could have a real winner on their hands if they dropped the price of the Mini and made a relatively inexpensive iPhone Nano. For example:

$399 - Mac Mini with 120gb hard drive, 1gb ram, and wired keyboard and mouse
$149 - 2gb iPhone Nano

Selling an inexpensive LCD monitor would sweeten the deal even more, such as a $199 17" widescreen. Then you could be in and out of the store with a new Mac setup for under a grand. Some other ideas to get consumers to switch:

-offer Parallels preloaded with XP or Vista on Mac computers
-team up with Best Buy to sell gift cards for car stereo installations with front inputs or iPod link cables to use your iPhone Nano in your car
-offer free switching workshops (a number of others are already offered)

Apple seems really keen on getting people to switch, but they're not pricing their equipment competitively enough imo. I'm not saying they have to be bottom of the barrel $200 or $300 systems, but something in the middle like $350 or $400 would be great because that is something most people would consider for a computer. Plus a cheaper iPhone would really help the cause - all the devices you need, right in your pocket.

What do YOU think?

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iRye

 
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I'm half with you there - lowering prices like that to the price of a cheap dell would drive up apple sales even more to make more money. However, I think that apple is growing steadily now with the prices that are current.
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D3v1L80Y

 
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I don't think that 'the masses' should switch to any platform. It comes down to using the computer that best suits a person's needs. Sometimes that is a Mac, sometimes its a Linux box, and sometimes that is a Windows machine.
It is about choice and using the best computer for your needs.
Quote:
offer Parallels preloaded with XP or Vista on Mac computers
Parallels or Boot Camp should not be used as a tactic to get people to "switch". It isn't switching if you buy a Mac to just use Windows. In that instance, Parallels and Boot Camp are nothing but crutches for people who were comfortable with their current systems and had no valid reason to "switch". If you are going to "switch" to Mac, then do so full on... leave the old way behind and learn the new.
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but they're not pricing their equipment competitively enough
Quite the contrary. As it has been shown countless times on these very forums, the hardware pricing is the same as any other machine that meets those specifications.
Simply lowering the price on the existing hardware a Mac has is not a solution.
A better way to state this would be to allow customers to have a greater configuration possibility with a new Mac. Allow a customer to build a Mac to the same hardware specs as those $400 "wonders" that Dell, HP, Gateway, etc offer. That way, the price is lowered because the hardware used in it is lowered to match the quality of the competitors.
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Plus a cheaper iPhone would really help the cause
I fail to see the relevance in this. We were talking about Macs, not peripherals or other devices. Apple TV, iPhones, and iPods (while having good integration with) are not Macs and hold no major significance in this matter. Just because Apple makes something does not equate it or hold any relevance to their Macintosh line of computers.
Sure, one could say the, "if someone likes the iPhone/iPod/Apple TV and likes it then they are more likely to buy a Mac" line, but that is a weak statement. This is truly comparing Apples to Oranges... two completely different arenas that have no bearing on one another.


Overall, yes Apple is a business. It is their duty to sell their products. Yet, no person should ever be "convinced" or duped into changing their computer system for the simple reason that one group of people feel that it is superior. No OS is better than the other. "Better" is a relative term that can only be determined by ONE PERSON... yourself.
What might be right for you, will not be right for the next person.

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ibookclamman300

 
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i dont want the masses to switch, i like being different. Not to mention it is nice knowing that you are having a superior computing experience than most of your friends, almost like you know something they dont.

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kaidomac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
I don't think that 'the masses' should switch to any platform. It comes down to using the computer that best suits a person's needs. Sometimes that is a Mac, sometimes its a Linux box, and sometimes that is a Windows machine.
It is about choice and using the best computer for your needs.
I definitely agree with you there!

Quote:
Parallels or Boot Camp should not be used as a tactic to get people to "switch". It isn't switching if you buy a Mac to just use Windows. In that instance, Parallels and Boot Camp are nothing but crutches for people who were comfortable with their current systems and had no valid reason to "switch". If you are going to "switch" to Mac, then do so full on... leave the old way behind and learn the new.
I don't necessarily think it's a crutch to keep Windows around. I have several thousands of dollars invested in Windows software that I'm not just going to ditch because I switched to Mac. I'm sure a lot of consumers are in the same situation - they'd love a Mac and the ease and stability associated with it, but maybe they have Print Master or something else they've spent $100 on and invested multiple hours learning that they don't want to give up or have to buy again for the Mac platform.

