BusinessWeek writer outlines six (really three) point plan to increase Mac market share

“While iPods sizzle, Macs and laptops are sluggish. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how to get that computer market share surging… Let’s call them ‘Six Steps to a Bigger Mac Market,'” Alex Salkever writes for BusinessWeek.

Salkever’s six-point plan:
1) Price trumps style in the computer market: Apple charges too much for its computers.
2) Make ’em cool and cheap: Give us a really cheap, really cool PC.
3) Ditch the all-in-one mantra: Offer a headless Mac at a decent price.
4) Sell that soap: Offer a $200 bounty on a PC exchanged for a new iMac or iBook.
5) Sell that soap II: offer all Mac buyers a try-and-buy program.
6) Sell security: debut an Apple ad campaign playing up the fact that Macs remain largely virus-free.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: 1-4 are all the same: Salkever wants a cheaper Mac. Point 5 (really his second point) has been done in the past by Apple. Maybe it’s time to try it again, but it doesn’t strike us as a huge draw. Point 6 (#3 in actuality) is what we’ve been saying all along and we couldn’t agree more with Alex. Even if it irks some malcontents to try attacking Mac OS X, why not advertise the Mac’s security advantage? It is huge! Surely even a massive ad campaign highlighting Mac security is unlikely to provoke the tens of thousands of viruses and worms Windows has and has had in the past.

Related MacDailyNews article:
New York Times: Mac OS X ‘much more secure than Windows XP’ – September 18, 2003

41 Comments

  1. By-and-large, products are EITHER cool or cheap. The very reason for this is that design costs money. Macs can be either cool OR cheap.

    Apart from Apple, Sony is a good example of that.

  2. cpr86 is correct….unfortunatly

    and don’t give me that crap that you can get a mac for $1000..sure you can, but can you add a better video card to that later? no, you gotta buy a new one

    simple things that you can’t do, and pay a ton more for

    I am happy to be able to afford my mac preference

  3. Video cards are a big problem. It should be a cheap and easy way to breath life into an old machine, but on Macs, it just isn’t. It’s a shame.

    Even on machines that can be upgraded, the replacement cards are lower spec and four times the price of the PC equivalent. Even new cards in macs are generally lower spec (certainly smaller VRAM).

    The TCO is where macs win. But you don’t see TCO when you buy things new. People might look at service costs, mpg, insurance costs, devaluation etc when buying a car, but they simply don’t do that with a PC.

    Macs are not more expensive, sometimes they just look that way.

    Do you have a spare not-too-old mac gathering dust ? You can contribute to #5 by lending it to someone you think might be a switcher. Don’t pressure them, just say, “Why don’t you try this for a month or two, see how you get on with it. Remember this machine is a few years old, so a new one would be much faster, but it should cope with most of what you throw at it.”. And them wait and see. Don’t pester them, just tell them to call if they have any problems.

    I got me a switcher this way. Well, he’s not actually splashed the cash yet, he’s waiting to see what the iMacs do, to see if they’re a better option than a G5. But there’s no question of him getting a PC instead.

  4. Here is the marketing ploy they should steal from Dell.

    Offer a $600 desktop or $800 laptop with very minimum specks then ask what the user wants to do with their new computer. Then you just upgrade the hell out of the OS, hardware and included software so the computer can do the tasks the buyer wants to do.

    By the time you have a Dell configured properly for your use it costs as much if not more than the equivalent Mac.

    Apple could do this, advertise cheap and still sell at today’s prices and the switchers would still brag on their $600 desktop or $800 laptop even though they paid much more.

  5. funny how the ‘expensive hardware’ myth still runs strongly.

    We cannot buy here at the lab any PC laptop cheaper than the corresponding Powerbook (same configurations)

    Of course if you configure crap you get a cheap PC but here is not possible: there are imposed minimum configurations – otherwise it is just wasted money – that make ANY laptop PC more expensive than the Powerbooks.
    And Powerbooks are easily becoming now the more common laptops around.

  6. Ok the paramedics have left my house; they say it was just a mild shock. Let me just try to wrap my mind around the concept once more: the Apple Store UK is selling language-learning software for �117,498.83. Boy, I had no idea there was such a high barrier to entry to the English-speakers club.

  7. Most pc users don’t upgrade the video card. Most pc users don’t know what a video card is. The gamers care. The graphics folks care. Ma and Pa don’t give a rip. Most pc’s sit in offices where they’re used for email, word processing, spreadsheets, and an occassional presentation. Most home pc’s get used for the same thing, minus the presentation work, plus Quicken.

  8. More on topic, whatever happened to Charles Haddad? Apart from the fact that he’s a better, more amusing writer than Alex Salkever, he seemed much more clueful to boot.

  9. You get what you pay for.

    When your young you buy used cars and hope they work or you fix them up because you don’t have a lot of income or credit to buy one new.

    Some get by very well with this approach, most don’t and it costs them more money over time. Their per month costs are higher.

    On the other hand:

    Older folks who have a good income buy a new car and the service plan and leave the techincal details to the dealer to fix. Saving money over time because their car lasts longer and their per month costs are lower.

    Apple caters not to the former, but the latter.

    Dells turn over on average every two years, Walmart and Homeshopping Network PC’s as little as 6 months.

    Mac’s turn over on average every 4 years.

    The fact is if you can spend more up front, your per year computer cost is lower.

    Smart buisnesses use Mac’s and save money over time.

    Dumb buisnesses stick with the “standard quo” and pay more overtime for service, virus control, lost production and tech support.

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