Just how “different” and elite are Apple customers – socioeconomically, behaviorally, and attitudinally?

[Notice: This information is from 2008 and has been updated in more recent waves of TUP. Please contact MetaFacts for updates.]

Apple customers are socioeconomically elite.

As has been true for most of Apple’s history, the brand is favored by the economically elite. Households with Apple home PCs have higher incomes than households with home PCs not made by Apple.

Two-thirds (67%) of households with Home Apples earn $60,000 or more in household income, compared with just over half (53%) of non-Apple households.

Does this mean that buying an Apple will earn buyers higher income? No, it’s most likely the other way around. Those with higher incomes are often in professions and life stages that afford them a higher disposable income, such that Apple’s general price premium is less of a barrier. Furthermore, higher-income households, and especially Apple households, buy more consumer electronics of all kinds than other households.

Apple Customers Have Higher Income - Apple Profile Report 2008
Apple Customers Have Higher Income – Apple Profile Report 2008

Apple households also have attained a higher educational level. Over two-thirds (68%) have completed a 4-year degree, some post-graduate education or beyond. By comparison, non-Apple households have less than half (45%) who have reached this level.

Apple Households are socioeconomically different - Apple Profile Report 2008
Apple Households are socioeconomically different – Apple Profile Report 2008

Apple’s customers are unique.

  • 63% spend more time using their computer than watching TV, compared with 57% of non-Apple PC households.
  • The national trend away from TVs passed the half-way mark between 2007 and 2008.
  • Fun is only slightly stronger among the Apple crowd. 60% of Apple households say they keep finding more ways to use the Internet for fun, compared with 58% of the non-Apple group.

While many observers have a hunch that the elite aspect of Apple’s customers may seem like a stereotype that Apple’s marketing wants to perpetuate, our continued survey results bear it out. Paradoxically, as Apple broadens its footprint, inevitably it will reach a less-unique audience. Still, we expect the halo to continue well beyond the actual uniqueness of Apple’s customer base.


This information is released from Technology User Profile solution from MetaFacts. It is based on recent survey-based research, reporting directly from a representative sample of actual users.

News flash: even more recent updates to this information are available to subscribers to the full Technology User Profile service.

Other findings in Technology User Profile include:

  • The life of the Apple computer, longer or shorter?
  • How Apple computers are used distinctly from Windows PCs
  • Apple’s retail footprint – success and failure
  • Apple users concentrated in few occupations
  • Apple as the second or third computer; this camel’s nose is sniffing around the tent’s edge
  • Why a cybercafé survey might fool you
  • Apple loyalty – still faithful?
  • The halo effect – has the iPod changed Apple’s PC business?
  • Just how more creative are Apple’s users than the Windows crowd?
  • Apple’s most-connected – broadband households
  • Apple & the future digital home?
  • Apple’s future – who is Apple attracting?

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Broadband, Digital Imaging, and many other technology industry topics. These findings utilize the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption and use in American households and businesses. Interested technology professionals can sign up for complimentary TUPdates, periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a national market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are widely recognized as a primary marketing resource for Fortune 1000 companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, peripherals, mobile computing, and related services and products. For more information, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300 or www.metafacts.com

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