Linked by Kroc Camen on Tue 15th Jun 2010 10:03 UTC
Apple Apple have updated the Mac Mini. It now sports an aluminium (no, I am not going to spell it "aluminum") enclosure, an HDMI port, an internal PSU (no power-brick!) and oddly, an SD card slot in the back. There's also an access hole on the bottom to change the RAM easily.
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RE[3]: UK Price
by jackeebleu on Tue 15th Jun 2010 13:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: UK Price"
jackeebleu
Member since:
2006-01-26

You are right, you can not buy and complain about the price, but again WHY? Why complain that a Bentley or a Lear Jet is expensive? You wont be accessing one anytime soon. So its a moot point at best. Is Apple forcing you to purchase any of their products? I dont think so. So good sir, is your point to solely to troll? Apple, like any other product releases items for sale, you have the inherent freedom to plunk down your hard owned or socially donated govt funds over to them in exchange for the product. But comparing a Ford Ka to Bentley Continental GT on the basis of price, accomplishes exactly what you are doing; missing the point. Look! Over there! Could it be?!?! It's a bridge! You know what to do with that don't you?

Reply Parent Score: -2

RE[4]: UK Price
by Neolander on Tue 15th Jun 2010 13:39 in reply to "RE[3]: UK Price"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

People who say that Apple hardware is over-expensive compared with other similar computers are often accused of missing some hypothetic point. However, I think I've never seen somebody explaining seriously and without introducing a pure troll or some kind of false information what said point is...

Edited 2010-06-15 13:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: UK Price
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 15th Jun 2010 16:16 in reply to "RE[4]: UK Price"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Apple doesn't update its product line very often, so this is what happens and how they maximize their profits.

Phase 1: New product introduction
=> Product is usually priced at a small premium over competing products.
=> Apple touts the superiority of its hardware over the competition. May or may not be true.

Phase 2: six months later
=> hardware prices drop across the industry, competitors lower prices and increase hardware specs.
=> Apple doesn't change pricing or specs. Now a really deal
=> Marketing doesn't change still compares hardware and price to that at time of launch ignoring new pricing and hardware of existing clients.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: UK Price
by Tony Swash on Tue 15th Jun 2010 17:47 in reply to "RE[4]: UK Price"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

People who say that Apple hardware is over-expensive compared with other similar computers are often accused of missing some hypothetic point. However, I think I've never seen somebody explaining seriously and without introducing a pure troll or some kind of false information what said point is...


That's because you suffer from TAC.

The Techie Apple Conundrum (TAC)

The TAC arises often on sites such as OSNews because the attraction of Apple products, and hence Apple's huge success as a company, is dependent on features and aspects of product design invisible to almost all Techies. Thus Apples success is mysterious, vexing and ultimately challenging.

Techies for example often focus on feature lists and technical specifications and compare one such list to another and look at comparative prices and cannot understand that someone would pay more for an "inferior" spec.

This of course misses a critical aspect of Apple product design, one of the keys to the success of Apple in the consumer market, which is that for many (perhaps most) consumers having fewer technical features is a positive thing. This seems paradoxical to Techies but this is because they fail to comprehend what the actual experience for the vast majority of consumers of hi-tech products actually is - which is bad.

Consumers constantly encounter products that don't work as advertised, products that squeeze so many functions into an item that using it for its main purposes is dreadfully complex, products that even when their function should be simple (i.e. to play music, to play a DVD, to surf the web, to write emails) require a thick user manual (many of which which are often written by engineers and are thus unhelpful).

Most hi-tec products are user-unfriendly for most consumers. But not to Techies because they have technical knowledge and so can cope with poor/arcane design. In fact Techies like such products because they find technical challenges fun and because it makes them useful (they are always helping people solve their technical problems) and thus boosts their self esteem.

