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How Apple users travel differently than everyone else
Travel booking website Orbitz lures Mac users toward costly hotels while anticipation mounts for the Apple Passbook
In the world of retail, Apple fanatics are becoming a customer demographic of their own.
Vendors are latching onto the idea that Apple customers are unlike any other and targeting their products to capture the "Apple demographic."
The travel industry is no exception.
Online travel agency Orbitz Worldwide Inc. has started to experiment with treating Mac computer users and PC users differently.
According to the website's transactions, Mac computer users spend as much as 30 percent more on hotels per night than PC users.
So, Orbitz has begun to display more expensive hotels near the top of search results for people who are visiting their site via a Mac.
Half the travelers who book through Orbitz will choose from the top five hotels listed in search results, while 90 percent won't get past the first page.
Also on CNN: Is Orbitz steering Mac users toward pricier hotels?
A sweet-sour taste of Apple
There are signs that, in the future, Apple customers may require even more special handling.
The Apple Passbook is a built-in iPhone app for the eagerly awaited iOS6 that will organize tickets, coupons and loyalty cards. It's another step to fully paperless service.
For example, if you buy a movie ticket online, Passbook will detect when you have arrived at the cinema and your electronic ticket automatically shows up on your phone, ready for scanning.
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Or, if you're at the airport going through customs, Passbook stores your e-ticket on your phone, which can be directly scanned by security.
Passbook will also notify you of gate changes in real time.
For the travel industry, Passbook will become a gateway for reaching targeted Apple customers. It's a potential stumbling block, however, between airlines and the Apple demographic.
Travel research analyst Henry Harteveldt, co-founder of Atmosphere Research Group, told the Air Transport IT Summit in Brussels: “If passengers use Passbook you will have to deal with Apple and pay Apple. Apple is giving you [the airlines] a crack [cocaine] deal. Look at the music business and iTunes. Do you want Apple to have that control over your passengers?"
Apple iOS6 will be available starting this fall.
Also on CNNGo: Hong Kong gets its first Apple Store