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Venn-diagramming Mac users in Japan

There has been a wide array of Mac user-types proposed over the years: the Design Afficianado, the Brand User, the Switcher, the Forced Switcher, etc. I have noticed two other groups since I have lived in Japan, which has made me consider user types based on location or culture.

First is the Gaijin User. Circumstantial observation indicates a high percentage of Mac-ownership among the foreign set in Japan — higher than the 5-8% of general marketshare that Apple maintains. There must be something about the Mac user personality type that is shared with the type of person that spends their life overseas.

The second group reflects a wider phenomenon in Japanese society: the “Interested in All Things Foreign” User. This is a Japanese person that most longterm foriegners in Japan have met countless times. You may consider a few of these people among your friends. I am unsure if their choice in computer is because want to be like the Gaijin User, or if it is a result of their drive to differentiate themselves within Japanese society. By no means do I think that all Japanese users fall in this group.

These groups surely exist in other countries, in one form or another. What other group types could be based on location or culture?

There remains one other set that I am not sure is a distinct group: the Japanese Christian Mac User (label pending).1 This is a puzzling case. Are they a subgroup of the Interested in All Things Foreign User? I cannot make that judgement as I have no idea how much interaction a Japanese Christian has with foreigners.

Mind you, most Mac users I meet are coming to me for web design advice. I think it a fair generalization that Mac users tend to be creative types. Thus it could simply because they are creative that these religious people are Mac users.

  1. I have met a number of Christian Mac users. All have been either American or Japanese. It seems only these two nationalities want to talk to me about their religious preference. I think this is because they are sincerely in interested what sect I belong to. They look at me, see a white guy, and assume I am Christian. Not willing to get entangled in a conversation about other people’s delusions, I simply slip the question and try to steer the conversation in another direction.
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