What about a $200-$300 computer?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Peyton, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. Peyton macrumors 68000

    Peyton

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    #1
    So this might sound strange, but I know MANY people who would like a Mac but say, oh I just want to browse the internet and maybe some word processing.

    Why can't apple release a stripped down version of OSX, offer bootcamp, for just this purpose?

    My dad's partner (law) bought a new computer for his wife today, through dell.

    He got a 19inch LCD, with a basic computer. 160 gb hdd, and other pretty impressive things for such a price. He got BOTH things, for $350.

    I don't think apple has to go that far, (and never will) but seems like $600 mac mini is not even competion. I mean, they could make a computer the size of an ipod (without even a cd/dvd) and sell it for $300

    thoughts?
    I suppose the argument then would be 'why would I get that when I can get a cd/dvd in this ugly dell box...
     
  2. generik macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #2
    If you want cheap buy a Dell, Steve Jobs needs to mark up prices to pay for his expensive hobbies! :rolleyes:
     
  3. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #3
    I think Apple has always marketed their products towards as being of higher-quality and worth the premium for the seamless integration of hardware and software. The Mini to me is an aberration in their history (at least modern history, let's not count all those damn Performas) - a moment when Apple decided to go after a lower-income market. I don't know if they'll pursue it any more than they have, though I doubt it.

    I don't think they'll go cheaper, just because they know they can charge more. They have one of the highest profit margins in computers in the industry, and hell, we still line up to buy their products like suckers! :p
     
  4. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #4
    Plenty of used Macs can be had for $200-$300. :)
     
  5. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #5
    Apple has always been a high end seller. They have no more interest is selling bargain basement computers than Armani does in selling $200 suits. It's not their business model, it's not their market, and what they're doing is working quite well. And IMO, it's good that every product they sell is fully functional, from the optical drive to the OS.
     
  6. generik macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #6
    Except the reality is Apple's computers' higher quality are perceived and not real. As of today my Mini is still in the workshop, after a catastrophic failure the other night which resulted in magic smoke coming out from its bottom.

    I swore if I didn't wake up that night my place would have burnt down, but that's just a hypothetical outcome :rolleyes:

    I do believe there is a market for a sub-Mac Mini mac, after all there is quite a fair bit of computing power in the mini still. But will Apple do it? Probably not, it is in their best interests to sucker as many people to buy the Minis and iMacs, the lost sales doesn't affect them as people who are too cheap to get a Mac are still left wanting. Satisfying that want on the other hand places them out of the market immediately for less profit margins.
     
  7. ipacmm macrumors 65816

    ipacmm

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #7
    I am sure you can pick up a used Mac Mini in a few months for $200-300.

    But apple offering new Macs that cheap, I personally don't think we will ever see it.
     
  8. Placeholder macrumors member

    Placeholder

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    Yeah, buying a used mac is the way to go. An old Powerbook or G3 Imac would likely do the job. And wih a mac, you usually don't inherit the problems that you would with a used PC.
    Used mac over new Dell anyday.
     
  9. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #9
    Used $200-$300 Mac definitely seems to be the way to go. Now for an aside...

    Once upon a time, while Apple was still creating the Personal Computer Market with the $1300+ Apple ][, plenty of $99-$299 computers were available to choose from. The Sinclairs/Timex, Commies, TI99/4A, Atari 400s of the world. No mass storage, no display, just the computer. These machines all offered "instant on" technology since they booted tiny BASIC Operating Environments from ROM.

    The best we can do today at the low end is the $299 AMD PIC? :confused: Seems like a bit of a disconnect. You are right that Apple didn't go after the others on price, but in those pre-Mac days I don't think that it was that Apple was aiming for the high-end or pushing hardware/software integration. In fact it was quite the opposite, The Apple ][ owed much of its success over the cheaper competitors to its openness and the availability of tons of third party hardware and software. (The less-upgradeable //c didn't have open hardware and didn't sell as well as the //e). ...

    B
     
  10. Spock macrumors 68000

    Spock

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Vulcan
    #10
    I would like to see Apple re-release a 15 inch ACD and price it at $249 or even better $199 but lowering the price to compete with Dell, is not going to happen.
     
