Apple Mac vs. Microsoft Windows: Marketing vs. performance

January 12, 2009

Apple's Success: Marketing or Performance?

Apple's success: Marketing or performance?

With Apple quickly gaining 4 percent of the U.S. market share on all PC sales (up from 15 percent to 18 percent), it seems the perennial runner-up has finally found a strong foothold; and it is perhaps easier to think that the company has built a superior system. Many graphic designers would agree with that last sentiment, as the Mac is well known for its use in design.  One has to wonder, what has brought on the surge:  better performance or better marketing? While both might influence sales, public perception ultimately rules, which is why I believe that marketing has played a bigger role in Apple's recent success.  Its television ads, which pit the Mac guy against the PC (Vista) guy, speak directly to their target audience -- young web savvy and media-driven computer users who like graphic design, games, video editing and more. The commercials clearly depict the Mac as fresh and intuitive, while the PC demonstrates slow, old-school thinking and is behind the times. When it comes to performance, I've used both machines and operating systems, and I have to say I don't notice much of a difference. I'm not a computer expert, but I have been told that much of the performance bias is because Mac does not have low-end economy machines, while the PC economy versions seem to dominate Wal-Mart shelves nationwide.  In short, the cheapest Macs are more robust and more expensive than the cheapest PCs; and in theory if similarly built machines were side by side there would be no significant performance difference. If this is indeed the case, then it might be that this is part of Apple's overall strategy. If there is no inferior machine on the market, the Mac could never be construed as inferior regardless of price. This seems genius to me: Why offer a cheap product that doesn't live up to expectations when you have a great product priced fairly? If your cheapest model is better than your competitor's cheapest model, you protect yourself from performance-related attacks and position your product as the best on the market in the eyes of consumers. For those of you who have used both systems, how do you think they stack up?  Is Apple's recent success due to marketing, performance or both? And what can be said about Microsoft's overwhelming control of market share?

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

A significant performance differance is not noticeable for the PC and Macs if they are both new machines
but with the test of time PC's performance drops significantly attributing to the bloated registry and the fragmented file system. Fine tuning is needed time to time to boost the PC's performance. Also a PC comes installed with a boat load of inefficient and under performing OEM applications which is a drag on the machine. Effort must be made to uninstall those applications to boost performance. Macs work superbly right out of the box.

Brian's picture
Brian January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

Thanks for your insight, Manoj! I'd love to hear how others weigh. In my experience - and I've worked professionally and extensively on both machines - I don't notice a significant performance lag over time when comparing one to another. Maintenance is necessary for anything. However, I hear graphic designers say time and again they prefer Macs to PCs... there must be a reason, but I still have not determined whether that reason is marketing-based or performance-based (and perception of performance would remain marketing-based).

Anyone else care to weigh in?

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