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Apples Are For Grannies?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the all-named-smith dept.

Businesses 432

RoboJock writes "So much for Justin Long — the young, hip 'n' trendy face of the Apple Mac (as seen in the 'Mac vs. PC' ads) is even further removed from the average Mac owner than everyone suspected... By three or four decades. According to research discussed at Silicon.com, 'nearly half of Mac owners are 55 and older — that's almost double the share for average home-PC users.' It seems the young guns don't have the extra cash to stump up for smooth shiny aesthetics." From the article: "For the digital youth, high-street box shifter Gateway is the brand of choice, taking the number-one slot among PC buyers aged between 18 and 25. Dan Ness, principal at MetaFacts, said in a statement: 'Apple can claim long-time loyalists but its future among the young technoliterati is an interesting dynamic.'"

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432 comments

Obligatory (4, Funny)

RealSurreal (620564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17053846)

In Korea only old people use Macs on the internet.

Re:Obligatory (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054068)

Hasn't anybody heard of Granny Smith?

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054638)

Internets! It's called Internets!

Re:Obligatory part deux (2, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054648)

They should open source Mac OS X, or at least let Dell sell it. That would fix everything.

Re:Obligatory part deux (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054852)

Except it would completely break how OS X tends to Just Work. In either example, there's no longer the vendor in control of the hardware, so driver hell would almost certain ensue.

Psssh. (4, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17053910)

55 and up? You think that ads targeted toward "Young, hip people" are more effective toward actual young hip people, or older people who are desperately craving to be young and hip?

Couple that with the fact that that demographic has a hell of a lot of disposable cash, and Apple looks fricking brilliant.

And just think of who fits that demographic (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054076)

The baby boomers! The most self-absorbed generation of Americans who largely continue to live in denial about the fact that they are very close to being "senior citizens" instead of the "hip youth" they were back in the 60s and 70s!

Re:And just think of who fits that demographic (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054438)

Children of the baby boomers. Misdirected youths that are the biggest lot of assholes this planet has ever seen. The I'm important get the FUCK out of my way attitude is proof of this.

Problem is these assholes are breeding kids that are even worse...

your generation is no better buddy.

Re:And just think of who fits that demographic (1, Troll)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054848)

If only some one had had the foresight to sterilize the people responsible for producing this generation in the first place... If we suck its their fault! To be fair, it seems like everyone I meet has the "I'm important, get out of my way" attitude. I'm beginning to think thats just the way people are.

Re:And just think of who fits that demographic (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054534)

Heh. That was the first thing that popped into my mind as well, but I couldn't come up with a way of saying it that didn't involve spittle flying from my mouth. Kudos to you sir.

Re:Psssh. (1)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054470)

Well, I personally think that the Mac commercials are some of the most stupid commercials ever produced. But then again, 99.9% of all commercials are so stupid that i never buy any of their products. When they treat me as an idiot, I have no interest in forking over my money to them.

Re:Psssh. (2, Funny)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054568)

They look slightly less Brilliant, however, in the long term when their customer base starts dying of old age.

Re:Psssh. (4, Informative)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054658)

Well I think the same can be said of something like the VW Beetle. When the new Beetle debuted in the late 90s, it was being pushed as the trendy hip-mobile for young urbanites. But when you actually looked at who owned and drove these things, it was the 45-55 crowd. Hell my own mom (in her 60s) wanted one because it reminded her of her 20s when she wanted the original VW Beetle. I think this is laregly planned on the part of these companies. Just like the Mustang is all the rage now with the 45-55 male set. It reminds them of when they were 18 and they used to lust after the original Mustangs.

More cash in a tighter fist (3, Insightful)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054786)

While its true that the 55+ demographic has a lot of disposable income, there's a reason the 18-25 demographic is the most coveted. Young people buy more junk and we're probably less immune to fads. Older people have generally lost interest in these things, or maybe they have the wisdom required to not get caught up in the marketing bullshit.

I'd wager a guess that 55+ demographic is the one that has the most people using old iMacs or some Dell box from 1997, because "its good enough for them" or "it still works great!" Its that 18-25 demographic that wants the latest and great.

Re:Psssh. (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054958)

"You think that ads targeted toward "Young, hip people" are more effective toward actual young hip people, or older people who are desperately craving to be young and hip?"

The former one.

I got my parents a mac mini. (5, Interesting)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17053934)

My mother is in her 60s and my dad in his 70s and they can handle it a LOT better than their old XP machine. I actually like XP and I run both OSX and XP, but the ease-of-use factor with OSX and the $500 mini price tag (especially since they could keep their old monitor, printer, etc.) made it worth getting. Now they aren't only into it, but my dad has gotten himself a Macbook Pro too! They used to hate their computer when it was XP because they had no idea what they were doing. They still don't really have much of an idea, but this time they can actually get things done.

