Score one for Apple's advertising team: According to a new survey, Apple's iconic "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads are not far off the mark. Hunch, a website that predicts what people will like based on their interests, asked nearly 400,000 users whether they are Mac or PC people, then cross-referenced the results with the users' answers to hundreds of other lifestyle-related questions. The (unscientific) results? "Mac users can be seen, depending on your perspective, as bolder and more creative," says CNN's Brandon Griggs, "or elitist and more pretentious." Here's a concise breakdown:
1. PC users are older, more conservative, and suburban
In other words, "PC users are more lame than their Mac-using counterparts," says self-identified PC person Paul Suarez in PCWorld. Mac users are 22 percent more likely to be age 18 to 34, while PC people are 22 percent more likely to be 35 to 49. Not surprisingly, then, 58 percent of Mac people say they're liberal, versus 36 percent of PC users. And while 52 percent of Mac people live in cities, PC types are about 20 percent more likely to live in the suburbs or the countryside.
2. Mac people are foodies
What do Mac-identifying respondents like to eat and drink? Hummus, báhn mì, salty snacks, red wine, gimlets, and San Pellegrino Limonata. They're also 80 percent more likely to be vegetarian than PC people, who prefer: Tuna sandwiches, patty melts, sweets, white and pink wine, Jolt and Pepsi, and strawberry daiquiris. Both sides have strong feelings for McDonald's French fries, although PC folks rank Mickey D's first (34 percent, followed by steak fries), while Mac people prefer bistro fries (40 percent, versus 24 percent for the Golden Arches' version).
3. PC people have lower-brow media and culture habits
PC users say that, when surfing the web, they enjoy LOLCats and visit CNN and Go Fug Yourself; Mac people favor sites like Apartment Therapy, Boing Boing, and The Huffington Post. When it comes to printed media, Mac types pick up The New York Times, ReadyMade, Dwell, and Macworld, while PC people read USA Today, TV Guide, Redbook, and US Weekly. PC people like Impressionism, Hollywood movies, Rachel Maddow, and Jay Leno; Mac people: Modern art, indie films, Jon Stewart, and 60 Minutes.
4. Mac types are more educated and more festive
This is "prickliest" finding, says Mike Schuster in Minyanville: 67 percent of Mac people have a four-year college degree or higher, versus 54 percent of PC users. "Like a Yankee cap in Fenway, this could spark a 'heated discussion.'" Mac people are also snappier dressers, have stronger verbal than math skills, and say they're 50 percent more likely to throw frequent parties. Maybe they do, says Nick Farrell in Fudzilla, but "the survey did not indicate if anyone showed up to them."
5. Mac devotees are oversampled
Before everyone gets too excited about this "gold mine of stereotypes," says John Lister in Tech.Blorge, let's all remember that this survey is not a scientific comparison of Mac vs. PC users. It's based on self-selected groups of people who self-identify with a stereotype. While 24 percent of the respondents declared themselves Mac people, Apple has only about 11 percent of the computer market. Relax, this Mac vs. PC data-fest "might be total nonsense," says Chris Matyszczyk in CNET. "But it's the sort of total nonsense that makes the world the wonderful place it is."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 4 strategies for organizing your money, based on your personality
- The dangers of our passionless American life
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The amazing resurrection of Mitt Romney
- Even critics of the euro didn't see this coming
- The essential techniques that every home cook should know
- The real reason conservatives should be outraged that police killed a white youth
Subscribe to the Week