Believe in the Magic of the 'Halo'-day Season
Searching for Evidence of the iPod Mystique

by Joe Leo, Columnist December 29, 2006

SAY 'HALO' TO THE MAC: See that snowman at the right sporting an iPod digital music player? What a cute display! But is that a halo we see on the left side of the Apple Store's front window, causing these two unsuspecting shoppers to magically walk in to the store, eventually leading to a future Mac hardware purchase to which Apple will receive the customer's pay?

Note: This story is a companion piece to the two-part "Holiday Wish List: ..." articles from Friday, 11/24 and Monday, 11/27.

FEATURE: (12.29.06)-- As the holiday season winds down, with Christmas four days old, and the New Year just about 48 hours away, remember how it was when you were younger? It was all about the magic of the holiday season. No matter what people said, you believed in the jolly old man in the big red suit. Just because you couldn't see him, it didn't mean he wasn't real.

The debate continues once again in a different form, and an argument which has gone on for the past year-and-a-half or so has come center stage in regard to everyone's favorite red-colored fruit (Apple), just as the holidays wind down for 2006, and the "halo"-days get into full gear for 2007.

The week after Black Friday, reports surfaced on two fronts in regard to Apple Computer. First, that Mac and iPod sales were at an all-time record high, and second, that those sales were a direct result of the iPod mystique-- the so-called "iPod halo effect."

This columnist is not a believer of the "halo effect" per se, nor the way it has been presented, on how people's favorable experiences with their iPod makes them wish their Windows PC worked the same way, inevitably converting them from worshippers of Redmond to the cult of Mac.

You just can't attribute it to that fact alone. There has to be a bigger picture, and the most easiest explanation is that of everyone finally seeing the light, and being fed up with how Windows just doesn't work. (And then some).

On Monday 11/27, the first business day after Black Friday, reported that Apple wanted to find out if this magical "halo effect" really exists, and even hired a company to get the answers for them.

Their report comes from the original story posted on Black Friday itself by the website who, in that report, define the "halo effect" as, "the notion that people who buy its widely successful iPod music player are more likely to subsequently purchase a Mac." reporter Angus Kidman says in his own article that, "While the concept is widely accepted as fact among Mac enthusiasts, hard data suggesting its existence is more difficult to come by."

Case in point, what we've argued all along. This Mac enthusiast is not one of those who widely accepts that concept, and is looking--like Apple--for hard data to prove the "halo effect."

But does one need hard data to believe? Such as in Santa Claus?

Like Jolly Old St. Nick himself making an appearance to prove non-believers wrong, the infamous iPod "halo effect" has indeed made an appearance this, "halo"-day season.

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