apple computers and their cost...

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by atacinus, Apr 10, 2004.

  1. atacinus macrumors 6502

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    Oct 25, 2003
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    New York City
    #1
    i just read some old archived post about why macs should cost more than PCs...it was a lot of the standard BS i read all the time - Macs are more fully loaded when it comes to software - you get what you pay for - design - the OS is better.......all that stuff has nothing to do with the price i don't think. i sell PCs for a living :-( ... do you have any idea how much money we, let alone the manufactuer, make off a standard PC sale [tower, monitor, printer]....about 12 dollars. That didn't use to be the case, we used to sell the computers at around 1,000 bucks and make a nice markup. Anyone wonder why cables cost 40 bucks? Apple on the other hand, makes computers, and for the most part does not have retail options outside of itself, thus it makes sense that in order to stay in business there would be a bigger markup. I just think this makes more sense to tell a potential switcher than to be a 'snob' and say something to the extent of 'well if you pay less and get that eCrap, you're a loser with crapy software and i pity you'. eghh...my two cents.
     
  2. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    Feb 17, 2003
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    with Hamburglar.
    #2
    depends on the PC manufacturer. Some are pretty good, and have good hardware. I have a personal issue with Dell, which just puts together the cheapest components they can find in a huge casing.

    Again, it all depends on what the consumer wants to do with the computer.
     
  3. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #3
    So the OS, bundled software and better design have nothing to do with cost. Might be one of the most uninformed statements ever made here.
     
  4. Krizoitz macrumors 6502a

    Krizoitz

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    Wakayama, Japan
    #4
    Yeah that R&D cost has to come from somewhere...
     
  5. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    Jun 25, 2002
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    Gone but not forgotten.
    #5
    If I pick components by hand, I get an expensive PC and it will last, but most of the PCs out there don't. I'll say it again, my blue and white G3 is 5 years old now and still going strong without one service visit. Show me a PC from that time that still works, let alone works well.

    Funny how the PC manufacturers don't have to code at all. They have someone adapt an industry standard BIOS to fit their motherboard and they put Windows on the hard drive. That really doesn't cost them anything in R & D expense. However, if they were writing their own software, it would cost them quite a lot, especially every time they revise the systems. Besides, it's really tough to buy the same old tower and design innovative plastic to hide it. Oh wait! They don't--they put the same old stuff on the outside. Well, you're right about one thing there--you didn't think.

    Yes, Apple has a bigger markup and they offer good discounts to developers and students because of it. Only one PC company is doing well (Dell) and that's because they 1) squeeze the life out of all their components and 2) do whatever Intel and Microsoft want to get the best discounts. If it weren't for Dell and others, I wouldn't know how good my Mac really is.
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    So it's your stance that design R&D and software development do not factor into the cost of Macs? How do you think Apple pays for the R&D and development then? Also look at the cost Apple's apps (FCP, iLife, DVD SP, etc.,). These apps are priced very, very low for what they are. Sense Apple controls the software and the hardware they can lower the price of the software to help attrach buyers but there will be a bit of a premium<sp?> on the hardware.

    I'm sure Apple does have a slightly larger mark-up than lets say, Dell, because 1. Apple has to cover R&C costs that Dell doesn't and 2. Apple works at a much smaller volume than Dell does.


    Lethal
     
  7. Apple //e macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    #7
    my dad still uses my old compaq presario with p2 266. ironically, it works better now with win 2k than it did with the original win95. its seen a harddrive upgrade, wireless card, and ram upgrade.

    works great for word processing and internet

    i think its about 6 or 7 years old and it works well, never had a service visit
     
  8. Arkillion macrumors newbie

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    Mar 30, 2004
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #8
    Really though, apple puts so much work into their computers. New g5's you can hardly even see any wires in them, what other manufactuers take the time to do that for you? Windscreens, don't see that anywhere else. My iPod packaging was probably the funnest thing I have ever opened in my entire life. Apple puts time and care into their products to make them stand out above the rest, and they pay empolyees to do this for them. They have to make up for it somewhere.
     
