What is the demographic for the MacBook Air?

What is the demographic for the MacBook Air?

Summary: I just had an interesting IM exchange with someone who asked me:What is the demographic for the MacBook Air?My response:Rich executives, basicallyI don't consider myself a rich executive by any stretch, but I'm buying one.

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I just had an interesting IM exchange with someone who asked me:

What is the demographic for the MacBook Air?

My response:

Rich executives, basically

I don't consider myself a rich executive by any stretch, but I'm buying one. But then again, it's kinda my job :)

That being said, who is the demographic for the MBA? I guess that I could have included:

  • Early adopters
  • Showoffs, braggarts, "first on their block" types
  • Trustafarians
  • Trendy people
  • People who need a second machine
  • People that travel at least 5 days per week, less than 4 hours away

Obviously, all of the above would be appended with "having $1800 of disposable income."

You can get a lot of computer for US$1800 from the Apple Store:

  • MacBook 2.0GHz, 2GB RAM, 250GB SATA HDD, SuperDrive, 3-year AppleCare, Firewire, removable battery – US$1798

And for US$200 more than a MacBook Air you can nab a MacBook Pro (US$1,999) with a 2.2GHz, 1440 x 900 display, 2GB RAM, 120GB HDD, SuperDrive and NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 128MB SDRAM.

Who is Apple targeting with the MacBook Air?

(Only Steve Jobs can sell air)

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

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53 comments
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  • What airlines do you fly on!?

    Many airlines have power in all seats, and most every one has power in the front
    cabin(s)... As well, most every airport lounge I know has ample power, and usually
    wifi.

    I travel MUCH farther than 4 hours, and definitely want one. The thought of
    carrying over a kilo less weight in my case is a big draw for me.

    The one thing I miss most out of this is not an extra USB (or firewire!? - whatever)
    but an ExpressCard slot.
    Brian Tdot
  • MBA is a statement

    MBA is Apple's statement about the future of computing. It says, "It's time either
    cut, or at least, really start thinking about how you would cut, all the cords." It
    seeks to stimulate change in our computing habits, changes that will better
    prepare us for a more mobile computing society. A growing dependance not on
    discs but on The Cloud as a source of connectivity, applications, storage
    ...everything.

    If not, it would have been easy for Apple to have added that extra usb port.

    Can a beautifully designed, slim computer bring about change? I think, for sure,
    we'll see a rush by 3rd party peripheral makers to bring new, clever, lite-weight,
    add-ons to fill perceived deficiencies, but overall, I see rapid uptake for this
    machine amongst the upwardly mobile, fashion conscious, and women. They will
    pioneer us into the next age of mobile information.
    Len Rooney
    • Yeah, MBA is a statement...

      Of course it is! It says, "I have one and you don't! I'm [b]cool[/b] and you're not!"
      M.R. Kennedy
      • or it says

        I am to stupid to do research and buy something truly useful that is also lightweight...!!!
        Paul Fletcher
  • My wife

    Anything to reduce weight on the occasions she has to travel. She has the purse, the bad with 10,000 pieces of paper (she never empties the thing) plus the notebook. The she ends up with a sore shoulder and neck. It's actually worse when she just has to go to New York City and has to walk all over the place.

    When I first mentioned the eeePC to her, she thought it was great. However, she's used to macs and macbooks so a transition to this would be easier.

    Seriously, the machine is simply directed at people who want to lighten their load yet have a full sized mac notebook for TRAVEL - NOT as a primary machine. I assume that the keyboard will be very familiar to present Macbook users.

    Apple will have to do a bit of "education" for this machine to overcome fud created by the radical departure from the norm.
    j.m.galvin
  • RE: What is the demographic for the MacBook Air?

    Both of my teenagers are lusting after one for school.
    KeeHinckley
  • Who is demographic? Without an Apple logo... NOBODY

    This isnt meant to be some hate speech. I'm just pointing out what it looks like outside the reality distortion field.

    1) This shares the same footprint as a Macbook. So if you feel crammed in seat 32b then this solves nothing.

    2) Price. Apple products are determined by price and not needs. This is an odd product in that in terms of power fills a hole at the low end of the portable lineup, but falls into the mid/high end in price. So it's biggest customers can't afford it.

    3) Features. What does this do that a Macbook doesn't. That's not rhetorical. What does it do?

    4) Limitations. What doesn't this do that a Macbook does? User replaceable battery, HDD, memory. Power. 2GB mem limit. Extreme low end for Windows VM.


    So who exactly is this for? Let's be honest. Scratch off that logo and this looks like a beautiful piece of equipment that you want but definitely don't need.
    Urkel
    • I'm not sure yet.

