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[4]: UK Price
by Neolander on Tue 15th Jun 2010 13:39 UTC 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[6]: UK Price
by Neolander on Tue 15th Jun 2010 20:00 in reply to "RE[5]: UK Price"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Ah, finally some explanation above the "interesting" level ;)

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.

Well, there seem to be written in the Universal [Mac|Linux|Windows|Nintendo|Xbox|Playstation|Nokia|Whatever] Fanboy Manual that it's always a right thing to do to start by explaining to the reader that he's an idiot. Go and figure out why so much Apple topics end by flamewar... Well, let's ignore it and read what's next.

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.

Continue insulting behavior while explaining that objectivity (ie using real and non-obfuscated data about a product) is a wrong method. Start to get tired. When does some non-laughable stuff begin ?

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.

Okay, less is good. Life is short, pay more. And then ?

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.

Ah, finally ! Let the show begin. So for you, user experience is not a feature ?
Let's see...
feature (plural features)

<...>
2. An important or main item.
<...>
5. (computing) A beneficial capability of a piece of software.
<...>
6. The cast or structure of anything, or of any part of a thing, as of a landscape, a picture, a treaty, or an essay; any marked peculiarity or characteristic; as, one of the features of the landscape.
* 1911, 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica:

The most prominent feature of the New England land system was the town grant, which in every case became the territorial basis of a group settlement.
<...>
8. (engineering) Characteristic forms or shapes of a part. For example, a hole, boss, slot, cut, chamfer, or fillet.


Ease of use and good user experience totally is a feature, and the beginning of your post hence is crap. Just a little precision.

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).

I agree that feature overflow is a horrible and alas very common defect in the industrial world. However, I'm eagerly waiting to read how you're going to demonstrate that Apple, inventors of iTunes and the iPhone/iPod Touch, are insensitive to that defect...

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.

Again, push forward sentiment of personal superiority to ensure that you get grilled and can then tell that you're being persecuted because you're telling the truth (or because the reader is too near-sighted). Your "techie" stereotype gets more and more unlikely as you give him the superpower to master poor design so much that it doesn't matter to him and that it's even close to a child's play. But it doesn't matter as long as you're deeply convinced that such people DO exist.

To get a better picture of real-world techies, you'd have to meet the SLR (Single Lens Reflex). Photographs buy one because they want to go at a picture quality level that the average compact camera can not reach. Weight, volume, and complexity are drawbacks of SLRs, not advantages nor a necessity. As compact cameras get more and more powerful and start to do better and better pictures, more and more people who would have bought a SLR some years ago will buy one now.

Everyone wants to get things done as good as possible. But we do not do things the same way, because we make different compromises. Those who are ready to overcome a higher learning cost for the final benefit of higher-quality photographs go dSLRs. Those who are more in the mind of grabbing their camera and shooting pictures without caring about how it works prefer compact/phone cameras. I'm an advocate of the latter myself, but my mother is a heavy argentic SLR user. There's room for every compromise in the market.

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.

Who's wearing a blindfold here ? I give macs the benefit of still being extremely bug-free compared to competitors, but in the area of the simplicity, I'm afraid to tell that the simpler mac desktop has become more and more of a myth lately.

Here's some real-world data :
1/I've seen one of the worst computer users I know using Windows 7 without a single issue. I hate its messy UI myself, but one has to admit that it's sufficiently good for everyday computer use by a non-technical people. Really. No blue screen of deaths everywhere, no crashes, no random behaviors, and even popup emission has been reduced. It's perfectible, sure, but it's not the nightmare you're describing at all. Have a better look around you.
2/Due to my generally bad experience of Windows, and due to her talent at finding bugs in software, when my girlfriend's parents offered to buy her a laptop for her 18th birthday, I suggested her to get a MacBook. I supposed, after hearing the daily praise of Apple computers as better tools by my parents, that it would somehow magically improve her computing experience, in a way like the one you're describing. Well, you know what ? Miracles don't exist. She first endured pain due to the stupid over-sensitive multitouch trackpad which mistakes "scroll" for "zoom" in word processors. Then due to the difficulty to manage several windows which look pretty much the same when you don't have very good eyes. Then due to the low quality of freeware on the mac platform. Then due to the lack of usual media files support. Overall, she got used to it, like anyone finally gets used to a product given sufficient motivation. But you must agree that this is not impressive. Mac OS is not so bad that it's hardly usable on a daily basis by people who have a good knowledge of it or who get helped by someone who has such knowledge. But it's nowhere exceptional. Linux is not that much of a nightmare either in such conditions. Nor is Windows 7.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: UK Price
by vivainio on Tue 15th Jun 2010 20:37 in reply to "RE[5]: UK Price"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


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).


