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Apples Are For Grannies? 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, '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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Apples Are For Grannies?

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  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by RealSurreal ( 620564 ) * on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:33PM (#17053846)
    In Korea only old people use Macs on the internet.
    • They should open source Mac OS X, or at least let Dell sell it. That would fix everything.
      • by Firehed ( 942385 )
        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.
    • by cHiphead ( 17854 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @06:58PM (#17057852)
      In Soviet Russia, Macs use old people on the internet.
  • Psssh. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) * <.Satanicpuppy. .at.> on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:36PM (#17053910) Journal
    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.
    • 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!
      • 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: (Score:2, Funny)

        by kfg ( 145172 )
        Hey, I've still got a dashiki and beads . . . somewhere, I think. At least I don't remember throwing them out. They're still hip, aren't they? Found myself watching that AARP auto insurance ad the other day and thinking, "Doesn't apply to me. I'm not that. . . Oh. Fuck."

        Aaaaaaaaaaaanyway, although I've got Linux running on a box I assembled myself with some hardware attached that a hand built myself, I set up my mom (whose oldest grandchild is 26) with a Mac.

        Didn't cost her a dime, 'cause it's the "kids" wh
      • by SageMusings ( 463344 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @05:11PM (#17055920) Journal
        Is there anything wrong with acting young? Should they all just admit they're older and begin using walkers to get around?

        Psst....hey, we are all going to be old one day. We might as well continue to enjoy ourselves, even you feel you have to buy a damn mac.

        How did the parent get a +4 insightful? Wake up moderators!
    • 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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Eagleartoo ( 849045 )
        There's a couple of religions in the ad industry that say "Never underestimate the stupidity of the American public". I'm in the industry and I disagree with that. People will spend millions of dollars trying to come up with 30 seconds of audio/visual information that will surprise the publics mind into paying attention, without necessarily offering substance. I agree with you that commercials should not appeal to the lowest common denominator, that's a way of appealing to the largest market that will no
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by zappepcs ( 820751 )
          Small problem with your logic; its time constrained. You are right... until they start to feel comfortable with the features they currently have, then they begin to wonder if they can get that MP3 thingy working, or maybe see what all this 'MySpace' brooha is all about... then you have problems, and that is why the Mac is getting the 'older generation' image... Its safer than using windows, and it just works...
      • Re:Psssh. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dubiousmike ( 558126 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @04:42PM (#17055294) Homepage Journal
        As someone who uses a Mac and a PC daily, I think some of the commercials are funny but a couple of them are a bit misleading. I think that implying that Macs are for certain stuff and PCs are for other stuff is pretty annoying. I'd rather they use blatant sex to sell stuff then try to mislead people.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Cyberllama ( 113628 )
      They look slightly less Brilliant, however, in the long term when their customer base starts dying of old age.
    • Re:Psssh. (Score:5, Informative)

      by eno2001 ( 527078 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @04:11PM (#17054658) Homepage Journal
      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.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Well I think the same can be said of something like the VW Beetle.

        Have you ever noticed the age of the driver's for cars that are targeted towards younger buyers? Cars like the Scion "Clown Car" and the Honda "Element"? One of the big fears of Toyota is that many younger buyers consider their vehicles to be an old-persons car. Hell, my 70 year-old parents recently bought a Camry and I wouldn't be caught dead driving one.

        I wonder how many younger buyers wouldn't be 'caught dead' using a Mac....

        • Re:Psssh. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by EastCoastSurfer ( 310758 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @04:56PM (#17055602)
          Never thought I would hear someone equate any Toyota with 'an old-persons car.' Buick and Pontiac maybe, but any Toyota? To me a Camry is just reliable no frills transportation. It's not young or old, it just is :)
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            Never thought I would hear someone equate any Toyota with 'an old-persons car.'

            Quick search and I found this article [] from two years ago. Go down to the third paragraph. I have been reading auto magazines off and on for the past six years and Toyota has been trying to address what they believe is an 'image problem' for at least that long.

      • Re:Psssh. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @05:01PM (#17055718) Journal
        "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."

        Does that mean I'll be lusting after 18 yr old girls when I hit 45?
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          Does that mean I'll be lusting after 18 yr old girls when I hit 45?

          No. But, if you buy a Mustang, your penis will grow six inches longer.

