Hanging out at the Apple Store the other day, an elderly woman buying a second iPhone was overheard talking to a sales person, who just nodded and never delivered a sales pitch. “I guess I’d better get an Apple computer,” the woman said, noting her satisfaction with the first iPhone purchase. “I’ve always been a Windows person.”
It’s here again, the Halo Effect — only this time it isn’t an iPod helping to increase sales of Apple computers. It’s the iPhone possibly affecting the sales of Apple products and introducing mobile video to a larger audience.
Research firm Interpret said Tuesday (press release) that 63 percent of iPhone users have already used the device to watch video, compared with just 28 percent of regular cell phone owners using video-enabled equipment. Fifty-one percent say they’ve also watched a YouTube video on their phone, 46 percent have watched a music video, 34 percent have watched the news, and 32 percent have watched a movie trailer.
Interpret says its study shows that “it’s not the consumers who are different, it’s the iPhone.” Prior to buying the iPhone, few cell phone owners reported watching a video on their devices. Jason Kramer, Interpret’s chief strategy officer, said:
“Consumers want to watch video on their cell phones, but they have high expectations for the experience. The iPhone shows consumers that the potential is there to meet or exceed their expectations for mobile video.”
Interpret’s study also suggests a Halo Effect may happen among non-iPhone owners. No more than 30 percent of non-iPhone owners have said they’ve watched video and is of little interest on their current phones. However, after watching a 2-minute demonstration of video on the iPhone, nearly 75 percent of the respondents said they would be interested in watching video on the iPhone, with nearly 50 percent saying they are “extremely” or “very” interested. Kramer said:
What’s surprising is how wide open the market for mobile video is right now. The iPhone is definitely raising consumer awareness, but there are other players to watch.”
In general, the Halo Effect, as it applies to Apple, states that the success of the iPod has had positive effects on consumers and their perceptions of other Apple products, leading some to purchase Mac computers. There is even a Halo Effect for Apple suppliers, according to BusinessWeek.
It’s been somewhat of a controversial issue, with some analysts saying there is no Halo Effect and with others estimating that 6 to 20 percent of iPod owners have later bought Apple products. Whatever. What all agree on is the positive response to the iPod has helped improve the perception of Apple products for consumers.
Now there is a chance to do it again and with video. The iPod with video was introduced near the end of 2005, with a slight revision in September 2006. Since then, Apple reports its iTunes Music Store had sold more than 50 million television episodes and 1.3 million feature-length films (January 2007). Apple announced in April that more than 2 million movies have been downloaded, making iTMS the world’s most popular online movie store. (Wikipedia.)
While the iPod with video has been successful, many users have reported that they don’t watch as much video as expected because of the small screen. That may change with the introduction of the iPhone and widescreen video.