Re:I got my parents a mac mini. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054226)

Exactly! It's not so much the advertising, it how many parents and grandparents ask someone savvy in the family what computer they should get. You say what most of us say: "Get a Mac." Nobody wants to clean an exploit out of a relative's XP machine.

The opportunity here is getting to the point where it's as easy to give them Ubuntu.

Re:I got my parents a mac mini. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054880)

They used to hate their computer when it was XP because they had no idea what they were doing. They still don't really have much of an idea, but this time they can actually get things done.
Just like old people, always doing something but never sure what it is...

I have a dumb question (4, Interesting)

KiahZero (610862) | more than 7 years ago | (#17053942)

What does "high-street box shifter" mean?

More on topic, it doesn't seem to me like Apple has much to worry about here, if the problem is not anything intrinsic to Macs, but rather the price. As the 18-25 year olds graduate from college, get jobs, and get promoted, the difference in price between a Mac and a cheap PC becomes less and less significant.

Re:I have a dumb question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054012)

I had a '79 Camaro with one of those in high school. Feully headers, Crane cams, and a high-street box shifter. Totally bitchin'.

Re:I have a dumb question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054914)

Dude, your lingo is way off.

Feully headers? Maybe that was a off brand name of headers back then but are you sure did not mean "FULL" headers as in full length headers as opposed to shorty style headers?
Crane cams as in plural? What engine did you have in that car that had dual cams?

Re:I have a dumb question (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054358)

What does "high-street box shifter" mean?

You're obviously not a POME (prisoner of mother England), or as the Ozzies say it, "whinging POME bastard".

"high-street box shifter" is roughly a main street high volume store

Re:I have a dumb question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054540)

Something like this [nismoparts.com] , I think.

Gateway? (1)

green pizza (159161) | more than 7 years ago | (#17053968)

I would have guessed HP, as the vast majority of my highschool and college classmates have HP systems, usually purchased for them by their parents at Walmart, Staples, OfficeMax, Sears, etc. The hip youngsters machine seems to be Alienware, for those who can afford it. Dell is also common for students whose parents work in an office environment. But Gateway? I assume they are including eMachines into the Gateway equation, but it still doesn't add up to me. eMachines systems are sold at many stores around here, but I just don't see them in many homes or dorm rooms.

For youngsters, Apple seems to be a high-end "mall-brand", but often times no more expensive than other brands when you start to compare features and software bundles.

Re:Gateway? (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054446)

Although... with a Mac and OpenOffice there's really not much other software people in their 60s would really use (unless they're among the rare breed of older gamers).

Re:Gateway? (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054488)

For youngsters, Apple seems to be a high-end "mall-brand", but often times no more expensive than other brands when you start to compare features and software bundles.
Except that most "PC's" are available without lots of extras that youngsters don't want.

I'm sure than when you consider the onboard GPS, the heated cup holders, high-end surround sound, leather interior, etc, that a BMW stacks up rather well compared to a Kia of comparable features (if Kia made such things :)). Bottom line though is that a lot of us simply don't want all that stuff.

Look at Metafacts clients... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17053970)

And Gateway is their client. Suprise Suprise...

http://www.metafacts.com/pages/corporate/metafacts _background.htm [metafacts.com]

Re:Look at Metafacts clients... (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054202)

Your point being? So are Compaq/HP, IBM, Dell, Sony, and Toshiba. Why weren't any of them named as the #1 for 18-25 demographic?

Re:Look at Metafacts clients... (1)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054316)

Because there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. And you can't use the first two in business... or at least, that's the way it's supposed to work.

Re:Look at Metafacts clients... (1)

TerminalWriter (953282) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054398)

Because there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. And you can't use the first two in business... or at least, that's the way it's supposed to work.

Sure you can use the first two. At least until the grand jury indicts you.

Re:Look at Metafacts clients... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054722)

Because they say the Gateway is the most popular... duh...

For grannies? (0, Offtopic)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17053974)

Like a Grannie Smith apple? Those are good cooking and baking apples. Don't knock it.

CSI: Mac (3, Funny)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17053990)

CBS has long been the butt of jokes due to its geriatric-skewing demo. Looks like Apple now knows where they should concentrate their ad dollars.

Of course, with Justin Long leaving. I'm waiting for the commercials where they have Wilford Brimley saying "hi, I'm a Mac."

- Greg

Re:CSI: Mac (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054264)

... or Apple could get Benjamin Curtis (aka Dell Dude/Puff Daddy).
That would appeal to all the geezers smoking
'medicine' for Alzheimers and Glaucoma.

Dude! Your getting an iPod!