Nice strawman.

The techies, Apple haters included, and Thom excluded, widely consider iPad a very nice product, and one of the better things to happen in tech industry recently. Everybody really wants the tablet market to emerge, and who would be better slated (eh) to do it than Apple?

The deal about iPad is that the rest of the industry needs to get their shit together and start delivering alternative tablets that work as well (or almost as well, even).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: UK Price
by sachindaluja on Wed 16th Jun 2010 18:17 in reply to "RE[5]: UK Price"
sachindaluja Member since:
2007-02-15

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.


Excellent comment!

Reply Parent Score: 2

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[6]: UK Price
by spiderman on Wed 16th Jun 2010 09:55 in reply to "RE[5]: UK Price"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Right, I did another very quick google search.
Found the dell studio hybrid at €499. Not half the price but almost.
Intel Core 2 duo, RAM 4GB, HD 320GB

Reply Parent Score: 3

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[6]: UK Price
by NeoX on Thu 17th Jun 2010 06:48 in reply to "RE[5]: UK Price"
NeoX Member since:
2006-02-19

Thank You mabhatter, that was well said. Every time Apple releases a new upgrade the trolls come out of the woodwork complaining that the Mac is a rip off and a PC is half the price.

Well sure you can get a cheap PC for half the price and that is fine. But it is not a Mac. There is only one Apple and you are not just buying an assemblage of chips and bits. You are buying fit and finish, highly engineered products with top quality Industrial Design and a level of high-grade that I have not seen in any other computer manufacturer.

Are the PC's you buy going to have an Aluminum enclosure that is manufactured in such a precise nature? No. Is the PC in this size going to have Bluetooth, 802.11n, gigabit Ethernet, IR sensor, Firewire 800, and dual video ports? No. You won't find these in any PC of this size because it does not exist. So while I would like to see it priced at $499, Apple has a right to make money too. Think about all the money they had to put into this in R&D.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: UK Price
by spiderman on Thu 17th Jun 2010 08:18 in reply to "RE[5]: UK Price"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

I don't know about US prices but in Europe at least, the Dell is almost half the price.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: UK Price
by Neolander on Thu 17th Jun 2010 08:56 in reply to "RE[5]: UK Price"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Lot of sensible comments recently in my opinion. I'd especially like to congratulate StephenBeDopper ( http://www.osnews.com/thread?430432 ) and spiderman ( http://www.osnews.com/thread?430409 ) for their respective interventions.

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".

This post surprised me. I'm not informed enough on hardware pricing to know if your information on PC pricing is correct (for me, hardware is just a boring necessity which I only care about when upgrading my computer and totally forget afterwards as long as it works. By the very nature of computer science, the most interesting part lies in software, as long as it's not crippled by the hardware of course), so I'll let other more informed posters correct you if you're wrong. However, if you're right, congratulation for pointing out some very interesting fact ! ;)

As I don't know yet if I can rely on this information, I just wanted to ask some questions which are not related to the pure hardware spec/pricing ratio.
1/Do the customers of a mac mini-like computer really need such high-spec'd hardware ? (somewhat related to the cellphone plan pricing debate where plans keep getting more and more expensive for average use even though they get filled with useless things in compensation)
2/Considering that they can buy a nice laptop for average use at ~400-500$, and home computers like Asus Eeetop and Dell Studio for around the same sum, in what way does the Mac Mini help people enough to justify its price tag ? Are there some usage patterns which a Mac Mini can fit and which a laptop or some other competing product cannot ?
3/Apple has shown in the past that they were able to provide the same product (mac mini) at a much lower price. Customers sounded happy with it, and I mentioned in an earlier post some usage patterns which this low-priced mac mini could fit. Now, mac mini pricing gets higher and higher, and more and more of its usage patterns vanish. Can you explain what customers are granted as a counterpart ? Do you think it is enough ?
4/Considering that Apple makes more and more people buy a mac when they wouldn't have bought one otherwise because of the infamous iPhone SDK licensing terms, making price of the low-end Mac fly high sounds like pure and obvious business logic targeting higher benefits. Such a behavior sounds like a motivation to hate the brand, and boycott this product as a customer in order to express his disapprobation against such unfair commercial tactics. Can you provide an alternative explanation, or some kind of sensible counterpoint to this one ?

(Well, I'm pretty proud of this post. I just find it very well-written, compared to my average rant quality ;) )

Edited 2010-06-17 09:10 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

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