why is mac so expensive ?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DELINDA, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #1
    I have PScs3 , I don't want cs4 , still learning it . If I install snow leopard , will it affect cs3 . I have been told there are still problems . if that is so , then I shall stay with OSx leopard . What is going on ? Can you help ? Also , Pc's with more in them cost half the price of mac , why . My repair person (mac guy) told me the parts are all made in the same places . Are we paying for just the name and all the mac product line ?
     
  2. macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Location:
    Singapore
    #2
    in the long run, macs really arent that expensive.
     
  3. macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
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    Isla Nublar
    #3
    I use CS3 on Snow Leopard just fine for the most part.
    There is a bug Adobe never addressed that involves saving files manipulated by plugins. Unfortunately it affects the SuperBlade Pro plugin I use all the time : /

    Aside from that no problems.

    As far as the mac vs pc cost here is the main idea:

    Apple and Microsoft are two completely different business models. Apple makes money off of the hardware, MS makes money off of the software.

    You can notice this just by looking at the Operating System costs. Windows 7 upgrades from vista are roughly $200, Apples is $30. Buying a new OS for 7 to get the full OS is almost $400, the full OS (non upgrade) for snow leopard is $129.

    Now, many people talk about the "Apple Tax" but you have to realize there is also a "PC" tax in the form of needing to buy antivirus and antispyware (unless you want the free stuff), paying more for office programs (iWork is $79, MS Office is much more) or programs that do things like disk partitioning, automatic backup, etc.

    It is true there are a lot of similar components but apple generally uses higher quality components. Not many laptops out there have LED screens or are made of aluminum with backlit keyboards. This is all part of the cost of a mac. Aluminum cases are more expensive then plastic cases. If you look at companies that use higher quality components such as high end sony laptops you will see that the price is about even.

    Mac vs PC all comes down to how people want to spend their money and what uses they have for a computer. For gamers, Windows is a no brainer. For creative professionals, its usually a Mac. For everyone else, its usually personal preference.
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #4
    Inside every Mac is a gold nugget - when the time comes, just crack it open and mail it off to gotgoldgetcash.co.uk and you'll get back the extra cost of the Mac vs. the PC.

    Works 60% of the time. Every time. :cool:
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Location:
    Scotland
    #5
    For me the main differences are as follows, in no particular order:

    1. Mac's have residual values far above those of even branded PC's never unbranded, home built PC's. This tends to reflect the fact that Mac's remain useful for longer than PC's so even if you don't sell the machine to realise the residual value as cash, you can continue to use the machine or give it to a friend or family member and they can get useful life from it. I'm typing this on a 5 year old Powerbook G4 which I bought on eBay recently as an example. Great little machine!

    2. Apple design the computer as a complete system from end to end. Some of the components may appear to be the same as PC components and in many cases they are but Apple make sure that all the bits work together as best they can both in terms of functionality and things like thermal management. Since they control everything about the machine they can change hardware and/or software as required to achieve the desired level of performance and stability. The component cost of Apple machines would be much higher if it were not for the fact that Apple use massive buying power, helped by the relatively small number of discrete products they ship, to keep component costs right down.

    3. Apple support has an excellent reputation for customer service and since they support both the hardware and software you only have one number to call to get help when you need it. You can also visit an Apple retail store if there is one nearby and get hands on support. The resource required to provide this level of support is costly and some of that cost will undoubtedly be added to the product prices.

    4. Apple products are beautiful! There, I said it... Whether you appreciate a nicely designed and presented machine or whether you couldn't care less, Apple machines have had a lot more thought and resource put in to the aesthetics than your typical "beige box" PC. Of course there are nice PC's out there too but they also attract a premium.

    5. Energy consumption of something like an iMac is much lower than a similar spec PC due to the use of laptop components within a desktop enclosure. These laptop components are much more expensive in terms of wholesale price but consume much less power. With electricity costs the way they are now this can be very significant. I did some calculations and worked out that my iMac running at 93 watts saves me around £100 per year compared to the 300 watt PC it replaced. The iMac is also about 5 times faster and doesn't sound like a swamp boat with noisy fans.

    I hope this helps to make you feel better about the apparent extra cost of Mac's. As has been said many times before, the total cost over the lifetime of the machine is not so different from PC's and may in some cases actually be lower depending on how much or little the above factors affect you.