Capitan obvious to the rescue! (3, Insightful)

sinij (911942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17053998)

Young people use P2P, play video games and use readily available pirated software and are generally have education expenses and loans to pay with start-of-the-career budget. As a result expensive system that emphasizes aesthetics, hardly has any games, up until recently had problems with various P2P and is limited in readily available pirated software (due to lower market share) does not appeal to such demographics.

Re:Capitan obvious to the rescue! (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054092)

I know. Don't blame the Mac and PC makers for their products. Blame the government for 40% tax and the colleges that require $100,000 a year tuition from every student to function. Cars, health and insane insurance drain the middle and lower class dry.

Re:Capitan obvious to the rescue! (2, Interesting)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054512)

I'm living that now. So much fun. When I was in my final year of college, and I got that job offer and looked at the number they were offering, a big grin appeared on my face and I screamed "WHOOOO!!! I'M RICH BIOTCH!!!!" Then I graduated and all of a sudden I had a lot of expenses piling up before I had even started the job. I had to find a new apartment and pay the deposit, and the rent (before I was being paid). Then I bought a car and had to pay for my insurance. Then there was my credit card bill that was getting bigger everyday with all of the new apartment expenses and pre-new-job expenses (mainly work clothes). After I got that first paycheck, there was nothing left for even a nice cold relaxing beer let alone a $3k computer. Now that most things are paid off and I'm getting the steady paycheck, the amount of savings is still small. Throw in the live-in girlfriend who doesn't make enough to support herself, and the savings account is pretty stagnant. Life is good, but high end electronics are not part of it.

Re:Capitan obvious to the rescue! (3, Funny)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054520)

I have car and health insurance, but I must admit insane insurance is new to me. I hope I don't ever need it.

Uh oh, I just had a thought. Maybe I DO have it but I'm just crazy enough to believe I don't. But wait, I'd be richer than I am now. Unless my wife is stealing from me!

Holy shit, I'm going to have to watch her a lot more closely from now on, and get the mail myself.

Has this happened to anyone else?

Re:Capitan obvious to the rescue! (2, Interesting)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055004)

I have insane insurance. If I ever meet a talking fish with hands, I get $2 million. The premium is a bitch but the payout would be so worth it!

Re:Capitan obvious to the rescue! (2, Insightful)

balsy2001 (941953) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054660)

Not that many college students or recent graduates are in the 40% tax bracket. An according to http://money.cnn.com/2004/10/21/pf/college/expensi ve_colleges/index.htm [cnn.com] there is not college in the US that charges $100K/year tuition. The most is around $40K. I can understand you sentiment (college is expensive and the middle/lower class has to deal with regressive taxes), however, accuracy in your facts will help get people to listen to you.

Re:Capitan obvious to the rescue! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054474)

No pirated software for the Mac?

http://www.demonoid.com/files/ [demonoid.com]

Category: Applications
Subcategory: Macintosh

You will be amazed :))

Granny halo effect? (3, Interesting)

melonman (608440) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054008)

From TFA, it appears that the halo effect (sales of Macs because of iPod fans) is supported by this survey. So, to get this straight, we are postulating huge numbers of geriatric iPod users too? Methinks that the survey, at least as presented in TFA, is even less useful than your average market research survey.

How to use a tool (1)

4solarisinfo (941037) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054016)

Maybe the next generation is learning it is not the tool, it's how you use the tool. Hammeacher Schlemmer makes a cool looking tool kit of screwdrivers and wrenches, but I don't see many actual handyman with the set. People use what they have at the office (windows) for practicality, and their kids are learning to use it, for better or worse. They don't see the need to get a Mac, when they've learned to do what they want (tweak their MySpace page) from the PC.

You forgot.... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054022)

Its 50 year olds that are gay. At least Justin Long fits one of the criteria.

marketing must be fuming (0, Flamebait)

defected (908047) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054030)

That's the worst demographics you can get - your product is loved by geriatrics. The marketing folks won't be putting granny in the commercials anytime soon and hope this news doesn't spread.

Playing with numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054040)

nearly half of Mac owners are 55 and older
Meaning that more then half are young and hip?

That's a very good way of playing with numbers :P

I think I know why this is the case... (2, Informative)

rhartness (993048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054048)

During the 80s, Apple inundated the public schools with cheap computers in the hopes of getting us young, impressionable children use to the idea of using Apple PCs. It was a good idea but, sadly for them, most of our parents bought IBM compatible. For me the idea of a good Apple computer that I enjoy using is an old IIe that I played the Oregan Trail on in elementary school. Many of those teachers from the 80's, however, are still die-hard Mac fans. That's what they used in their work environment and they have often been hesitant toward changing even if they are now 20 years behind. Now, those teachers are 40+.

Re:I think I know why this is the case... (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054602)

"During the 80s, Apple inundated the public schools with cheap computers"

Were they that cheap to schools? Out on the street, Apple's cost from 2 to 4 times as much as similar competing machines (and this was both in the pre-PC era of the early 1980s and the PC era of the late 1980s)

"...impressionable children use to the idea of using Apple PCs"

Apple didn't make PCs during the 1980s, although their recent offerings might count as such.

