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Schweb's Lounge Forum for general conversation, chit chat, or most topics that don't fit in another forum.

"Macs are overpriced!" An Economics Lesson?


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Jerichoa

 
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Everyone knows that the pricing of a good or service is what helps ration it out. The biggest complaint I hear from non, supposedly would-be Mac users is that Macs are overpriced. However, the equilibrium price set by the market is higher than their individual equilibrium price. They also fail to recognize the fact that even an entry level Macbook is going to be better to use than your typical, Wal-Mart HP (I used to have one).

Before receiving my Macbook Pro, I went on Dell's "build your own DELL WAAAHHH!" website and had almost identical specs for my dream Dell as I do for my MBP. The Dell costed slightly MORE than my MBP did. Yes, I was shocked too. A similarly equipped Dell would cost MORE than the Macbook Pro? That's not even getting what you pay for, in my opinion. I think, if you choose the Dell, you're getting less. However, I am biased.

What I'm saying is, I don't think Macbooks are overpriced. And if you think you are and you buy one, then you completely defy one of the basic rules of economics. The only people Macs seem to be overpriced to are the ones who don't understand the quality and performance of a Mac, dislike Macs, and/or aren't even in the market for a Mac (which renders their argument VOID).

I suppose I could also get into total utilities, marginal utilities and such, but I won't bore you all too much. Does anyone understand what I'm saying, though? If you want what a Mac has to offer (simple use, sleek design, practically virus-resistant, great graphics, speed, unique programs, the memory and RAM. etc.), then you aren't overpaying for it. If you bought anything less than what you wanted, THEN you would be screwing yourself over.

Price determines who gets a Mac and who doesn't. Stop. Complaining.

(This is very rough, and not as detailed as I would like for it to be, but I don't want to have a post so long that it turns people away from reading it.)
toMACsh

 
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Also, the increased maintenance required for Windows comes at a direct cost; anti-virus software, for example...
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Don't believe everything you are told. High end machines are always much of a muchness. In this life you very much get what you pay for as you have discovered.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerichoa View Post
Before receiving my Macbook Pro, I went on Dell's "build your own DELL WAAAHHH!" website and had almost identical specs for my dream Dell as I do for my MBP. The Dell costed slightly MORE than my MBP did.
I certainly agree with you...but just to be fair & balanced...did that "dream Dell" have any features not included or available for the MacBook Pro? For example a Blue-ray optical drive, better video hardware, etc.

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We've had several threads that cover this topic. It has been shown many times that the lower end Macbooks and Macbook Pros are priced competitively. When you're looking at the 17" Macbook Pro or the Mac Pro, then the Macs are certainly overpriced.


June 2007
July 2009
Jerichoa

 
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toMACsh, that's something I probably should've figured into the cost of a PC--The cost of Antivirus software, the cost of repairs, the opportunity cost of time lost due to computer failures, and lower productivity. I only had my Acer for a year, and it blue screened, I don't know... Five or six times? Indeed. And all I used it for was research papers, word processing, e-mail, and Facebook. Hardly any time was spent on Facebook, though. I don't think it was that great of a computer, though. My dad had an HP that got some sort of virus that killed it. He'd only had it for about a year and four months. He's still got it hooked up to the charger and is trying to boot it every day. I and four or five other people have told him that all attempts are futile, but he's just so obstinate. We had Norton on both computers, and even spent quite a bit of time getting rid of viruses, but I guess we, um... Failed.


harryb2448, I think my biggest problems are that the high-end PCs I have used do get offensively slow and the virus issue. Especially the virus issue. You'd think they could figure out some way to make them more secure. Not perfect, but more secure at least. I know the newer Windows operating systems are better, but I've still had problems with several XP and Vista computers (my family seems to fly through them, as evidenced in my above reply). I haven't had the joy of trying Windows 7, but I'd like to some time. I really love the gigantic taskbar/dock. Anyway, if I was still petrified of Macs, I would certainly pay more for a much more secure, nearly Mac-like protected-by-its-own-nature PC. You BET! But, that hasn't been an option, yet. I would like to get my hands on a PC with Windows 7, though... But I wouldn't want to buy one. Haha, there's price rationing at work again.


