updated 07:55 pm EDT, Wed October 24, 2007
iPod halo is "nonsense"
Calling the "halo effect" -- a term applied to the peripheral effects of the success of the iPod, iPhone, etc. -- hyperbole, ZDNet says there are a number of other reasons for Apple's rapidly growing Mac market share. These include Intel Macs, which make virtualization software for running Windows a possibility -- a strong draw for switchers; Support, for which Apple has been ranked far ahead of other PC manufacturers in various surveys; Microsoft's mistakes with Vista (underestimating the pull of the installed base of Windows XP); the fact that Mac users support the platform and evangelize it to others, and more. "The turnaround in consumer attitudes towards the Mac didn't happen with the release of the iPod. Rather, it is the culmination of a brand rebuilding strategy that began 10 years ago."
Analysts and some other pundits disagree, opining that the increase in Mac sales is indeed due to the much-talked-about halo effect. "It is primarily [the] 'halo effect' driving the jump in Mac sales," says Van Baker, research vice president of Gartner Consulting. "Consumers come in [to the Apple stores] to buy an iPod and stop to check out the MacBook Pros while they are there."
Earlier this week, Apple announced that it earned revenue of $6.22 billion with the help of more than 2.16 million Mac sales -- which broke the company's record for the most Mac sales in a September quarter by 400,000 units. Overall, Apple generated more than $24 billion in revenue and $3.5 billion in net income during the fiscal year 2007. Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer cited "record results" in his introductory comments, adding that this was the "highest September quarter revenue and earnings in Apple's history."