  9. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Location:
    west of Philly
    #9
    Hmm, let's see, my father-in-law has my old dual 266 PII still in use since 1997 (coming up on 7 years in September), nary a problem. For the longest time the only update was a $40 video card a couple of years ago to replace the voodoo rush it had when it was built so it could play the latest Links. We just updated it's 4x CD drive to a DVD burner and firewire card so Mom could do back ups and play with her digital video camera.

    I added a linksys wireless networking card to my Mom's Pentium 1 133mhz laptop from 1995 (8 or 9 years), no other changes, and it's still in use for wireless web browsing, document editing, etc. She still uses it for everything expect TurboTax this year which wouldn't install because it only had 32meg of memory. BTW, for those that try to tell you windows needs an reinstall every six months, this hasn't been reinstalled since it was upgraded to win98.

    I think the whole Macs last longer than PCs is a myth or misconception among many Mac users, for the basics, you really haven't needed an update since the mid nineties and most of the components these days between the two systems are the same. Yes, the real tech heads or FPS junkies might be replacing their PCs more often, but they do it because it's so cheap and you can always find a home for an old machine. I haven't lost a PC since the 386 days when I overclocked and burned out a 386-25. Everything since the Pentium 1 level was either sold or donated to family and is still in use with someone I know. The 486-100 was passed on to a third party and may or may not be still in use, I lost track.

    Actually I haven't even seen the gamer junkies doing much upgrading lately (guess that's why the PC industry is having so many problems), most of my gamer friends are still running on ~2 year old P4s with GeForce 4 era cards. Until the Doom 3 engine games come along and really push the demands for a faster system, I don't see those guys changing machines either.
     
  10. TDT macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    University of Iowa - Iowa
    #10
    Processors, by far, are not the only component in a system. Through my experience, the old Pentium chips work very well - and even to this day, but that isn't the case with some of the older AMD K chips, and some of the newerish pentiums (600+ mhz). Also, again I should stress, that there are more components than just this chip. Most computer companies, including Dell and compaq, do not concentrate on the cooling as much in newer systems. They keep the CPU under 'reasonable' temperatures, but by no means very cool. most current cpus run probably near a temperature between ~50-60C. This isn't good, but is within operating temperatures.

    Because most companies any more concentrate on making their PCs cheap and quiet, they forgot to put in a lot of more quality materials. With a CPU running at a high temperature, for a few years, it will simply blow. It won't last that long, which is why it's important to cool your CPU as much as possible.

    The cheap components even extend further. I had my first PC made by a company who decided to put really cheap materials into it. What I got was a motherboard that was discontinued within a year or two, leaving me without BIOS updates that I really needed for that machine. The machine is still in use, but isn't all that good for much else than a small server.

    I also got a laptop, for fairly cheap, from compaq. It cost me about 1000 for the laptop, included a battery and everything that I needed. Within 2 months, I started running into problems with the laptop. The first problem is the battery totally died, and having it inserted would cause the machine to beep (as if the CPU has blown). This machine also had a lack of cooling, and got really hot after only a short time of use. Remember, this is all happening within a short time.

    I'm not going to downgrade ~x86 based systems, as I'm using one right now - but I think to say that a company such as Dell, gateway, or compaq is good is a little bit of a stretch. bousozoku made one really good point on this. If you hand pick the components and go for quality, it will cost you more than if you bought it from a company - but on the other hand it will last far more than a computer from a major company.

    Remember ewinemiller, just because a computer can last years doesn't mean it will be a worthwhile machine in a few years. My laptop is no longer worthwhile, I plan to use it as maybe a backup device after my powerbook gets here. My server, which is my 233, is still in use - but after I heavily overhauled it after the screwed up job the company did originally. It still works, but is still really limited because of the bad job this company, like most companies, do on computers.

    You get what you pay for, if you're willing to spend a little more on a quality company for a quality computer - it will last you much longer, and will be of much more use, in the years to come. if you buy cheap, from a cheap company for components that are most likely not going to last, then you bought a doorstop.
     
