Is Apple’s iPod ‘halo effect’ in full swing?

“It’s very easy to take a look at Apple’s stellar fourth quarter and conclude that the long-awaited iPod ‘halo effect’ is in full swing and move onto something more pressing, like handicapping the World Series,” Tom Krazit reports for CNET.

“The iPod often gets the credit for increased Mac shipments, described as the “halo effect” over past years. The thinking is that iPod customers, having enjoyed their iPod experience and having seen Apple in a new light, might be more inclined to pick up a Mac while shopping for a new iPod case and realizing their old PC is woefully out of date,” Krazit reports.

“But despite the recent results, it’s still just not that simple. Apple said during its earnings conference call that half of the customers who bought Macs at its retail store last quarter were new Mac owners. Viewed against total Mac shipments of 2.2 million during the quarter, that’s actually not all that many brand-new Mac users,” Krazit reports.

“Apple sold 473,000 Macs at its retail stores. That means we’re talking about something like 200,000 people last quarter who were new to the Mac–assuming some number of people bought multiple Macs to send the twins off to college–and the rest are Mac veterans upgrading to a new Macbook or one of the new iMacs,” Krazit reports. “Obvious as it may seem, it’s really hard to quantify the halo effect. Believe me, I’ve just spent the last several hours trying.”

“It would be silly to say the iPod has had no effect on the way Apple is viewed by the public. Anyway you slice it, the iPod contributed to a more positive impression of the company among those who hadn’t always supported Apple as a matter of principle,” Krazit reports. “But I’m not convinced that you can draw a direct line between iPods and Macs… I think more people are buying Macs because there is no longer a penalty for switching to a Mac. After all, you can run Windows on a Mac, open and edit Word documents in Mac OS, and you probably spend most of your time on one Web page or another that doesn’t care what operating system is in control.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jollywog” for the heads up.]

It’s not really that difficult. Either Apple’s iPod “halo effect” has just begun and is not yet in full effect or it’s weaker than some might have expected. That’s okay – there are better ways to sell a Mac. The iPod’s main benefit with regard to a “halo effect” is to assure people that Apple is financially healthy and will be here for the long run (in case 30+ years in business isn’t enough assurance).

Also, as OS X-based multi-touch iPods and iPhones get people used to that UI, when Apple brings out their multi-touch Mac tablet and introduces multi-touch elements into the Mac, then you’ll start to see a real “halo effect.” (If Apple isn’t working on a device or a whole line of devices that bridge between the iPhone and MacBook that utilize the multi-touch UI, then they should be. We think they are working on it, as it’s far too obvious for them not to be doing so.)

The general public is beyond brainwashed that Windows is necessary. Windows is only necessary in cases where you want – or are forced – to use some particular application because some developer (usually Microsoft) has decided not to support/not fully support the Mac. In all other cases, if the applications exist for Mac, then Apple Mac is the better choice for personal computer users: it’s more secure, more stable, and more fun than Windows. If Windows did not have “lock-in” via IT departments deploying Microsoft stuff (that just happens to force the use of Windows, those clever Redmond devils) and if a few other developers (Autodesk with AutoCAD and game developers, anyone?) made Mac versions, then Windows simply has no reason to exist besides providing the ultimate platform for Antivirus, Anti-spyware, and anti-this/anti-that peddlers and driving people into various states of maddening frustration.

Windows has been, from its inception, and remains today, a badly-executed fake Mac designed to run on commodity hardware because Macs used to be too expensive for the average Joe. This is no longer the case. Macs are price competitive and offer an OS and Mac-only applications that are without peer.

Windows’ time has passed. Most people just haven’t figured it out, yet. If you want proof, just walk into any Best Buy and ask people why they’re plunking down their credit cards for truly horrid pieces of junk Windows PCs when OS-unlimited and vastly superior Macs are sitting right there being ignored by them. They’ll almost always tell you they “need Windows.”

Apple needs to do a much better job informing the public the fact that Macs can run Windows natively and/or via fast virtualization and get on with the process of embracing Windows in order to ultimately extinguish it. Pound the message repeatedly, Apple, and you will sell more Macs than you can imagine! “Macs run Windows, too, and you get two computers for the price of one,” is a hugely easier sell than banging your head against the wall for years (as Apple used to do and sometimes still does) trying to explain to people that they don’t need Windows. The brainwashing by Microsoft, analysts, and the media is so complete that average consumers will not even listen.

By embracing the brainwashing and using it to their advantage, Apple can sell many more Macs. After all, people who try both Macs and WIndows PCs overwhelmingly choose Macs. It’s the people who’ve never really used a Mac that repeatedly run to Best Buy every other year for their Windows PC punch in the face.


  1. I don’t think there is an iPod halo effect either. I think there is a definite Apple Retail Store effect. Proof? Look at the marketshare for Macs in the USofA vs. the RoW. iPods are in the RoW, but Apple Retail Stores are not.

    Of course, one shouldn’t underestimate the mediocrity (or worse) of Vista. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  2. We finally got an Apple employee at the local Best Buy.
    At least one person in the store now has a clue about Mac vs. PC
    It seems BB justs wants the $330 post purchase fee for cleaning all the stuffing of the PC hard drive, installing security, and if you can believe it…setting up printer files to work with their new PC.

    They don’t sell whats best for the customer, they just sell what’s best for the store.

    I do congratulate Apple on their strategy to have an employee in the store.

  3. “…repeatedly run to Best Buy every other year for their Windows PC punch in the face.”

    Or, even more hilariously, they go to Best Buy once or twice a year to have their PC “cleaned out”. It’s just unbelievable what people will put up with for Winblows – like a race horse with blinders on.

  4. I don’t think there’s an iPod halo effect. After all, an iPod is pretty simple.

    However, I *do* believe there is an iPhone halo effect and, perhaps, an ‘iPod Touch’ halo effect – when consumers see a decent user interface it will open their eyes.

  5. This is really the Vista halo effect. Vista has done more for Apple than all the iPods put together.

    Quite a lot of people have told me they were conflicted about buying a new computer, because they’ve heard so much bad stuff about Vista (all of which is true) but they didn’t want to be stuck with XP. I told them that Microsoft will probably make a come-back in 2010, so in the meantime they should get a Mac. The rationale is that by the time they’re ready to replace the computer, Microsoft will be ready for them. Sneaky me; they will never switch back. Then they go to the Apple Store, which unlike other computer retailers doesn’t them feel like lost little lambs/

    I gave away my old iMac to a friend, who had bought an iPhone. After using the iMac for a while and after visiting the Apple Store to resolve an iPhone problem, he said, “Thank you for introducing me to the future.”

    Vista is the best advertisement for the Mac. Now if we could get the more rabid Apple fanboys to shut up, Apple’s sales will increase even more.

  6. ” It’s just unbelievable what people will put up with for Winblows – like a race horse with blinders on.”

    I think one factor here is the security people get from not having to be vilified by their friends/neighbors for getting one of those ‘weird Mac computers”. There is definitely something to be said for people going with what they believe is safe and what “everyone else is doing”.

    The good news is, the iPod helps alleviate this effect by at least having one Apple branded product in the house.

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