Quote:
Quite the contrary. As it has been shown countless times on these very forums, the hardware pricing is the same as any other machine that meets those specifications.
Simply lowering the price on the existing hardware a Mac has is not a solution.
A better way to state this would be to allow customers to have a greater configuration possibility with a new Mac. Allow a customer to build a Mac to the same hardware specs as those $400 "wonders" that Dell, HP, Gateway, etc offer. That way, the price is lowered because the hardware used in it is lowered to match the quality of the competitors.
I'm not talking about dollar comparison, I'm talking about overall market competition. Hardware-wise, Macs are more than competitive with similar PC-based products from Dell, Alienware, and any other top manufacturer. But Dell has a $299 computer while Mac's lowest-priced offering is $599. I work in the IT field and have discovered that price is pretty much the #1 reason people won't switch to Macs.

Quote:
I fail to see the relevance in this. We were talking about Macs, not peripherals or other devices. Apple TV, iPhones, and iPods (while having good integration with) are not Macs and hold no major significance in this matter. Just because Apple makes something does not equate it or hold any relevance to their Macintosh line of computers.
Sure, one could say the, "if someone likes the iPhone/iPod/Apple TV and likes it then they are more likely to buy a Mac" line, but that is a weak statement. This is truly comparing Apples to Oranges... two completely different arenas that have no bearing on one another.
Apple is no longer just a computer company - instead of "Apple Computers, Inc." they are now just "Apple, Inc.". As such I am not talking about simply switch computers since Apple has other offerings now (not that I'm saying that everyone needs an iPod, AppleTV, etc.). Also, in terms of switching, I like the idea of both a Mac computer and an iPhone. The iPhone is really nice because it's easy to use and it syncs with your computer. Most people I know would kill for something that easy to use.

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baggss

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaidomac View Post
I'm not talking about dollar comparison, I'm talking about overall market competition. Hardware-wise, Macs are more than competitive with similar PC-based products from Dell, Alienware, and any other top manufacturer. But Dell has a $299 computer while Mac's lowest-priced offering is $599. I work in the IT field and have discovered that price is pretty much the #1 reason people won't switch to Macs.
You get what you pay for. There is always going to be the "cheaper is better" crowd, but in the end they buy 2 or even 3 computers over the life-span of a single Mac, all the while complaining that their PC sucks and won't do this, that or the other thing. Usually they blame MS. People want something for nothing but that doesn't exist. If Apple cut prices they would have to cut something else too. Be it quality or profits neither is a good thing for the customer or the shareholder.

Yes, Dell makes $200 computers, but they are a POS. We all know it, even the people who buy them know it, although it's usually AFTER they spent the money. Then they wonder why they threw away $200. Then they blame MS.

The only are where this is really an issue is if you build your own. You can use quality parts and build a decent PC for much less than a Mac.

One should also consider that in this period of market slump in the PC world, Apple is the one still doing quite well. Maybe there is a reason for that.


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D3v1L80Y

 
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I don't necessarily think it's a crutch to keep Windows around. I have several thousands of dollars invested in Windows software that I'm not just going to ditch because I switched to Mac. I'm sure a lot of consumers are in the same situation
And in that case, the best machine for the situation is the one that has the greatest personal investment in it... the Windows Platform Machine.
Quote:
Apple is no longer just a computer company - instead of "Apple Computers, Inc." they are now just "Apple, Inc.". As such I am not talking about simply switch computers since Apple has other offerings now (not that I'm saying that everyone needs an iPod, AppleTV, etc.)
But that isn't what your original post implied.
Quote:
I think that price is the major barrier for people to switch to Macs.... something most people would consider for a computer
Your post clearly states "Mac", not "Apple devices".
There are several companies that offer multiple and varied products: Yamaha offers audio/visual equipment, motorcycles and scooters, musical instruments... Mitsubishi makes TV's, Automobiles, and HVAC systems... Sony makes computers, stereos, TV's, cellphones...etc. Just because a company has a wide spectrum of product doesn't mean that a person should buy only one company's offerings. That has no bearing or relevance to a situation. You buy what works for you and what is best for your needs. One shouldn't buy something just because Brand XYZ makes it.
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Also, in terms of switching, I like the idea of both a Mac computer and an iPhone.
Again, that is where personal preference comes into play. YOU like it and that is great. Not everyone (read: "the masses") is going to agree with that opinion.

