MP All Models Historical Apple Prices with Inflation Adjustments

haralds

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 3, 2014
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There was an article floating around with historical Apple prices. It did not go through the trouble of translating it into inflation adjusted current prices. I did.

The net: Macs incl Mac Pros are cheaper than in the past.
The Mac IIfx was the closest thing to a Mac Pro and it came in at $20000. I have one of those in my garage!
Makes the new Mac Pro entry very cheap.

Historical Apple Prices
21. Apple III (1981) — $3,815 - $10750

20. Macintosh XL (1984) — $3,995 - $9849

19. Macintosh SE/30 (1989) — $4,90019 - $10,122

17. Macintosh IIcx (1989) — $5,369 - $11,091

16. Macintosh II (1987) — $5,498 - $12,396.78

15. PowerBook G3 (1997) — $5,699 - $9,095

14. Macintosh Quadra 700 (1991) — $5,700 - $10,720

13. Mac Pro (2019) — $5,999

12. PowerBook 3400c (1997) — $6,500 - $10,373

11. Apple LaserWriter (1985) — $6,995 - $16,652

10. Mac Pro (2013) — $6,999 - $7,696

9. Macbook Pro (2016) — $7,049 - $7,523

8. Macintosh Portable (1989) — $7,300 - $15,079

7. Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (1997) — $7,499 - $11,968

6. Macintosh IIci (1989) — $8,800 - $18,178

5. Macintosh IIx (1988) — $9,369 - $20,286

4. Apple Lisa (1983) — $9,995 - $25,679

3. Macintosh IIfx (1990) — $12,000 - $23,517

2. iMac Pro (2017) — $13,199 - $13,7923

1. Apple Watch Edition (2015) — $17,000
 

fhturner

macrumors 6502a
Nov 7, 2007
596
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Birmingham, AL & Atlanta, GA
Not sure what the source or gist of that pricing is/was, but those figures are definitely not showing entry-level pricing. Some of it looks like max config pricing, such as $13K on iMac Pro.

In any case, no matter how you slice it, the entry-level Mac Pro 2019 pricing ain’t cheap (even though the creator of this list appears to want to make it so by using its base config against maximum specs on all the others), nor a good value for its specs, for that matter. We have 2 decades of expandable, pro Mac towers (Power Mac G3–G5, Mac Pro 2006–2013) starting at under $3000, under $2500, and sometimes under $2000 to illustrate that point.
 

nigelbb

macrumors 65816
Dec 22, 2012
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I just dug up the invoice from my purchase of a Mac Pro 3,1 in November 2008.

MA970F/A dual CPU 2.8GHz octacore 2G RAM 320GB HDD & Radeon 2600XT
Total cost inc 19.6% sales tax was € 2,199.44

No matter how you adjust that for inflation it's a damn sight cheaper than any Mac Pro 2019 model is going to be.
 

Slash-2CPU

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2016
395
257
There was an article floating around with historical Apple prices. It did not go through the trouble of translating it into inflation adjusted current prices. I did.

Where’s the article? What were the unadjusted prices? What source was used for inflationary values?

I’m calling BS.

As much as the 2019 Mac Pro isn’t as expensive as people are making it out to be, some of those inflation-adjusted prices are almost not possible.
 
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fhturner

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As much as the 2019 Mac Pro isn’t as expensive as people are making it out to be, some of those inflation-adjusted prices are almost not possible.

Oh, it's not being made out to be expensive...it IS expensive. Many seem to think that it is powerful enough that Apple can charge whatever they like, and it'll be "worth it" to them. But value is a little more objective than that, and the 2019 Mac Pro is not as good of a value as prior Mac Pros and other options.
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
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In 1986, I paid $7,700 1986 dollars for a Mac Plus system and I still remember what every component costs
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Oh, it's not being made out to be expensive...it IS expensive. Many seem to think that it is powerful enough that Apple can charge whatever they like, and it'll be "worth it" to them. But value is a little more objective than that, and the 2019 Mac Pro is not as good of a value as prior Mac Pros and other options.
Nonsense.

Those of us who make our living on our computers tend to weigh the cost/benefit of every purchase.

