Here Come The OS Class Wars: Orbitz Finds Mac Users Spend More On Hotels Than Their PC Counterparts

Tyler Durden's picture

In a finding that many have subliminally known about for years, but never been actually proven, yet is still quite shocking, the WSJ is reporting that tourism portal Orbitz "has found that people who use Apple Inc.'s Mac computers spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels, so the online travel agency is starting to show them different, and sometimes costlier, travel options than Windows visitors see." Which is not really surprising: after all Mac users tend to "see" far pricier computers too, not to mention "buy." As a result, Orbitz has decided to automatically redirect Mac users: aka the rich, but gullible ones, to seeing hotel offers that are more expensive than those seen by PC users by on average $20-$30. Call it OS screening, and call it perfectly acceptable: because it appears, empirically, that Mac users are perfectly ok with spending more than they have to for virtually anything.

From the WSJ:

Orbitz executives confirmed that the company is experimenting with showing different hotel offers to Mac and PC visitors, but said the company isn't showing the same room to different users at different prices. They also pointed out that users can opt to rank results by price.


Orbitz found Mac users on average spend $20 to $30 more a night on hotels than their PC counterparts, a significant margin given the site's average nightly hotel booking is around $100, chief scientist Wai Gen Yee said. Mac users are 40% more likely to book a four- or five-star hotel than PC users, Mr. Yee said, and when Mac and PC users book the same hotel, Mac users tend to stay in more expensive rooms.


"We had the intuition, and we were able to confirm it based on the data," Orbitz Chief Technology Officer Roger Liew said.

As predictive analytics becomes more entrenched, soon phone companies will be charging iPhone users an additional 50% per call, "just because."

The effort underscores how retailers are becoming bigger users of so-called predictive analytics, crunching reams of data to guess the future shopping habits of customers. The goal is to tailor offerings to people believed to have the highest "lifetime value" to the retailer.


Orbitz first confirmed Mac users' preferences in October and began working them into the complicated mix of factors that determine its search results. The effect isn't always obvious. In tests performed by The Wall Street Journal, search results for hotels in cities including Las Vegas, Orlando, Philadelphia and Boston were the same for both Macs and PCs. A New York search turned up more expensive hotels for Mac users, but only after the first 20 listed.

So far this type of order prejudice appears to have only impacted Orbitz.

Rival travel sites Expedia Inc., Inc. and Travelocity, which is a unit of Sabre Holdings Corp., don't use a person's computer operating system when suggesting hotels, spokesmen said. Apple declined to comment.

Of course, now that Orbitz' "platform targetting" has been exposed, the company can say goodbye to its Mac user base. However, this will hardly be the last time that the "aspiration" consumer segment known as the Macerati is targeted:

Apple users already stand out as big spenders. Nearly half of retailers in a recent study by Forrester Research and said users of tablets—a large majority of which are iPads—tend to place bigger online orders than users of laptops or desktops. Shoppers on Apple devices like iPhones also outspend shoppers using Android or BlackBerry devices, accounting for half of all mobile purchases, according to International Business Machines, which tracks data from retailers.


Fashion site Rue La La pays close attention to iPhone and iPad users, who account for 75% of all of its mobile orders, said CEO Ben Fischman.

Which of course means one last thing: soon some journalist will discover that credit card companies targeted Mac users almost exclusively, and that the average Apple buyer is either to their neck in student loans (federally funded of course), or has $25,000 more in credit card debt than the guy next door running PC... and $50,000 more than the guy around the block still slaving under (a far more nimble version of) Linux.

Step aside class, gender and religion wars: here come the OS wars, or who can outspend everyone else, still have the "coolest gadgets", and merely live month to month.

But hey: if one must impress people one doesn't like, and whose operating systems one has no idea how to use, with stuff that makes one spend more money by default, so be it. One doesn't become an aspirational upper-class poseur by not having a Retina screen.

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billsykes's picture

they get their hardware off the same shelf. all they are is a design factory.

tmosley's picture

Good design is the difference between a usable tool and an unusable, unstable pile of shit, then.