Pigoo3, surprisingly... NO. The only changes that I recall making were additional hard drive capacity and more RAM. The only upgrades I really need pertain to memory, since I do a lot of writing and photography.

Kash, the only reason I wouldn't say that the larger Macs aren't overpriced is because people still buy them. I'm sure people would like larger displays and such, but if it's not worth the additional money required to get a larger Mac, then they're better off spending the money to get a 13" Macbook Pro or Macbook and using the extra money to go to a spa or get a gym membership-- Whatever yields them a total utility. If someone willingly purchases something and feels they overpaid for it, then there's something wrong with them (unless there was a gun being pointed at them).

Thanks for the responses, everyone!
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I found the same thing when I was thinking about switching to the mac. The specs were about the same, but I think the mac was a little more. I factored in the cost of software in my calculations and the mac was a little more expensive.

Course I ended up getting a refurbished model and the mac ended up cheaper.

I was not sure i believed the less maintenance angle at the time that I was told about. I was certainly tired of fixing my PC.

I also took into consideration the time to remove the software that comes bundled with the Dell and that my machine would start off fragmented. It may not seem like a big deal, but at the time it was to me.
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With the Dell you get your machine and Windows 7. And that's about it.

But with the MBP you get:
The MBP

OS X

Access to the Apple Genius

Access to the Apple knowledge base on the Apple website (Sure you don't have to own a Mac to access this. But you'll be very glad it's there when you have a Mac.)

1 year support/warranty (the 3year one we all know costs extra)
A personal assistant to guide you through your purchase. I bought my imac online 4 years ago and I was assigned an Apple staff member I could email and contact any time for advice and even asked me was I happy with my purchase. A nice touch.

The knowledge that any issues with the OS or apps will be promptly patched. Yeah even most 3rd party Mac developers are quick to patch their apps.

ilife

And probably more. I think you get my point. Add in all of that to your Dell notebook and you'd see the cost is way more than your MBP.
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Owning my 17" MBP now for 2 and a half years:
0 hardware failures
0 crashes of the OS
0 crashes of an application
0 failing updates
0 seconds of worrying about incompatible software, registry clean, defragmentation
0 messages with " not enough memory "
A huge increase in productivity with ' out of the box ' applications
My battery still gives me 3 full hours of juice
Cheap OS upgrade
Cheap productivity tools
Only needed 4 x 3rd party apps to provide me the full set of productivity tools I needed

As this is my first Mac, knowing past experiences with Windows/PC's , my purchase was not ' overpriced '
Life is good !

Update: To be complete ... My Time Capsule died on me at 18 months, was replaced for free.

Cheers ... McBie

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the8thark

 
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McBie: Yeah most people do have no issues with their Mac.

For me in the 20 years I've own a mac. Yes I owned one before I started school at 6 years old. I had these issues:

1x failed/dead cd rom drive (in a 5 flavour imac about 3 years old at the time)
1x failed hard drive in my current 17' imac. It was replaced when it was about 3.5 years old)
2 or 3 kernal panics from a dodgy blank CD.

And that's it in like 20 years of owning macs. And that's tiny compared to what some people have in 5 years of owning Non Apple PCs. So I think myself lucky. I had the hard drive die like 3 months after I bought my external hard drive for Time Machine. So I was lucky. But it taught me the lesson back up regularly.

And yes was my Mac overpriced? No way. I'm glad I paid $1600 for it at the time. I thought I got a good deal.
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I have an i7 920, with a 1.8GB Nvidia GTX 295, 6GB of RAM, DVD Burner, Blu Ray Burner, and other high end components that I built for about $1700. I've had Window 7 on it since it was built in October of '09. I've never had a virus and never had it crash. I also have another very popular OS on it as well. Something I experimented with. Both OS's are very stable and I have a computer that when benchmarked by others with the same setup compares to a Mac Pro that cost about $4000.

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When I see someone spend that much time trying to defend the high prices of macbooks... I can only assume they are trying to justify the fact that they paid too much for their computer.

