Customer Loyalty

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[Apples upcoming Mac Pro]

I went off on a tech site today that was spouting off about the latest quarterly earnings of various companies. They were “analyzing” the results and projecting into the future. I thought some would be interested in what I have to say about focusing on quarterly earnings when talking about consumer electronics purchases.

– – –

You are ignoring some very important factors:

1. There are people who love Apple and will not consider a competitors products no matter what. Their business is for Apple to lose, not for anyone to win.

2. There are people who hate Apple and will not consider their products no matter what.

3. Apple offers an ecosystem that is unmatched. My iPhone is an extension of my Mac Pro and my iPad, not merely an end unto itself.

4. People don’t buy things every quarter.

I have a 2009 Mac Pro, a retina iPad 3, and an iPhone 5 which I bought about a month ago. Nothing offered by any other company holds the slightest interest to me.

I’m waiting to see the price of the new 2013 Mac Pro before deciding whether it is time to upgrade to it. That’s four years I’ve been waiting and I have no real need to buy a new machine because my dual quad core machine with 12 Gig RAM still stomps. I did put an SSD in it. I’ve been waiting four years for a compelling reason to upgrade. The big point here is that I don’t buy a new machine or even think about it every time a new thing is introduced. Apple makes things of quality that last.

The Apple Care on my iPad 3 is not up until October of this year. That is the soonest that I will consider upgrading. SOONEST. I suspect that neither my behavior nor that of many other people of various tastes and pocketbooks buys new equipment every quarter. Annual sales should be compared, not quarterly. Maybe sales should be looked at in intervals of how often the typical consumer upgrades a particular kind of device.

My iPhone is about a month old. I bought it because I needed a new phone, not because of all the ads on TV or the specs of different models. Customer loyalty guided my decision. Period.

All this reading into quarterly sales instead of real buying patterns of real people might drive page hits but it doesn’t mean anything to real people in real life. I buy a new phone no sooner than every two years. I buy a tablet no sooner than every two years. I buy a computer no sooner than every three years. Those are my shortest buying cycles and sales relevant to my buying habits can only be measured by metrics that take those periods of time into consideration. I buy such electronics more often than anyone else I know.

Analysts are idiots.

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