Re:I think I know why this is the case... (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055020)

PC - Personal Computer. Yes, Apple made personal computers in the '80's. They were called the Apple I, Apple II, Apple III, Lisa and the Macintosh.

Beige Lust. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054056)

"It seems the young guns don't have the extra cash to stump up for smooth shiny aesthetics."

So what you're saying is that they have the money to spend on rough, ugly aesthetics?

Yeah that about describes a PC running the two majour operating systems.

it is the ease of use dude (0)

samantha (68231) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054062)

Don't have the cash? Actually Mac laptops are now quite competitive for the same feature set with other offerings. And, at the speed new models are coming out, there is a pretty brisk discounted trade of owners selling off their older models to discount new purchases.

I think the biggest factors behind this rather meaningless stat are that there are a LOT of boomers out there who are computer literate and Apple has done a fabulous job making a lot more value easier to use on the Mac. Also the message is sinking in and sinking in to more careful older folks faster that there are a lot less viruses on the Mac. That the Intel Macs can dual boot windows is also a significant factor. Besides, Microsoft with its Vista madness and other idiocies seems to be determined to self-destruct.

Re:it is the ease of use dude (1)

DaveWick79 (939388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054320)

No, they don't. Because the Macbooks that compare pricewise and feature-wise to PC laptops are $1600 and up, and most kids in that demographic want a laptop that is sub-$1000. At MacMall you can't buy a Mac laptop with a 15" screen for under $1600. Some of them will buy units in the $1500-$2000 range but they are a minority.

Of course, if you are going to spend $2000 on a laptop, the line is very close - but when you mention the availability of running Windows in a dual boot setup on the Macbook, keep in mind you'll be shelling out even more money to buy the software.

Apples are for Grannies... (2, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054080)

...Real Men (TM) fabricate their own microprocessors and bootstrapping code.

In other obvious news... (2, Insightful)

Mr. No Skills (591753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054096)

...young people prefer cheap little cars to Jaguar, BMW, and Mercedes. What do they know that people with money don't?

Re:In other obvious news... (1)

Mir322 (519212) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054392)

A company out there, needs to pull a Lotus Elise/Exige in the face of Apple's "Jaguar, BMW, and Mercedes" approach. Am i talking about M$? Dell, HP, or Alienware? I'm not sure. But i'd like to see someone take a run at apple & give them a run for their money.

Dunno why this is surprising... (4, Interesting)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054112)

Dunno why this is surprising...

My mom got her first Apple computer 24 years ago. When her current Compaq PC finally dies I know she will replace it with a Mac; she only switched over to the dark side because it looks like Macs were going the way of the dinosaur.

Also remember: Macs are ancient. If you started using one the year they came out and you were 30 that year, you would be 53 now.

Re:Dunno why this is surprising... (2, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054330)

And to note that a person familar with system 6 and 7 won't have much of a learning curve for Basic tasks. Sure the more advanced features have changed a lot, but the finder and menu still work exactly the same. The way to launch apps is the same as well.

Try that with windows.

Well Of Course They Do (5, Insightful)

ellem (147712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054124)

Old people just want their computers to work. No driver loading, virus scanning, malware removing... just plug the camera in and press a button to publish it on the web yadda yadda.

Shit, when I get home I just want my computer to work.

Probably lots of reasons (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054154)

One reason is the Macintosh's dramatically declined role in education. At some point Apple got tired of eating computer loans and made them a lot harder to get, so students bought less of them. Around the same era, maybe a little earlier, Apple slipped in performance and Microsoft introduced educational pricing that made their operating system and office suite practically free, so the Apples aren't used much in classrooms either. Another good reason is that today there is very little important Mac-only software. Most of it is in the form of multimedia applications which have direct equivalents or even superior replacements on the PC.

In addition, of course, there is the pricing, which is only now achieving anything like parity with the PC. For the most part it has achieved it, which is a huge accomplishment for Apple, having been so much more expensive than the PC for so long. However, Apple computers are still more expensive and difficult to upgrade in most cases, and like Linux or the other non-Windows OS of your choice, driver support is still a sticky issue. There's lots more hardware supported on Windows than on OSX.

Finally, for people in the age range we're talking about, the lack of support for games is a killer. Of course, today you can use boot camp... But if you're just going to boot windows anyway, why not buy a PC clone?

Games, Games, Games (3, Insightful)

DaveWick79 (939388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054158)

Need I say more?

If price were the only issue I'm sure you'd see Linux based cheapo boxes in this demographic as well but I doubt they have any greater marketshare than other markets.

