Mac owners pay more to stay at hotels, click on more ads, and bargain less than PC owners

Mac users have always been considered to be a class above the common PC users, with Mac symbolizing the status of its user; at least in the perspective of a section of the population. It may be ‘pride’ that has now made Mac users specifically targeted by service providers to be provided with pricier options when they use their Macs to browse for services like hotels.

As noted by The Wall Street Journal, some companies have been using otherwise unimportant data (e.g. whether a person is using a Mac or PC) from research firms or observations made by themselves to provide targeted ads and varied prices to different layers of users:

The Orbitz effort, which is in its early stages, demonstrates how tracking people’s online activities can use even seemingly innocuous information—in this case, the fact that customers are visiting from a Mac—to start predicting their tastes and spending habits.

The Orbitz effort mentioned by the WSJ is referring to a study conducted by Orbitz that conclude users who browse Orbitz using Macs are more likely to pay 30% higher prices for hotels than “common PC users”. As such, Orbitz is now starting to present Mac users with higher priced hotels versus the standard rates for Windows-based PC owners.

The Atlantic Wire notes that this is not the first time Apple users are targeted as a “different species”.

According to Mindset Media, people who purchase Macs fall into what the branding company calls the “Openness 5” personality category — which means they are more liberal, less modest and more assured of their own superiority than the population at large. Mindset Media helps companies with strong brands develop ads targeted to people based on personality traits or people’s “mindsets,” and does research to that effect.

Some studies had also revealed that iPhone and iPad users are more responsive to ads than other mobile users (e.g. Android users). Also, generally speaking, Apple users have been found to be of a nature that likes to bargain less, instead being complacent with whatever they are provided with, most of the time. These factors are obviously considered by many firms while advertising.

One reason for all of the above may be iDevice owners are part of upper-middle, upper class section of the population. According to a study by The New York Times,

43 percent of people making over $150,000 a year use an iPhone, iPad or Mac for work, making them far more likely than any other group to use an Apple product. In comparison, 27 percent of people earning $100,000 to $149,999 said they use an Apple product for work, while 23 percent of people making $50,000 to $99,999 a year and 19 percent of earners below $50,000 said the same.

Similarly, 41 percent of the respondents who identified themselves as “directors” at their companies said they used an Apple product for work. For self-identified “managers” and “workers,” the figures were 27 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

If all iDevice owners fell in the 43% making over $150,000 a year then all would be fine and dandy. But all iDevice owners don’t make that much money. The consumers who are negatively affected by these kind of targeted actions are the “common” iDevice users; people who cannot really afford the costly options they are presented with and would much rather like to get cheaper selections of whatever they are buying. Food for thought, you hubris filled iSheep. (That is a joke.) Share your thoughts about this with us in the comments below!

[via The Atlantic Wire | Image Credit:]

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  • Col. Panek

    I just booked a RT flight Albany – Las Vegas for $279. Hotel was $49. I run Linux….

  • Ashraf

    @Mick: It isn’t that Orbitz charges Mac users more; you can get the same package options regardless of if you are on a Mac or PC. It is that Orbitz conducted a study and learned Mac users tend to pay 30% higher prices than PC users and as such Orbitz will start showing Mac owners more costly hotels. Everyone has the option to filter as desired.

  • Reminds me of the ‘mapple’ episode of the simpsons, where the fanboys go on their knees and bring out their wallet in one hand and a fistful of bills in the other.

  • Prema


    even though the hardware is the same the design, customer service, and most important of all- the OS is totally different.
    This is probably a bad example, but if you go shopping- see two shirts, and try each one on, you will go wit the one that feels the best, or more comfortable. There both made from cotton and polyester, but you want to wear something that makes you comfortable.

    Essentially that’s how it is with mac and windows and linux users. Some prefer the simplicity of OSX, both others want the advanced options of windows (contrary to Apple saying that OSX is the world’s most advanced OS…) or even linux.
    People aren’t paying for hardware- they are paying for the software …

  • JonE

    @Mick: Oh; I don’t know about that. I’ve always thought this PC / MAC, Love / Hate, Gates / Jobs nonsense is kind of ridiculous.

    Are MAC owners more liberal than the rest of us? Maybe so; I don’t know, but I’ve wanted a MAC for years and I’m about as far to the other side of being “liberal” as you can get. And I’m willing to bet that some techies own both. One thing for sure; I am opinionated, but on this subject I’m no where near an expert and so I will leave it at that.

    Except to say I’m no where near liberal and I would own a MAC if I could afford one. I like Beamers, Mercs, and Volvos too, but don’t own one of those either.

  • Mick

    Apple fanboi’s aren’t charged any more than anyone else by Orbitz… (by Apple, well that’s another story…) They are just initially PRESENTED with higher priced options, because obviously they don’t mind paying more for the same exact hardware.

    They still have the option to sort by price and get the exact same display.

    Research apparently shows what we already knew — people who like Apple tend to be liberal (shocker!!) and WILLING to pay more. They aren’t discriminated against in any way. They’re just targeted differently.

  • Neville

    Good work sir. Only a little surprising that Mac peeps are actually charged more just for being a Mac user.