  11. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
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    Gone but not forgotten.
    #11
    Well, there are at least two PCs older that still work. I guess they wouldn't be much good at Photoshop or other graphics applications as mine handles frequently but at least they're still working. :)

    As for the myth that Macs last longer, I don't see a myth at all. I see three Macs working but I don't have any place to power the fourth. For that matter, I still have one of my Atari 8-bit computers going to play games from the early 1980s. :p
     
  12. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #12
    I guess one way to judge computer equipment is to consider how much warranty the Company will give you on machines, and what it covers. Apple's max three year warranty is a bit disappointing for me, given they could probably add a year or two extra to make a good point that the machine will have a decent lifetime...

    What do people think? Is this a good measure or are Apple to small to risk longer warranty costs?
     
  13. TDT macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    University of Iowa - Iowa
    #13
    I have one of those ataris....dang you, now I feel like breaking it out of the box and hooking it up....*sigh*

    I also have two older machines, already posted. They work, but neither of them can run windows well, so both have Linux currently running. One is still running RH 7.3 (I'm lazy to get a more recent distribution on it) and the other is running debian testing. I really hate my laptop, though. I've been using linux for about 5 years now, and there are some things going on that laptop that are really stumping me. I will eventually fix it, but why bother when I already ordered my PB (coming Monday) :)

    Glad another person has an Atari, I feel like hooking mine up and playing some frogger....hehe.
     
  14. Apple //e macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    #14
    i used to do photoshop, 3d autocad, and 3d studio on that ol pentium 2 when it had 48, then 96mb ram.

    i remember a one particular render taking 16hrs :-(

    when i got a p3 1000, it took 20 minutes (much more ram)

    i didnt even bother checking my new machine.

    ironically a faster machine allows me to do more complex scenes resulting in equally slow render speeds

    but getting back on topic, i dont see why the old machine still cant do it. it might have some min requirement problems with the newest version of photoshop and 3d studio.

    as for the "myth" i think people just hold on to macs longer than pcs. i dont know anybody that falls in love with their windows box. there is not much sentimental value in windows machines
     
  15. atacinus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Location:
    New York City
    #15
    you.re taking what i.m saying the wrong way...I don.t mean that R&D and the design and the OS don.t factor into the cost...i just don.t believe that to be the main reason macs cost more....and i was just trying to say why there will never be a 300 mac. eghh...you people jump too easily.
     
  16. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #16
    If that's not what you mean then don't say it. In the first few lines of your original post you mention the design, the software bundle, the OS and then say, "...all that stuff has nothing to do with the price i don't think."

    I don't think there is one "main reason" as to why Macs cost more, but I do think there are a bunch of reasons that add up. Sales volume, hardware R&D, software development, etc.,. And, like I said in my first post, there is cost added into the hardware to help offset the low prices on their software.

    I don't think anyone will disagree w/you when you say there will never be a $300 Mac. If that was your point you did a poor job of getting it across in your original post.


    Lethal
     
  17. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Location:
    west of Philly
    #17
    Maybe you missed the implication in my post, it wasn't just the processor that was passed along. Those machines are also using the rest of their other original components too, motherboard, harddrive, optical drive, video.

    Many folks are down on Dells, but I haven't had one those die on me either. I just mentioned the oldest machines, but in that mix were stacks of dell 200 and 166 PI laptops, a bunch of dell 233 PIIs laptops, some dell 366 PII laptops, racks of dell dual 500 PIIIs, a dell dual 800 PIII, all still in use. Granted, some of the older ones aren't doing much beyond web surfing, email, and kid's writing reports for school, but everything from the 366s up are still being used for development and they still work fine. We used to be a Dell shop until we got bought out, now we're IBM because that who the new company uses. All those old Dells were sold off to employees when the original company shut down and all the folks that stayed on or I keep in touch with are still using theirs. Dell tends to swap back in forth for first place for quality and service with Apple in places like consumer reports and my personal experience has matched that.

    Folks act like the components in Apples and PCs are somehow different, but besides the processor and motherboard it's really the same stuff. The last Mac I bought (a dual 800) had Samsung memory, a Seagate hard drive, and a nvidia video card. My last Dell (a 2.26 P4) also had Samsung memory, a nvidia video card, and a Seagate hard drive. In my personal experience I haven't found any remarked difference in reliability between the remaining components, the CPU and motherboard. The last motherboard I saw die was 286-8 that sat at eye level in front of a smoker's desk.
     