Apple is for suckers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054164)

Apple is for brainwashed suckers who have more money than sense.

Perhaps when my old age comes I'll be senile enough to buy Apple. Until then I'll just save some time and money running Free Software on the industry standard (and thus inexpensive) hardware.

Macs are for fags. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054178)

Apple Metrotosh.

Well, it's all about User-Friendliness (3, Insightful)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054182)

Apple's major selling point many years back at the start of the Windows Vs. Mac wars was user friendliness.

Windows was still relatively primitive and its major appeal was just to have a graphical shell on top of the then commonly-used MS-DOS. Mac OS was already graphical from the ground up, without the daunting command-line. Plus, Macs already came with the OS installed, so you didn't have to worry about first learning text commands and then installing the OS from a series of floppy disks.

That appeal still lives on with Macs as being user-friendly. The age range of 55 years and above is not as abundant with technoliteri (I LOVE that word!) as the younger ~25 year old group. Us younger people are, as the article says, budgeted. I myself wouldn't touch Gateway (bad experiences with them), but the point stands.

But to be honest, and not to be troll, I found Mac OS X to be relatively stupified in comparison to other OS's that I've used. OS X is pretty and all, but I prefer 'functional' over 'shiny' and I like to really dig into the inner workings of the OS that I use. OS X doesn't entirely appeal to my demographic for that reason, which is why it appeals to people who just want to use a computer and have it work without having to mess with it any more than they need to.

What Would You Give Your Mom? (4, Insightful)

ewhac (5844) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054240)

My mom doesn't own a computer, and is starting to notice. Things that used to be handled by newsletter or phone calls are now handled by email, and she's being left out. So a computer is in her not-too-distant future.

There is no fscking way I'm inflicting Windows on her. System administration aside, she knows nothing about the social engineering hazards out there -- email scams, phishing scams, the vast cornucopia of malware...

Linux is an option, but it would take me weeks to build and tweak a configuration to the point that I'm happy with it and feel it would serve her needs, and I don't have that kind of time (although Ubuntu out of the box is darned close). Further, she has little interest in exploring computing for its own sake.

So that leaves Mac/OS-X. And, frankly, of the three, I think she'd be happiest with that.

So I don't think it's economic factors at work. I think it's because seniors have highly-developed bullshit filters, refined over decades of experience, and have figured out that Macs Just Work.

Schwab

Re:What Would You Give Your Mom? (4, Insightful)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054566)

she knows nothing about the social engineering hazards out there -- email scams, phishing scams, the vast cornucopia of malware...

With the exception of malware, Apple is going to do nothing to help these issues over windows.

I think it's because seniors have highly-developed bullshit filters

Perhaps that is why I keep reading about seniors giving their life savings away to scammers over the phone?

"My bastard kids don't ever vistit. This is bullshit. You can have my money."

Re:What Would You Give Your Mom? (2, Informative)

mspohr (589790) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054686)

Linux is an option, but it would take me weeks to build and tweak a configuration to the point that I'm happy with it and feel it would serve her needs, and I don't have that kind of time (although Ubuntu out of the box is darned close). Further, she has little interest in exploring computing for its own sake.
I don't understand what would take weeks of tweaking here. I assume your mother is like my mother who needs email, web browsing, and word processing. If she's really "hip" and "cool", she may need an mp3 player.

This configuration is what you get with a standard Ubuntu (or just about any other distro) install (install in about an hour on everything I've tried). Add EasyUbuntu for the mp3 codec(5 minute tweak).

What else would you spend any time on? This is a no-brainer.

Have you been to a MUG lately? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054242)

I tried going to support our local Mac Users Group. (which I won't mention for obvious reasons). My friend and I (40 & 35, respectively) were the youngest people in the room. The second youngest was at least 55. Half were on legacy (pre os x) macs. I'd estimate something like 50 people were there. I was astounded. "where were all the younger mac geeks?" At first we thought that our age group & younger just doesn't get together in person, that perhaps it's all virtual these days.

We left after 15 minutes (whilst the group was planning a pool party.. shudder...) and grabbed a beer.

Reasons why most Mac users are grannies (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054262)

Is that most of the people who buy them are their sons, daughter, or grandkids.

I bought a Mac for my mom, cause I was sick and tired of doing long distance support calls at 2 am for free.

I bought a Mac for my son, because he wanted it.

I'm calling BS (2, Informative)

appleguru (1030562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054280)

I call BS on this.. Looking from a personal perspective, I bought my first mac myself when I was 13... iBook 500 g3.. set me back $1800.

I'm currently the owner of a Core 2 Duo 2.33GHz MacBook Pro. I'm a 19 year old college student. My two 18 year old roomates have macbooks; one has a white one, one a black. My brother (16) has an iBook g4, as does his roomate, my cousin. One of my other cousins (14) has a black macbook.

