Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why Apple is a Baby-Boomer Stock

I totally agree with the conclusions of this article  that Apple products are and will continue to be popular with older people. I don’t agree with the rationale for reaching this conclusion.

The author is basically saying that older people buy Apple products because the want to be ‘hip’ and this gives them an easy way of achieving this goal. Here are some of the quotes:

Apple's products have a near monopoly over the technology buying senior citizen demographic.

Although many are shy about getting their feet wet with technology, many like the idea of technology and realize the practical usefulness of it. The iPhone is the perfect opportunity for the baby boomer generation to stay hip and current.

I think this is being both patronizing to older people and to Apple.

The reason why so many people use all of the Apple products is that they are brilliant products. The reason they use the iPhone is the same as why it is the most successful of all the smart devices. When it was launched and even now it is the best.

What a strange argument that buying the best of breed product is in someway strange.

What the author totally misses out on is the way that Apple, especially with the iPad, has made the connection between the user and the application that much easier. That much enjoyable and that much more fun.

Right conclusion – wrong reasons. Dick Stroud


Jamie Carracher said...

Hi Dick:

I've been reading your blog really closely and truly enjoy it. I saw this Seeking Alpha post last week but didn't have a chance to read it until you shared it.

It's no secret Apple makes products that are easy to use -- something I discussed with Elie Gindi at ElderGadget a few weeks back (shameless plug). But I found the statement: "Apple's products have a near monopoly over the technology buying senior citizen demographic" surprising.

Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see any data to support that claim outside the writer's anecdotes. In the U.S., Apple, while certainly surging, still only owns 10% of PC market share. In addition, Apple products are priced at a premium. I'm definitely still learning about boomers, seniors and their purchasing habits, but it seems to me that if someone is living on a limited retirement income, they might not be as likely to splurge on a $1,200 Mac when they can get a functional PC for $600. Just a thought! Would love to see if anyone has looked into the types of computers older people use, how often they upgrade, etc.

Dick Stroud said...

Jamie - you are absolutely right. There is no substantiation for the comment that the Mac is the product of choice. None whatsoever. I should have made that point myself - thanks. There is some evidence to support that opinion about the use by the 50-plus of iPhones and iPads. Apple rarely gives any information about the demographics of its customers. From anecdotal evidence I suspect that the technically literate older market are buying Macs but I have no hard facts to support that statement. Thanks for your comments.