  11. shrimpdesign macrumors 6502a

    shrimpdesign

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    #11
  12. i4k20c macrumors 6502a

    i4k20c

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    #12
    I see the dell's and Hp's mostly being extremly low-end models do to the fact that they have competition among windows OS. I've seen adds in Comp USA, Bestbuy, where you can get a pretty descent comp. (web surfin, typing, fun stuff, etc..) for $500 with monitor and some have like printers and stuff for free after rebate.. obviously one company does this and than another goes lower, etc.. apple has somewhat of a monopoly since apple obviously doesn't compete with apple..

    On the other hand, since there is only "apple" they make alot less money, and do need to make a comp cost more, but remember with that your also getting the fact that if you have a problem, theoratically you should be able to just call apple and get help rather than, call HP (for comp), call adobe (program problem), call systamic (antivirus problem)...

    I do think at one point the price of these machines were justified, i feel a good mac costs about $300 more to a similiary equiped windows computer... i felt that was justified before with apple's amazing quality.. but now since apple has been selling so much more products, unfortunatly that has taken a HUGE toll on their quality as well.. just a fact of buisness, it happens to all them.. :( .. i do think apple's are a bit overpriced now for what you get..

    but heh, i do love mac osx, and will not stop trying to get people to see why i like it more.. :eek:
     
  13. Josias macrumors 68000

    Josias

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #13
    Three comments:
    1. It was Apple Studio Display (ASD) with the 15 and 17".
    2. It would be a good option for the Mini.
    3. More like the 17". 15" is a bit too small, but a 17" widescreen for $299 with 8 ms! (Of course Apple screen):cool: :D
     
  14. Spock macrumors 68000

    Spock

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Vulcan
    #14
    I stated my post wrong, I know what a ASD is I want Apple to release a 15in. ACD not re-release the Studio Display.
     
  15. Compatiblepoker macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville Beach
    #15
    Indeed. Most people who buy a Mac do so for those reasons but I do agree it would be nice but it'll never happen. It's like asking Ferrari to make a car for $30k so everyone could have one. Eh whatever.
     
  16. BurtonCCC macrumors 65816

    BurtonCCC

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Location:
    Wheaton/Normal, IL
    #16
    I'd love to hear what you all think about this upcoming statement:

    I don't EVER want to see a $200-$300 Mac come out.

    I think that to put out a computer for so low of a price, Apple would have to make it as crappy as the Windows-based PCs that sell for that price, only with the more eye-pleasing Apple looks.

    Why do you think Dell can offer such cheap computers? Because they take crappy, cheap parts and stick them into an ugly chassis. Simple as that.

    Don't get me wrong, Dell is a great company. They sell a lot of computers to people who either know nothing about computers or live in trailer parks. They have a great, fully-established target market.

    If Dell made a $200 computer that ran OS X, I'd say that would be great. Sure, the hodge-podge of parts that get put into Dells is a very, bad thing, but if you stuck an operating system other than Windows in a Dell, my opinion of the brand would increase about 192849%.

    Sorry, I meant for that to be much shorter.

    Daniel.
     
  17. Josias macrumors 68000

    Josias

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #17
    Amen!

    As I said before. Apple don't do cheap, they do good! The only reason Dell are popular, is because of the prices. The only reason people would prefer a Dell screen instead of an ACD is the price. (Or if they're a Dell/Windows stupid fanboy:D )
     
  18. generik macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #18
    Erm, isn't it already happening? Same Intel processors, same IDE/SATA hard drives, same DDR memory modules, same everything. Back in the day when Macs use SCSI drives and *real* software controlled floppy drives I can probably understand the drive differential, but today? There is really a disconnect between the price and the cost of these machines.

    The used G4 macs that are still floating around are a truly testament of the intelligence of the typical Mac user who got so caught up in the RDF, because seriously no way is a G4 Mac Mini worth the $400-$500 that people are still paying for today.

    If you can afford it, good on you. If you can't, then paying that kind of money for this kind of computer is truly a disgrace.


    As hard as you might want to believe, if Apple truly uses better quality components then you better pray hard that your computer doesn't even get a ding through its whole 3 years of Applecare coverage, because for Dells (or Dulls, or whatever newfangled misnomer the Mac community have for Dell today) you can actually get something as serious as a smashed LCD panel fixed on their extended warranty. Good luck getting your "logic board" fixed if you even have so much as a little dent on your MBP. Apple will be just as pleased to charge you an extra 25% on top of your 100% marked up MBP and then deny you service at the end of the day.

