How Long Can Apple Sustain This Ridiculous Pricing?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Huntn, Dec 11, 2016.

  1. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #1
    Could not locate a better forum, so plunked it here.

    Two decades ago when Apple briefly licensed the MacOS, I bought a reasonably priced non Apple desktop running it. After recently pruchasing my 5th or so Mac laptop and easily paying double for equivalent capabilities on a PC laptop, I have to wonder how long can Apple keep this up?

    I love the MacOS but I've been using PCs for almost as long as Macs, and am starting to resent the exceedingly high price tag. This also goes for iMacs you can buy the equivalent of a top of the line (in performance) Mac for $1100-1300 dollars on the PC side and arguably Windows 10 is the best behaved Miscrosoft OS ever. I know cause I built a gaming PC in the fall of 2013 for $1100 (already had a keyboard and monitor) and I believe it kicks the butt of anything with an Apple label on it while acknowledging Windows requires a slew of protective programs to keep the cyber world from trashing it.

    I'm not yet ready to abandon Apple, but wonder for how long can they keep this caviar pricing going? Anyone got some good tea leaves? ;)
     
  2. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #2
    They have always priced themselves as a premium product, and, for a long time, could justify it in terms of design (which was always good and sometimes excellent - in aesthetics, only Sony came close in the PC world), quality of build, customer service (which was light years ahead of what was offered elsewhere), and what used to be the excellence of the internally consistent OS ecosystem, the old 'it just works'.

    To my mind, Apple used to represent that fusion of form and function which represents the idea of design at its very best.
     
  3. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #3
    The MacOS is still my OS of preference, it does work, and gives me a comfortable space. Every version of Windows, I've ever played with starting with Windows 3.0, up through Windows 7 has required a clean install. I used 8, but avoided purchasing it, and so far 10 has been working well along with the slew of programs designed to shield it from viruses and malware. ;)

    On the Windows side what is annoying me are such protective software vendors like Tuneup Utilities choosing to move to a subscription model.
     
  4. Scepticalscribe, Dec 11, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #4
    I am not a Windows hater, (as some are on these occasionally evangelical fora), and nor am I a slave to all things Apple, although I really like the computers and some of the ecosystem.

    Re Windows, I have experienced both enormous frustrations, and reasonable competence.

    Windows XP was fine, but Windows Vista was a nightmare; then, after I switched to Apple, the only time I ever encounter Windows is when I work abroad, on Mission computers; again, Windows 7 was perfectly fine, I had no complaints whatsoever about it - but - Windows 8 was an absolute horror.

    I haven't tried Windows 10, simply because it hasn't been installed on any computer I have used.

    Re Apple, I am an example of what the marketing world would describe as a customer won over by the 'halo' effect.

    Even though I found Windows frustrating, - despite the endless tsunami of viruses, trojans, malware, spam, and, no matter what I attempted, nothing appeared to have an effect on reducing, let alone, eliminating this flow - I had no intention of changing to Apple until I bought an iPod.

    It wasn't just that the iPod was fantastic - and it was - it was the superb customer service I received when the HDD failed (the 'classic' had a perennial problem with their HDDs) and it was replaced without a murmur, or seeking refuge in contractual small print. This also happened to a subsequent iPod classic, and again, the warranty was honoured immediately upon production of a receipt.

    So, initially, I liked the design (stunning), the customer service, (excellent) and the fact that the damned thing was easy to use.

    On a trip abroad in early 2008, a colleague had an old aluminium Powerbook, and swore by it; so, as a belated birthday present to myself, I switched to Apple in 2008. And, while I don't subscribe to the veneration of The Founder, I do still like the ecosystem - the design, power, reliability, and the ease of use.

    My CTO MBA (8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, Core i7) is easily the best, and most reliable computer I have ever had; in fact, it has travelled the world with me.
     
  5. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #5
    From a computer novice standpoint, the MacOS is a dream. We have a close friend who has a Windows laptop, but is a novice in the realm, and I'm frequently cleaning up her adware, malware ridden horror hosted by Windows 8. ;)
     
  6. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

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    #6
    That is good to know. As @Scepticalscribe said, Apple has always been priced a bit higher: That used mean hardware and software that worked flawlessly. Okay, an occasional lemon here and there. Now it just pays for their spaceship and other such things. (Spaceship HQ design makes me realize there are Pod people running the show now which explains everything :p). The build quality of the hardware and software is a pale shade of what it was even three years ago. They rush everything out without thoroughly testing now and that is coming home to roost; to complicate things they upcharge on purpose and brag about it which makes the price point even more offensive. So, yes, they are priced way too high.

    I have a love/dislike relationship with Apple. My 2013 iMac works pretty good on El Capitan (not upgrading to Sierra etc. until I absolutely have to, if at all); but I've been through five iPhones now since 2014 (exchanging this dud 7+ for 6s+). I would have jumped to Android if I didn't pay for this with Apple gift cards. For me, the software bugs alone do not constitute the overcharge. They keep tripping up, sooner or later they will have to lower prices AND up the QC.

