We should begin by looking at the fundamental differences between PCs and Apple computers. PCs are manufactured by a whole host of different computer makers like Dell, HP and Lenovo to name a few and the operating system is mostly Microsoft Windows unless you are using an open source operating system like Ubuntu. This means that the operating systems have to work with an almost unlimited combination or configuration of PCs out there. Conversely Apple designs and manufactures the operating system and the hardware. This means they are in complete control and design both to work well together. This “closed” system has its advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side the hardware and software are designed to work together and could provide better usability and stability. The negative side Apple computers can be more expensive to buy and maintain. Read on to see what is better for you.
Determining which type of computer will be best for your business
The debate over whether a person should purchase a Mac or a PC is a long standing one. There are those that are avid PC users and those which are diehard Mac users. And while these two groups may have their loyalties set, for the small business owner who just wants to have the best computer for his or her needs, it is important to understand some of the considerations you should take when deciding PC or Mac.
Will you need technical support often?
If you foresee that you will need IT support (and you do not have your own tech support) or that your computer skills may cause you to call customer service quite often, it would be advised that you choose a PC. The reason for this is due to the multitude of professionals that can offer services for repairs, tech support, and training. Apple computers are a bit more restrictive in who will work on them and who will train you to use them, especially if you live in a rural area. Apple does offer assistance during the warranty period and paid support plans thereafter but you are a little more limited in choice when choosing who provides on-going support. Urban environments, specifically the major cities, are less prone to a differentiating factor between the PC and Mac support but wherever you are keep the on-going support and maintenance in mind. Lastly, the cost of spare parts can be more expensive on Apple macs and could cost you more in maintenance costs.
Does your software support a Mac or a PC?
Redundant as it may sound, I have seen a great many people decide to switch from a PC to a Mac or a Mac to a PC only to find that their existing software is no longer compatible with the computer as the operating systems are completely different. For programs on a perpetual license, this may require you to purchase subscription software to accommodate the new computer. There are ways to run PC software on a Mac but it´s not really the way to go if possible. If you are moving to a new computer (PC or Mac) then it´s probably time to change to more up to date software and say goodbye to your computer as most likely the software may no longer be supported.
Are you performing graphic art and visuals or just need something to keep the books straight?
Apple computers are mainly used by those in the graphic arts, music and film industries. True, there are other professionals who prefer the Mac, but it is the graphic arts, the animators, the layout artist, music producers etc. that get the most out of the performance, visuals and active community of Apple Mac users. If you are looking to just keep your books up and to have a computer to do basic typing on then a standard PC will do the job perfectly well and is much less expensive. Prices of PCs and laptops have come down so much that you can easily buy a good laptop from a well known manufacturer like Hewlett Packard for just a few hundred pounds.
Keep in mind that computers and technology evolve quickly.
One of the downsides to owning a PC is that the upgrades and the technology evolve very rapidly. As a professional, you should buy a new computer every 2 to 5 years to ensure that you keep up with the changes in the technology. Mac computers do have new versions quite often as well, but the older computers do tend to hold their own for longer periods of time. While I would not suggest keeping a computer for 10 years or so, it may be more beneficial to a business to have Mac computers if they are not planning on doing upgrades for a while.
Who will be using the computer?
Perhaps one of the greatest considerations in deciding whether you should purchase a PC or a Mac is in the answer to this question. If your computer is to be used by the public, then I would go with a PC as more people are familiar with the navigation and the components of such systems. As more people are used to using Windows PCs it can be that new employees need less computer training as they have probably been working on PCs. If your business is creative, design, music, film then the opposite is probably true.
Consider the cost
There is a bit of truth in the saying “you get what you pay for”. However, there is also a tremendous amount of truth in the assumption that you are paying for a brand and an icon. PC computers range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand depending on the brand and the features you wish to have. Mac computers are (if you buy a decent one) are rarely lower than 1000 pounds and tend to go way beyond this price point. Small businesses that do not have the funds to allocate on computers, software and upkeep may find the PC to be a cheaper solution. In support of Apple computers, the hardware tends to be good and there can be nicer to use in terms of aesthetics.
A final note
The bottom line is that you should weigh the pros and cons of each section and then apply it to your specific needs. There are a great many PCs that could rival the graphics of a Mac, for example, Alienware. At the same time, Macs have some advantages over the PCs such as the fact that Macs tend to be less affected by viruses and malware. Visually, PCs are typically not seen as being chic and modern but rather a tool to complete a job. Macs tend to be considered the elite in many cases with Apple marketing the computers design as such.
Get a computer which is easy for you to use, will not strain your budget, and will meet the demands of the business and the public you are serving. Whether that is a PC or a Mac is up to you.