    It will also be a cold day in hell indeed before the corporate world will even consider Apple hardware over Dell's. So what were you saying about their customers and trailer parks again? I'd wager a pretty penny to add that the sizeable chunk of Apple's shareholders are Dell users, either in their work or at home.
     
  19. JLatte macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego
    #19
    Disclaimer: I know that posting this, and people viewing my previous posts are going to assume I'm some "Mac hater" that claims to like mac but is really here to bash them, but I'm not.

    I beg to differ. Apple makes quality computers with a beautifully integrated operating system. That is if the computer is running ideally. Unfortunately, computers from ANY company don't last forever, hard drives are moving parts, etc etc. I believe that half of the quality of the computer purchased is not just its components and compatibility, but the customer service as well.

    My instance for example: I purchased a G4 1 ghz 12" Powerbook. I purchased with the intention of using the hell out of it, and taking it everywhere, and I did just that. I had a Tuscano sleeve and a well protected case, but I didn't baby it like some people do by wiping it clean and polishing it after every use, I used it like a Tijuana hooker. Just under one year later my combo drive failed, as was the problem with many other combo drives. Apple wanted to charge me (keep in mind this was still under warranty) an estimated cost of $500 dollars. Well hell, for a few hundred more I could buy an entirely different used same model Powerbook. I instead bought a superdrive for about $200 and changed it out myself.

    About six months AFTER that, my hard drive crashed. Yes, I maintained it regularly, I'm not an average consumer, I ran disk check, repaired permissions routinely. I know not everyone has failures. I know that computers, regardless of the company, fail. That is not my point.

    My point is that there are many issues with hard drives, combo drives (in older powerbook models), logic boards and heat issues (heating causes slight warping in aluminum powerbooks, something NOT seen in iBook models), not to mention the famous whining noises which Apple STILL doesn't acknowledge as a fault. A LOT of times it is not a fun experience going through Apple customer service. I know that for some people it is simply no problem, and there are plenty of good stories for that, but for a lot of people, it isn't the most pleasant experience.

    Dell at least will come out TO YOUR HOUSE to fix your computer. I don't even own a Dell, but that is one reason alone why I would send someone that wasn't very computer savvy to them, instead of Apple. They build cheap computers, but the customer service of Apple is a joke compared to the customer service of Dell and other PC companies.

    Might I add, that my friends laptops while not being Apple, and in my opinion are rather cheaply made, however their parts have not failed as much as my Powerbook has. My desktop computer has had THE SAME HARD DRIVE running since 1999. Yeah, it's starting to sound loud, but it's still working.

    Want to compare Apples to high quality cars? You buy a Rolls Royce, if your car breaks down on the freeway or runs a flat, they will SEND an escort to come pick you up, and a special truck to pick up the Rolls. Have you EVER seen a Rolls Royce on the back of a tow truck? No, because they are transported in a boxed in car, and they take the best care of you no matter where you are. Apple builds quality DESIGNED computers, but the hardware is at best, average. I know Apple doesn't make hard drives, logic boards, etc, but it's in a machine with THEIR logo on it, with THEIR price, and they should at least give service that matches that price tag if they can't deliver on the longevity of the machine.
     
  20. generik macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #20
    Ah huh, but let's look at it in a different perspective. the price of a Rolls Royce is like what..? Hmm.. seems like I can't even get a quote with a quick search on Google, but all I can deduce is this: even BillG and Steve Jobs don't drive Rolls Royces, and if you need to ask how much it is, you obviously can't afford it.

    However here is the kicker, a Mac is definitely not priced at 100X over equivalent PCs, it is at worse 50-100% more expensive. Where does the extra money go to you may wonder. R&D for MacOS no doubt. Oh and of course MacOS itself. Apple also generally uses parts that are somewhat above average, like Seagate harddrives in contrast to Hitachi/IBM ones (we all know how does stink, and Seagates generally do cost a bit more) as well as Panasonic optical drives. The rest can arguably go to the better design for one thing, and of course the "image" factor (aka penis extension factor), as akin to how some rich snob can drive a car that costs more than houses homing 3 whole families.

