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Japanese computer maker brand image: then and now

What Japan Thinks posts a survey from MyVoice investigating computer maker brand image. The survey was conducted last month. I went through their older surveys and found an earlier one with similar content done in 2002. I pulled out all the Apple relevant bits for your enjoyment. You can see the original findings in their entirety here: 2002 2009

What kind of computer do you use?
(2002) Apple 6.2%
(2009) Apple 3.9%

Which maker do you think has the best external design in terms of shape, colour, etc?
(2002) Apple 29.9% (Next to Sony at 43%)
(2009) Apple 30.9% (Sony follows at 22%)

If you buy a computer in the future, which maker’s machine would you buy?
(2002) Apple 6.8%
(2009) Apple 7.5%

The following two questions were only on the older 2002 survey:

Which maker has the best features and performance?
(2002) Apple 6.6

Which maker provides the best support?
(2002) Apple 3.1

My thoughts

What has happened to Apple’s market share? First of all, it is different than the 2.9% marketshare I posted about before. For clarity’s sake, that was units shipped — which would include corporate sales — whereas the people surveyed by MyVoice are individuals buying at retail. Of course, it might not be wise to equate ownership with market share. Without more data I can only assume that there was a shift in the market. Potentially, the pie got bigger and some makers that started behind Apple have pulled out ahead. For example Dell ownership was only 2.3% in 2002, and is up to 12.9% as of last month. Once again, we need more data.

Turning to future purchases, I see a more welcome trend. In 2002 6.8% of people said they wanted an Apple for their next computer. That only moved up a little to 7.5% in 2009, however if compared to the share of ownership (6.2% and 3.9% respectively) it looks like the Mac’s desirability factor is way up (by a factor of 6 in fact). It looks like a lot of people without Macs are thinking about making the Switch. That must make the Apple Japan brand managers happy.

Lastly, the final question (about support) was asked before the advent of the Apple Store and the Genius Bar. I really wish they’d have asked that question again. Apple should be way ahead of the pack on this one, especially when compared to ownership.

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