    Who knows how long the hubris will continue, but as someone who is very disappointed to have to constantly think about my phone and home computer in ways I do not want to I have to rethink my tech; if Apple keeps this up the backlash will continue and sales will continue to drop. You can only float on image and raising prices for your quarterly margins for so long. I can no longer ignore Windows for home use and as someone who had 14 years of smooth sailing with Apple, it's sad to even type stuff like this.

    I actually ran into viruses with Mac OS this September; hard enough I had to wipe my machine 3x using the highest security settings. That took 10 days. Thank goodness my 2010 iMac was still working during that time.
     
  7. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #7
    My experience with Apple online and Applestore customer service has been stellar. My wife walked in with an IPad 2 that was acting wonky, outside of warranty, and walked out with a replacement unit, no charge. My experience is that Apple has been very generous in this regard over the decades. The challenge for them, the time their sales drop off, will be maintaining this level of customer service.

    I just purchased a 2016 MBP running Sierra and so far, it runs as I would expect it too. My primary complaint is for the price, they are stingy with their SSDs. I like the feel of the keyboard, and am worried that the aluminum will get a ding, before I get a decent case cover on it. The one that just arrived (Mosiso) does not snap on correctly, and this model is so new there is a limited selection. :(
     
  8. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #8
    Yes, it is getting to a critical point. Outrageous base prices combined with BTO upgrades that amount to highway robbery (with zero upgradability) and a completely insane selection of ports...

    I may be looking at moving right back to a Linux box soon.
     
  9. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #9
    Ah, yes.

    That matter of ports does rank as an issue and nuisance both.

    Not only do I use printers, and USB sticks - I remember how awestruck I was when I first encountered a USB stick, and that is only a decade ago - I also use a Superdrive (for 'ripping' and 'burning' CDs, and playing DVDs), among other things. Yes, agreed. Some of us like (and, more to the point, use, ports; more than one at a time).

    Actually, that lack of ports was a bit of an issue with the original MBA: The design was gorgeous and streamlined, - and I did like it - but the fact that it only had one port was a real drag.
     
  10. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #10
    If I understand you, I can agree that having to upgrade to get 4 USB-C (Thunderbolt?) ports, only having 2 of them on lesser models is Total BS. This is where their vision has run astray and as my original post questioned, how much longer can they afford to do this?

    BTO?
     
  11. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #11
    Build to order. The prices Apple charges on RAM and HDD/SSD upgrades are scandalous. In the past, I could take a modest set of specs, and upgrade as I saw fit. I have a 2012 MBP that I finally upgraded to a 1 TB SSD for a fraction of the price that it was offered. Even at the time it would have been far cheaper to buy it separately, but being able to wait and do it myself after major price drops was perfect.

    I currently have a 2010 imac and a 2012 MBP, and they are chugging along nicely. I'm genuinely not sure how I'll respond when one kicks it.
     
  12. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

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    #12
    A Mac purchase easily has a 5 year reliable lifespan, so pricing seems fair enough to me. I have no other electronic products as reliable as Apple's. Their engineers probably have a big enough product budget to over spec the board components for long life.
     
  13. MacBH928 macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

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    #13
    I don't mind the computer pricing for many reasons.

    1-Apple has like 15% marketshare, if you want to stay competing against Microsoft which has like 80% share you need to put a high margin
    2-Apple quality is top notch. Go to laptop section in any place and you will understand, quality demands money
    3-Computers today last pretty long(5 years) unlike mid-90s where its outdated in 2 years. So its justifiable .
    4-You pay for both hardware and software, so keep that in mind

    Now where is the problem with this? Its in 2 areas:

    1-Apple used to ship high spec products but weak GPU(not sure why). When you pay double the price, you should at least have a competitive GPU. Now it has gotten worse, not only the GPU is weak the whole computer is less with less ports, less speed, and less everything probably. Please refer back to mid/late 90's when they used to compare Macs to Wintel and show that Macs are actually faster.

    2-I can accept expensive computers, what I can't accept is ridiculous accessory and upgrade prices. Apple asks you $400 to upgrade your SSD to 512GB. When you go on Amazon you can find 1TB SSDs for $230!!!! This is a joke! Dongles are another story, charging wires for $20, HDMI dongle for $80.
     
  14. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #14
    Agreed. back in the good ole days when there was an extra RAM slot, or even when you could change out your own RAM, never purchased it from Apple, way overpriced.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 11, 2016 ---
    I have to believe they do market research and are making a calculation, which will be subject to change when it starts biting them. When will that be?
     
  15. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #15
    I agree that the BTO (or CTO - 'custom (build) to order) are pricey; however, the 'entry level models' - while offering value, actually offer - comparatively - very little for what you pay, or for what may be available elsewhere.

    For one thing, the entry level models offer far too little by way of storage (128 GB is insufficient if your iTunes library exceeds 100GB as mine does, and no, I have no interest whatsoever in the Cloud, or the rentier model of string music or files) or power, or memory.

    Agree that an Apple should last five years, although my usual cycle is three, as my own purchasing cycle tends to be dictated by when my Applecare is due to expire.
     