    That being said, I'd agree that by and large Macs are generally ~somewhat~ better computers than the bottom of their barrel PC counterparts, but service wise (especially from a company touting its computers to be more user friendly) and likewise build quality (battery not flush? wristrest creaks when you type? screen doesn't close flat?) does leave a lot to be desired.
     
  21. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #21
    Dell can offer that kind of warranty service to their corporate customers, because the corporate customers pay through the nose for it. And most people upgrade their stinky Dell even before needing that extended warranty.

    Good luck trying to do that with a computer bought in the non-business section of Dell's website. Warranty is especially not worth it on a $300 computer. Pay $150 for a warranty, or buck up and save twice that for a new computer?
     
  22. generik macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #22
    Not true. As an individual you can purchase computers through Dell Small Business and still get the same level of service as mentioned. Btw I do consider the pricing of Applecare to be "Through the nose".

    Cost of MBP: A$3199
    Cost of Applecare: AA$579.00

    Almost $600 for a $3000 laptop? That's almost 20% on top of the price of an overpriced computer!
     
  23. BurtonCCC macrumors 65816

    BurtonCCC

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Location:
    Wheaton/Normal, IL
    #23
    I think if you're going to be stupid and reckless with a machine such as a laptop, you deserve to pay such a high price for a warranty.

    Me? Oh, I never buy warranties for anything because I actually take care of the things I buy. Preventative measures are not very difficult. Here's a few steps:
    1. Do not put your laptop's screen directly behind the batter at your neighborhood's softball game. It does not make a very good catcher.
    2. If you choose to store your laptop in the kitchen sink, make sure to take it out before you do the dishes.
    3. Even though Apple tries to give its products personalities, your Apple computer is not thirsty and does not want any of your soda or latte.
    4. If you have never taken any computer building classes or have never been educated in any way as to how to perform maintenance or install or replace parts on your computer, unfortunately, you are not a computer specialist who knows what he or she is doing. Sorry to burst your bubble.

    I think that covers the four most common ways laptops are damaged. Screen damage, water damage, spilling crap on the keyboard, and thinking you're smart enough to service your own computer are the most common reasons I hear that a person's computer is in the shop. I think it all comes down to laziness and stupidity.

    So if you're a lazy, careless, and stupid person, you deserve to pay that much more a warranty. Some people are very careful, but they like to pay for extra assurance. As a business major, I know that companies charge so much for extra warranty because the companies know what the people are thinking and that they want to feel safe in their purchase, but the companies know something the consumers don't. The companies know the percentage of their computers that have to be serviced, a percentage probably no more than 10%. The companies know that it's highly unlikely that the consumer will ever need the services that they purchase with a warranty. I'm going to stop explaining this because I think it's pretty self-explanatory.

    Daniel.
     
  24. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #24
    The reason apple don't sell a really low end computer is that with PPC the chips were the cheap bit and it'd probably be more expensive for them to use a slower chip than in the Mac Mini as they're no longer made, now they've switched to x86 they probably can, especially if their is a universal Office suite available (their isn't currently as MS Office/NeoOffice are both PPC only).

    Also until recently Apple's always under-RAM'ed their computers. A cheap mac would still need 512MB RAM in it and quite a good processor to run applications through Rosetta. So apart from removing the Wireless etc. they cannot make a Mac any cheaper and leave a profit margin.

    In a year's time, I'm sure they could make a $300-$400 Mac with a free office suite (iWork which will have a spreadsheet hopefully or NeoOffice) and iLife, it could even have a DVD burner an OK hard drive and a 15-17" monitor, just right now it cannot be done.
     
  25. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #25
    "Yes i would not reccommend applecare at all....."that is the stupidest thing ever for someone to say.

    i had an iBook have two logic board failures if i didn't have apple care that would have cost me almost 1000 dollars a piece for them, go ask iGary if he is enjoying his applecare right now with his dual 2.7.

    Applecare is well worth it, things happen to your computer that you cannot control, like a logic board failure or just a complete meltdown. Also HDs do die on occasion and if you have applecare, apple just replaces the HD for free.
     

Share This Page