Looking at sales figures, my school, which has educational purchase partnerships with dell and apple, is currently selling 50% dells and 50% apples to students (Waaay up from the 75/25 split it has been closer to for previous years).

And, subjectively, I'm seeing more and more macs amongst my peers. Apple's sales figures recently support this. It wasn't long ago when apple was having a tough time selling a million macs in a year. They're now well over that (1.6 or so million) in a QUARTER.

Semi-Generation gap? (2, Interesting)

abaddononion (1004472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054282)

It seems to me that this would have a lot more to do with when people were coming of age with computers, so to speak, than with actual age. A lot of these people most likely grew up (computeratively speaking, not literally) in a time period when the big computer manufacturers were Apple, IBM (too expensive for most people in the day), Compaq, HP (dont get me started on old HPs), and possibly young Dell (im leaving out a lot of older models, I know. please forgive me/fill in the gaps). I remember when I was in middle school, most of the computers WERE Apple. By the time I got to High School, this was completely different, and a Mac was a rare thing to see. Also... not to be *too* stereotypical here, but I know a lot of older people (not elderly, just older), who still have old computers and outright refuse to upgrade, or accept the fact that there are newer, better models out there for less than a thousand bucks. I know of at least one friend whose parent have an old pre-OSX mac still, and adamantly maintain that it does everything they need it for, and dont need to upgrade.

My point is, I dont think it's fair to say that Apple's primary audience is actually older people. I would guess that a lot of these "Apple owners", which are not defined as "Apple buyers", arent actively seeking the next new upgrade, and *probably* dont represent the staple of income Apple should be trying to target with their next generation of devices.

hmm (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054288)

I'm getting my mom a laptop for Christmas but am not really considering Mac... despite its ease of use, I think famililarity from work ultimately matters more for her. (And frankly, having an iBook for a while, I didn't think OSX was all that easy. Maybe I've been warped by Microsoft, but I think, say, the interface to navigate to an arbitrary folder in the standard "save as" dialog is just dumb)

That said, I'm thinking about buying a cheapish G3 iBook replacement... half just because I'm sick of PC laptops that take 5 minutes to unsuspend...

Re:hmm (1)

kwerle (39371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054830)

My mother-in-law got a PC because she knew it from work. It's been 4ish years, now, and her next machine (soon) will be a mac.

She hates her PC, just as she has always hated PCs.

See if your mom has hated her work machines - if so, you really ought to consider a mac.

After all, there are just about 2-3 programs they will use out of the box: browser, email, maybe a text editor to print letters.

Eventually they may figure out that there is also iPhoto, iTunes, and all that other cool stuff (tm).

Not just for grannies! (0, Troll)

justkarl (775856) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054300)

Lots of sissies and rich film students I know use apples, too!

This Post will be modded down... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054302)

...but I can't help but say that everytime I see Mac zealots and ads they claim one thing and stats say the other. Color me surprised that they don't actually have a foothold in the "young and hip" crowd, next up sky blue, water wet....groan, more than half the things the Mac ads claim are reasons I stopped using a Mac. Personally I like gaming, so in that I find a Mac pretty dull and lifeless compared to a Wintel machine I can custom build for a 1/3 of the price. Personally when I see the Mac ads I think the young and hip guy...
  1. has a social problem because he can't stop comparing himself to windows, it's called self-esteem buddy, get some. doubly funny in that the ads now claim Windows is the one who keeps comparing himself, but I've personally never heard of MS talking about Apple as realistic competition.
2. has a small amount of features that he sure has gotten good at cause he hasn't expanded his horizons to do other things
3. pretty boring in that he isn't capable of a lot of tasks I would find useful
4. Is convinced he knows security even though the company keeps releasing security updates and is this month's record breaker
5. Is no fun at my LAN parties cause he sits there saying I'm not compatible with that game, let's play solitaire or use the way back machine to play Marathon, or play the game of sit and wait 2-5 years for a developer to release a new to Mac game (which is usually too old by pc standards)
6. Well he is pretty. Unfortunately a bit vacant (see 1-5) so he ends up in the Mimbo category at parties
 
Rant off and thank you for browsing at -1 to see my lame commentary.

Re:This Post will be modded down... (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054718)

7. He lives in Los Angeles or New York and/or works in media. That's why I bought my iBook.

Dude, I can only afford ramen (3, Insightful)

snowwrestler (896305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054304)

When I was 18-25, I ate a lot of ramen and PBJ, drove the piece of shit truck I could afford, slept on a mattress on the floor of a group house, and had to go in with 3 other guys to get cable. I was poor and frankly didn't give a shit about most of that stuff. I knew there was better stuff out there, but it was more important to me to spend my money on fun stuff. These days I drive a reliable station wagon, eat healthy and I'm saving up for a house.

