Apple in the UK... what the hell is going on?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by aldo, Apr 7, 2004.

  1. aldo macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2003
    England, UK
    Well we all know this hasn't been the best of quarters for apple, but they are starting to suck so bad in the UK marketplace it's unbelievable.

    While Dell and others are cutting prices in Europe and the UK (due to dollar:UK sterling rate), Apple hasn't budged. They must be making a killing on this, and it sucks to watch this happen.

    They have next to no marketshare - I know one person with a CRT iMac and that's it. Why? Because prices are way too high.

    Let's compare Dell with Apple, for example. I'm not going to bring the $:£ conversion rate in because it doesn't take in to account cost of living, taxes and many other things. However, I can compare Dell to Apple.

    Apple's budget offering:
    eMac G4
    1GHz PowerPC G4
    128MB SDRAM
    40GB Ultra ATA drive
    DVD/CD-RW drive
    ATI Radeon 7500
    32MB DDR video memory
    56K internal modem
    £649.00 inc VAT (sales tax) and delivery.

    Dell's budget offering:
    Intel Celeron 2.4ghz (yes, it's a celeron but it will beat the 1ghz G4)
    256mb RAM
    40GB HDD
    Printer/Scanner/Copier inc. in price
    17" Monitor
    £376.67(incl. VAT & Del)

    I know the dell is a vastly poorer machine, but is it any wonder 'newbies' are going to stick to the dell? dell advertises all the time, Apple hardly ever (ipod if anything) and look at the price difference. Also, the Dell will be far easier to upgrade, and will perform better (I'm tempted to buy a Dell and put Fedora Core 2 Linux on when it's out - it's a great OS with less and less usability problems every release).

    Hopefully Apple is gonna get off it's ass and do something otherwise the UK market is not going to come back to Apple. I'm hoping the London store will make some changes in Apple's policy to merry ol' england but it doesn't look great.

    PS: Why the hell is the Ireland site grouped with the UK site? It makes no sense at all, especially since Ireland now has the Euro and the UK has Pound Sterling....
  2. Dippo macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2003
    Charlotte, NC
    That's not any different than in the US. You can easily get a Dell or EMachines for about $400, and the lowest eMac is still $800.

    *and Celerons are the worst chips ever...
  3. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    I know, it's ****ing ludicrous isn't it! IMO you'd have to be out of your mind to pay that for an eMac when you can get a branded (not a home build jobie) for half the price (well, near enough) with better specs.
  4. Chappers macrumors 68020


    Aug 12, 2003
    At home
    No argument from me about lemmings buying PCs, cheap is the way they will always go. For me however I still feel that you get what you pay for. Thats why my two previous iMacs (233 and 400DV) are still going strong an old powerbook is still working. I now have a 17 inch iMac, my mother has a old iMac 400 and hey they still doing their job. My work sells old iMacs for £250. They have resale value too.

    Yes Apple ADVERTISE. The iPod has become the king of cool, so why not the mac?
  5. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Pretty much everyone I know has a Mac of some kind... you're obviously hangin' with the wrong kind of people... heheheh
  6. mvc macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2003
    Home Computers and their components have become a commodity.

    Apple cannot manufacture as low cost a commodity computer as the enormous PC marketplace can spit out, even if they wished to.

    Therefore, Apple will do one of three things:

    1. Stop pretending to compete as a commodity in the Home PC market, and rely on cool factor and kudos to sell iMacs etc (current approach)

    2. Stop making any sort of home computer at all. (ongoing enterprise, pro media, scientific focus?)

    3. Make something infinitely cooler and insanely great that everyone just has to have to gazump the commodity market altogether. (iPod approach)

    Competing with Dell price for price is not ever going to be on this list.

    I am hoping for the Third Way :)
  7. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    This argument is soooo tired, no-one complains about paying twice as much for a Porche Boxster or a TT than a Ford Focus, sure they are all worthy cars that do much the same thing, but which one do you really want?

    Apple build thoroghbred specialist machines for people who demand great design, innovation and system integration in a package that doesn't fall over when the dog farts, if you want to pay peanuts you'll get a machine for monkeys.

    My PC music/video friends pay a heavy price for their platform, exactly as we do for ours, and they have to use Windoze... :eek:

    If you want a Mac, buy one, if you can't afford it, save some money. I want a Boxster S, I can't afford one, so I'm saving. This doesn't make Porche a bad company for building great cars.

    Macs are the Porches of the computer world, Dell et al are the Fords, that's it, get over it. ;) :D
  8. aldo thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2003
    England, UK
    I understand that, but Apple can't expect to sell eMacs to any 'new' switchers.

