BACKGROUND On January 24, 1984 Apple introduced the first commercially successful personal computer using a mouse and a graphical user interface[i]. Since then the war between PC and Mac users has lived. Claims have been made that Apple is too expensive and PC’s are too slow and of cheap quality. After the introduction of Microsoft’s Windows in 1985 the PC market has been dominated due to Microsoft’s Windows operating system[ii]. The domination of the market is largely due to the flexibility of Windows.
Microsoft developed their operating system to be compatible with any hardware created by any computer company such as Dell, HP, Sony, IBM, etc. Consequently, Apple’s operating system only worked with Apple’s proprietary hardware. With the release of Apple’s iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007, and most recently the iPad in 2010 the company is headed to be a worldwide competitor in consumer electronics. Partly due to their success in mp3 player and phone market consumers are now more than ever considering Apple as an option when purchasing a personal computer. _______________________________________ [i] Polsson, Ken (July 29, 2009). "Chronology of Apple Computer Personal Computers" [ii] http://marketshare. hitslink. com/operating-system-market-share. aspx? qprid=8&qpcustomd=0 III. Purpose: What is the purpose of your project? The purpose of our project is to determine consumer’s perceptions towards Apple and Dell laptops as well as figure out how whether or not consumers are switching between brands. We would also like to find out whether or not there are any significant differences in categories between Apple and Dell.
As young students and consumers we are heavily targeted by electronic companies. We have noticed an influx of Apple products including their line of laptops (Mac) and wanted to get a glimpse as to why people are purchasing more Apple products. Is it because of their “cool” factor or are they really worth all that money? IV. Method: What you did in analyzing consumer behavior. In order to collect the information needed to analyze consumers, 300 random friends were contacted via Facebook to complete an online survey. A total of 75 friends completed the survey, which represents a participation rate of 25%.
This report contains general statistical analysis of the results to the survey named Dell & Apple Perceptions. The results analysis includes answers from all respondents who took the survey in November 2011. This survey aims to find out the perceptions a consumer has about Dell and Apple laptops by asking consumers to rate their current laptops in different areas. The survey will be useful in determining which characteristic are strongest/weakest in each brand. Unless otherwise noted, most of the measures in the survey are based on a 7 point rating scale.
The means were also calculated on a 7 point scale, with “1” being “I don’t agree at all” and “7” being “I completely agree. ” In the survey, we also asked consumers what brand of laptop they currently owned and which brand of laptop they will most likely purchase in their next purchase. Using this data, we were able to create a switching matrix. The switching matrix will facilitate us in the recognition of any switching consumers are doing between laptop brands. It will also help us calculate the retention and cancellation rates for each brand mentioned.
After collecting all of the data from each question, we averaged out the total ratings for each questions a few different ways. We calculated an overall average, an average without Apple owners, and an average without Dell owners. Segregating Apple and Dell owners will allow us to see results without the bias opinion of each brand’s current owners. Using these averages, we will be able to see if there are any significant differences in consumer’s perceptions between brands. V. Findings: Describe the findings that speak to your project’s purpose.
We surveyed 75 consumers. Of these 75 consumers, 35% owned Apple laptops, 32% owned Dell laptops, 12% owned Hewlett Packard, and 21% owned other brands. When asked how these consumers acquired their laptops, 69% stated they purchased it, 11% stated that their parents purchased it, 8% stated that they received it as a gift, 8% stated that their jobs provided it, and 4% other. Using the rating system previously described, we asked consumers to rate their laptops if they are a great value for the price. Dell’s overall average was a 5. while Apple’s overall average was a 4. 3. One thing that stood out to us was that Apple owners rated Apple laptops a 5. 4 when the rest of the consumers rated them a 3. 8. This leads us to believe that owning an Apple laptop may make you believe that it is a great value for its price. On the next question, we asked consumers to rate their laptops on a uniqueness and design. Here, Apple blew away Dell with an overall rating of 6. 3 compared to Dell’s 3. 9. Perhaps this could be a reason why Apple laptops appeal to consumers that seek a “cool looking” laptop.