    • 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 w
    • "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.
    • Indeed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sterno ( 16320 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @04:35PM (#17055160) Homepage
      While maybe most of those young hipster types aren't able to afford Apple computers, they are definitely buying scores of IPods. This feeds a brand loyalty and interest in Apple as a whole and then can lead towards them eventually purchasing Apple hardware.

      The reality is when you do an apples to apples comparison (pun unintended), Apple's are not expensive. Go out and buy a dual woodcrest workstation from random PC vendor and see what kind of price they are charging you. What makes Apple seem expensive is that the average person will compare that against a desktop PC with half the power and think it's a valid comparison.

      Generally speaking Apple systems are more of a long term investment and so it costs more. Overall you're probably getting better quality for your dollar, but if you only have a few dollars, that doesn't matter much. While the other PC vendors are fighting for every little cent on sub $400 PC's, Apple is selling $2500 PC's and making enormous margins.

      I'd rather be in Apple's position than Gateway's.
  • by FlyingSquidStudios ( 1031284 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:37PM (#17053934) Homepage
    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.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:52PM (#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.
      • by soft_guy ( 534437 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @05:14PM (#17055982)
        The opportunity here is getting to the point where it's as easy to give them Ubuntu.
        True. For just web browsing and email for a non-techie, Linux is pretty close. The problem is when they call you and say "how do I do this [digital photography] thing I've heard about"? Where [digital photography] could be GPS mapping or digital movie making or DVD burning or something else. My elderly relatives can figure out things like iLife (iPhoto, iMovie, Garage Band, etc.), but if they were using Ubuntu I wouldn't even have any idea what to tell them. Plus, I wouldn't have an answer for "you setup my computer for me and now you tell me I can't use iTunes/iPod with it?? The clerk at the store said that iTunes works on all computers (Mac AND PC)."
        • by ObligatoryUserName ( 126027 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @07:05PM (#17057926) Journal
          True. For just web browsing and email for a non-techie, Linux is pretty close.

          Wow! Talk about damning with faint praise. Linux is pretty close to a state where a non-techie can run 2 applications?!?

          Everyone I know who tries to use Linux (usually Ubuntu) for their desktop invariably tells me brief stories about how proud they are that they've gotten some aspect of it working correctly. (Some aspect that would just work on OS X or Windows.) Linux still has a long way to go.
  • by KiahZero ( 610862 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:37PM (#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.
  • 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 he
    • Re:Gateway? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @04:05PM (#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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:39PM (#17053970)
    And Gateway is their client. Suprise Suprise... _background.htm []
    • 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?
      • 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.
  • CSI: Mac (Score:4, Funny)

    by gbulmash ( 688770 ) * <> on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:40PM (#17053990) Homepage Journal
    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
    • ... 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!

    • November Message []

      As for the Mac commercials, I don't know where that report came from that said I wasn't going to do it anymore - I'm literally setting my alarm right now to wake up for a Mac shoot tomorrow -we're doing some holiday spots now which I think will be pretty funny. They're easy to do, I love John (the pc guy) and working with him is so effortless and fun that I definitely wouldn't rule out doing some more.

  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:40PM (#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.
    • 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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        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
      • by Bluesman ( 104513 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @04:06PM (#17054520) Homepage
        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: (Score:2, Interesting)

          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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by balsy2001 ( 941953 )
        Not that many college students or recent graduates are in the 40% tax bracket. An according to i ve_colleges/index.htm [] 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.
      • Um, while I thoroughly agree with you on the income tax being far too high, I think you're off on the cost of college. $100,000-160,000 for four years seems about right; $100,000 per year is ridiculous. A lot of colleges are up in the high $30ks or low $40ks per year in tuition right now.

        Unless you meant the $100k figure as a per-student cost inclusive of what colleges receive from alumni donations, government funding, etc.; basically just dividing their total budget by the number of students. I suppose at
    • why in gods name are you rated insightful.

      1) Most major (ie GOOD) games come out with a version for OSX or have one coming out of the gate. Thats not even counting the tons of shareware and freeware titles out there that are good. Then again who cares when all evidence is pointing to PC gaming barely breaking 100,000 copies sold while the systems break millions.

