updated 11:20 am EDT, Thu October 15, 2009
Schiller claims upgrade may be too much hassle
Near-term Apple marketing plans will revolve around countering Windows 7, says the company's senior marketing VP, Phil Schiller. "It presents a very good opportunity for us," he explains, noting that many PCs are still equipped with Windows XP, and will thus require a more elaborate upgrade to carry over files to 7. This can include backing up essential files, reformatting, and/or reinstalling old applications. "Any user that reads all those steps is probably going to freak out," claims Schiller. "If you have to go through all that, why not just buy a Mac?"
The VP's view is expected to transform into an ad campaign, which may also continue threads attacking the Windows virus threat, and promising better support for iPods and iPhones. Schiller may be backed by third-party analysts, who point out that Mac sales tend to spike in tandem with major Windows launches. Windows 7 has proven unusually popular with pre-release testers however, and is expected to reinvigorate PC sales amongst people who avoided Vista.
PC Data analyst Stephen Baker comments that in the middle of a recession, PCs also have the advantage of price. The average price of a Windows PC is $537, versus $1,434 for a Mac. "I just don't think you're going to have a huge influx of people who have perfectly good XP machines deciding they need to buy an all-new Mac," says Baker.
Schiller separately argues that he expects Mac OS X Snow Leopard to maintain a greater upgrade adoption rate than Windows 7. Some 70 percent of Mac owners have switched to 2007's Leopard, he comments, whereas less than 20 percent of Windows users have migrated to Vista, which was released several months prior. "I expect Snow Leopard will have an amazing upgrade rate, and Windows 7 won't," says the VP.