Mac user Obama: Will it help or hurt Apple?

“Earlier this month, Windows dropped below 90% market share for the first time in over a decade and the beneficiary was the Mac, which has enjoyed a strong resurgence,” Rob Enderle writes for TG Daily. “This resurgence was driven by a number of factors – the success of the iPod and iPhone, a continued focus on customer satisfaction (Apple has the strongest NPS scores of any PC vendor), and some compelling products like the Macbook Air. But the biggest accelerator could be a charismatic U.S. President who has, as his personal choice, a Mac. “

Enderle writes, “Charismatic leaders tend to drive those who admire them to copy certain products they. I believe President-Elect Barack Obama could have a huge and positive impact on Apple. Why? Look at the frenzy he causes when he is seen with a new product. It is amazing how many people got excited when Obama was seen with a Zune and we even saw the term ‘Zunegate’ in relation to it. And we know that he also uses a Mac laptop.”

MacDailyNews Take: Nowhere in the article does Enderle see fit to mention that the story was totally wrong: Spokesman confirms Barack Obama is an Apple iPod user.

Enderle continues, “We haven’t had a superstar President since John F. Kennedy and not many of us are old enough to understand what that really means. What it means is that there is a huge focus on what he and his family do and there is a massive fan base that has the desire to emulate the Obama’s. This alone will have a huge impact on Apple sales along with every other product he is seen using. For the sake of the car companies, let’s hope he drives a domestic model.”

“This isn’t just in the United States. Obama is gaining a star status worldwide and could become a stronger and much more visible promotion tool for the Mac than Steve Jobs is – simply because Obama will be vastly more visible. If he keeps his laptop with him, and this seems likely, he effectively becomes a walking endorsement for Apple, which should pay massive dividends to the company,” Enderle writes. “The Mac could literally become one of the physical representations of a popular president and even Apple couldn’t top that kind of promotion.”

Enderle writes, “Particularly when it comes to big business and government, the company has fallen substantially behind on security… Obama’s visibility plus the likely ramp of Mac sales should focus hackers on the Mac like never before and probably force Apple to step up its security responsibilities more aggressively… Obama’s Mac may have a major impact on the spread of Macs in business and government, but it may have an even more significant impact on Apple, which will be forced to step up to the related market requirements.”

“In the end, I think the change across the board will be beneficial to all of us. It will be nice to once again have a U.S. government that is doing things for us rather than to us,” Enderle writes.

Full article here.

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

MacDailyNews Take: If this is what it’s like to use a platform from a company that’s “fallen substantially behind on security,” we say, “More, please!” as we turn off our Mac OS X Firewalls in tribute to Apple’s “lax security.” Oh, wait, they’re already all off since we did a tribute 4 and a half years ago when some antivirus peddler warned us of becoming a larger target. Smirk.

Now, while Obama’s use of a Mac could help, it could also hurt. Superstar or not, the fact is that 46% of United States voters, 58,343,671 people, did not vote for Obama. Hopefully for Apple, Obama toting around a Mac will not turn off nearly every other potential Mac buyer. Also, while any president enjoys a political honeymoon period of high approval right after election, these stats also come with high expectations that often do not measure up to campaign promises and political and economic realities. President Bush is a Mac user, but that fact did not seem to help Apple when his approval numbers were high (90%, September 2001, the highest job approval rating in Gallup history), not does it seem to have hurt when they dropped (27%, Nov. 6-8, 2008, Gallup); perhaps this is because we rarely see Bush with his Mac. If Obama regularly and visibly totes around an Apple MacBook model do you think it will help, hurt, or have no effect on Apple? Take our poll (above left).


  1. I guess no one wanted to hack into Bush’s computer. Any way, if presidents are not allowed to use Blackberry or email, I’m sure they took Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and internet connection too (only way to secure any computer, PC, Mac or Linux).

  2. Well if Obama is Apple’s new star then I must say I have been buying Apple products since November of 1981 and will continue to use them in spite of whatever the heck Obama uses. Enderle is always out in LEFT field and his stupid comments once again prove he has sand for brains. I’m not sure he would get anything about Apple right even if MDN wrote the article for him. Tree huggers unite for Enderle and Obama will lead us out of the forest!

  3. Dumbest premise for a story I’ve maybe ever seen in my life.

    Rush Limbaugh’s a known Mac enthusiast. Obama is a known user. If there’s every been a more clear illustration that an operating system and the hardware it runs is completely non-political, well there you go.

    As for the Apple brand benefiting from Obama or not, I’m not too worried. If anything, Obama will benefit from such a strong brand because it makes him look cool and “with it” technologically — not the other way around.

    I feel dumber after reading that (par for the course with Enderle).

  4. Doubt that the President will be seen lugging his personal laptop around. And most of the those 58 million votes were not against Obama but for McCain. Surveys show that the ‘against’ vote was much lower than in recent elections, and third-fourths approve of his transistional appointments (including solid majority of Republicans). Appears he plans to govern from the center. If so he may extend the honeymoon period a bit.

  5. I agree with MidWest Mac. There are celebrities in both political camps that use Macs. To that, I offer a non-partisan “good for them”. Any user who would consider giving up his Mac because Obama uses one was only in it to be trendy in the first place.

    But Enderle – no surprise – misses the greater point. As anyone who’s spent much time in a large organization understands (I spent 30 years with the Feds), the person at the top sets the tone. If Obama prefers to keep using his Mac, that means White House IT will need to accommodate the boss. And more staffers, following the boss’ lead, will requisition Macs given the option. If OMB follows that lead, that means contract proposals will no longer specify Windows as the requisite OS.

    Of course, Enderle’s suggestion that the nation’s enemies will increasingly target the Mac because the O uses one is more nonsense.

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