Note that Apple pays a premium to pick up the first cuttings from silicone wafers.  Everyone else literally fights over the scraps from their table.

TheMerryPrankster's picture

Apple uses  the same cpu's that pc's use. Intel, they're all cut from the same dies.The only custom chips are in their phones, no one else has access to those chips but Apple. No one fights over the scraps, there are none.

A wafer can only be cut once, all cuttings, are 1st cuttings.

_SILENCER's picture

Divorce cleaned me out so throughly so I probably won't see another real vacation until I'm urinating in a gel-pack diaper, which should be years after the coming collapse and violence. Here's a tip for you younger ZHers--NEVER marry the daughter of a family law judge.


I do however, work in a sea of soybean fueled, Prius driving, NPR guzzling, skiny jeans wearing, newsboy hat owning, Mac user wanktards.  The TV industry is rife with these icompetent clowns, and they have absolutely no clue--whatsoever--of what is going on and the societal terrors that may soon come.  They live in a myopic, distracted, arrogant haze, their noses buried in their iPads and they squeal and smirk with faggotty abandon. They are incapable of making a decision about anything, which leaves us in visual effects having to clean up their goddamn mess. So yes, they're stupid enough to overpay for anything trendy.


I however, pefer to spend my money on guns and guitar gear. Shoot straight and sound huge, all Mac free.

Conrad Murray's picture

"faggotty abandon"


BigMike's picture

+10. LOL'ed. I have an iPhone and I think it's been money well spent. I hate faggots who wear newsboy hats and tell me deficits are no problem because krugman et al. said so.

jeff montanye's picture

i know!  when will the faggots wearing newsboy hats shut up about the deficits being no problem and get back to deconstructing musical theater where they belong?

Seer's picture

Well, I don't feel threatened by "faggots," or by "newsboy hats" for that matter.  Deficits, on the other hand...  If I'm remembering correctly, I seem to recall Dick Cheney telling us (was this before Krugman?) that deficits didn't matter; and, I'm also thinking, despite the fact that one of his offspring has a "gay problem," that Dick Cheney isn't a faggot (nor has been seen wearing a newsboy hat).

Funny, the very high priests of tech that seem to create these "newsboy hat-wearing faggots" are idolized, while the underlings aren't.  Divide and conquer...

tmosley's picture

You sure you just don't pretend that is the way they are to make yourself feel superior, due to your utter failure in every other aspect of your life?

Suggest you tell the bitch to pound sand, go buy a Macbook, and leave the US so she can't get at your money.

Mr. Fix's picture

The fools you describe are obviously not Zero Hedge readers.

kekekekekekeke's picture

wow you sound like a champ

blogging about economic collapse from my 4 year old macbook

YHC-FTSE's picture

+1 Thanks for the laughs. But it's not what you use, but what you do with it, no? Our own WB7 uses a Mac I think. But yeah, none of this should come as a surprise to anyone remotely interested in computers. 


Apple users are about to be fleeced by the company they love (again). Apparently the new iphone 5 will have docking ports that will be incompatible with all the expensive peripherals and accessories they've been buying. It's the oldest trick in the book to rip off customers.

rufusbird's picture

I am determined linx user, but as I recall, about 20 years ago Apple had a lock on the graphics industry. Every print shop in town used Apple for graphics. It became embedded in their culture....

FieldingMellish's picture

"Which of course means one last thing: soon some journalist will discover that credit card companies targeted Mac users almost exclusively, and that the average Apple buyer is either to their neck in student loans (federally funded of course), or has $25,000 more in credit card debt than the guy next door running PC... and $50,000 more than the guy around the block still slaving under (a far more nimble version of) Linux."




they make more money.

piliage's picture

Here is what I see in my line of work.

1) The communications and marketing people all have apple

2) The engineers, researchers, and C-suite generally have PCs

3) upper management still mostly use blackberry (corporate standard)

4) XP is still the most popular OS by far, at least from our hard login data.


bob_dabolina's picture

The only people more annoying than red sox fans are apple users.

stock trout's picture

Maybe this explains why I see so many Motel 6 and Walmart ads on my PC running Windows Vista.

