Apple’s Unspoken Advantage: Lower TCO

Tomorrow is the big day Apple announce the iPad 2 and with too many articles reguritating the same content, I’m a bit taken aback at the complete lack of discussion of Apple’s big competitive advantage: Lower TCO. Yes, you read that correctly. The Apple iPod, iPhone and iPad have a lower TCO than the competition.

I buy a lot of content and I’ve come to one distinct conclusion: Over the lifetime of my consumer electronics device, Apple has a lower TCO.

For example, Peter Guber’s new book Tell to Win (in audio book format) is $20.95 in iTunes, and $24.50 on Audible.com (owned by Amazon.com). That’s $3.55 that I save by purchasing through iTunes, or 14.5%. This small difference adds up if you purchase a lot of content such as ebooks, audio books, music, videos, and so on.

While I have observed the lower price of content sold via Apple, my own purchase habits are obviously not a large enough sample size to qualify as conclusive research. However,  I would guess that a little bit of leg work and a representative sample of consumers would confirm my suspicions.

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