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1.14.2005

Is Apple about to create its "halo effect"?

This week Apple officially introduced two very interesting products, the iPod Shuffle (which I talked about earlier this week) and the Mac Mini. Now this extensive discussion of the new Apple products might be a little out of character for a PC guy like myself, but I am finding myself very interested in what Apple is doing.

For years Apple has had a loyal following comprised of self-described "Mac people". Whether or not they came from the graphic design industry, did not like PCs, or just wanted to be different it was a small but loyal customer base. Over the years Apple has tried many different strategies to expand their base, and I think they may have go it right this time. From the iMac to the eMac, from the Newton to using Linux as its OS base Apple's previous attempts to expand their customer base with new products have not been particularly successful, but this newest attempt may be.

By successfully created a franchise that dominated a market so thoroughly it is close to becoming the generic term for hard drive based MP3 players and using its marketing muscle Apple has made a very good foothold for itself in the general technology market. Now using a low-price flash iPod line in conjunction with a bargain priced Mac Mini, Apple may just be able to get some of those converts its been seeking for so long. CNet news.com is calling it a possible "halo effect", and they are right -- this potential customer base expansion may be a development that Wall Street takes notice of.

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