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bobtomay

 
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Originally Posted by baggss View Post

The only area where this is really an issue is if you build your own. You can use quality parts and build a decent PC for much less than a Mac.
Yep, if I could go buy the parts I wanted, I'd have myself a new OS X rig sittin on my desk now.

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Netty4mac

 
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I don't want the masses to switch either. I like things the way they are , prices and all.

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cjay

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Netty4mac View Post
I don't want the masses to switch either. I like things the way they are , prices and all.
I'm with you Netty. Call me a snob but once things go mainstream or to the masses it's dumbed down and made middle of the road. You find the lowest common denominator and target your product to that market. Hence beige box PC's and Windows.
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kaidomac

 
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Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
And in that case, the best machine for the situation is the one that has the greatest personal investment in it... the Windows Platform Machine.
You know, as a Mac fanboy you're worse than the Windows fanboys in trying to get people to switch

The title of my post is, "What would it take for the Masses to switch?" The iPhone was thrown in as part of the switching process. Macs are still Apple's main product, but I think an inexpensive iPhone would help draw people over (they just need to make a flip phone so Americans will accept it, lol). Most people I know have a cell phone and a computer, so it would make sense to kind of sell them together or at least sell toned-down versions at more reasonable prices. Nearly all cell phone users I know have complained about how difficult it is to sync their phones with their computers to get music, contacts, and other files and data to transfer over. Just last week a friend of mine got a new AT&T phone and it took him a week to figure out how to get a little song clip transferred to his phone to use an ringtone (ignore the fact that you can't use custom ringtones on an iPhone right now, lol). Now point out the fact that hey, you can get an cell phone and a computer from Apple for under a grand together and it will solve your usability problems!

My point with the financial issue being that Mac isn't competitive in the lower-end market. Say you want to jump into Mac in a big way - you spend $600 on a Mini and $600 on an iPhone. You still need a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, as well as some kind of protection for the iPhone (hopefully), but you're already at $1,200 and your Mini only comes with half a gig of ram (Parallels would run like crap on that) and doesn't even have a DVD burner. Hardware-wise, dollar-per-dollar, the Mini stacks up against competitors, but Apple is missing a huge chunk of the low-end market. Normally this wouldn't bother me, but they're really pushing the "switching" campaign and it just doesn't make sense to me that they wouldn't offer something more reasonably priced to lure customers away from Microsoft. It's like offering the homeless a soup kitchen but then charging ten bucks a plate!

Going off on a tangent, my personal dream is to have a world of technology where everything just works together. The iPhone & Mac platform come pretty close to that. Now we just need situational computing (smart house, smart car, smart boat, smart plane). There are several aftermarket companies, such as Indigo, who are going after those markets, but none are as elegant as Apple would be. Gimme my iHome, dangit!

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kaidomac

 
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Originally Posted by cjay View Post
I'm with you Netty. Call me a snob but once things go mainstream or to the masses it's dumbed down and made middle of the road. You find the lowest common denominator and target your product to that market. Hence beige box PC's and Windows.
As long as Steve Jobs is around, Johnathan Ive will always have a job and we'll never have crappy-looking computers I would love for OS X to get more popular - I started switching my family over to Macs last year and my tech support calls have drastically diminished. Yes, I want them to switch for selfish reasons. So what??

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kaidomac

 
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Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
Yep, if I could go buy the parts I wanted, I'd have myself a new OS X rig sittin on my desk now.
That goes back to my financial point again. Why don't you have an OS X desktop rig? Because they're expensive, especially as a second computer.

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D3v1L80Y

 
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Originally Posted by kaidomac View Post
You know, as a Mac fanboy you're worse than the Windows fanboys in trying to get people to switch
I am the furthest thing from a being 'fanboy' of anything.
I cannot stand fanboys of any kind.
I despise Apple fanboys and Microsoft fanboys equally.

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kaidomac

 
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Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
I am the furthest thing from a being 'fanboy' of anything.
I cannot stand fanboys of any kind.
I despise Apple fanboys and Microsoft fanboys equally.
So you're saying you're a fanboy of hating fanboys?




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