When asked if their laptops provide them with everything they need, both Dell and Apple scored well with a 5. 2 and 5. 5 overall rating respectively. Since the ratings here are so similar, we cannot conclude that this factor has any effect on consumer’s switching between brands. Reliability was another characteristic that we asked about in our survey. In this, Apple received a much higher overall rating than Dell, receiving a rating of 6. 0 vs Dell’s 4. 8. However, if you look at the rating Dell owners gave for Dell laptops, you will notice a rating of 5. 8.
Much higher than their overall average rating. This could be due to a misperception of Dell laptops in the overall public. Similarly, we asked respondents about the speed of their laptops. Like reliability, Apple did much better than Dell in this category. (6. 0 vs 4. 6). And just as the previous question, Dell owners rated this category much higher than the overall public did. Another misperception? A majority of the respondents rated Apple laptops to be more difficult to use compared to other laptops. Relatively Dell laptops rated on the side of easiness to use with an overall rating of 5. . Respondents that are not Apple owners rated Apple laptops a 4. 2 in contrast to Apple owners rating of 5. 8. It is evident that non Apple owners perceive MACs as more difficult to use. Responses to the durability of each brand were biased to the owner of that brand. For instance, when rating Dell laptops, Dell owners rated higher at 5. 7 vs. Apple owners rating of 4. 6. Comparatively, when looking at Apple laptops, Dell owners rated a 5. 0 and Apple owners rated higher at 6. 2. If evaluated by the overall average, Dell was at 5. 1 vs.
Apple’s 5. 3 but in both instances, owners rated their brand higher than the other. When respondents were asked to rate if Dell or Apple laptops gave a good impression of themselves to others, they particularly found Mac laptops gave a better impression to others than Dell’s. Mac owners on average rated a 6. 5 thinking their laptop gave a better impression compared to their score of 3. 9 for Dell. Although Dell owners rated Apple laptops higher at 5. 8 they also believed their laptop gave a similar impression with an average rating of 5. 3.
The two subsequent questions did not show much difference between both brands. Respondents were asked if each brand provided good warranty and to rate the level of customer support. In terms of warranty, Dell was rated at 4. 7 compared to Apple’s rating of 5. 1. The . 4 difference in this category is not significant in addition to the fact that both the individual ratings for this category are in line with the overall rating of each brand. On the following question, respondents were asked if they believed Dell and Apple laptops were more affordable than other laptops.
The results on this question showed a significant difference between both brands. Overall respondents thought Apple laptops were more expensive reaching an average score 2. 5 compared to Dell’s affordability which resulted to a 5. 5 rating. Respondents were also given the opportunity to rate the affordability of their own laptop if they didn’t own a Dell or Apple. Those numbers are also in line with those of Dell’s in terms of affordability with a range of 4. 8 to 5. 6. Switching Matrix Here VI. Implications: What are the marketing implications of your findings?
It is very important for companies to carefully analyze data such as the data we collected for this report in order to determine whether or not they should be making a change in their marketing strategy. In Apple’s case, we did not notice many poor ratings. The only two areas where Apple received lower ratings than it’s biggest competitor Dell, was in the affordability/value for its price and ease of use. However, the fact that Apple is not seen to be as affordable as its competitors does not seem to have a negative impact in their customer retention and recruitment.
As you can see from the switching matrix analysis, Apple continues to retain and recruit new customers (primarily from Dell) despite its higher cost. On the other hand, the ease of use factor could have an influence in future marketing techniques. Apple could make efforts in their future marketing to try to make consumers aware that their products in fact, are really user friendly. When looking at Dell’s ratings. We notice two things, that they consistently were lower than Apple and that Dell owners always rated their Dell brand higher than the overall public.