Is Apple ripping us off with the Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wikoogle, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. wikoogle macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    Here's what a user posted here about the 15" HP Envy laptop they purchased.

    Honestly, I like the Sony Vaio's a lot better, since the Vaio's actually top or atleast match Apple in terms of build quality.

    The Z series is too expensive.

    They really can't justify it.

    The Sony Vaio's F series kick apple's asses in terms of features, and price.

    The F Series gives you a blu ray burner, an i7 processor, and a cutting edge 1GB dedicated GPU for cheaper than it costs to buy a 13 inch MBP!!!

    I'm picking one myself with the next pay check so I'm pumped.

    Or if you want something cheaper, you can get a NW series laptop with awesome specs for under $900!

    And all the Vaio's have excellent build quality.

    Given how outdated the MBPs specs are by comparison, I'm wondering how much you guys think the 15 inch $2500 Macbook Pro laptop actually costs Apple to manufacture?

    What brought up the question for me is that just last night, I picked up a top of the line laptop with an intel i5 processor, a bluray drive, a dvd burner, 4 Gigs of DDR3 ram, a hdmi out, a built in sd card reader, wifi N, a cutting edge graphics card, a 15.6 inch high res screen, a built-in webcam and a 320GB HDD) for $499.

    Now I figure bestbuy gets $50 in profit or so from each laptop sold, the wholesaler gets another $50 or so in profit, and marketing and shipping costs a few more bucks, and obviously the manufacturer makes a profit as well. Not to mention that the laptop comes bundled with Windows 7 Premium and Microsoft Security Essentials which I'm sure Microsoft is charging atleast another $50 for. So all said and done, there is no way the actual laptop could've cost more than $300 or so to manufacture.

    Yet it packs in hardware significantly more powerful than the 15 inch $2500 Macbook Pro.

    IMO, the Macbook Pro is still worth getting if you can afford them because of the build quality. But just because they have a high build quality doesn't make them a great value. They are a great product, not a great value. There is a difference.

    To illustrate what I mean, it's easy to say that Buggati cars are indeed great products, and those that can afford them want them should buy them. But it would be wrong to claim that they're a great value or give you a great bang for your buck.

    And that analogy doesn't even do Buggati justice. Because Buttatis in addition to being carefully hand crafted with high quality materials, are actually much faster and use more high end parts than cheaper cars.

    However, $3000 Macbook Pros still don't offer high end parts like cutting edge GPUs, the i5 processor, blu ray or hdmi that laptops that cost a sixth as much cost. It would be like if Bugatti's started putting V4 engines in their cars and people still bought them for the build quality.

    Basically, Apple needs to hurry up and include high end components like an i5 processor, a better graphics card, hdmi and bluray into their MBPs if they still want to keep catering to the high end market. Because competitors are offering these high end features for 1/5th the price.

    I can't see how any sensible person can justify buying a $2500 laptop that is actually weaker and less capable than a $500 laptop.

    Going back to the original question, I can't help but wonder what the Macbook Pro itself costs to manufacture hardware wise. Does anyone here have any idea?
  2. Sneakz macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    You mean the 17" at $2499? Around $1200 is my guess. Literally. Thats just factoring in hardware, packaging. No R&D.
  3. Nano2k macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2009
    I'm sure it's well below a thousand $...
  4. wikoogle thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    My car analogy above also begs the question...

    Why doesn't someone make a quality unibody laptop that looks gorgeous like the Macbook Pro and sell it for $1000 even.

    I mean Toyota was smart enough to take the awesome build quality of their Lexus cars, and put the same care into cheaper cars like the Corrolla and Camry. And they went onto to completely dominate the US Sales market.

    So why doesn't someone do the the same thing for laptops, offer up luxury build quality for a reasonable price.

    There's no way that's true.

    A 17" inch laptop with SIGNIFICANTLY superior hardware to what's in the 17 inch Macbook Pro (intel i5 processor, bluray drive + dvd burner, HDMI out etc) sells at retail for $600. (The 17 inch version of this same exact laptop is selling for only a $100 more)

    This is the retail price, which means it already includes the packaging, shipping costs, R & D, and the profit margins to the retailers, the wholesalers and the manufacterer.

    So there's no way an Apple laptop with signficantly cheaper and slower components costs them $1200 to manufacture.
  5. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    As you pointed out, you're getting much more than the physical hardware for the $2K+. Free US-based tech support for the first year is, well, not cheap. Nor is the cost of software development.
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    If you're so sure, why'd you ask the question?
  7. wesrk macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2007
    How do you get these numbers? Guess-timation or do you actually know something about the pricing system at Best Buy and others? Just a question since I have absolutely no idea about how your new laptop or any Apple computer gets priced the way they do.
  8. Beric macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2008
    Bay Area
    I think the question was essentially regarding the cost of the parts. Meaning, what the cost would be if you bought all the parts of the Macbook Pro and assembled it yourself.

    I know Apple has a profit margin of 30% (meaning after labor, support etc.).
  9. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    The term "rip off" doesn't make any sense.

    -Those who truly think it is a "rip off" don't buy one, therefore they can't be "ripped off."

    -Those who buy one are obviously willing to accept Apple's price point, so they're not ripped off either.

  10. wikoogle thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    I seriously doubt tech support costs that much. Dell offers a 2 year Everything Warranty w/ Accidental Protection for $150, which means, you can accidently drop your laptop off of your roof and have it replaced no questions asked (that actually happened to one of my old dells that I had the protection on and they shipped me a replacement along with a box to send it my old laptop in less than a week without any hassle). Best Buy offers something very similar for the same price, most retailers do.

    Software development I have no idea how much it costs, but I seriously doubt it's all that expensive considering that Apple makes so many products.
  11. wikoogle thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    I'm guesstimating. I was wondering if anyone here had any insider knowledge.

