This is right at the edge of recollection for me, but my memories of Australian, Pacific & SE Asian general aviation in the 60s & 70s are that the Apache was largely reviled as underpowered & not suitable for even slightly marginal conditions or use. It was never spoken of highly by pilots.
The Beechcraft (in the above markets) was almost certainly more expensive to buy, more expensive to maintain, somewhat fragile, & considered a nicer, more up-market aircraft. I remember them as having a much more luxurious interior to Pipers & Cessnas. It's possible they were better soundproofed.
The Aztecs, on the other hand, were everywhere. Government departments, flying schools, charter operations, 3rd level transport, aerial survey, mail delivery, inter-island services, you name it.
They were sturdy & sufficiently well-powered enough to deal with short, unpleasant airstrips regularly, while carrying maximum loads. They were reliable, & usually well-liked by pilots & operators.
This niche was (sort of) shared with the slightly larger mid-sized 4xx Cessna twins & Britten Norman Islanders, but I recall few Barons.