I expect the 16 core Mac Pro with the mid-level GPU and an LG UltraFine to run about the same as the BTO price of the 14 core iMac Pro that I bought a few months ago — if I had waited. But I couldn’t wait.

Having bought the iMP, I have no need for the MP. Although I’m ok with that, I do wish I’d been able to wait.
 

mikehalloran

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Oct 14, 2018
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I just dug up the invoice from my purchase of a Mac Pro 3,1 in November 2008.

MA970F/A dual CPU 2.8GHz octacore 2G RAM 320GB HDD & Radeon 2600XT
Total cost inc 19.6% sales tax was € 2,199.44

No matter how you adjust that for inflation it's a damn sight cheaper than any Mac Pro 2019 model is going to be.
Ahhhh the false equivalency nonsense. Since the 3.1 has the same performance and can do the same tasks, I see your point... except that's silly since the two do not compare.

OTOH, that same money will buy an iMac that will run circles around your 3.1 and includes a 27” retina monitor. Not top of the line —it doesn’t need to be— because Apple does not make a computer with the equivalent performance of your 3.1. All are better.
 

nigelbb

macrumors 65816
Dec 22, 2012
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Ahhhh the false equivalency nonsense. Since the 3.1 has the same performance and can do the same tasks, I see your point... except that's silly since the two do not compare.

OTOH, that same money will buy an iMac that will run circles around your 3.1 and includes a 27” retina monitor. Not top of the line —it doesn’t need to be— because Apple does not make a computer with the equivalent performance of your 3.1. All are better.
No false equivalency at all. The price for a top of the line Mac Pro has increased massively in real terms over the last ten years. I could have bumped the price a bit by ordering the 3.2GHz CPUs & more RAM paying the Apple tx but even then the price of Apple's flagship fully configured ten years ago was comparatively barely half what an entry-level model of Mac Pro 2019 will be.

The Mac Pro 2013 was also more expensive in real terms than an equivalent 2008 Mac Pro. Incidentally I see that the Mac Pro 2013 is only available to purchase on the Refurb Store now.
 
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fatespawn

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Feb 22, 2009
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No false equivalency at all. The price for a top of the line Mac Pro has increased massively in real terms over the last ten years. I could have bumped the price a bit by ordering the 3.2GHz CPUs & more RAM paying the Apple tx but even then the price of Apple's flagship fully configured ten years ago was comparatively barely half what an entry-level model of Mac Pro 2019 will be.

The Mac Pro 2013 was also more expensive in real terms than an equivalent 2008 Mac Pro. Incidentally I see that the Mac Pro 2013 is only available to purchase on the Refurb Store now.

Exactly. My Mac Pro 4,1 (base model) purchased in 2009 was $2,499. CPI adjusted to $3,000 today.

That said, there's no need to justify the price tag for the new Mac Pro if that was the original intention of the thread. If someone needs it, they'll buy it. They just aren't marketing to the prosumer anymore - not that Apple ever had that intention. I'm sure they'd prefer you buy throwaway computers every 3 years rather than continue to expand a solid computer for 10.
 
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mikehalloran

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Exactly. My Mac Pro 4,1 (base model) purchased in 2009 was $2,499. CPI adjusted to $3,000 today.
which has nothing to do with anything. Unless you've hot-rodded your 4.1, an entry level iMac @ $1,799 can outperform it—every task, no exceptions.

Now, if you've souped yours up, it's going to be somewhat current which is good but you've probably paid more than the original cost to get it there. In short, your $3K figure is meaningless.

Ok, yours is called a Mac Pro. Big deal. Means nothing.

That said, there's no need to justify the price tag for the new Mac Pro if that was the original intention of the thread. If someone needs it, they'll buy it. They just aren't marketing to the prosumer anymore - not that Apple ever had that intention. I'm sure they'd prefer you buy throwaway computers every 3 years rather than continue to expand a solid computer for 10.
More false equivalency nonsense. You haven't replaced your 4.1 but you just know this, right?

Let's get equivalent, shall we?