Escapeclaws's picture

Thanks for the laugh! Most of what people regard as funny around here doesn't do it for me. Funny thing a sense of humor is.

JuicedGamma's picture

Shit, ZH has degenarated into OS wars. 


chinaguy's picture

Herr Saft-Gamma

The site was solid w/ traders for about 4 months (over 3 years ago) and it always happens w/ blogs the...mouth breathers took over & those w/ expensive time went else where because it was not worth filtering through the crap to find anything worth while - sorry TD....Fight Club

jeff montanye's picture

some truth to what you say but the articles are still quite good. 

JuicedGamma's picture


And it wasn't me that -1 you.

tmosley's picture

Why the sarc tag?  This is bullshit of the utmost degree.  The world is falling apart around us, and Tyler thought it would be a good idea to introduce a fucking bullshit wedge issue.

TN Jed's picture

Who doesn't have time for a good nerd fight?

tmosley's picture

We MAKE time by taking away from productive activities.

Thanks Tyler.

TN Jed's picture

We understand the urgency but I'm sure most of us have given ample warning and information to all who would listen and even to some who would rather not.  What's on your mind?  What world riddle can we solve tonight which hasn't had the proper thread?  Tonight, its nerd fights on my $600 sexbox and gale force winds on my balcony. I love a parade.

LeisureSmith's picture

I see plenty macboys with "faggotty abandon" as silencer so aptly put it but i think it has more to do with people suffering from upgrade syndrome, invented by the car industry, now pushed hard(est) by apple. Nothing gets old fast like stupid people wanting the newest shit all the time. My white little critter has served me for 10 years and the only thing i had to do was to change a fan and do some dust busting and i intend to use it until it dies.

bullwinkle's picture

Macs -  Computers for Dummies.

Consider a Formula 1 team.  From CAD/CAM to CFD do you think they're running Macs?

If any team did, they would be showing up trying to qualify a wheelbarrow.

The world runs on Windows and manages their music libary on Macs.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Bootcamp bytchez!

...or Fusion.

tmosley's picture

Of course, because we save so much money in support and repairs over the years.


Why are we having a Mac vs. PC thread like this is fucking /b/?

chinaguy's picture

Cause they are "doing a show".........

SolidSnake961's picture

hahahaha this is so damn funny!! this is why i dont own any apple products

Zymurguy's picture

It's like the Dems vs. the Reps argument here... meh, they're all shitty.

Unfortunately, just like our two party system, I have to use both at work and at home... so much for choice.

So, despite the bullshit PC vs. Mac banter which has already filled up 1/2 of the fooking blogs on the interweb, this article was worthwhile.  If I ever am inclined to use Orbitz I'll only do so from the PC...

Thanks TD!!!

walcott's picture

Mac = enlightenment

PC's really suck big time. Perhaps the only absolute truth.

tmosley's picture

It's not that Mac is so great, it's just that everyone else sucks.

I get annoyed with my Macs on a fairly regular basis, but they work.  Unlike the PCs I have had in my life, which included several that I built myself, and those that I ran Linux on.

TheMerryPrankster's picture

OSX is just a custom port of BSD Unix. The CPU's on Macs & Windows machines are nearly all Intel 8086 family clones, They use the same memory, the same memory bus, northbridge,southtbridge etc.

its splitting fucking hairs. once a Mac was a mile from a pc, but now they are so similar, its like fighting over politics, 2 parties, essentially the same, beholden to the same interests, lying to the world. Choose the one that resonates and live in your dream world.

99% of the computers sold today are only used for web surfing.Does the OS or hardware really matter?

tmosley's picture

It does when one gets a bunch of viruses, and is forced to run AV software 100% of the time, reducing performance.  It does when one is filled with bloatware that hurts performance.  It does when one doesn't sandbox operations, making total system lockups more likely than single application crashes.

Get the picture?

