As the back to school shopping season kicks into high gear, look for OEMs to push PCs with product bundles and all kinds of enticing offers. For Apple, that might mean once again bundling an iPod with the purchase of a new Mac or MacBook, but that might not be enough. According to a new study by consumer electronics site Retrovo, college-bound students are less willing than ever to pay the so-called "Apple Tax" by purchasing a pricier Mac.
"While Apple has done well historically in the education market, 2009 marks the dawn of the netbook," says Vipin Jain , Retrevo CEO. "Students told us they wanted longer battery life, smaller size, and a lighter laptop. 58 percent of them plan on spending less than $750. Only 18 percent have a budget over $1,000."
It also isn't helping Apple's cause that "retailers are working overtime to attract students," such as Wal-Mart expanding its laptop selection by 40 percent and partnering with HP to make a sub-$300 Compaq Presario.
But take the survey with a grain of salt. While respondents were selected from a random sampling of Retrevo's 4 million monthly visitors, the sample size was only 300.