Some kit, almost all non-Apple desktop computers for example, are not just difficult and poorly designed but are positively scary for almost all consumers. Many non-Apple desktop computers seem very complex to operate, go wrong for no clearly understood reasons and worst of all seem to be under constant attack. Watching someone move from a non-Apple desktop computer to a Mac you can often see them slowly losing their awful, and most of the times paralysing, fear of infection and attack. As the fear fades the pleasure of using their computer increases dramatically and people start to love their computers rather than secretly hating them. Thus another mac-head is born.

The emblematic product for TAC is the iPad. Here is a product that comes on instantly, looks and feels gorgeous, feels fast, is easy to operate and does (in a fantastically convenient form factor) most of what most people do most of the time on their computer (ie browse the web, send emails, watch movies, read stuff and look at and share photos). Plus it has two huge benefits for most consumers. First it doesn't feel like a computer - this is a good thing for most people because most people's experience of using computers has been bad. Secondly it feels very safe because of Apple's curated computing model, and most users of computers have previously felt unsafe most of the time.

The very reasons that make the iPad such a huge success are the very reasons that Techies don't get it. If one product above all induces TAC its the iPad. Techies say "but Apple has an iron grip and is killing our freedoms" (people want safety much more than some obscure technical freedom), "the iPad doesn't have [insert any number of features that consumers don't care about]", "its not a real computer" (exactly).

So the continuing, relentless and accelerating success of Apple seems almost inexplicable to most Techies, "how could such products be so successful?"

The answer Techies come up are fairly predictable:

- Apple's voodoo marketing: Apple is pulling the wool over the consumer eyes (sometimes this is blamed on media hype).

- Apple's evil lock in: Apple has a locked down and closed platform, once sucked in people can't leave.

- Apple consumers and users are idiots: Fooled by marketing and glitzy packaging the sheep can be sold everything.

Because Techies believe that these are the real reason people buy Apple products (other than the more obvious reason which is that they actually like them a lot) Techies also believe that this state of affairs cannot possibly last and therefore the final piece of the Techie response to Apple falls into place. Deranged by TAC Techies often come up with the most delusional statement of all - Apple is doomed.


Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[5]: UK Price
by jackeebleu on Tue 15th Jun 2010 17:56 in reply to "RE[4]: UK Price"
jackeebleu Member since:
2006-01-26

The point is a simple one really. People are always mentioning comparable PC pricing to what a mac offers.

Here in the states, the only version of the specified Acer includes these specs:

AR3610-U9022
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium , 64-bit version, Intel® Atom™ Processor N330 (1MB L2 cache, 1.60GHz, 533MHz FSB), 2GB (1/1) DDR2 800 SDRAM, 160GB SATA hard drive, multi-in-one card reader, NVIDIA® ION™ graphics, gigabit LAN, 802.11b/g/Draft-N WLAN

Cost $329-$403

The "over priced" Mac Mini as you are referring to it has the following specs on its BASE model:

Mac OS C, 32/64 bit, Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz (3MB L2 cache, 1066MHz FSB, 2GB DDR3 1066 SDRAM, 320GB SATA HDD, SD Card Slot, NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256MB DDR3 SDRAM, gigabit LAN, 802.11a/b/g/n WLAN, EDR BlueTooth 2.1, HDMI out, FW800, 8x SuperDrive, etc

Cost $699

Looking purely at the specs, i'm not even going to mention the value of the included software, there is no comparison, better processor, faster Memory, better WiFi, etc etc. So yeah, you get what you pay for. Thats the point. Hope that answers the question.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: UK Price
by bousozoku on Tue 15th Jun 2010 18:58 in reply to "RE[4]: UK Price"
bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23

People who say that Apple hardware is over-expensive compared with other similar computers are often accused of missing some hypothetic point. However, I think I've never seen somebody explaining seriously and without introducing a pure troll or some kind of false information what said point is...


What I've seen is that the similar computer recommended always seems to have the pathetically bad Intel integrated graphics. I want better throughput, not just a better CPU clock speed.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: UK Price
by mrhasbean on Tue 15th Jun 2010 21:34 in reply to "RE[4]: UK Price"
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

In Australia there has long been a saying in marketing that goes "How much can a Koala bear?", which, aside from being made into numerous humorous T-Shirts and having a double meaning that's related to the fact that Koalas are in fact not Bears, actually means "What can we get away with selling this for to our target market?"

