Analysis of Apple tax on notebooks?

bozeefus

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 18, 2008
70
0
There was an old article regarding Apple tax on Macbooks:
http://gizmodo.com/5065133/the-truth-about-the-apple-tax


With the new Macbook Pros coming soon, how do you think they will compare to what's currently out there, and do you think the Apple tax will be significant? Of course, try to compare premium laptops with Apple's upcoming refresh

Example: HP's Envy line.

ie:

HP Envy 15in base config
i5-430 proc
4GB DDR3
320GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
1GB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5830
$1,299.99 + tax


current MBP 15 in base config
Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB Memory
250GB hard drive
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
$1,699.00


future???? MBP 15 in, base config
i5 proc
4GB ddr3
hd size?
graphics?
i don't think price will increase, probably will stay at $1,699.00
 

Pax

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2003
593
0
HP Envy 15in base config
i5-430 proc
4GB DDR3
320GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
1GB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5830
$1,299.99 + tax
Engadget:

"Performance comes with battery sacrifices, however. While writing this review in Google Docs with a few additional Firefox tabs open, the system lasted just under two hours on a charge. That's pretty abysmal for a larger laptop: ... the 15-Inch MacBook Pro gets just about 4 hours. ...We'd be more forgiving if the power brick weren't so damn large and heavy.

Sure, you can always get HP's neatly designed nine-cell slice which fits right on the bottom of the laptop, but that will cost you an extra $125 bucks, and add additional weight and size"

I'm sure the Envy is a nice laptop 'n' all, but at least part of the "Apple Tax" in this case is deletion of the word "abysmal". 2 hours of battery life under light use? Massive 1990's style power brick? Need a slice to get decent mobility? Pah!

The Apple tax stuff always amuses me. You always get people quoting a bunch of megagiga in which Apple performs mediocrely, and then conveniently forget about stuff like the battery life & all the extra gunk you need to carry around to achieve decent mobility with the competitor.
 

vant

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2009
1,231
1
I'm thankful that Apple doesn't turn an ear to these 'apple tax' whiners. We'd all be rocking plastic filled flimsy blocky machines that look like any other laptop on the market.
 

student_trap

macrumors 68000
Mar 14, 2005
1,879
0
'Ol Smokey, UK
I have no problem with paying more than average for my apple products, although for that premium I expect them not to fail on masse (im looking at you 27" imac).

The only apple tax i don't like is the one placed upon EU customers. We pay so much more than the US for apple products: it is ridiculous
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,860
30,385
Boston
I'm thankful that Apple doesn't turn an ear to these 'apple tax' whiners. We'd all be rocking plastic filled flimsy blocky machines that look like any other laptop on the market.
The issue is right now that we're paying more for much less. You can get an i5 for less then what apple is charging and technically speaking its not for those flimsy blocky machines but for a MBP knock off (with poor battery life)
 

Tyrion

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2002
508
5
I'm usually very critical of Apple, but the comparison in the OP is not really fair, since the Envy is still quite current and the MBP is clearly end-of-life. Of course it's going to look terrible! If you want to blame Apple, blame them for neglecting their laptop lineup (I sure as hell am!), but 9 month old hardware is always going to look horrible compared to current hardware.

Now, let's assume Apple releases new MBPs tomorrow (I for one sure hope so). Then the comparison might look something like this, going by current rumors and assuming prices stay the same:

HP Envy 15in base config
i5-430 proc
4GB DDR3
320GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
1GB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5830
$1,299.99 + tax

vs.

MBP 15 in base config
i5-???, maybe even i7
4GB DDR3
320 GB hard drive
NVIDIA GeForce 330M + Intel HD (Optimus)
$1,699.00

The Apple tax in this case would still be 400 bucks, which I think is pretty realistic, but the hardware is more or less equivalent. I mean, the term Apple tax is usually understood to refer to (and be justified by) the nice extras Apple provides (unibody, multitouch trackpad), the great battery life and OS X. At this juncture, it unfortunately encompasses ancient hardware (at least in the MBPs), but that will change soon. My point is therefore that such a comparison makes very little sense right now.
 

mark28

macrumors 68000
Jan 29, 2010
1,632
2
Engadget:

"Performance comes with battery sacrifices, however. While writing this review in Google Docs with a few additional Firefox tabs open, the system lasted just under two hours on a charge. That's pretty abysmal for a larger laptop: ... the 15-Inch MacBook Pro gets just about 4 hours. ...We'd be more forgiving if the power brick weren't so damn large and heavy.