Newsflash: youngsters don't have a lot of money, and don't really care about long-term quality. They are more impulsive and spend money all over the place because their interests have not settled down yet. They're more likely to want a hot new computer/iPod/phone/jacket etc long before their current one wears out. That means buying often, which means buying cheap.

Not many youngsters own new cars either, but I'd hardly say that spells doom for the car companies. People grow up, and coincedentally when they can afford nicer stuff, they tend to become more interested in quality.

iMac is perfect for grandma (1)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054308)

Whether or not you are a die-hard windows user, anyone who has _ever_ complained about providing computer support for family members should get them a mac. A used G4 on ebay is plenty for grandma's email and word processor needs.

My dad uses an "R2 unit" imac, OS 10.2, and the only helpdesk calls I get are when he forgets how to invoke the printer or he's accidentally collapsed a folder in his email client--he assumes things will be more difficult than they are, but is easily talked through the tasks.

Contrast this with making sure the virus and spyware protections are still working and up to date; the inevitable virus scrubbing anyway; driver re-installations; occasional format/reimage in extreme cases; and of course the "how do I print" and "my emails are missing!" you still get with a mac.

Spending a few hundred on a mini or used imac is well worth the piece of mind.

Re:iMac is perfect for grandma (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054556)

Spending a few hundred on a mini or used imac is well worth the piece of mind.

I'll second that. I convinced my parents to buy a candy colored imac about the time OS X was coming out. Since then I've answered about ten tech support for them. The answer to three of them was, "yeah you kicked the plug out again."

Dying! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054352)

Dan Ness, principal at MetaFacts, said in a statement: 'Apple can claim long-time loyalists but its future among the young technoliterati is an interesting dynamic.'"

In other words, Apple is dying.

30 years they've been dying, it's almost over!

For what it's worth... (2, Interesting)

ep251 (1034004) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054368)

Walking around my college campus I would say that a good 60-70% of the students here (myself included) are using Macs. A lot of these kids have Macs at home and have been using them their entire lives, but a significant percentage (myself included once again) opted for a Mac when it came time to buy a laptop for college. I realize this might say more about the kind of students my particular school attracts than it does about Mac use and adoption nationwide, but it's got to mean something that most everyone I know is already sick to death of Windows at 19.

anecdotal, I grant you (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054402)

But literally ever grad student I know has a macbook, numbering about 15 people, in physics, biology, art criticism, comp sci, english comp, and chemistry.

It's obvious this article is from the UK! (1)

kevn (730412) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054444)

"high street" "kit" who the hell talks like that? oh yea those guys from the UK!!! I am thinking in the US where people have a bit more disposable income the Mac demographic is much different. What this article is really saying (in light of the fact the new intel macs are competitively priced compared to comparable Gateways Dells HP's) is that young people in England can only afford lower end systems (on average).

Its obvious (1)

dilvish_the_damned (167205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054590)

that the MAC users are getting older. It happens.
Maybe they need an ad that makes kids feel inferior to Grandma due to his use use of his cheap toy Gateway. I mean, they should try this instead, or in addition: PC's are inferior to MACs, and so are the people who use them.
This could also backfire as some people don't like to be insulted. I think those people are just pansies.

Stupid predictions (1)

feranick (858651) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054626)

Ten years ago, Apple was marginal both in image and market share. Who would have said how successful it would have been 10 years later? This is to say that making predictions of the next future 10 years (and worst, 30 or 40 years) is plain stupid. Tech market is very volatile. For what matters I can say that by then 90% of computers will run Linux. It may be not true, but it is still equally possible.

'technoliterati' (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054702)

I earnestly yearn to meet the guy who coined this word so that I might punch his stupid face.

My mom is 76 and her first computer is a Mac !! (1)

MrData (130916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054708)

My mother finally had to break down and get high speed internet and a computer. Since I am my family's tech support, we of course chose a Mac with OS X. She has been able to pick it up without a hitch, and I am not bothered with the quarterly "My computer won't boot" emergency phone calls I get from the rest of my MS windows based family.

Now if I can only get the rest of them to switch :)

Perceptions... (1)

pubjames (468013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054748)

Is it just me or do there seem to be more and more stories on Slashdot who's aim seems to be to change our perceptions about a particular product or company, often in a negative way.

Today we seem to have had two stories aimed at changing perceptions of Apple - one about security, one about the type of person who uses Macs. We've had others about the Zune, the last one of which seems to have the aim of changing the perception of the launch from one of failure to success.

Something about the way these stories are written makes me think they are a subtle kind of astroturfing.

Re:Perceptions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17055030)

err, most Slashdot Mac stories are raving fanboy kinds of stories. I'm surprised two opinions from the other side even made it through. I don't follow sales stats and frankly couldn't care if it was found that most Mac owners were from Pluto (well OK that would be neat, personally I never see Mac's expect one outside of the ads and I'm around computers a lot), but the fact that Mac's have security updates just like any other OS on the planet is hardly a slanted story, or would you prefer reading the Apple page on the security issues like I did today?