    Regards,
    Craig.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Or for $169 you can get Snow Leopard, iLife and iWork. :)
     
  7. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Location:
    Pumpkin Land
    #7
    There is a bit of a problem with this that seems it is becoming more and more apparent the longer the Intel switch goes on.. Take a look at the MacPro for example. The newest ones (released about a year ago) are STILL suffering problems related to media. These are the machines that media is supposed to be created on! This has been shown with a fair amount of consistency to be an OS X problem as the same is not repeated when booting Windows.. This and the recent iMac screen issues among other things are a bad sign for QC at Apple.

    Also, some see the laptop parts being used in iMacs as a disadvantage due to the fact that they are less powerful at the same cost.

    Sorry just had to chime in with that a little. If you compare a generic PC (not home-built) to a similar (in feature set, which includes weight!) Mac, then the price comes out pretty close most of the time. Some things are more expensive, such as graphics cards for the Mac Pro, but in general base machines are competitive. Apple just doesn't sell a "cheap" laptop or tower like HP,Acer, Dell, etc do.
     
  8. Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    #8
    If you check the SLA those prices are actually the cost to upgrade from Tiger.

    Apple don't sell a 'full' version of Snow Leopard, just upgrade versions because you can only (legally) install it on an Apple branded computer which means there is already a version of OS X already installed.
     
  9. macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #9
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    so are you saying that if I were to erase my hdd right now and try to install SL, it wouldn't install?
     
  10. Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    #10
    No, I'm just talking about licensing.

    If you buy a 'full' version of Windows it allows you to install it on a new computer. Snow Leopard can only be legally installed on an Apple branded computer and they are all originally sold with a licensed version of OS X (so it's theoretically an upgrade).

    You can install the $29 'Leopard upgrade' version of Snow Leopard onto a blank hard drive if you so wish, there is nothing in the installer which checks if Leopard is already present.
     
  11. macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #11
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    ok, im with you. Just making sure we know each others stance here lol. From a legal point of view its an 'upgrade', but its still a full version of osx, but it is normally going to be to upgrade from leopard. Not that I care much for that side of things ;)

    a lot of people argue that the EULA won't hold up - I really have no clue and don't really care. Heated battle though!
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    #12
    Macs are so much more expensive for three reasons:

    1) Hardware is cooler/sexier looking and what other companies consider "upgrades" are included, such as, backlit keyboard on macbook pro line. They are also first to market in things like displayport- this costs more money than the current pc standard hdmi port.

    2) Expensive snarky ad campaign. Cool arrogant guy plays the mac and overweight dumpy guy plays the pc. The pretty girl would rather switch to a mac than buy a windows 7 pc for half the price because upgrading from xp to 7 is too difficult for her. You will be pretty and cool if you have a mac- and pumped up with smugness.

    3) 40% profit margin. I prefer mac but when it comes to purchasing dollars I am very reluctant to give them to the company for such a fat profit margin when I would prefer faster/updated hardware. When Apple releases its financials the stock holders have reason to cheer, but the fanboys have reason to scratch their heads and say "ummm, what about us, ya know, your customer?"
     
  13. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #13
    I was a PC guy - until I got a job that required me to use a Mac.

    I was bummed... Until I actually used the OSX operating system, integrated seamlessly with the hardware.

    It was as though THIS was what Windows SHOULD be. Just light years ahead regarding the end user experience.

    My parents still fight viruses and crap with a 2 year old Dell. They've had it in the shop 3 times, and they're ready to toss it. Meanwhile, my wife's 6 year old Mac keeps chugging along with no problem.

    So for me, it's not only the end-user's experience with the computer, but the longevity of that pleasant experience as well.

    My parents will end up spending 2-3X more fixing that PC and ultimately buying a new one than they would have if they had just bought a Mac in the first place.

    At least now they're wiser - and will shell out for a Mac next time, which will ultimately save them a bundle down the road...
     
  14. Guest

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  15. macrumors 6502

    Corrosive vinyl

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    #15
    There is a PC cost, which is hidden. The average life span of a desktop is about 2-3 years. The average life span of a mac is about 5-6 years. If the mac costs $1,000 and the PC costs $499, then the cost is the same since you will statistically have to buy two PCs in the time it takes the mac to crap out.
     
