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Apple Tax: “Paying $500 more to get a logo on it?”

At a conference mid-march, Ballmer (Microsoft CEO) re-fueled a PC vs. Mac debate by commenting,

“Now I think the tide has really turned back the other direction [against Apple] … the economy is helpful. Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment — same piece of hardware — paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that’s a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be.”

And of course, he is absolutely right. Although I would have priced it at about $700 (USD), $1000 (AUD). This comment cleverly preceded a new addition to the Microsoft campaign. Dubbed “Laptop Hunters” (which suggests more of these ads are to come), Microsoft asks an individual to find a laptop for under $1000, and if they find it, they can keep it.

Recently when I was investigating Business Systems, it was proclaimed that Apple utilises ‘Differentiation’ as a tactic to set their brand apart- but when you look at the bigger picture, at what price? A highly inflated one. Especially in the current economic situation, people will factor this price tag (with an excessive Apple Tax) into consideration and turn away from Apple and instead towards PC.

Overall, this new ad campaign milestone from Microsoft really intertwines well with improving the image of the PC. With Ballmer and this new ad jeering at Apple, I can almost feel an impending “I’m cool enough to be a Mac person” campaign rebuttal…


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