Apple rolls out ads aimed at 'the other 95%'

CIOL Bureau
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CUPERTINO: Apple Computer Inc. on Monday launched an advertising campaign

targeting Microsoft Corp. Windows users with testimonials from

"switchers" who abandoned Windows-powered PCs for Macintoshes.


The campaign is Apple's largest since its "Think Different" series

launched in 1998, the company said in a statement. The move was also an

aggressive bid to win over what Apple - with around 5 per cent of the US market

-- calls "the other 95 per cent" of personal computer owners who use

competing systems, almost exclusively Windows.

Apple did not detail how much it would spend on its "Real People"

campaign, including magazine ads and television spots. "More people are

interested in switching from PCs to Macs than ever before, and we hope that

hearing these successful switchers tell their story will help others make the

jump," Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, said in a statement.

In one of the ads, writer Sarah Whistler, standing against a white

background, tells the camera: "I get it. And I don't get the PC. I never

did." She calls the PC a "horrid little machine." Apple's market

share has shown signs of stabilizing in the last year and a half as it rolled

out a series of well-received, sharply designed computers, revamped its

operating system and opened a national chain of stores.


That has restored some of the reputation it built in 1984 with the original,

easy-to-use Macintosh that introduced the mouse and a

what-you-see-is-what-you-get screen strong on graphics. Its products were less

well received in the mid-1990s.

Apple also has increasingly turned its focus toward winning over PC users in

addition to convincing fans to buy a new Mac. "Apple has had very limited

success persuading Windows users to move to the Apple platform," said

analyst Charles Smulders of technology researcher Gartner Inc.

Apple's US market share was steady at 3.8 per cent in 2001 and 2000, and down

from 4.4 per cent in 1999. Globally, Apple's share fell dropped to 2.5 per cent

in 2001 from 2.8 percent in 2000.


But Smulders attributed that contraction to relatively slow sales of its

desktop computers, which Apple refreshed this year with its iMac consumer

desktop, a table-lamp-shaped computer with a swinging flat panel display, and

the eMac, a cheaper consumer desktop that is essentially a souped-up version of

the previous iMac design.

"With its iMac and eMac introductions, Apple hopes to stem the market

share losses it has suffered in the desktop market," Smulders said.

"Apple is in a better position to gain share in 2002 than 2001."

(C) Reuters Limited.