    What I'm also complaining about is the fact that Apple doesn't do price drops - while I understand they have higher R&D costs than others, they don't take advantage of scale. The first iMac was a great success because it was cheap. I don't care if they are the porsches of the world, most people don't see it that way and they would rather have a Dell with a monitor, print, scanner, and nearly twice the speed (going off the spec sheets) than an all in one that can never be upgraded (apart from RAM - which is not even DDR yet!!!).

    Their laptops are priced much more competitively, and I do see a few mac laptop users around. The desktop lineup sucks at the moment, and Apple isn't going to be able to rely on the G5 being the worlds fastest computer if they don't get it to 3ghz - Intel and AMD are at their heels with the AMD64...
  9. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    it wasn't that cheap... ;)
  10. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    Everyone has the choice, if you don't like the range or the price don't buy a Mac, go buy a Dull and struggle with Windoze and a bog-standard machine, the Ghz argument isn't nearly as persuasive when faced with the level of system integration that Apple offer to the creative industries.

    Nearly all of my students (around 500) want to use Macs, the G5's rock for video and audio, and they only use PC's because they can't afford Apple prices.... but when they can, they will.

    It's an aspirational thing, Jobs understands that more than anything I think, build something special and sell it at a high price, then let people want it enough to strive for it.

    Most people wouldn't benefit from using a Mac, your average computer user is well serviced by the mass-market, and good luck to them. I wouldn't want to try to do what I do on a PC, I love the Mac ethic and I'll pay for it.

    You really do get what you pay for.
  11. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2004
    If you go the Apple store site - where you can both browse their entire product range, and buy - it asks you before entering whether you want the Ireland store of the UK store. The store is eminantly browsable, with full descriptions et al, so try that.

    Save even more and buy a 911 - it's no secret that people buy Boxsters because they can't afford 911's! :) JK though - they're a kick a** car.

    I do think, to a large extent, it's a UK thing - here in Northern Ireland, I believe there is one official Apple reseller, and one vendor - PC World (UK). Very few people have Macs here - largely due to the great absence of Apple retail outlets meaning that your average family walking around a city centre won't see a Mac shop - even less any form of Mac advertising. There is, effectively, none. Apple can rely on reputation to sell products, once its reputation is known to a loyal minority - here in the UK, there is a very, very small minority.

  12. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    I know two other people that have a mac. They both have one 'cos I showed 'em ibook that is.
  13. aldo thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2003
    England, UK
    Ok some more points:

    1) WTF is this conception that dell == windows?! I know a lot of people who run Linux very will on their Dell PCs. There is a lot of great software for Linux and WINE can run a lot of windows software and nearly all major games (a lot better than the current arragment with Mac gaming - twice the price and 2 years late) as fast, if not faster than on Windows.

    2) I don't mean the Apple store. I mean the website. It's so ugly with the price comparisions.

    3) Also, as I've said there is so little advertising in the UK for Apple, that no-one has even heard of them. Everyone has heard of Dell and other PC manufacuters.

    Also, remember that you can build your own PC and take another £50 off the Dell price most likley. Apple is going to go nowhere in the home market (and even worse in the SMB area) unless these prices are sorted out. Most people I know are knowledgable enough to know how to build their own PC (and most of them aren't even 'geeks') so really Apple is fighting a loosing battle.

    Finally, I personally feel that Apple has to do something fast - it's got such an amazing OS that I feel could really start to shrivel up soon.

    Read this:

    Especially this part:
    "In all this, I'm discounting the Mac. It's an important and influential
    niche, one that Mozilla values, but not one likely to grow enough to
    make a difference compared to Linux and Windows. If the OS and
    especially the multimedia apps were to be ported to PCs and opened up to
    developers on other platforms, maybe -- but those steps would undercut a
    lot of Apple's profitability, its platform's strengths, and its appeal
    (yes, including its snob appeal)."

    I think this is very true and also a real shame.

    I'm also sounding increasingly like a nasty troll, but I do love Apple products, but I wish that they could price a desktop system lower.
  14. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    No one ever heard of them??? I think you're being a bit melodramatic here... :rolleyes:
  15. Blackstealth macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2003
    Bradford, UK
    True, I work for a small (i.e. less than 10 people) multi-media design firm (mostly making software for the education sector) and whilst 50% of the staff are Mac users at home, at the office we're an XP shop because it's a loosing battle for Apple on system prices. We build all our systems in-house with quality parts to very high specifications and we still seriously undercut mid/high range G5 prices.

    If we could buy pro machines from Apple at similar prices that it costs us to build Windows systems I'd sign the purchase order tomorrow.
  16. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    Seeing as I used Linux on the desktop until about 12 months ago can I just say that your assertion that you can play nearly all games - some better than on windows - is bollocks. If you're referring to transgaming's WineX product which IIRC gives the best chance of running directX games on Linux then a lot of the games run far from perfectly. Many seem to have a rating of 3/5 "Playable with major irritations" in the companies database. In fact from my experience with desktop linux that pretty much sums the whole user interface with most desktop environments on Linux "usable with major irritations". The underlying OS is incredibly powerful and flexible but even KDE sucks as a desktop.