  16. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #16
    128 GB is an insult.
     
  17. D.T. macrumors 604

    D.T.

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    #17
    It is. A guy cut me off the traffic the other day and I called him 128GB storage, really pissed him off ...
     
  18. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #18
    Ah, yes, agreed.

    My 2010 MBA (the old so-called "Rev C") came with only 128GB - the max available at that time for a MBA.

    Now, I loved the weight, the form factor, the portability, but the battery was lousy (roughly three hours, if memory serves), the memory inadequate, and the power - while not bad for the era, not really adequate.

    With the upgrades of 2013, the MBA finally became the machine it had always had the potential to become.

    However, I think that Apple has always viewed itself as a 'niche', or 'high end' product, rather than a competitor for the mass market.

    Actually, it was only when the company developed iPods, and - later - iPhones, that Apple developed a mass market following.

    These days, to a large extent, it can afford to ignore the computing arm - in fact, it can even afford to run their computing arm at a loss, and become a company that derives its income from other sources, - using the computing arm as a sort of badge, redolent with nostalgia for a time when that was all they did and all that they were famous for.
     
  19. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

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    #19
    Good luck with that I was thinking the same few weeks ago and thought I would do a few test installs. Now other than the hardware support being light years ahead of where it was when I last used Linux on the desktop going on ten years ago before I switched to OSX still way to many have to search and try suggestion that for the most part do not or only partially work. I am not big fan of Apple the company definitely like the OS though *nix on the desktop done for the most part extremely well. You want the best of both worlds Hackintosh choose the hardware correctly and will work just like a bought from Apple machine.
     
  20. kazmac, Dec 11, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016

    kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

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    #20
    I wish you a long, happy run with your 2016 MBP and to everyone else who purchases one and an iP 7/7+ etc. I am sure you'll get a nice protective case pronto too.

    I am glad you've had nothing but great experiences with Apple Care.

    For me and Customer Service, it depends. I've had very nice experiences at the 5th Avenue store where I buy most of my :apple: tech - I hope to include my 6s+ to that tomorrow morning; the phone customer service is a different matter entirely. You have to fight politely to return.

    For example, I knew and did everything prior to the Senior Apple adviser telling me what to do on Friday to extend the battery life of the 7+ I am returning; and when he suggested I spend more $ for the smart battery case, I chuckled. I said, "No offense, but the whole point of buying the larger, more expensive phone beyond a better screen was better battery life. I will not spend more money on a band aid." He nearly crapped his pants. And then the home button froze multiple times while I was on the phone with him just trying to get to the home screen, again all he could do was stutter and say "I am so sorry."

    Proof positive Apple needs to seriously up their quality control and cut the thin design business. If these issues weren't rampant, I would not be complaining and enjoy my :apple: tech for several years because of the quality. I no longer feel that with Apple; but I cannot make the jump until these two items go kaput.
     
  21. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #21
    Yes, I do feel apple may begin to slowly alienate customers when they see the price tags on things like the new MacBooks. Apple has always been expensive and difficulty producing an "entry level" priced computer. Apple's soldering in of RAM and SSD's to make things smaller is great, but people would prefer to have expandability, especially in a desktop.

    When you go with Apple you pay a premium for quality and service, but as time moves that gap is deminishing. Apple is still #1 in my book, but whether or not it's worth it is up to the market.

    While prices seem high now, in 2005 my 12" PowerBook was around $1800. Crazy, right?

    I think what is going on here is that desktops/laptop computer technology has largely plateaued. While people used to feel compelled to buy a new computer every three years, that duration has largely extended. The focus is mobile devices i.e. iPhones which have much higher turnover. I imagine they assume people will spend the extra money figuring they'll keep their computers longer.

    It is what it is. If you're not happy don't buy another Mac. Eventually if enough people do that Apple will get the picture. Otherwise not.
     
  22. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #22
    My first MacBook Pro had a 120 GB hard drive. That's still a decent amount of space for the average person. At that time I was having to use Photoshop, InDesign, and Dreamweaver. Not sure how much bigger those apps have gotten, but I still had room for my iTunes library and photos then (couldn't do that now either).
     
  23. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #23
    My 2011 MBP came with a 750MB hard drive. Now granted that was top of the line at the time, but imo 500GB should be the minimum a computer comes with especially if you have Bootcamp in mind. I've always been tight for portability so I carry two portable 1TB drives (one Mac, one Windows) for when I'm traveling.
     
  24. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #24
    My group has moved to a two year replacement cycle for MacBook Pros - after two years people are sick and tired of the issues with the systems.

    "5 year lifespan" is laughable - Apple has moved to a disposable model for everything.
     
  25. Tech198 macrumors G4

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    #25
    While at 'premium price' Apple can still offer more discount at the store than just $100.. on the refurbished

    Particularly when we live in a throw away society with tech now, and non-upgradbale.... yet u still pay the same price previously on more upgrade-able components..

    So the user is thrown out as a "you can no longer do this, but u pay the same price (or more) for it"
     

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