Just to be fair, I pulled up a low end macbook 13... compared it to a low end Dell (had to be 14 inch because they don't have any 13 inchers at the moment)... The lowly Dell cost a whopping $699, and had an extra inch of display... Oh it it also had a faster processor than the Mac... the poor old Dell was 2.53.... And this compared to a macbook which would cost you $1299 and come with a slower processor (2.4) and yes that $1299 is higher than the $999 you might expect, but I had to increase the hard drive and memory to make it equal to the Dell. So please, don't spread lies about how fairly priced a Mac is... If you want to lie to yourself to make you fell better about what you paid, feel free, but don't do it to others they might not check your facts.

As you can see Mac's are over priced for what you get.. not just at the high end but also at the low end. Hardware to Hardware on Windows machines you will see that Macs are overpriced.

Apple of course tries to hide this by bundling their operating system with the Mac which creates more smoke between a real price comparison, because they claim their operating system is special.... so lets remove the software from the equation. The $699 Dell had windows 7 home premium on it, that software retails for $199... so we can assume the hardware costs $500.... Now take your 1299 Macbook and pull the Snow Leopard off of it... that's $169 for the Snow Leopard and Iworks stuff... so Apples Hardware is going to cost you $1,130....

So why not get down to the basics... Explain why intel processors and such from Apple should be 1,130 when Dell can sell them for $500... that's more than a 100% markup for having them come in a white plastic case.

And I wont even bother to try and price in the fact that A dell comes with TWO buttons instead of only one...

Now do I own a Mac? Yes, I have 3... but I know that they were over priced. I'm just not going to try and spread a bunch of BS to rationalize it. Just like I wouldn't try to spread a bunch of BS to try and justify the cost of real Rolex compared to a high quality fake. It is what it is... and as long as people are willing to pay more for it they will gladly continue selling it at inflated prices... no complicated economic theory required... its called GREED... and if you are a shareholder of Apple then "Greed is good".
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the8thark View Post
McBie: Yeah most people do have no issues with their Mac.

For me in the 20 years I've own a mac. Yes I owned one before I started school at 6 years old. I had these issues:

1x failed/dead cd rom drive (in a 5 flavour imac about 3 years old at the time)
1x failed hard drive in my current 17' imac. It was replaced when it was about 3.5 years old)
2 or 3 kernal panics from a dodgy blank CD.

And that's it in like 20 years of owning macs. And that's tiny compared to what some people have in 5 years of owning Non Apple PCs. So I think myself lucky. I had the hard drive die like 3 months after I bought my external hard drive for Time Machine. So I was lucky. But it taught me the lesson back up regularly.

And yes was my Mac overpriced? No way. I'm glad I paid $1600 for it at the time. I thought I got a good deal.
Considering Macs and PCs are all born from the same chips and circuits now and all come from the same sweatshops in China, I have to think that quality control for a Mac is no better or worse than the quality control of a PC... I have had both macs and PCs since 1980... I've never had a mac that didn't develop a problem as it aged... never, eventually something on it failed. I've also had some PC's that ran perfectly until I put them out to pasture. So if I only based it on my experience, the Mac would not only be an over priced computer but also a less dependable one.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas998 View Post
Considering Macs and PCs are all born from the same chips and circuits now and all come from the same sweatshops in China, I have to think that quality control for a Mac is no better or worse than the quality control of a PC... I have had both macs and PCs since 1980... I've never had a mac that didn't develop a problem as it aged... never, eventually something on it failed. I've also had some PC's that ran perfectly until I put them out to pasture. So if I only based it on my experience, the Mac would not only be an over priced computer but also a less dependable one.
Like problems I had with crooked keys, messed up screens, dead OS installs, etc... I've owned 3 MBP's within the past 3 years.

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lol, i honestly don't are that much. my first mac is my 27". next time around i'll go all out and get the top of the line one. personal satisfaction can justify any price. while an imac might be too expensive for one person, another may not have an issue footing the bill. if it makes you happy, then i suppose it was worth the price.

maybe it's all in my head, but i feel as though i'm buying something of quality when i drop the coin on something "expensive" (my imac and MBP specifically). like i said though, i hear all sides of the story when it comes to mac pricing, and regardless of how good/bad, i am a satisfied customer. call me a sucker if you like, it doesn't hurt my feelings.

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