      I think there is a real target demographic, if those people realized what they actually use their computer for. There are ALOT of people who surf the internet, maybe download a few pictures from their digital camera and thats it.
      But, you bring a few points that are valid and quite frankly will be barriers for many people even considering one.

      1. [i]Same footprint a Macbook:[/i] Yeah not really sure why Apple didn't release this as a 12" model. I miss the 12" PB

      2.[i] Price[/i] Well that's always the case with Apple. And I think price will be the biggest obstacle. However, if you look at some PC subcompact notebooks you can also find that they are more expensive than their larger fuller featured brethren. Miniturization seems to add to the costs.

      3. [i] Features. What does this do that a Macbook doesn't. That's not rhetorical. What does it do? [/i] Well, it has the gesture recognizing trackpad, It has an LED LCD screen, Ambient light sensing backlit keyboard and it is the first laptop to be mercury free and have arsenic free glass.

      4. [i] Limitations [/i] Yes this is very limited compared to the Macbook and most PC notebooks, but my point is that, even with these limitation, there are a large demographic who who probably never even notice.

      Will it be successful is another story, and one will have to wait and see.
      Tigertank
  • Rich people who like throwing money at shiny objects that serve no other pu

    rpose

    That's essentially it, the macbook air is good for web surfing and word processing and that's about it. Once any of the hardware components die you've got a several thousand dollar paper weight. Some people can afford such a fruitless investment, I cannot... I'll stick to my Macbook -Air thank you very much.

    - John Musbach
    John Musbach
    • So how did we survive

      back in the old days when we only had 286 chips?

      The MBA and other similar small form computers will be able to do
      quite a bit for users who have to travel. I wish I had one when I
      was traveling overseas on business trips - especially with the
      (comparatively) large display.
      Ken_z
  • i was discussing this earlier.

    it's not really rich executives. it's people in the design / creative field who travel a lot. architects, graphic designers, photographers. people who like macs, are design conscious, and who need secondary travel machines to give presentations and do some basic work in programs like aperture, office, vectorworks, etc. no hardcore video rendering or anything, but the basics for people in those fields.

    basically, i'm saying that i want one. =)
    lostarchitect
    • wow!

      the word hard core (without the space!) was translated into asterisks in my prior post! is that really a naughty word? wow!
      lostarchitect
  • Many laptops are lighter than MacBook Air

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/20080117/tc_usatoday/manylaptopsarelighterthanmacbookair;_ylt=A0WTUfHiSJBHV28BVB0h2.cA

    this is just another apple we invented first ploy.
    SO.CAL Guy
    • And the 2 listed in the article....

      have 12" displays, so the MBA has a little bigger display.
      However I would not have one due to the lack of Ethernet port and a Battery that is not removable(By the user).
      mrOSX
      • But the same resolution

        Within reason, resolution is the more important number than screen size and all the laptops have the same native resolution.

        I also find it VERY interesting when reading most of the gushing talkbacks is that the thinness of the Air is mentioned [b]far[/b] less often than the weight. Over and over again, I read "this is great for commuters who have aching shoulders", etc. Funny then how the Air, while being the thinnest (by 0.5mm, not much bigger than a human hair) is not the lightest [b]by far[/b]. If these gushing reviewers were being truly honest with us, they would choose one of the many lighter laptops and save even more strain on their shoulders. Of course, honesty isn't a Mac customer's biggest strength. :)
        NonZealot
        • Its not the lightest because...

          It has a full size keyboard and a larger screen. The other 3lb notebooks have 10-12" screens and mini-keyboards. The MBA is the lightest notebook with a full size keyboard by far.
          Stuka
          • Hehe, once again with the artificial restrictions!

            [i]The MBA is the lightest notebook [b]with a full size keyboard[/b] by far.[/i]

            So? That's like telling someone who wants a light laptop that the [url=http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,2138747,00.asp] Eurocom D900C Phantom [/url] is the lightest notebook [b]with a 2.93-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo X6800 Extreme Edition processor.[/b] Oh, it weighs 14.5lbs but it is still the lightest!!

            The Air is not good for the commuter because it weighs too much. The bigger display (though same resolution) and full size keyboard don't change the fact that it weighs too much.
            NonZealot
          • Message has been deleted.

            Tigertank
        • Nobodys talking about it because it isn't the lightest.

          Nobody claimed it was, and nobody cares because it still weighs only 3 lbs. Also, do these [i]many[/i] lighter laptops have a 13" screen like the MCA or just a 12"? I would be curious to know just how much lighter a comparable 13" PC laptop is.
          Tigertank
          • People have written that they want the Air because it is light

            I was simply replying that if weight was a factor, then the Air is [b]not[/b] the right laptop for them. I never said anyone claimed it was the lightest, only that if weight was a concern, then look for something other than the Air because it is [b]heavy[/b]!!
            NonZealot