/>
X
Business

Mac vs. PC: Still in sticker shock

It still surprises PC users and shocks longtime Mac users: the number of hard-to-remove branded stickers that ship on every notebook and PC on the market. Does anyone think this co-branding works in this day an age?
Written by David Morgenstern, Contributor on

It still surprises PC users and shocks longtime Mac users: the number of hard-to-remove branded stickers that ship on every notebook and PC on the market. Does anyone think this co-branding works in this day an age?

Mike Elgan wrote on The Raw Feed blog that "it still amazes me that brand new Windows PCs still come with tacky, sloppy, ugly stickers." His machine appears to only have three.

However, user Kawau on Flickr showed off the 9 stickers on his Sony Vaio X including, a Sony Z Series sticker, a Windows 7 bug, a Intel Core i7 logo, a Nvidia Geforce with CUDA label, a large bizarre sticker showing the model number and specs, the "automatically controls Gfx mode sticker, a "Full HD 1080" bug, the Vaio Official Warranty sticker, and Energystar logo. Of course, all of that logo overload doesn't count the integrated Vaio logo. And there could be another on the bottom that we don't see.

There are no such stickers on Apple notebooks. Haven't been. A pair of white Apple logo stickers comes packaged separately with computers and some other products.

A bit of history on the Intel sticker: Following Steve Jobs' announcement of Apple's move to Intel, away from the PowerPC processor, the industry wondered whether Apple would put the "Intel Inside" medallion on the Mac. At the time, Apple could have used the marketing subsidy, which PC executives called the "cocaine of the computer industry." It would have been so easy for the Cupertino brass to say yes to Apple's new partner with all the co-branding bucks. But no.

The first Intel-based MacBook Pro and MacBooks shipped with only their names.

I remember that more than a year later, Steve Jobs was asked about this decision in a Q&A session with the press. His response was that "[Apple] likes its own stickers better."

I found the transcript of the exchange at Macworld.com in an interesting article by Jason Snell about the Mac blogosphere's "stickergate" brouhaha that followed the session.

Phil Schiller, Apple senior vice president of marketing, followed up with the real problem for the brand: the stickers on the case are a physical representation for all the co-branded junk the PC vendors pack on the hard drive "inside."

Steve Jobs: Uh. What can I say? We like our own stickers better. (laughter and applause) Don’t get me wrong. We love working with Intel. We’re very proud to ship Intel products in macs. I mean, they’re screamers, and combined with our operating system, we’ve tuned them well together. So we’re very proud of that. It’s just that everyone knows we use Intel processors. And so I think that putting a lot of stickers on the box is just redundant. And we’d rather tell them about the product that’s inside the box. And they know it’s got a great Intel processor in it.

Phil Schiller: It’s not just about Intel inside. When you buy any off-the-shelf PCs, the boxes are covered with confusing logos and messages and icons. You open it up, there’s stickers to peel off displays and keyboards, they’re all over the place, and then you start it up and you find junkware all over your desktop and in your menus, they’re littered with it, trying to up-sell you on junk, and that whole philosophy… you know, we try to just give you a great product that you’re going to love, and you don’t have to peel stuff off to make it look better.

SJ: You know, we put ourselves in the customers’ shoes and we say, what do we want stuck on our product when we take it out of the box? And the answer is, nothing.

And Jobs follows it up with the brand value: What's inside the box: pure Apple.

Editorial standards