  18. redAPPLE macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

    Joined:
    May 7, 2002
    Location:
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    #18
    one question from the quiet corner...

    so the people who say "i got a lot of pcs that never died on me, or are still huffing and puffing..." are pc users in a mac forum? (i would not say mac haters :D )

    imo, Apple products cost more than their pc counterparts is because, Apple tests their hardware to their software more and can "guarantee" that they work with each other. this makes macs "more reliable".

    of course, pcs which are installed with the standard software would work, until they install any other program that messes up the system with .dlls.
     
  19. groovebuster macrumors 65816

    groovebuster

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2002
    Location:
    3rd rock from the sun...
    #19
    No... I am a Mac-Head since more than 15 years, but I have to work also with Windows PCs. I also think it is a myth that PCs don't last as long as Macs. None of the PCs I owned over the years every died on me. The oldest PC I am running at the moment is a Dell Dimension L700CX (3.5 years old). The only thing that i changed is more memory and a better video card 2 years ago. On the other hand the iMac of my wife had to be repaired because of a monitor problem, as well as my PowerBook G3 Wallstreet (which I sold to a friend meanwhile and replaced it by an iBook). I don't even want to talk about all the people in my environment who had problems with their Macs. So my personal statistics tell the story that Macs are not more reliable than PCs...

    More reliable? How exactly?

    Know what? The Dell I mentioned before runs with Windows 2000 and it still has the first install of the system. I never had to reinstall it and it still runs fast and reliable. Besides that I installed and deinstalled all kinds of Pro Software and the System didn't screw up once. Oh... and I use that computer every day, it's right beside my Mac in my Home-Office. :)

    So please, we all agree that the Mac is a very nice tool to work with, but stop the story-telling that a Windows PC doesn't work properly by definition... Thanks!

    groovebuster

    P.S.: As a little addition here is a picture of my Home-Office, so that you can see that I am not telling BS all the time...
    [​IMG]
     
  20. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Location:
    west of Philly
    #20
    PC AND Mac user. I work on both sides everyday, so I see how both sides really work, and try to dispel the myths "enthusiasts" on both sides spread.
     
  21. kgarner macrumors 68000

    kgarner

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #21
    I work at CompUSA so I can see the cost of both Macs and PCs. Did you know the mark-up on the low end eMac is less than $20? Oh sure, the Dual 2.0GHz G5 is marked up a couple hundred bucks, but so are the high end Sony's and HP's. The mark-up on Macs is just not that much compared to PCs.
     
  22. rueyeet macrumors 65816

    rueyeet

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Location:
    MD
    #22
    And you still could sell them for $1,000, if Dell hadn't driven prices down to the point that the average consumer now believes that a computer shouldn't cost that much. Apple has simply declined to play that game, so they still make the margins, and will never make a $300 Mac. Other PC companies like IBM and Sony that make higher-quality or high-design PCs aren't playing Dell's game either, and are still selling their boxes at a premium, too.

    There really isn't much reason anymore that Macs "should" cost more than PCs; they both use the same components from the same Taiwanese or whatever companies. The one place that there's really any difference is in Apple's R&D costs for design, integration, and the OS/bundled software.
     
  23. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #23
    I'm in the same boat. When I work it is usually on a Mac (mine or someone elses) and when I'm just posting or doing e-mail it is usually on my PC.


    Lethal
     
  24. Mav451 macrumors 68000

    Mav451

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    Maryland
    #24
    groove, that is a real nice guitar collection you got there :)
     
  25. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
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    AR
    #25
    I agree with you on all those points, however Apple does make a nice profit on each computer it sells, somewhere around 30%.

    Dell can offer lower cost PC's than practically any other company in the business because they do little if no research and development. Dell even prides themselves on that factor as part of their normal business practice.

    However, other PC compainies such as HP and Sony spend considerable amounts of money on R&D. This makes it hard for other companies including Apple to compete against Dell.
     

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