Honestly, I haven't used an Apple in a decade. No iAnything. But most everyone I've met who has HAD an Apple has been more than willing to say good things about Apple, and they all seemed to be huge Apple fans.
Now, peering through the dense web of inter, I find that this is a widespread phenominon. There are a HUGE number of extremely vocal, enthusiastic Apple fans.
Frankly, when I think about it, it starts to get a bit odd. The dynamics aren't... quite... right.
I would say at least 10% of Apple customers are literally proud owners of their various iGadgets. Probably closer to 30%. This is higher than almost ANY brand in ANY industry. Can you think of a product with that kind of success rate?
I can think of a few, but chances are, you haven't heard of the ones I'm thinking of. They're the sort of places that don't need to advertise. They live entirely off of word of mouth and viral marketing.
Apple does not. Apple runs ads. Lots of 'em.
So, why the hell is Apple still tagging in at such a small market share? If 30% of the people who read this blog actively went out and told their buddies how cool it was, I would probably be pushing 100,000 unique repeat visitors in a matter of weeks. Assuming I lived up to the hype. Blogs aren't a good example, because you're likely to visit fifty blogs, but not to buy fifty different brands of computer/MP3 player. But the basic concept is sound: viral marketing combined with a great product usually work WONDERS.
So, what's going on? Why isn't Apple exploding? Here are some possibilities, but I value input.
1) Apple IS exploding. It's poised to take over the industry, but nobody knows it yet. In that case, you go, Apple!
2) Apple fans aren't evangelizing - they're loyal, but not drawing in new customers. In that case, Apple needs to institute some kind of 'hook a friend on Apple' shout-out.
3) Apple's advertising is INTERFERING with their evangelists by weakening the exclusive feeling of owning an Apple product. In that case, they need to cut back on the adverts or alter them to make their products seem high-class.
Those are the three most likely ideas I can see. It's interesting - I've never seen another brand quite like this. Loyal customers, but not GETTING anywhere.