Our prices here are inflated compared to the US pricing too, the excuse has always been that the country is such a small market but due to it's physical size the infrastructure that's required to deliver the products is higher per item sold, therefore the pricing has to be higher. Which is another way of saying "How much can a Koala bear?"

You can complain all you like, it won't make one iota of difference to Apple, just as it doesn't make one iota of difference to the likes of Lexus or Pioneer or Coke. How many people rant and rave about Coke charging twice to three times what other drink manufacturers charge for similar products? All of them charge a premium for their products because that is what the market will pay, and that premium will vary from country to country, again based on what they know they can get away with.

If you don't like it you just don't buy it. It's called freedom of choice. Their choice to price their products however they please, and yours to buy it or not...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: UK Price
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 17th Jun 2010 00:29 in reply to "RE[4]: UK Price"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

People who say that Apple hardware is over-expensive compared with other similar computers are often accused of missing some hypothetic point. However, I think I've never seen somebody explaining seriously and without introducing a pure troll or some kind of false information what said point is...


By and large, IMO, Mac vs. PC arguments aren't so much debates as they're contests between people trying to frame the debate in whatever way will make their favoured platform come out the "winner".

PC advocate: price and upgradeability are all that matter, therefore the PC wins!
Mac advocate: no, user experience is all that matters, therefore the Mac wins!
PC advocate: well I've had a good user experience with PCs and, even though I'm part of the small minority who build their own computers with carefully-chosen components, I'm going to assume that my experience is representative of all users. Therefore, the PC wins!
Mac advocate: well I've had a bad user experience with PeeCees and, even though all of the PCs I've used were bargain-basement crapware-laden eMachines, I'm going to assume that *my* experience is representative of all users. Therefore, the Mac wins!

...ad nauseum.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: UK Price
by mabhatter on Thu 17th Jun 2010 05:44 in reply to "RE[4]: UK Price"
mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

People who say that Apple hardware is over-expensive compared with other similar computers are often accused of missing some hypothetic point. However, I think I've never seen somebody explaining seriously and without introducing a pure troll or some kind of false information what said point is...


Apple hardware IS more expensive. If you go to Newegg and get the cheapest parts in a beige box then you can cut the cost to about half what the Mini is quite easily. Most of the people on these boards (me included) grew up "rolling their own" and it was always cheaper. Now that Apple hardware is line-item comparable with windows hardware it makes the cost difference a bit harder to take.

BUT...

in the case of the Mac Mini find a comparable Windows machine that will sport a Core2Duo, and 8GB ram, BT, wireless N, etc. in the SIZE of a 3.5 hard drive enclosure. You won't find it at a $699 price point, and certainly not in the RETAIL channel. Without being demoted to Celeron M instead of Core2Duo or worse Atom and integrated Intel graphics instead of Nvidia, you won't find any wireless or gigabit networking or firewire 800 in Windows desktops at that price point either. The only real competition Apple has for the Mac Mini is in the embedded industrial PC market.. and those start at twice the price for half the hardware. The Mac Mini is highly unique and because of that Apple can pretty much pick whatever price they want.

The challenge is not if you can go to some obscure vendor with one website and cobble together something for way cheaper (without including any cost for Software, assembly time, or shipping though) Find something like the Mini in the RETAIL channel that's turnkey. They don't sell for anybody else other than Apple. Dell has some equipment that's close to the Mini, but the cost is equally bumped up to match the Mini "because they can". Dell has the Zeno, but the only model comparable to a Mini is the most expensive one. if you take the Dell Studio Hybrid, you are in a similar size and style, and the price is about the same... for lower specs on CPU, GPU, and ram. The Mini is not as "overpriced" as it feels like, it's just not "cheap".