The base price on the 6.1 with 16GB RAM. 256GB AHCI storage and the D500 was $7,099. That's $1,104 more than the entry 7.1 Mac Pro. There is not a single task the 12 core 6.1 can do better than the base 7.1. If one bumps the RAM, installed an NVMe SSD and uses eGPU, they dropped a couple grand or more and it's still not up to the base model iMac Pro. It won't be a bad machine but. if you're an AV pro, you can't wait to get rid of it for the 7.1.

The base iMP is $5K; the base 7.1 is $6k and, on paper, doesn't look as good. But, since Apple uses off-the-shelf components in both machines except for the SSD/T2, BTO upgrades are very easy to calculate. Last months price reductions on BTO for the iMP confirms that once you get past the base price, the Mac Pro is going to be a bargain.


No one I know replaces Macs after 3 years. Maybe rich hobbyists but I don't know any who replace theirs on a schedule. My business and edu clients replace theirs when security updates expire—that will be in two years for 2009–12 Mac Pros or 2009–2011 iMacs that are running High Sierra.

I replace mine when they don't do the job anymore. That used to be every 5–6 years when MacInTax/TurboTax stopped running. I just replaced my 2010 this year.

This Mac Pro is designed for the film industry to compete with the Win10 rendering machines that cost $8k–$150k that they've been buying for the last 3 years. The TechCrunch articles made this crystal clear.
 

fatespawn

macrumors regular
Feb 22, 2009
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More false equivalency nonsense.

I guess I don't see your logical fallacy of "false equivalence" in comparing the most recent modular Mac Pro with the new Mac Pro. The 4,1's and 5,1's were omitted from the list above. Seems reasonable to compare them too.

I get the new computer is expensive - and no, I absolutely do not think Apple is or ever has specifically aimed at a Prosumer market. It's aimed at professionals and they will pay the price if it will help their business.
 

nigelbb

macrumors 65816
Dec 22, 2012
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Ten years ago I could buy the best computer that Apple made for €2-3K now Apple's flagship model will cost >€6K.
 

mikehalloran

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Ten years ago I could buy the best computer that Apple made for €2-3K now Apple's flagship model will cost >€6K.
So what?

What you bought 10 years ago cannot be bought today. Again, today's least expensive iMac can do more than that Mac Pro you bought.

The flagship model in 2019 is lightyears beyond the flagship 10 years ago.

Prices have come down while performance has increased. Nothing has changed since 1982 in that regard. Ok, let's ignore the 20th Anniversary Mac.

Apple's flagship machine in 1983 was the Lisa at $9,995. If you wanted to do desktop publishing, you added a $10,000 Laser Printer and the software costs $600. Those were real 1983 dollars.

I paid $2,400 for a Mac Plus in 1986. With accessories (20MB SCSI hard drive, ImageWriter II printer, tape backup) and software to run my business, the total was $7,700 — over $20k today with inflation. I ran my business for 5 years on that machine and it was worth every penny. I had to replace it when MacInTax could no longer run — and I was pissed at having to replace it for that reason! I got over it.
[doublepost=1565968075][/doublepost]
I guess I don't see your logical fallacy of "false equivalence" in comparing the most recent modular Mac Pro with the new Mac Pro. The 4,1's and 5,1's were omitted from the list above. Seems reasonable to compare them too.
I did include the 4.1 as I did again in the last post.

To keep insisting that the top of the line in 2019 is somehow more expensive than in 2009 is a classic example false equivalency. At the risk of repetition, the equal of the 4.1 Mac Pro cannot be bought new today. The lowest priced iMac is a better machine and costs less.

I'm not talking about the 4.1 upgraded with better CPUs, GPU and SSDs — which added to that original cost in case anybody's counting.
 
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now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
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Whatever- (those early prices listed for the old computers are Max configs with everything possible.
$6K today for an underpowered 8 core base box is rape.
The max config 2019 mMP chocked to the gills will likely cost $40,000+
 
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fatespawn

macrumors regular
Feb 22, 2009
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I did include the 4.1 as I did again in the last post.

To keep insisting that the top of the line in 2019 is somehow more expensive than in 2009 is a classic example false equivalency. At the risk of repetition, the equal of the 4.1 Mac Pro cannot be bought new today. The lowest priced iMac is a better machine and costs less.

