iPod is Apple’s Trojan horse with a halo

“iPods have been a driver to get people to buy Mac computers, even prompting some people to drop PCs based on Intel Corp. chips and Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system, said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s senior vice president of finance,” Terril Yue Jones reports for The Los Angeles Times. “‘We’re hearing anecdotal stories all the time where Windows users have purchased an iPod, used it, then switched to Mac or added a Mac,’ he said during a conference call with analysts.”

[MacDailyNews Note: “Trojan horse,” “iPod halo effect,” – call iPod what you will – as long as it opens eyes and leads to more people enjoying Macs instead of dreadful-by-comparison Windows boxes.]

Jones reports, “Analysts applauded the approach. ‘Their strategy is basically to get their foot into the door with iPods, and get


  1. Hmmm…based on Apple’s earnings announcements I don’t know how well their “trojan horse” is working. An over 900% increase in iPod sales complimented with only a 5% increase in Mac sales (I’m recalling the figures from memory, so forgive me if they’re not completely accurate) doesn’t seem to indicate that this strategy is all that successful thus far. Though, it does bring Apple mindshare and that’s valuable as well.

    slappy, enjoy your torrid romance with mediocrity. May your low standards carry you far through life.

    Bizarro Jeff

  2. How could the Trojan Horse effect be instant? People don’t suddenly need a new computer. The effect will be over time. People who say “it’s not working” may not realize the whole process that must take place. First the person’s objectsion to Apple must be eroded, if any. Then an appreciation for Apple quality comes. Then that appreciation (and frustration with Windows) must build enough to overcome the herd mentality that makes a person buy what most people buy (Windows). Then the person must actually NEED and be ready to AFFORD a new computer. Their first Mac might be their next computer, but they may not be for a year or two. Or their first Mac may be the computer after that… the Trojan Effect is there, all the same.

  3. Nagromme, we are talking about an appliance here, not a 12 step program.

    I can see an appreciation for Apple quality helping, and ease of use. The rest of that stuff…….I dunno.

  4. Joe – I bought a 12″ PB from MacMall 2 months ago. Kernel panics, freezes, right from the get go. Took out the MacMall installed ‘free RAM’ and it ran with no problems. Called MacMall, told them the problem and that I had isolated it to the RAM module (Kingston, btw) and that I wanted them to send me new RAM that wasn’t Kingston. They sent it overnight and I sent them back the bad RAM module. Problem fixed. They were very professional about it – but I had to prove to them over the phone what steps I took to prove that it was indeed the RAM.

    Good luck!

  5. Larry, not sure why you are addressing me, since I don’t own a mac, but thanks.

    I don’t get something…..does macmall buy what we peeceers call a “barebones” and then install generic components like ram, hardrives cd/dvd/burners etc.? Or is it just the “free ram” issue? I thought macs were pretty much completely factory built and shippable when they left the plant.

    Ram is a huge stumbling block for any computer. Ram is a commodity (in fact there are ram futures markets in Singapore). Quality and applicability vary hugely. When I buy ram I have it tested before it leaves the warehouse, for $5, unless I buy name brand stuff with a no questions asked, freight paid, return policy.

    My son just bought a G5 with extra ram from another retailer, and no problem….of course he knows where the guy lives too…..that always helps.

  6. Some people need to remember how a CONSUMER operates when buying computer stuff. They’re not going to spend a couple grand every year just keeping up with new hardware. Here’s how the process goes:

    You’ve just bought a brand new PC in the last year or two, and got an iPod this past season.

    You love the iPod, and marvel at how well it works with iTunes. You research Apple computers, and maybe take a trip or two to a store to fawn over the gear. You’re impressed, and begin to think that this Macintosh thing isn’t so bad after all.

    Are you going to dump your still-reasonably-up-to-date PC — and the substantial sum it took to buy it — and buy a new Mac right away? No way — you’d have to be out of your mind to waste such a new investment.

    Maybe next year, though.

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  7. My Mom in law (a recent switcher) is turning into quite a Mac evangelist. She shows her new 14″ ibook to her friends, shows how easy it is to use, and then the kicker – she tells them that there are no viruses for the Mac (OS X). She says 3 of her friends have already said that they will buy a Mac next time they buy a computer. The problem is that these are not power users and will probably hang onto their computers (even winblows) longer than a power user would since their needs are so limited. One of them was really bummed because she had just bought a winblows machine and so would have to wait quite a while before switching. She said that she is afraid to use it much because she is afraid it will get a virus and break so she only uses it for the absolute minimum needed and doesn’t use it to have fun. M$ computer pergatory.

  8. Joe, I understand your points but it is also true that Apple is a computer company with guns at their heads from all sides. Any other company with all the bad press they receiven even when they do very good would have closed doors.

    5% increase when everyone say Macs are gimped computers, overpriced for people who throws money off the windows (ehe, aren’t those by definition Windows users), their Apple Stores going to be the biggest flop ever, their CEO a mad visionary who has no clue, etc ect. There is enough bad wording to make them out of business in no time.

    Whatever a aseptic analysis says – and which would hold true with other companies – is not applicable as is to Apple that is swimming since ever in poisonous waters.

    Intel does bad: the worst press say is “Odd, they are not doing that good now. They will rebound for sure”

    Apple does very good: press say “Yeah but… they did not show figures of Mini iPod sales: they must be a flop. They are doing OK(!) now but it won’t last”

    I admit it is a bit less worse than previous years but still…

    Last, it takes time for a new trend to establish. 5% increase in sales for Apple is a very good figure since it means it is entering a market beyond the established faithfull one.

  9. Apple needs to capitalize on the fact that there are tens of thousands of iPod users that use it on Windows.

    I assume Apple takes contact details when iTunes for Windows is downloaded, or when a Windows users buys songs from iTMS.

    Select a number of these customers, say the customers who downloaded iTMS for Windows and have spent $50 or more in iTMS, and send them an invite to an Apple Store, with a 10% discount on a new Mac, free .Mac subscription, whatever.

    I think that would drive more Mac sales, and increase market share.

  10. Seahawk, there is a lot of fud, but watching this site as we do we see more than most. I think the 5% number is actually good considering Apple has not done much advertising lately. Hopefully that will change when new models are introduced, and the product line makes sense again.
    I think Apple could have done a much better job of mining the return of the stock market and other improving economic conditions. But I don’t fly a jet so what do I know?

    Gone for the weekend. Seeya dave, seahawk, Jack etc.

  11. Cya Joe, good w/e. And indeed Apple does not advertise much its products, or in a way that talks to the Mac user already.

    They did marketing a lot with the iPod and it worked, indeed it is a wonder why not the same with the rest of the offering…

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