    All I know is that laptops with significantly superior hardware (bluray, hdmi, intel i5 processor etc) to what's in Macbook Pros sell for $500 at retailers, so I think it's safe to assume that they cost around $300-350 to manufacture. And I don't see how Macbook Pros could cost that much more to manufacture.
  12. leomac08 macrumors 68020


    Jul 12, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    no......the macbook pro is expensive..... really.... i think every model should be $500 dollars cheaper.:p
  13. Hellishness macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    well, currently, to answer the question in the title, yes. but in the future, with an update, no. for $1200 (base 13") you essentially get a great laptop, great software, and since it will likely break/have something go wrong, maybe a new logic board, etc, say $1000 in free repairs with labor over the one-year period. plus they pay people to diagnose anything, anytime regardless of warranty. thats worth it imo.
  14. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    simple, people have proven that they WILL buy it at that price
  15. wesrk macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2007
    Gotcha ;)
  16. Kenndac macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2003
    That laptop you linked does have extra stuff, but is missing:

    - Bluetooth
    - A screen that's worth using. Seriously, 1366x768? The iPad is nearly that resolution (1024x768)!
    - A really, really crappy plastic case. People are noticing design problems in that thread already. ("The right and left click selection bar has sharp edges", "Some users complaining of not liking how the touch pad or keyboard reacts/feels to use")
    - An awful, awful graphics card. Remember the MacBook Pro has two, both better than the one in that machine.

    Most of the things missing from the MacBook Pro are cheap to add - HDMI, BluRay, etc. They're mostly avoided by Apple because the licensing is a "bag of hurt".

    So, yeah, I could easily see a MacBook Pro costing more to make than that laptop sells for, especially factoring in R&D.
  17. Peter95 macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2010
    Yes they are ripping us off but we are stupid enough to just buy it.....
  18. kmaute macrumors 6502


    Oct 5, 2008
    I agree with the poster above. You have complete information about the product and pricing. If you view it as a rip-off, then simply do not buy it. I could list the MBP in my signature for $3,000 if I chose too and as long as the computer was listed honestly, I would not be "ripping" the buyer off. There are significant intangible benefits that people often feel accompany a Mac; whether or not you agree with that is another matter all together.

    It's the beauty of a free-market.
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No, Apple isn't ripping anyone off, since they plainly show what you're getting and at what price. If people think their products are worth it, they buy them. If not, they don't. There's no misleading or misrepresentation. It doesn't matter that you can buy similar specs.... or even identical specs... from Dell or someone else. Dell charges what they charge. Sony charges what it charges. Apple charges what it charges. It's called "free enterprise".

    Grow up and learn how the business world works and quit whining about the fact that you don't like some company's pricing policies. If you don't like it, shop elsewhere.
  20. wikoogle thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    It's usually people that use childish attacks like "quit whining" who need to grow up and mature. Use logic to back up your points, not childish name calling and attacks.

    What did I post that can even be construed as whining? I even have Macbook Pros because I can afford to blow cash on them. But that doesn't mean they're a good value.

    If something isn't a good value, there is nothing wrong with acknowledging it as such. Unless you're Steve Jobs, there is no need for you to get so defensive about it.

    I'm not saying that the Mac isn't worth getting if you have a lot of disposable income. I have many apple products.

    They look nice. But I do think it's completely fair to say they're way overpriced though for the hardware you're actually getting. I just have a lot of money to waste so I don't really mind. But IMO, Macbook Pros by no means gives you good bang for your buck.

    You can order the model with a higher resolution screen for $100 more. It does have bluetooth, I see the bluetooth icon on the one I have. And the graphics card it has is actually an upgrade in terms of performance to the 9400M+9600 (which is actually a smaller version of the 7600, a three year old card). Besides many Macbook Pros come with just the 9400M which is way worse.

    Even assuming the Macbook Pro costs $500 to manufacture, it does seem like a huge markup to $2500.

    Regardless, mainly I was hoping to hear from someone that actually has insider knowledge on how much it might be.
  21. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    "Free market," really but your point is still good.
  22. Bumble Bee macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2010
    When apple refreshes the MBP what would cause some of you to not purchase one... or whatever they come out with your happy
  23. wesrk macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2007
    I can see that. It would actually become a very good thread if we had somebody with some inside knowledge into the pricing policies of Apple or any other company for that matter. Your title however, just invites controversy and not a lot of insiders, if there are any, are going to come to the thread to say something relevant to your actual intention. You do state your intention in the first post, but like I said, the title itself invites other type of comments.
  24. HellDiverUK macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2009
    Belfast, UK
    Buying a MacBook Pro over a Dell is like buying a Mercedes instead of a Ford.

    The Ford may have more equipment, be similar in performance, and be cheaper, but the Merc will be much better built and last twice as long.

    Premium cars and premium computers are premium for a reason.
  25. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Did they make any effort with the design to get it into a 1" thick case, or is it the usual laptop thickness that comes from just slapping off-the-shelf stuff together in a re-used laptop design?
    Aluminum unibody casing?
    Backlit keyboard?
    Decent LED screen?
    7-hour battery?
    Large, multi-touch trackpad?
    Mag-safe power w/ a power-brick that can be downsized if needed?
    Ability to attend free in-store workshops for getting the most out of the system?
    Ability to get free in-store tech support for the life of the system?
    Option for virtually unlimited in-store personal training for $99/year?
    OS X + iLife?

    For some, nothing on the list above adds any value, which is fine.

    For those that do find value in some of the things above, it decreases the difference in price between a Mac notebooks and the commodity notebooks that shuffle in and out of Best Buys on a regular basis.

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