According to this story from BBC Technology, it’s becoming apparent that – even in a recession – gadgets take priority over almost anything except food. People would rather maintain their expensive iPhone contracts than have a two-week holiday or a meal out:
In a poll of 862 people, over 40% said they would save on holidays and eating out and 19% chose spending on mobiles.
This is borne out by profit-and-loss figures from technology companies. The industry has hammered Apple over the years for “only” having around 5% of the (enormous) personal computer market. But factor in that Macs last longer (more than twice as long as the equivalent PC) and get passed on more, the real market share is bigger. And factor in the price of the equipment, and it’s not surprising that Apple have over 90% of the $1000+ personal computer market. In other words, Apple tends to be recession proof, because people who spend over $1000 on a computer don’t tend to be the type of people that suffer in recessions. Incidentally, their share of the premium market just over a year ago was 66% – it’s now 91%!
Apple have always been happy to leave the low end of the market to Dell and the rest: nobody really wants those people as customers, because they tend to be a pain in the backside. They spend £300, on which you make less than £50 profit, and then they’re on the phone every five minutes with technical support issues.
So for Apple to be sitting pretty in the premium computer and phone market is a good thing, when you consider that huge numbers of people value their phone above almost anything except food. I suspect, also, that food is a lower priority for a lot more people than would admit it.