Apple’s Influence Survey: Power May Lead to Questionable Business Practices

The Department of Justice recently filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five major book publishers for allegedly conspiring to fix prices of e-books. Apple has been steadily growing and gaining influence for years, but could this lawsuit change people’s perception of the company and eliminate some of the trust they’ve gained through the years? Do Americans think that Apple is just too powerful?

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Opinions on Apple

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 20% of respondents described their overall opinion of Apple as a company as very positive, 35% said they have a positive opinion of Apple, 38% are neutral, while just 5% said they have a negative opinion of Apple and 2% said they have a very negative opinion of Apple.

45% of respondents said that their overall opinion of Apple as a company has been steady. 41% said that their opinion of Apple has been steadily growing, and 7% said that their opinion of Apple has been steadily growing but is starting to decrease. 6% said their opinion of Apple has been steadily decreasing, and 2% said their opinion of Apple has been decreasing but is starting to increase.

Some Americans form their opinions about Apple by following news stories and second-hand information, and others have actually owned Apple products. 19% of respondents said they currently own several Apple products, 23% own one Apple product, 13% said they don’t own any Apple products, but they have in the past, and 44% said they have never owned an Apple product. Surprisingly, 24% of those from the age group of 18-24 have never owned an Apple product.

Apple’s Influence

Many opinions of Apple have been growing, but has Apple’s influence been growing as well? 35% of respondents said they think Apple’s influence has been steadily growing and will stay steady, 33% said they believe Apple’s influence has been steadily growing and will continue increasing, 11% believe it has been steadily growing but will start to decrease and just 4% of respondents believe Apple’s influence has been shrinking.

Only 2% of respondents said that Apple is not very powerful in the business community as a whole. 39% said Apple is somewhat powerful, 36% said Apple is very powerful, and 6% believe that Apple is too powerful within the business community.

Apple’s influence on the US economy as a whole might be a slightly different story. 3% of respondents feel that Apple is not very powerful within the US economy, 44% believe Apple is somewhat powerful, 29% believe Apple is very powerful, and 6% believe that Apple is too powerful within the US economy as a whole.

What effect does Apple’s size and influence have on people’s trust? 12% of respondents said they tend to trust large, powerful companies over small businesses, 25% of respondents said they tend to trust smaller businesses over large, powerful companies, and 63% of respondents said that a company’s size has no impact on their opinion. Those with no college education tend to trust larger companies more (45%) and those with some college education tend to trust smaller companies (40%).

DOJ Lawsuit

As for the recent lawsuit against Apple and several book publishers, 71% aren’t even aware of the situation. Those who are, however, may be changing their opinions of Apple. 29% of respondents who’ve heard of the DOJ lawsuit said that it has slightly changed their opinions of Apple negatively, with 31% of those being aged 45-54,  44% of respondents said that it has not changed their opinions of Apple at all, and just 5% of respondents said that the DOJ lawsuit has drastically changed their opinion of Apple negatively. 12% are still undecided.

Overall, 33% of respondents said they believe that Apple’s overall power and influence may lead to questionable business practices by Apple in the future with 49% of those being male, while 54% of women report they do not believe Apple’s influence may lead to questionable business paractices. 32% of respondents believe that Apple’s overall power and influence may lead to questionable business practices by others in the future.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Apple store Shinsaibashi from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on April 20 from 1,000 consumer respondents via AYTM’s online survey panel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Pilon
Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.