People still think Apple products are overpriced

I was having an interesting discussion, today, with some friends, about Apple and the Beats acquisition. What has clearly come out of that, is that they think Apple is a company that sells massively overpriced product, which people buy because of their design, of the apple brand (which has come to have an enormous value and appeal) and of the "cool" factor associated with it.

Now, I may be wrong in generalizing what I've observed in my friends (though that was a pretty diverse group of people), but I think that, outside of tech circles (away from American tech journalists, in particular), and despite the widespread adoption of Macs and other apple products (massive, especially compare to the situation a few years back), Apple is still considered a company of cool, not of substance, nor of good products. People who can afford Apple products seem to either buy and use (and love) them "just because" (i.e. because of look, feel and brand identity), or to rule them out as overpriced stuff for the non-value-conscious. Few seem to realise that Apple products are, value-wise, comparable with, and often highly competitive with respect to, comparable products from other companies. Also, very few seem to be able to both assess the usefulness and worth of hardware and recognise the value of design and of the little things; people generally either love Apple hardware and declare no sane person could ever need anything more or different, or dismiss good design, vertical integration and attention to detail as part of the irrational appeal of brand image.

Oh, just to be clear: I don't currently use any Apple product, and I'm not the biggest fan of them (now being more enticed by Metro and most latest Microsoft products). However, I started browsing the internet on the original PPC G4 Mac Mini, and I used to be a Mac evangelist, trying to communicate the appeal and value of the Apple world to people I knew. It impresses me slightly, then, to see Apple products, now widely adopted by the public (and loved by a certain class of journalists, in particular), not really being appreciated, in some ways, by many.

Here, just some thoughts I had.