I know that Microsoft is campaigning now to let everyone know that Macs are expensive and, allegedly, people buy them because they want to be cool. I certainly won't deny that some of that goes on, but I think it's only half of the story. They saw a slight decline this year, but are still way outpacing the overall PC market.
My personal love for the machines is more based on the fact that they're just so damn solid. I mean, I'm a Windows developer, and I still want the shiny aluminum stuff. It feels better in your hands, the quality of the screens and keyboards are better and they don't make a low end anything. For me, as someone who makes a living using the machine, I want the nicest machine I can get my hands on.
As a business strategy, Apple's biggest story is that they're simply not chasing after a crowded commodity market. Analysts and pundits are always saying how Apple could do this or that with greater market share, but why would they want to do that? I think even in this economy, there is a consumer segment that wants better quality stuff, and is willing to pay for it. Apple's margin on some machines is higher than the entire cost of some of the junk peddled by Dell and HP.
I admire that they're able to market themselves from a better product angle and not get too wrapped up in price. Granted, it means they have to deliver on the promise, and I think for the most part they have. I'm very curious to know if they can continue this trend. It has been awhile since they've had a truly colossal failure.