ChangeWave Research asked 2,297 consumers if they would be “less likely” to purchase an Apple product now that Steve Jobs has retired. Of those surveyed, 4% said that they would be less likely to buy an Apple product, but 89 percent said it would have “no effect” on their decision to purchase an Apple product.
The number of users who say that they would not buy an Apple product after Steve Jobs left the company has dropped from 18% in 2008, and 7% in February of 2011.
ChangeWave states that the reduction in defectors can be attributed to the numerous leaves of absence that Steve Jobs took over the past few years. But there’s something more basic at play here. Two things actually.
First off, it’s one thing to say you will do something at a point in the future. It’s another to actually do it when you are able to. Back in 2008, and even earlier this year, saying you would stop buying Apple products if Steve Job’s left is easy compared to actually stopping now that Jobs has left.
Second, and perhaps more important, most consumers don’t care who is running Apple so long as the iPhone 5 and new MacBooks deliver a stellar user experience and great looks. While you can attribute much of that to Steve Jobs, many consumers will see it as a product of Apple as a whole. Which is how things work for many other companies.
According to a recent survey, 31% of users are likely, or somewhat likely, to purchase the iPhone 5 when it is released, an increase over the interest for the iPhone 4. This too can be skewed by the ease of saying you would take an action before you actually can, so the only way to tell how Apple will fare in a post-Jobs future is by looking at how consumers respond with their cash.