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Apple: Technological Geniuses' or Marketing Masterminds?

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Apple or Windows? The eternal question that has plagued the internet forums of this world for many years, and with the growing usability of technological devices coupled with the broadening array of fields, a question that will only continue to rumble onwards, seemingly without conclusion. Here however, I will attempt to instill some rationality into the subject, in the hope to aid any future consumers becoming bemused by their lack of decisiveness. 

Approach any openly Apple supporter with my opening question, and you're likely to be stubbornly refused of any civilised debate on the specifications of your laptop or phone, whilst ordered to slink back to your 'nerd machine' whilst they stroke and lick their pristinely designed superior supercomputer.

This wiff of prickly self-righteousness on the issue has grown me to view the Apple us er as a defender of what has now become more of a religion or a lifestyle choice than that of a technological selection. This angle no doubt originates from those awfully pretentious 'Mac Vs PC' advertisements Apple used to run starring Peep Show duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb. During which, Mitchell, dressed in a drab brown suit, and Webb, in a more cool and casual jeans and t-shirt combo, basically fall into character of their portrails in the hit sitcom they star in. 

Ultimately, the underlying message was, Macs are for people who like their lunch alfresco, enjoy a martini in the trendy bar that's just opened in town, or like to sit in first class on the train to Kings Cross with their trophy laptop sat comfortably in front of them. Cool, sophisticated, successful. In contrast, PCs were for losers, either nerds whose only friends are named 'Goblin Slayer3000', or indeed your average 'Joe', who needs his PC for spreadsheets or powerpoint presentations. You know, all the things you need a computer for.

This very campaign must be viewed as one of the success stories of marketing in the modern era, as can be viewed from Apple's current position of technological trend setters, for the first time launching modern hi-tech gadgetry into the everyday lives of a new generation, rather than simply devices used by people who enjoy Lord of the Rings battle re-enactments at the weekend. Even today, Apple's commercial efforts try their up most to ensure the viewer believes a choice of Mac, iPhone or iPad is the 'cool' thing to do, with the sleek design of these devices, coupled with the latest modern musical hot points, used at the forefront of Apple's justification, something which Microsoft has noticed, and decided to incorporate into their most recent adverts. 

Before I go any further, I must report a wild use of hypocrisy on my part. I am currently in ownership of Apple products, whilst I dismiss my iPad from this discussion (it remains the tablet to beat), as I type, I do so on my 21.5' iMac all in one computer. It has, however, only recently come to my attention what a grave error I made in purchasing it, my wallet eased ajar by the slick ads and visually beautiful aesthetics many have fallen into. However, I hoping to move on, back to the dark side that is Windows after its recent launch of Windows 8, the latest attempt to break the consumer juggernaut of Apple users.

So, enough of my infernal ramblings, as evidence is required to back up such blasphemous claims. Fortunately,  it is available in abundance. Beginning with Apple's stalwart computer application, the MacBook Pro, a mid-range laptop costing $1,250, and you would be forgiven for expecting the height of currently available power for this sizeable purchase. However, compare with a Windows laptop built by HP, and an altogether different story unravels. Not only does the PC come with a 2.4 GHz processor (as opposed to 1.7 GHz on MacBook) but RAM is twice as generous (16GB plays 8GB), the hard drive 33% larger (1TB rather than 750GB) and the screen is not only 4 inches larger, but also of a higher resolution. All this is topped off with a Blue-ray player absent from Apple systems, and a £300 saving at current list price. A comprehensive victory in terms of specification for Windows, but I will not stop there.  

The elevation of Apple's iPhone to the top of the smart phone tree has been achieved using the sublime marketing techniques outlined above. However, for anyone more interested in purchasing a more powerful and impressive machine at the best price, its worth comparing with its main rival, the Samsung Galaxy S4. Unfortunately for Apple fanatics, its time to wince once more, as the ascendancy to Samsung's device is even greater here. The processor of Samsung clocks in with 0.4Ghz more power, coupled with twice the RAM (2GB over 1GB for Apple). The screen has a far superior resolution, the camera 5 mega pixels stronger, and the battery will last over twice as long. All this power is further sweetened by the terrifyingly futuristic non-touch features of the Galaxy, as photos can be cycled through and selected, whilst videos can be paused and continued all without even laying a finger on the screen.  

For anyone further confused by the barrage of figures just thrown their way, or merely uninterested in the specifications, these statistics can conjure only one conclusion. A more powerful, smoother and faster system, brought to you with the latest in available consumer technology, all viewed on a cleaner, sharper screen, at a price either matched, or even bettered. On the basis presented here, it can only be seen as a wild misjudgement to choose anything but a Windows computer or Android mobile when given the choice.

The initial question posted in the title can only be drawn one way, Apple clearly are well aware of the power of advertising, and this has allowed them to cut back on the power of their systems, maximising the profit made, but deviously short changing millions of customers worldwide. Ask yourself the following, would you enter a restaurant and pay £50 for a rump steak, if it meant you were sitting in the vicinity of a well known celebrity, or rather choose a fillet steak next door, priced at £30 but offered in a room full of the everyday man? Apple may well currently hold its head as the market leader in this field, and only a rational, unbiased comparison of the available systems will break Apple's spell of style over substance it has over its customers.    

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