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[5]: UK Price
by siraf72 on Sun 20th Jun 2010 16:44 in reply to "RE[4]: UK Price"
siraf72 Member since:
2006-02-22

Over-expensive according to whom? Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it. Apple's profits are proof that their pricing is spot on. You say its too expensive (fair enough), the market says otherwise.

As to *how* Apple charge more for the equally specced hardware and get away with it, my two cents:

PCs are a homogenous product. Apple products are luxury products.
The added *utility value* that Apple offers is as follows:

1. OS X and some other bits of software

2. Outstanding industrial design.

3. (MOST IMPORTANTLY)The emotional response from users interacting with Apple products. Rightly or wrongly, us mac users get very attached to the products. Sad? maybe, its just the way it is. Fact is its the combination of good design both in hardware and software that illicits this response. This is also why Apple users exhibit freakishly high brand loyalty (and alas, sometimes zealotry and fanboism).

4. Brand power. The perceived build quality, easy-of-use, security, and coolness. (and contrary to belief this isn't just about marketing, the primary factor here is how the users feel about the product and what they say to others about it)

I'm a techie, yet I willingly pay more. Yes, I could build my own machine and install linux. But I find Apple products work better for me. The utility value i gain, is worth the extra money I spend.

So my long winded point is this that a luxury product can get away with charging more than a homogenous one, provided they give a utility value in return. The market decides whether your price point is right or not.

I tried not to troll, honest!

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: UK Price
by spiderman on Tue 15th Jun 2010 13:55 in reply to "RE[3]: UK Price"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

You are right, you can not buy and complain about the price, but again WHY?
Uh, what? Please reread my post I said exactly the opposite.
Why complain that a Bentley or a Lear Jet is expensive?
Had to google both just to know what the fuck Bentley or Lear jet was. If you are going to make some bogus analogies, please at least use known brands, like Ferrari or whatever!
You wont be accessing one anytime soon. So its a moot point at best.
I certainly couldn't afford a Ferrari, but I could well afford 10s of those Mac Minis if I wanted to, believe me. Not that that has anything to do with the point actually.

Is Apple forcing you to purchase any of their products? I dont think so. So good sir, is your point to solely to troll?
Good sir, read the post. My point was PRECISELY that I can NOT BUY and STILL complain. It makes perfect sense.

Apple, like any other product releases items for sale, you have the inherent freedom to plunk down your hard owned or socially donated govt funds over to them in exchange for the product.

And I still have the freedom to bash their product and complain as loudly as I want. I'm not their slave, is it that hard to get?
But comparing a Ford Ka to Bentley Continental GT on the basis of price, accomplishes exactly what you are doing; missing the point.
Oh my ..., I'm not going to google for those products I suppose you talk about cars. So the Mac Mini is supposed to be a Ferrari and the ACER a Ford Ka or whatever? Reread the specs I gave you right there in the post and come back.
Look! Over there! Could it be?!?! It's a bridge! You know what to do with that don't you?
What was that? English humor or what? Can you parse it for me plz?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: UK Price
by aesiamun on Tue 15th Jun 2010 14:02 in reply to "RE[4]: UK Price"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

Wait...you don't know what Bentley or Lear Jets are? I will never be able to afford a Bentley, I don't even aspire to own one because I am not on that level of wishful thinking...but I at least know what one is.

Reply Parent Score: 5

v RE[5]: UK Price
by jackeebleu on Tue 15th Jun 2010 18:03 in reply to "RE[4]: UK Price"
RE[4]: UK Price
by Cymro on Tue 15th Jun 2010 14:03 in reply to "RE[3]: UK Price"
Cymro Member since:
2005-07-07

What a tiresome post. Anyone who criticises Apple, even a loyal customer, must be a troll. How dare he point out that hiking up the price by £150 for very little reason has lost Apple a sale! Just unqualified adulation and praise here, if you please!

We all know that Apple offers a level of quality that you have to pay for, but if they arbitrarily crank up the price for basically the same slightly updated product and then crank it up some more for us Europeans, then I think they're ripping off their faithful and they deserve to know it.

Reply Parent Score: 4