Sure, you can always get HP's neatly designed nine-cell slice which fits right on the bottom of the laptop, but that will cost you an extra $125 bucks, and add additional weight and size"

I'm sure the Envy is a nice laptop 'n' all, but at least part of the "Apple Tax" in this case is deletion of the word "abysmal". 2 hours of battery life under light use? Massive 1990's style power brick? Need a slice to get decent mobility? Pah!

The Apple tax stuff always amuses me. You always get people quoting a bunch of megagiga in which Apple performs mediocrely, and then conveniently forget about stuff like the battery life & all the extra gunk you need to carry around to achieve decent mobility with the competitor.
The 2 extra hours comes from software, not from hardware.

On my Pc laptop I get under 2 hours of battery life in Windows Vista. Somehow when I use Linux, I get 4:40 hours of Battery life while doing regular work. ;)

If I do light work I probably get 5+ hours, but never tested it. ;)

So the battery life argument is void.
 

gfiz

macrumors 6502
Dec 18, 2009
349
1
Virginia
The issue is right now that we're paying more for much less. You can get an i5 for less then what apple is charging and technically speaking its not for those flimsy blocky machines but for a MBP knock off (with poor battery life)
technically a MBP prototype...but yea, mac forums, I understand the need to envision it the other way.
 

Aboo

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2008
771
14
I have no problem with paying more than average for my apple products, although for that premium I expect them not to fail on masse (im looking at you 27" imac).

The only apple tax i don't like is the one placed upon EU customers. We pay so much more than the US for apple products: it is ridiculous
Your sales taxes and import taxes are also a lot more than anything we have in the US. Ideally, it would be a direct dollar to euro or pound conversion, but its not.
 

student_trap

macrumors 68000
Mar 14, 2005
1,879
0
'Ol Smokey, UK
Your sales taxes and import taxes are also a lot more than anything we have in the US. Ideally, it would be a direct dollar to euro or pound conversion, but its not.
true, but even after the taxes are taken off of the price, there cost of a mac is still higher than in the US
 

mark28

macrumors 68000
Jan 29, 2010
1,632
2
An argument about short battery life in a Windows notebook is invalid because the problem has to do with the OS it's designed to run?

My brain hurts.
What's so hard to understand that it is not due to hardware and hence it shouldn't cost more. There are Laptops with 85Wh batteries, alot more than Macbook Pro's have. ( The HP Envy has got even more than 85Wh battery, since it can be upgraded to a 15 cell battery )

Probably if I had one of those 85Wh batteries, I should get around 8 hours too in Linux or even more.

The Apple tax is paying for inferior hardware. ;)
 

6-0 Prolene

macrumors 6502
Feb 11, 2010
340
0
What's so hard to understand that it is not due to hardware and hence it shouldn't cost more. There are Laptops with 85Wh batteries, alot more than Macbook Pro's have.

Probably if I had one of those 85Wh batteries, I should get around 8 hours too in Linux or even more.

The Apple tax is paying for inferior hardware. ;)
But if I buy my WINDOWS laptop designed to run WINDOWS and it runs half as long as my "inferior" MacBook Pro 3,1, what advantage am I gaining? The mental masturbatory advantage of knowing that I'd have a lot better battery life if it were running OS X?

If you're paying for battery life, i.e. something that actually matters, then it would seem that the Mac wins and is worth more.
 

KyleKlink

macrumors regular
Feb 22, 2009
127
0
Santa Maria, Ca
I'm one who doesn't much care about the "Apple tax." Call me shallow, but I am willing to pay a bit more for a laptop that looks great. The way I see it, you're only paying a couple hundred more for an apple product. To most people that's not a big deal.
 

bozeefus

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 18, 2008
70
0
Actually, my goal of the post was to speculate whether the Apple tax will increase or decrease with the release of upcoming MBP models.