  16. macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #16
    Total cost of ownership for Macs are less than PCs.
    Just google: danish control center
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    #17
    While I'm not going to argue that Mac's aren't more expensive than their Windows counterparts I don't think the gap's as big as many people think.

    The simple fact of the matter is that Apple makes high end machines and certain components reflect that. The most obvious example would be the laptop screens Apple currently use. I think I'm right in saying all of them are LED-backlit and in all my time on PC support I've very rarely come across a screen in a Windows laptop that is as good as those in the MBP ranges. Other examples off the top of my head are the battery (I'm sure that built in Li-Po battery doesn't come cheap), the case itself (unibody aluminium is always going to be more expensive than a traditional plastic case) and the keyboard / trackpad (so far ahead of the vast majority of PC laptops it's actually a bit depressing). Then you've got the extras like the backlit keyboard, ambient light sensor, drop sensor etc etc.

    Don't get me wrong, there's a pretty hefty markup on Macs but like-for-like it's not actually as much as it first appears. The trick is managing to specify a PC the same way for a true comparison and that's harder than you may think...
     
  18. Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

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    #18
    More what?
     
  19. macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
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    Pa
    #19
    Apple charges for the design. I can get a Dell with everything that a Macbook Pro has (plus better specs), and more, for much less money. but it won't come in a 1" case, or have be able to run OS X... so how much is that worth?

    If you just want a computer as a document writing tool, then chances are that a mac will be too expensive when a PC (which is cheaper, apples to apple hardware comparison) with lower end specs (thus reducing the price even more) will work fine.

    The problem is that Apple doesn't make a low-end laptop, and so even their cheapest computer should be compared to a higher end PC laptop (we're going to exclude the Macbook because that is way overpriced, and no one in their right mind could argue any other way)
     
  20. macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    上海 (Shanghai)
    #20
    Pretty much; I mean you do get the supposed build quality, service, and design aspects.
     
  21. macrumors 603

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    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #21
    The argument that settles the debate in mind, about whether all components are made (and assembled) equally or not, is this.

    Third party testing ranks systems according to how well they run applications and OSes, with large differences from top ranked to bottom ranked machines. Obviously, component quality and component combinations do matter - otherwise these rankings would be much much closer together.

    A year or so ago 3rd party testing found that a Mac ran Vista better than any other PC, including machines that were made specifically for Windows. This may not be the only way to compare the quality of a Mac's hardware to other PC systems, but for me it was confirmation that Macs are in fact built better.

    Another analogy would be building a house. You could fit all the components of a house (furniture, appliances, mechanical systems) into a building using the design services of your local tow-truck driver, who would design your house for a couple hundred of dollars cash plus that '69 Chevy V8 small block in your garage. Or you could pay an architect their fees to design the house. You still get the same "stuff" in the house.... but which house do you think is going to work better?

    It is your decision. Not everyone needs an architect designed house, but there is a reason they cost more. You may not *need* it... but there is a rationale. Same with Macs. The extra quality may not be what you need, but it is there. If you don't need the extra quality - then don't buy it. It is your decision.
     
  22. macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
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    #22
    I used to scoff at the idea of the high resale value of Macs. Recently, I have been considering selling my 1.83 Core Duo Mini and getting a newer one with the Nvidia graphics. After browsing around eBay, I was very surprised. People were selling Minis similar to mine for around $300. Considering a new one is $600, or a refurb is $500, I'd say that is pretty good. I can sell my 3+ year old machine and get 1/2 the cost of a new one. I seriously doubt I could do that with any of my non-Mac machines. Heck, even my 5 year old Powerbook is still going for around $300 on eBay. I am now a believer in the high resale value thing. :)
     
  23. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    #23
    Take time to research and build yourself a hackintosh. For £500 you can have a quad core build with a 4870, running Snow Leopard 10.6.2 straight from the retail disk. Mine runs 100% perfectly, 100% of the time. All features work, and it's even backed up using Time Machine on a second internal hard drive.

    Do it, and you'll never pay Apple prices again. :p
     
  24. macrumors 603

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    #24
    Or get the Apple Warranty and AppleCare.... and a guarantee that future OS updates will work.

    :)
     
  25. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    #25
    Updates are a (slight) concern, granted. But the warranty/Applecare is not worth paying more than double for. If it breaks, just restore from backup.
     

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