    Besides you've got to accept than the vast majority of Dell PCs are still running what they shipped with...Windows.
  17. yuc7zhd2 macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2003
    Its all in the marketing plan my friend. And just like everyone else said, the prices are the same in the US. You pay for what you get. I paid $2600 USD plus tax and **** loads on software and accessories for this PowerBook, and I haven't had any regrets about not getting a cheaper Dell once.
  18. Souljas macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2004
    thanks for bringing this topic up, I was thinking of geting a cheap £250 ticket to America and buying a top PB, loose the packaging and bringing it back. All together it actually works out slighly better value cos u get a holiday too and a nice stay in america. The prices are fu!!@£ up.
  19. thatwendigo macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2003
    Sum, Ergo Sum.

    If you could buy assembled machines, using non-commodity parts, at commodity prices, then you'd buy one? Well, no ****... Anyone would!

    You do realize how ludicrous what you're saying is, don't you? You can't even buy a PC at that kind of price, because OEMs need to make a profit to make up for their costs in building, distribution, and everything else. In the mac world, it's even worse, because of all the custom work, parts, R&D, and other aspects that end up giving us an unfavorable economy of scale, compared to the Wintel/AMD market.
  20. Blackstealth macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2003
    Bradford, UK
    The point I was trying to make is that if the price differential wasn't so absurd, i.e. if it was closer to £500 than £1000 then we'd be more likely to consider using Macs in a small business environment.

    Even with their small business prices they're still not price competitive. They can bang on about how great their machines are for design professionals as much as they like but for any small embryonic company it's a choice between expanding the business or buying Macs, and most will choose expansion.

    In the past we've purchased reasonably high-spec machines from Dell and HP, and Apple has only entered our shortlist of suppliers for the scenario where we find a bag of cash in the carpark.
  21. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Hehe, that last bit was funny. :)

    I'll admit that buying a Windows PC isn't a big step down, since I didn't use or own my first Mac until 7 months ago. While the Mac is luvly, I still have to say that PC's that break are easy to troubleshoot. But oh wait, the thing is that my PC never gave me a headache. My previous PC didn't, either. WinME gave me some headaches on Shut Down, but once I got to WinXP, it was gravy.

    Seriously, I can't blame people for going the Windows route. Its not a bad route to take, and Macs aren't 2 times better, so some people aren't willing to pay 2 times more for a desktop that isn't 2 times better. Some people don't care about getting exactly 2 times better, as long as its reasonably better, they'll pay the extra cash for it. Its sorta like your car analogies. Surely a Ferrari or something isn't 2 or 3 times better than an M3, and yet look at the cost difference.
  22. yuc7zhd2 macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2003
    Perhaps small business tech purchasing departments should hire/lease economists and those familiar with finance. Opportunity Costs and time costs. Provided that your windows machine runs typically and crashes during typical microsoft office operations, then a consumer grade emac, at double the purchasing cost of a similar dell, might still be a cheaper good. I've owned PC's running windows 95, 98, Me, NT and XP, and crashes on OS X are no where near comparable in number (nearly non-existant) to crashes on these OS's. Microsoft's own office program runs better on OS X.
  23. aldo thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2003
    England, UK
    But Apple uses commodity parts. In my iBook, there is an hitatchi HDD, Toshiba DVD/CDRW, micron RAM, rebranded prisim2 wifi card (airport), ATi graphics chip, motorola CPU and a synaptics (i think) trackpad.

    Every single one of those is off the shelf stuff (apart from the cpu maybe). Yes it's more complex because it's a laptop. But on a desktop the parts will be even more commodity-ized. All this bull**** that Apple spends millions of dollars on R&D is false. They may do for their OS (and damn its good), but for the hardware it is so like regular PC stuff with a different case it's unbelivable.
  24. aldo thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2003
    England, UK
    PS: I'm not being over dramatic when I say that people haven't heard of Apple. A lot didn't know who they were and even more thought they only made iPods. So really, that shows how 'bad' things are.

    Also, on the WineX front, it's not perfect but a lot of games are very playable. Guess what, because it's open source it gets better every day. Apple is in a losing battle with Linux and even Windows is looking more and more viable for multimedia people (get a good system for a half, or third of the price and not have to pay top dollar every time it has a software fault because of the scarcity of Apple sysadmins)

    Personally I think this year will be make or break for Apple. Microsoft is snapping at the heels of iTMS (yes and it will probably be bundled into Longhorn, the same way they got IE onto everyones computer and now have a near monopoly over the browser market). Linux is becoming the choice of 3D animation places because of its power, and with things like Mono they will become a viable desktop proposition.
  25. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    don't worry, it's been "make or break" year for apple pretty much every year since... 1980's? ;)

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