Zone1's picture

It just shows how stupid Mac users are.  You don't get Starwood/HHonors/etc points for hotel stays booked on Orbitz.  I'm a PC user and use Orbitz to find what is the best hotel / airline fare then book directly.  So you Mac users can suck my dick as a chill out at the St. Regis Princeville for free.

jeff montanye's picture

all of that for free or just the dick sucking?

walcott's picture

PC's = soviet technology.

_SILENCER's picture

And...that meme that Steve "Hey look I bought someone's goddamn liver" Jobs Machines are the only way to go in TV/Film production is utter horseshit. That's for the worms in editorial that can't tell a story in a coherent fashion and the aforementioned wanktards running around the lots in their golf carts while listening to Coldplay in their sissy white earbuds.

We render some gnarly shit on these Chernobyl powered windows boxes, and to have same furnace under the hood with an Apple machine would be staggeringly cost prohibitive, not to mention the OS would have a little goddamn smiley face welcoming you into its sassy, plaid shirt, horn rimmed glasses, three day stubble embrace.

I'm no windows evangelist, I think Gates is a eugenicist creep and his product is snorting NSA cock snot just as wantonly as Facebook and Google, but shit the bed, folks, at least the hardware doesn't cost a goddamn fortune.

I fuckig hate iTunes, too. I DO enjoy a good 1911, Bulliet Bourbon and a porterhouse the size of my alimony obligations.

CaptainObvious's picture

Fuck, Silencer.  I laughed so hard at that one I think I bruised a kidney.  +1000

TrainWreck1's picture

This is the sort of ongoing disagreement that ultimately led to Rodney King's demise.

I guess we just can't all get along.

* posting through tears *


jeff montanye's picture

he had me at render some gnarly shit.  the chernobyl reference was gravy.

no one here is overcompensating for self doubt are they?

walcott's picture

PC stands for peoples computer. Can't get more totalitarian government issue than that.


Matt's picture

Personal Computer. Meaning one person using one computer. As opposed to a bunch of dumb terminals connected to a central server.

nonsense75's picture

As a 4th generational native Californian and a computer savvy one at that, someone whose first computer was an Apple greenscreen at the age of 4, someone who is quite proud of my education, level of tolerance, compassion, etc. --- I'm going to be quite frank with everyone.

I want to punch every last smug UGLY self appointed rockstar hipster who attends the sick cult of Apple worship in the same way the stinky "nonmaterliastic FREELOADING flowerchildren" voting majority were devoted to the sick cult of Lennon worship.  These waste of flesh and oxygen @$$fucks are useless polisci major flunkies who barely know the origin of not their nationality but their friggin species with his neathandral nose in the air walking around with Mac on his person.  The girls are not so bad, the pricks on the other hand need a knucklesandwich like their lives depended on it.  They're all insulin resistant, greasy, bi-sexual, BORING @$$ f*cks with horrible, pitiful taste in entertainment- in as much so that they must have 10-20 eyesight and be legally deaf.  

If I need an upgrade, I will run to Japan to find a superior product that will meet MY needs.  Because that's what marketing is, bringing the service to meet your needs in exchange for currency.  There's a reason why these methed out Perez Hilton wannabes never got accepted into basketweaving courses, let alone business classes.  You actually have to get your fat head out of your wide ass to understand something outside of yourself, which is the organic DEMAND of the demographics you need to sell your goods to. 

I don't want your stupid Iphone that has no Sirius.  I don't text.  I hate texting.  I write emails and call people.  

As a matter of fact, I'll take a product made by Sony or Nokia any day and I will have a Korean repair my stuff before my eyes go blind for three days by looking at the Bitter know nothing but charge everything Geek Squad Apple cultist receptor.

Don't get me wrong.  I AM willing to spend the money.  I am willing to do the dirty work, I set up my first computer in college and yes it was just a tad harder than Ikea.  

But my shit needs to work above all else or somebody dies. Hmmmkay?  

I hate the miserable gay hipster good for nothing buzzkill pukes.  I hate them.