I wasn't talking about you. You didn't start the thread.
 

jinnyman

macrumors 6502a
Sep 2, 2011
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Selling figure will speak for itself.

The base spec is overpriced for what it does. And, if you are spending that much, keeping base spec is a terrible choice.
Let's see how well it sells. Apple deliberately has discarded the prosumers market. Good luck to them.
 

Varmann

macrumors regular
Jan 3, 2010
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I just dug up the invoice from my purchase of a Mac Pro 3,1 in November 2008.

MA970F/A dual CPU 2.8GHz octacore 2G RAM 320GB HDD & Radeon 2600XT
Total cost inc 19.6% sales tax was € 2,199.44

No matter how you adjust that for inflation it's a damn sight cheaper than any Mac Pro 2019 model is going to be.

Sure that was the original announced price from Apple, the dual 2.8 was not their cheapest offering?
I found this at http://lowendmac.com: "announced 2008.01.08 at $2,199 with one 2.8 GHz quad-core CPU, 2 GB RAM, 320 GB hard drive, ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT"

I love the dual 3.1, mine still work nicely as my main home computer. I as far as I know that was the most-bang-for-the-buck ever when it comes to Apples highend workstation offerings. But it is probably not a fair comparison with 2019.

Apple was in a very different place those days. They really tried to take back the professional market with a lot offerings in the mid 2000's. OSX introduced lots of high end features, even plans to use ZFS. A lot of work put into Aperture, Logic Pro and Final Cut among others. A lot of those offering were made at a significant lower price than windows alternatives.

While $6000 is a lot, it is peanuts compared to computer costs in the 80's and early 90's. The IIfx from 1990 was real monster of a computer, it started at close to $9000, for 4MB memory and no hard disk. I wonder what a fully outfitted one would have gone for, 128 MB Special RAM would have been outrageous expensive in those days
 

mikehalloran

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Oct 14, 2018
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I wasn't talking about you. You didn't start the thread.
I'm the one you quoted.
The base spec is overpriced for what it does. And, if you are spending that much, keeping base spec is a terrible choice.
Agreed. The iMac Pro is a better choice. It has 1TB storage, a better GPU and costs $1,000 to $1,750 (Refurb Store) less. The only down side is that it's not easy to upgrade.

Once you get to BTO options, the 7.1 will come down in price for what you get. And then you can just buy the RAM and install it yourself.

If you're at all handy, you can upgrade the CPUs, too. Expect Apple to make it less expensive to upgrade the core count through BTO than buy the base model and upgrade the CPU later — same as the iMac Pro has always been.
...
Apple deliberately has discarded the prosumers market. Good luck to them.
Nonsense. The high end (LucasFilm, Disney, Pixar etc.), absolutely and other companies filled that gap.

I suppose that I am as much a Prosumer as anyone. The 2017 iMac Pro and 2018 Mini are aimed squarely at that customer—me. Both are excellent but the only real expandability is to tie multiple units together to merge as one machine. This is done via 10G Ethernet through the T2 chip as Apple demonstrated at the launch of the 2018 Mini. If not using an iMP, you do need eGPU. It takes a lot of desk space, however.

When I put together my immediate and short term (3-year) needs, it came down to 10 cores and a Vega 56 with 2TB storage and 64GB RAM. This meant two Minis + eGPU or an iMac Pro. Easy choice. Then I found a bargain on a 14 core with 128GB RAM and a Vega 64 so I jumped on it.

The new Mac Pro has all that horsepower in one box. Had I been able to wait, I'd have gone for a 12 or 16 core Mac Pro and the new Ultrafine but that would have meant passing on a project that should be done next week (that couldn't be done on my 2010). Oh well... no regrets.
Let's see how well it sells. ...
Since it is competing directly with more expensive high end Win10 workstations that have been around nearly 4 years, I expect that it will sell well enough for Apple to keep it. Only if Apple improves the line in years to come will we know. Most obvious will be a PCIe 5 or 6 motherboard in 2021? Could happen as PCIe 4 PCs have already hit the market and PCIe 5/6 is a reality. BTW, if that happens, expect a few thousand threads bemoaning the fact that old PCIe cards will not be compatible (unless they are like 3 to 4).

