It's not just marketing, it's making products that work and do feel and look good. In spite all the limitations that any itemized feature check-list of apple products vs the competition will show, I have chosen apple products a couple of times.
The last istuff i bought was an iphone to replace my Motorola razr. I wanted a nokia N900, until a saw it had the thickness of a pack of cigars with a proce tag close to the iphone. I could have fun with linux on the nokia, but fun only lasts for a while especially for a thick heavy phone. Size does matter for a phone and a thick heavy phone would lay forotten most of the time in my backpack.
Why is there no serious competition? Are all competitors secret Apple fan boys? Why is it the the apple line of laptops look cool and sober and PC laptops have 10 stickers, a miss-match of random useless applications pre-installed and blinding leds and chrome all over? I am writing this on a 6 moth HP elite book that I quite enjoy and is not that bad, but it still looks like a farm tractor next to my wife's macbook pro.