Apple’s iPod ‘Halo Effect’ revs up for back-to-school season

“Apple’s trendy iPod digital music player, which has revitalized the company, is giving laptop sales a boost during back-to-school season. Many students, after falling in love with the iPod, are packing for college with new Apple Macintosh computers,” Jefferson Graham reports for USA Today.

“‘This is my third student rush season,’ says Jason Thorpe, a sales associate at the University of Oregon’s computer store. ‘When I started, people wouldn’t even look at Macs. Everyone came in wanting a PC. This year, two-thirds of them want Macs.’ In Tucson, at the University of Arizona’s on-campus store, salesman Jeff Guba says Apple sales are way up from last year, when 4 of 10 computers sold were Macs. This year, it’s 6 of 10,” Graham reports. “Besides the afterglow of iPod, other factors are giving Apple laptops a boost:”

– Viruses. Internet viruses that affect Windows machines ‘have gotten out of hand,’ says Charles Hendee at New York University’s computer store. “Every week, we have three or four people switch for just that reason.”

– Price. Unlike Mac desktops, which tend to cost more than comparable Windows machines, entry-level iBook laptops are competitively priced, at about $949 with Apple’s education discount.

“Most students buy laptops,” Graham reports.

Full article here.


  1. Too bad my department (in a school) is waiting on about 2 dozen, different Apple products, ranging from Airport Express to G5 PowerMacs. So because we couldn’t get the iMac’s we wanted, we splurged for G5’s. Now we can’t get those either. You know how hard it is to keep my purchasing department from calling Dell right now? This “halo” effect could backfire, since all their products are “halo-ing” into backorder.

  2. My Airport Express showed up within a week, just a couple weeks ago. What a wonderful little gadget. Perhaps, The Crunge, they’re going to ship everything at once and that’s the hold up. Doesn’t make much sense though.

  3. Nice article, except for two absolutely glaring errors:

    “Now that Microsoft Office is available for Macs, Guba says, students can work with many Windows programs, such as Outlook for e-mail and Word for documents. “That made a big difference,” he says.”

    Office is not a Mac newcomer, while Office 2004 is, Macs have had Office for years. Equally, the new version of Office does not have Outlook, it has Entourage. Similar function, but not the same app by any means.

    MDN, please pick up on such errors even in positive articles. You pick up on the minutest of errors in pro-Wintel/anti-Mac articles, yet missed these two huge ones in this pro-Mac article. Inconsistent.

  4. Apple should be selling into education at almost cost price. These are tomorrow’s customers. However if Apple/IBM/Nvidia/etc., can’t produce the goods, what’s the point?

  5. That’s the problem in a nutshell. People out there are willing to at least give Apple serious consideration now. But shortages from IBM and NVIDIA are really hurting Apple right now. If they could ever get the supply situation straight they might really take off and maybe even double their market share over the next year or two.

  6. Yes, Ade Fowler and Rob, I agree.

    Isn’t the solution for Apple now to buy a nice little modern CPU factory? They’ve got a few billions in the bank.

    They’ll then have absolute control over their product, and the bad old days of being shat upon by a Motorola or an IBM will be a thing of the past.

  7. Never underestimate the cool/hip factor either. It’s just not cool to be seen on campus these days with a PC. Just as it’s not cool to be seen with a Dell DJ either. Students like to fit in with the cool/hip crowd and more and more it’s taking a Mac or an iPod (or both) in order to do that. While it won’t end “Windows domination” anytime soon, it could dramatically increase Apple’s market share within the next couple of years. And that’s all that really matters anyway.

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