I wonder, what will happen to the iMP? Apple will likely stratify the iMac into two lines with the iMP being the high end while the iMac is the low end for home use. They're well on their way with that but I expect the distinctions will become more clear. As the MP becomes more advanced, I don't expect those advances to trickle down to the iMP. All pure speculation, of course but I've been paying attention since meeting the 2 Steves in the HomeBrew Computing Club 45 years ago. My wife and I are the same ages and we went to rival high schools but it's a small valley.

The big mystery to me was why Apple kept the 6.1 around after releasing the iMac Pro. What was that about? The base 8 core iMP outperforms the 12 core 6.1 in every task including those that take full advantage of multicore CPUs such as every app shown on their comparison graphs. True, Apple listed the 10 core but it's not hard to do the math.
https://www.apple.com/imac-pro/

Perhaps, it's taken the last two years to sell those 6.1s that Apple had in stock. At least now they're in the Refurb Store with the price lowered to the point where they might sell. Still, a loaded iMac or any iMP is the better buy.
 
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mikehalloran

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Oct 14, 2018
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Nonsense. My first reply was to Nigel when you then began to inject your dismissive arguments. Thanks for contributing though.
Read again

I guess I don't see your logical fallacy of "false equivalence" in comparing the most recent modular Mac Pro with the new Mac Pro. The 4,1's and 5,1's were omitted from the list above. Seems reasonable to compare them too.
was a direct response to something I wrote and you were quoting me.

Scroll up. If you’re going to be insulting, at least be accurate.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
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I bought an SE/30, my first Mac. It wasn't $5K.

I don't agree with the analogy. If I spent $3K on a computer today, it wouldn't be a crummy-ass SE/30. In today's environment, the computing power of an SE/30 is not worth $3,000 (in today's dollars) or and inflation adjusted $10K (still today's dollars).

I paid less than $3K for my new 2009 cMP.

Virtually everything you list is mainstream computing, and almost by definition no one is paying $6K, much less $40K. I think this is a tortured analogy to try and rationalize that a new MP is priced right in today's dollars. For a very select market, perhaps, But not mainstream.
 
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fhturner

macrumors 6502a
Nov 7, 2007
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Birmingham, AL & Atlanta, GA
To keep insisting that the top of the line in 2019 is somehow more expensive than in 2009 is a classic example false equivalency. At the risk of repetition, the equal of the 4.1 Mac Pro cannot be bought new today. The lowest priced iMac is a better machine and costs less.

Didn't realize I needed to come back around to this thread until I stumbled back upon it.

Mike, I have not read every word you've written, so I could be missing something, but it seems to me that you're insisting on comparing how a "base Mac Pro" or "top end Mac" or whatever from 2009 or 2012 or 2003 or whenever would compare to a present-day machine, and then you want to compare their prices. I'm really confused at how you're not getting what we're saying. Are you so out of touch w/ how the computer market has always worked that you think cost increases should keep pace w/ performance increases over time?

OF COURSE a $2500 Mac Pro 2009 is outperformed by an iMac 27" @ $1800 today. Why wouldn't it be? So, your argument is that you can do more w/ a $6000 Mac Pro 2019 than some other poster could do with his 2008 Mac Pro $2-3K, so $6000 must be a fair or reasonable price?? If you're happy to pay WAY more than the machine needs to be and wouldn't rather keep some of that "overspent" money to put into other components, more power to you, I guess. But I think those of us who, after starving for options over the last 6-7 years, would like to get into a modern Mac Pro w/o being overcharged for an underconfigured base machine have to be a little more efficient w/ our funds.

And since you dismissed my comment about the objective value of what you're buying for $5999 as "nonsense", why not compare it to a similarly configured PC workstation? Apple tried to do it in their keynote, but mistakenly compared their $6K 8-core machine to a Z8 workstation that featured a $4000 Xeon Gold CPU. Tallying up the cost of the components going into the 2019 base Mac Pro and then throwing in a $1000 premium for the magical Apple design still should put such a machine in the $4K neighborhood, not 6.

I know, I know..."nonsense."
 
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