Apple Goes Down Market
Written by David R Jennings   
Thursday, 19 March 2009


Apple has made a great marketing move, they built their Safari for PC application to look like it belongs on a PC.

I have recently installed the updates for Apple Safari across all my computers. The new version of Safari is fast, safe and VERY reliable. But I have one little observation.

After installing Safari for Windows on my virtual PCs I noticed the design was... well... "down market". If you don't know this phrase let me explain. "Down Market" is a marketing term that refers to aiming low. If, for instance, Neiman Marcus was to decide to sell Walmart branded items in their stores they would be going "down market". If Mercedes was to offer free McDonalds Big Macs with every purchase they would be going "Down Market". If Apple decides they want to draw more Windows users with a familiar user experience, they are most certainly going "Down Market"!

So, is this a good idea for Apple? Well, I have to say YES! The PC version of Safari has been around for about a year now and has had only a marginal impact. If Apple wants to convince PC users to switch they may have to give them something familiar.

So... here's the deal. People who use a PC on a daily bases fall into one of several categories.

A.They are die-hard PC users. They love the Microsoft experience and everything MS. They use it at work, home and on the road. If they are going to try that "wimpy" Apple browser it had better look and feel just like Internet Explorer!

B. They use what is put in front of them. These users never touch their systems. They will use IE6 until the computer dies and they are forced to upgrade. If this group sees Safari pop-up instead of IE it must have been installed by an Admin who knows what's best.

C. They are PC users that like to ride the cutting edge. These guys know that Macs have a good argument, but they feel that the PC is still the best platform for the world. They install Safari for PC to give it a decent workout and see if those guys at Apple are on their game. If they are, they just might make the switch.

D. They hate Apple and are looking for blood. There are a lot of these guys in the market. They know that Apple is for sissy's and they live to prove it. So what if Apple made Safari look like IE! That just proves that IE had the right idea all along!

E. Apple Aspirational - This group has been using PCs since Bill Gates was a teen ager, but they know about Apple products. They love their iPods and iPhones and have even dropped into Apple.com to check out what is on the hot list. This new browser is familiar and A'OK by them.

F. The Die-Hard Mac Users who only uses PCs when forced - Mac rules... PCs suck! The earth would have to be on fire for them to use a PC.

So, take a look at that list. Everyone of those guys is OK with a browser that copies the IE interface. (All except maybe the "die-hard Mac user", and they are already onboard with Mac and don't need convincing.) The rest of the gang see a familiar PC interface as a stepping stone.

Apple you have made one hell of a good marketing move! This may go down as the best thing you have ever done to convince PC users to make the switch to Apple.



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