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The First Mover PR Advantage…

Apple is enjoying a little first mover PR advantage with its pricing comparisons to Dell. First mover advantage is something that has been both promoted and discounted, but in the PR wars it’s worth lots – especially when your foe doesn’t move quickly (real-time) to counter the noise.

What I think people are missing here is that Dell’s model is geared to moving prices in a competitive way. I’m not sure Apple’s is as aggressively geared. They’re a smart bunch down in Austin – watch what happens next with Dell Pricing… If there is one things I have learned – competing with Dell on price is a fools errand.

I’ve been watching Apple’s announcements of the past week with keen interest (esp as I just installed a mini mac at home with Sonos). As someone who lives on both the Mac and Windows I care less and less about the operating system. Apple’s is lovely and reliable – I would argue better. Windows is annoying and ugly – but fast and supports a plethora of software that I have no choice but to need (Internet Explorer) and some that I prefer (Outlook, Office, Powerpoint). Pogue does a better job than me on all of this.

So long as Microsoft and Dell have that advantage I’ll keep buying their products – first mover advantage or no first mover advantage. So long as Apple has its advantage, I’ll keep buying theirs. And so long as my employer keeps buying at least one of these systems, I’m stuck with that as well.

Which leads me – very circuitously – to my main point. The future won’t be about who is better but rather who can tie it all together – and from that standpoint Apple is off to a good start… I’m going to want the best of both worlds on one system.

And oh, those Dell guys, they’ll be in the middle of this as well, you wait and see.

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2 Responses

  1. By Mike Rothman on August 11th, 2006 at 7:15 am

    Not sure Apple was trying to get into a price war with Dell. It seems they were trying to deflate the perception that their hardware is more expensive than a similarly configured Wintel machine. They only need to do this once, because anyone that has used OS X (and doesn’t need specialized Windows only apps) will pick it every time, if the price is similar. I’d be very surprised to see Apple follow Dell into pricing oblivion, but I believe they’ve made their point about value, even if it’s only for this point in time.

  2. By CD on August 29th, 2006 at 4:12 pm

    With regard to Dell’s PR position, certainly the recalls will have a huge impact. Here’s an article that I came across that talks about the lessons that Dell should have learned.

    view article

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