Other markets (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054822)

Other big markets are publishing, graphic artists and office types in film. Go to any film set and you'll see people with Powerbooks. It's a nitch market with effects but I have known a number of effects companies that were primarily Mac. The irony is Mac seems to attract the high end market and the low end, non computer types, but not the middle so much. A lot of powerful 2D graphics apps run on Mac but other software is dicier. Mac native software is very stable, much more so than PC, but ported software is less so. Also most software still isn't availible for Mac. Older people have fewer needs and if they do gaming they are less demanding. The Intel shift may help the numbers but it's always been a nitch market product.

Re:Other markets (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054896)

I work in the entertainment industry in L.A. I know absolutely no one who runs any OS other than OS X in the industry unless they want to run multiple OSes for some reason or other. It helps that there's a bajillion apple authorized retailers along with multiple Apple Stores in L.A.

In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17054836)

old macs use you!

Soem Mac ads are confounding (2, Interesting)

amigabill (146897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054864)

Some of the Mac ads have felt like they are from some parallel anti-universe.

Like the one where the new Japanese digital camera chic could talk to the Mac but no tto the PC. Huh? Show me one digital camera available at the time of that commercial that did not work with a PC. Seriously...

Or how they make the PC into some business-only thing that isn't any fun. Come on, show me how to run HalfLife 2 on a Mac... OK, I've seen Quake 4 and WOW retail boxes for Macs at the store, but that shelf is a great deal smaller than the PC gaming shelf.

I'm not against Macs or anything, in fact I just got an iBook a couple months ago to find out what they're like. Yea, it's a couple years old, but that's what I'm willin got pay up for to do an evaluation of the platform. I'm not going to pay for a brand-new MacBook to evaluate the platform... What can I do with it? Well, there's all those iDVD, iPhoto, etc. apps that I haven't had reason to try. iTunes, well, I already had that for my PC. Same for Thunderbird and Firefox and OpenOffice. I got one of the later Myst games which runs well enough, and the PCB layout software I'd like to use is available for it as well. I played my free demo of WOW on the PC for 3 days and never logged back in, hopefully they aren't charging my credit card since I'm not actually playing the game, and so don't see much reason to get that. The DVD player works well enough, but I had to get some 3rd party hack utility to change resolutions to extermal monitors connected such as my 720P projector. I had to get powerstrip for Windows to do the same thing though, and Windows still messes up somehow, the projected image seems OK but it appears to be scaling the framebuffer to something larger than 720P and only showing the top-left 720P portion of that larger framebuffer, which sucks so the Mac is better for that. (Yes, I do have a box that I intend to install MythTV on if the kubuntu installer ever manages to complete without hanging, but it's not usable yet)

Anyway... I think some people who might consider a Mac are seeign some of these ads and not believing them. Yes, PCs ARE fun. Yes, cameras work with Windows. Why are you fibbing to me? I don't think people like hearing things they don't believe to be true like that. Besides, most younger people are coming into PCs looking for the new games. That leaves out Macs, Linux, Amigas, QNX, BSD, and a number of other alternatives to Windows. Of course most sales for that age bracket will go to Windows.

The Oldies Are Trying to Never Get Old (1)

the0ther (720331) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054904)

That's why those ads appeal to them. They are far more concerned with youth than actual youths. AND yeah apple products have always come with that extra "sexy tax". Kinda like Manhattan rents.

Only people who don't know how to build a PC (0, Flamebait)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054970)

buy a mac.... and of course those who want to look cool with their matching ipod accessory.

British site? (2, Insightful)

SiliconEntity (448450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054990)

That's a British site, isn't it? Terms like "high street" and "granny" are not used much in American English. Was the study done in England or the U.S.? It wouldn't surprise me if Apple's penetration among the young is much less in the U.K. and Europe. It's always been something of an American phenomenon.

grin (1)

MarsDude (74832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17054998)

Granny Smiths :-)

Or... (1)

SirKron (112214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055006)

...grandparents buy great gifts.

...dementia has clouded their idea of an Apple-a-day.

...the Apple store guys sympathize with the elderly and are good at adding the larger display, iPod docking station to the sale.

Yeah, but you youngsters have your foreskins,... (1)

fuego451 (958976) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055010)

... which is a lot more useful^W fun than a Mac, because us old farts questioned the sexual mutilation that has been practiced in this country (usa) for about the last 150 years; no offense to our Jewish brothers. Sorry if you lost your's in spite of our efforts.

Oh, and I'm not a frigging 'baby boomer'. I was born during WWII and those bastards have been nipping at my arse for over 60 years.
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