Sorry. I can’t resist.

I have to start this off with a disclosure: I believe Apple products are good. I do not hate Apple.

With that out of the way, I’m going to point out, probably for that eight billionth time, that I hate the smug, self-righteous, unquestioning, unflinching and undying loyalty fanboys have for Apple products — attitude so well epitomized in the company’s “I’m a Mac” ads (you know, the ones where Macs are for the cool, hip people who zip through worry-free lives while PCs are for dorks and dweebs who either don’t know better or enjoy having useless machines).

Didn’t those ads at least seem effective? Did you ever fire up your PC — even once — and wonder why you hadn’t switched to Apple yet? I did. And the answer turned out to be really simple: I don’t want to be one of those people. The ones from that commercial. No thanks.

Microsoft has finally come back with a series of ads that hit Apple where it lives. They show people (actors) on budgets, challenged to find a computer with particular specs on a budget. Invariably, Apple machines don’t fit the bill. But there’s a PC that will — and the lucky actor usually has money to spare.

Apple is not happy about these ads. Not happy at all.

In fact, Apple dislikes the ads so much, its lawyers have demanded Microsoft pull them immediately.

It’s hard for Apple to make a case that the commercials are untrue — especially when their “I’m a Mac” ads are laden with exaggeration and tall tales. But it certainly appears that the ads are working. BrandIndex says Microsoft’s so-called value perception has risen steadily since the campaign began in March, while Apple’s has fallen.

Some of this value perception may have nothing at all to do with these ads. A year ago, carrying a cup of Starbucks (like owning a MacBook) was a status symbol. Today, it’s just seen as frivolity. If you don’t need to spend the money, don’t do it…

And sales figures aren’t looking any better.

Apple just fell from fourth place to fifth place in US computer sales, overtaken by Toshiba. That’s right, folks: Toshiba.

One would expect HP and Dell to lead that pack. And Acer (No. 3) has made a strong showing in the past couple of years — especially the second quarter of 2009, when its shipments increased 51 percent. Toshiba’s shipments were up nearly 34 percent. Apple’s shipments, by contrast, dropped 12.4 percent. And Apple’s market share? About 7.6 percent in the US. Under 5 percent worldwide.

This is a pretty clear case of Apple getting  exactly wha t it deserves. Its spin machine has created this whole idea that Apple products “just work” (ask me about my iPod Touch someday), that PCs just aren’t capable of artistic work and can’t be fun (uhhh…any Mac users doing much gaming these days?). As I’ve said before, the Apple team sells products based on claimed difficiencies of PCs, instead of on its own strengths. And now, finally, Microsoft has found a way to put forth the value question. And the answer, really, is quite simple.


5 Responses to Sorry. I can’t resist.

  1. j33p says:

    I call BS on the fact that Apple called. Lawyers usually send letters. Also, It isn’t Apple’s style to vocally admit to anything embarrassing. Kevin Turner couldn’t even offer a name?

    The headlines (for most sites, not yours) have been misleading – and are based on what? One guys word? There is only this (supposed true story) account that someone claiming to represent Apple told Kevin Turner to pull those ads because prices had been lowered.

    • asciidan says:

      I think the best proof is that Apple hasn’t denied it. If it weren’t true, wouldn’t Apple be calling bullshit? You bet they would.

      • j33p says:

        Apple doesn’t comment on a lot of things as a policy. Not the best PR move in this situation. I still think it’s irresponsible that no one has followed up, officially questioning Mr. Turner about the specifics. How about his proof?

      • asciidan says:

        Apple regularly denies what it deems false reports: see here.

        In this case, there is no way they’d let a high-level Microsoft guy mock them out so publicly without so much as a comment. Mr. Turner obviously didn’t share the entirety of the conversation, but he did clearly state that he, too, thought it was a joke at first, and verified the identity of the person he was speaking with. The fact that he explained as much is pretty telling. If it was a made-up story (seriously, if it were made up, there’s no way he would have said it so publicly; he knew it would make headlines and that he’d come out looking like a dope), he wouldn’t have made a point of saying he thought it was a joke.

        In this case, Apple’s silence is a clear admission. The fanboys would have a field day if Apple called BS. But they haven’t.

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