How Apple Dethroned Dell on College Campuses

A glance at any college classroom will show that, at least in higher education, Apple is king. As recently as 2007, Dell computers made up 34 percent of the classroom computers and Apple just 17 percent, Apple has quickly taken the lead. As of 2013, Apple had 26 percent of the market to Dell's 15. One look at the number of glowing Apples in a single classroom makes that figure obvious, but why Apple is so popular may not be as clear at first, given their cost. Here is how they did it:

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Design

Much of Apple's success can be attributed to its design Apple computers tend to have a sleeker appearance and thinner profile, even when the screen and keyboard are full size. For many students, this makes the computers more aesthetically pleasing, but their slimmer design also tends to make them much lighter than bulkier PCs. Now that the laptop has become an indispensable part of attending class, it isn't hard to understand why a student might prefer for the computer that doesn't sacrifice screen or keyboard size for the sake of weight.

Small Details

Apple is also known for incorporating important, seemingly tiny touches that can really add up for students. One important feature is the magnetic cord attachment. It isn't unusual for a classmate to be late to class and step on a cord or two on their way back to their seat. When that happens with a Dell computer, the laptop can soon take a dive, but the magnetic connector on Apple Computers simply snaps off safely, leaving the computer on the desktop.

Apple computers also tend to boast longer-lasting batteries, even with basic models. This can be particularly helpful for for classrooms, coffee shops, and other areas where a power outlet isn't easy to access but where a student may be doing his or her work. While long-lasting batteries are available for Dell computers, they tend to add both bulk and weight to the computer that isn't usually seen with an Apple battery.

Compatibility

Mac's success among college students isn't necessarily surprising. Apple has been successful with many of their gadgets, particularly among those of college age, with the iPhone, iPod, and iPad. Each of these products can be used on Dell computers, as well as other PCs, but they connect and share much easier with a Mac.

Protection

For many years, Apple products were known for their seeming invincibility when it came to computer viruses. Depending upon the source, the reason for this fact was either due to better development on Apple's part or the fact that more people and businesses use PCs, so developers worked harder to break into those system. Regardless, it remains true that Apple computers are less susceptible (though not immune) to viruses.

Customer Service

Many colleges are within driving distance of an Apple Store, where customers can bring their products for assistance from the company's Genius Bar. Minor issues can be resolved on the spot for no charge, while Apple's staff can discuss the repair possibilities and costs for more in-depth problems. This is a divergence from Dell, which offers customer assistance largely through call centers, many of which were outsourced to other countries until recently.

Popularity

Apple's popularity acts like a self-fulfilling prophecy. As more students and professors tend to use Apple products, the more likely their classmates will buy them when their Dell or other PC needs replacing. If they seek recommendations from classmates, they will likely be told to buy an Apple product. Also, students are more likely to buy products that will be compatible for group projects or to receive class-related files.

Apple's hold on campuses across the country is likely to continue. Dell may one day regain its place as the top campus computer, but it may be an uphill battle to displace the reigning king.