      2) I have never had a issue with using P2P on a OS X machine... EVER. Maybe back in the glory days of Napster but thats like 6-7 years ago and hardl

  • Granny halo effect? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by melonman ( 608440 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:41PM (#17054008) Journal
    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.
  • 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
    • by krell ( 896769 )
      "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.
      • by 0racle ( 667029 )
        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.
  • by GillBates0 ( 664202 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:43PM (#17054080) Homepage Journal
    ...Real Men (TM) fabricate their own microprocessors and bootstrapping code.
  • by Mr. No Skills ( 591753 ) < minus cat> on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:44PM (#17054096) Journal
    ...young people prefer cheap little cars to Jaguar, BMW, and Mercedes. What do they know that people with money don't?
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:46PM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by peragrin ( 659227 )
      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.
  • by ellem ( 147712 ) * <> on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:46PM (#17054124) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:47PM (#17054154) Homepage Journal

    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?

  • by DaveWick79 ( 939388 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:48PM (#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.
    • by qray ( 805206 )
      I was just going to say the same thing. While I've often entertained getting a Mac because I figure my wife would have an easier time doing things, I can't play EverQuest, America's Army, and various other games that I and my son play.

      And actually my parents have done quite well on Windows. My dad at nearly 70 went out and bought himself a laptop. It would be pretty easy for them to switch since they have no interest in games, but at this point they're getting along just fine with Windows.
  • by Tarlus ( 1000874 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:50PM (#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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cadeon ( 977561 )
      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.

      I find it's both. It's shiny and pretty, and when you know how to use it it's insanely functional. There are all kinds of key commands that make productivity on OS X far surpass that on XP (for me). There's system wide automatic spellchecking, good window management, and I've yet to menti

    • by pr0nbot ( 313417 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @05:19PM (#17056074)
      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.

      I've not the foggiest what you're on about. It's a freakin UNIX box with an open source kernel, that ships with a DVD full of developer tools! How much more functional do you want?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by natrius ( 642724 )

        It's a freakin UNIX box with an open source kernel, that ships with a DVD full of developer tools! How much more functional do you want?

        For people who like to dig into their OS, the kernel is usually at a lower level than is useful. What is useful is being able to tweak iTunes to do something in a specific way, or change some Finder feature that you don't like. Very few people actually do this, but the people who do have created a couple of open source desktop environments that aren't too shabby. When someone else comes along with a need and the requisite skills to fulfill it, you've got a new contributor. The usefulness of an open source u

  • by ewhac ( 5844 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:53PM (#17054240) Homepage Journal
    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.


    • by earnest murderer ( 888716 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @04:08PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mspohr ( 589790 )

      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 a

    • Weeks? (Score:3, Informative)

      by leoc ( 4746 )
      For my 65+ year old inlaws, it only took me about an hour to setup the various proprietary codecs and plugins (thanks Adobe, Apple and Microsoft!) as well as decss so they could surf the web and play DVD's. OS X is great in its own way, but Ubuntu on a $499 Lenovo laptop makes for a sweet "simple" system for computer-phobes.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    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 afte
    • by dangitman ( 862676 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @06:46PM (#17057620)
      At first we thought that our age group & younger just doesn't get together in person, that perhaps it's all virtual these days.

      Bingo. it's the same with most "clubs" these days (except for sports clubs). They are a thing of the past. Everybody has their club meeting on Myspace or Slashdot instead. Also, many younger people want information from their "clubs" - and online gives the greatest diversity of experience. Many older people go to clubs because they are lonely and use it as a social outlet - not necessarily to get information or help.

  • I'm calling BS (Score:2, Informative)

    by appleguru ( 1030562 )
    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 del
  • 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
  • by kisrael ( 134664 )
    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
    • by kwerle ( 39371 )
      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).
  • by snowwrestler ( 896305 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @03:56PM (#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.
  • 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.

    • 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."

  • by ep251 ( 1034004 )
    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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I earnestly yearn to meet the guy who coined this word so that I might punch his stupid face.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 sm
  • British site? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SiliconEntity ( 448450 ) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @04:27PM (#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.
  • Granny Smiths :-)
  • 'Apple can claim long-time loyalists but its future among the young technoliterati is an interesting dynamic.'

    technoliterati isn't even a f'ing word...
  • I just bought an iMac for my 4 1/2 year old. Now it all balances out, right?

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.