Oct 04 2012

Hello, I’m a Mac

Published by at 11:16 pm under The Shopping Blog

And if you recognized that line, you’re already familiar with how successful Mac’s marketing campaign really is. To start us out, here’s an example from 1984, and a more contemporary edition.


Yikes. Let’s see how far we’ve come.


Ah, that’s more like it.


The Mac line of computers (the model I’ll be focussing on is the MacBook Pro), are some of the most recognizable, and if you believe the reviews, innovative personal computers on the market. They’re fun, they’re sleek, they’re expensive as heck, and most users would argue, they’re worth that price. How much are they? Well, that depends on where you’re shopping.

For our purposes, let’s look at the Apple Macbook Pro, Retina display 15 inch. Though a 15 inch MacBook Pro without Retina would set you back merely 1799 dollars, a fully decked out MacBook Pro with Retina Display will run you a cool 2,199. Plus upgrades. What does Retina actually do? I’m not sure, but the website indicates that it’s the “world’s highest” resolution for a notebook display. Awesome.

You can procure these fine products at a number of locations, whether it’s from the Apple Store in New York City, infamously called the ‘Cube,’ or whether it’s online at apple.com. Even ‘resellers’ like Best Buy, Radioshack, and Target offer these products. The price will differ from place to place, depending on a number of features and factors, such as screen size, hard drive or memory capacity, and countless other nuances of geekery. See what I mean? I don’t even know what half this stuff is referring to, and I OWN a MacBook (granted, an older model MacBook that’s not even in production anymore, so not exactly a top of the line Pro with Retina). It’s important to note that price may vary from vendor to vendor even for the same exact product, and this can be for a number of reasons, such as shipping costs. demand, location, and a variety of other causes.

It’s important to realize that Mac has had its share of controversy. Despite being such a powerhouse–and maybe because of it–the company has come under a lot of scrutiny since its foundation in 1976 by the esteemed, late Steve Jobs. Some big issues that haunt the company are environmental concerns and labour issues.

In regards to the environmental, Apple has a problematic track record when it comes to some of its non-recyclable parts and toxic materials used in the production of its computers. However, over the years, the company has committed to improving its business practices and the effects production have on the environment, and has taken steps to phase out some of the more troubling materials.

Though Apple has taken steps to mitigate environmental concerns, it still is under heavy criticism for its labour practices. Workers are exposed to brutal conditions, long hours, are forced to live in the factories and pay rent/food money to apple, have committed suicide, are exposed to toxic chemicals, and in some instances, are forced to work as children or against their will. Apple has said that it is committed to improving working conditions, but whether or not they will be entirely dedicated to the task remains to be seen.

Despite the obstacles the company has faced, I choose to write about this product for a number of reasons. Firstly, I believe the product is a quality one, worth the money, and one that provides the services it sets out to do–and with style, to boot. The machine is sleek, efficient, doesn’t get viruses, functions well, looks good, and makes me happy. That last thought is worth studying a little more closely–Apple has used extremely successful marketing techniques to pitch its products to its audience–especially younger members who are eager to stay on top of current technological trends and be in touch with the latest, hippest products. By using flashy advertisements, offering student discounts, working with university bookstores to provide software, and marketing their products with deliberate intent, Apple is able to convince its purchasers that these products are absolutely inherently necessary to their success and happiness. And the product delivers, for the most part–every company has its issues and glitches, and Apple is no different. For the most part, though, it’s a solid product. I have noticed a few personal gaps in their customer service, but maybe that’s just me. Others might be interested in studying the company and it’s practices, but probably, you’re already familiar with the products and company–we all feel like we’re on a first name basis with Steve Jobs and how many of us have an iPod or iPhone? We may complain about the company, but the iBrand has become a household name, much as a BandAid or Q-Tip. Even when friends of mine have Zunes (etc), they’re colloquially referred to as iPods, not ‘mp3 players.’ Apple has truly ingrained itself in the public’s mind–as the old slogan used to run, iThink, therefore iMac.

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