I used the Envy series since those will most likely be the specs the new MBP will have and they look hella similar in design as well. I was not trying to compare Envy with the current MBP models
 

crobbins

macrumors 6502
Nov 11, 2006
282
1
Colorado
It seems doubtful to me that the prices will change..in the time I've been an Apple fan (4 years) I've hardly ever seen the notebook line move in price. I must say though, every time I read someone's post who says something won't happen..it happens.. :eek:
 

elppa

macrumors 68040
Nov 26, 2003
3,229
106
The 2 extra hours comes from software, not from hardware.

On my Pc laptop I get under 2 hours of battery life in Windows Vista. Somehow when I use Linux, I get 4:40 hours of Battery life while doing regular work. ;)

If I do light work I probably get 5+ hours, but never tested it. ;)

So the battery life argument is void.
No, it is still valid because it affects the practical usage of the machine.

Most people buying one won't know one of three things:
[1] What "Linux" is?
[2] How to install it.
[4] How to get their drivers working.
 

PeterQVenkman

macrumors 68020
Mar 4, 2005
2,023
0
I'm one who doesn't much care about the "Apple tax." Call me shallow, but I am willing to pay a bit more for a laptop that looks great. The way I see it, you're only paying a couple hundred more for an apple product. To most people that's not a big deal.
I think most mac owners are willing to pay a premium within reason. Myself included.

The apple tax certainly becomes much more of an issue near the end of a current line of Apple products. The single-quad MacPro and MacBook Pro are certainly not worth the asking price at the moment because they are so stale.

I think people would whine about it less if Apple updated their products more frequently.
 

student_trap

macrumors 68000
Mar 14, 2005
1,879
0
'Ol Smokey, UK
I think people would whine about it less if Apple updated their products more frequently.
I agree, although people would whine even if they were updated more often. An we'll get more threads with people buying stuff just before an update.

With the glass half full, at least now we have a good idea when products are imminent.
 

Eddyisgreat

macrumors 601
Oct 24, 2007
4,847
1
Uhh Apple tax? Oh yah. R&D my butt. Apple is making cash money hand over fist in damn near every segment except software (subsidized by hardware). Apple's profit margins are so phat that they can afford to give away iPods, provide a whole host of discounts for the educational market, and were able to just drop the price of the MacBook line just for the heck of it (2008?) and STILL make more profit.

I don't mind though. No other vendor has done it better. For me, atleast.
 

Aboo

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2008
771
14
true, but even after the taxes are taken off of the price, there cost of a mac is still higher than in the US
what is the current VAT and import tax percentages in the UK? I believe VAT is around 17% but I am not sure about the import tax.

Another thing to consider is currency conversion. The sterling has recently been dropping drastically. When Apple determines prices, it usually adjusts prices to a mean exchange rate.
 

student_trap

macrumors 68000
Mar 14, 2005
1,879
0
'Ol Smokey, UK
what is the current VAT and import tax percentages in the UK? I believe VAT is around 17% but I am not sure about the import tax.

Another thing to consider is currency conversion. The sterling has recently been dropping drastically. When Apple determines prices, it usually adjusts prices to a mean exchange rate.
This may help

Vat is 17.5%

If you work out the cost of any mac in the US, add 17.5% and then convert the currency you will see that there is still a discrepancy between the uk and US prices
 

lilo777

macrumors 603
Nov 25, 2009
5,144
0
Engadget:

"Performance comes with battery sacrifices, however. While writing this review in Google Docs with a few additional Firefox tabs open, the system lasted just under two hours on a charge. That's pretty abysmal for a larger laptop: ... the 15-Inch MacBook Pro gets just about 4 hours. ...We'd be more forgiving if the power brick weren't so damn large and heavy.

Sure, you can always get HP's neatly designed nine-cell slice which fits right on the bottom of the laptop, but that will cost you an extra $125 bucks, and add additional weight and size"

I'm sure the Envy is a nice laptop 'n' all, but at least part of the "Apple Tax" in this case is deletion of the word "abysmal". 2 hours of battery life under light use? Massive 1990's style power brick? Need a slice to get decent mobility? Pah!

The Apple tax stuff always amuses me. You always get people quoting a bunch of megagiga in which Apple performs mediocrely, and then conveniently forget about stuff like the battery life & all the extra gunk you need to carry around to achieve decent mobility with the competitor.
Did you notice the difference in graphics? It's all about choice (well, in PC world anyways). You can buy PC Laptops that have battery time around 8 hours (without extra battery) but they will obviously have a different graphic card and different CPU