Macbook Pro 15" Price Reality Check

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by syan48306, Oct 31, 2016.

  1. syan48306, Oct 31, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016

    syan48306 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 15, 2010
    The entire internet is up in arms about the "high" prices but seriously people just have very short memories about how Apple prices first generation macs. Lets take a walk down memory lane for the sake of simplicity, lets just look at the 15" model. All these prices can be found here:

    Late 2008: We get the first unibody macbook pro's with the following prices. Again, all three laptops come with GeForce 9600m GPUs. The three price points are the familiar $2000, $2500, and $2800.

    Mid 2012: This is the new retina macbook pros. We see the first major bump in prices for a new for a new product. The cost of entry increased by $200 but the justification was the retina screen for the first time along with a fully redesigned chassis. All three models received 650M nvidia GPUs.

    Late 2013: After a small Early 2013 refresh with CPU speed increases, we saw a bigger late 2013 update to both the CPU and GPU. It was at this time when prices came back down and the introduction of the integrated graphics card, with the dedicated graphics card reserved only for the $2600+ price range.

    In 2014 and into 2015, we got another $100 price drop for the dedicated graphics versions. Integrated versions remained similar to previous years.

    This year, we have the three models:
    • Macbook Pro 15" Non Touch Bar with integrated graphics (Essentially 2015): US $2000
    • Macbook Pro 15" Touch Bar & R450 GPU: US$2399
    • Macbook Pro 15" Touch Bar & R455 GPU: US$2799
    Apple likes to increase prices when they introduce something "new". It may be because of either the cost of the new equipment or the new factor.
    2) Between 2013 and 2015, we got price decreases primarily because of the use of integrated graphics chips instead of dedicated GPUs on the low end, not because of cost cuts across the board.
    3) Because intel screwed Apple in not providing a decent iGPU upgrade (which laptop actually has a 580 iGPU on the market?), they were unable to update the integrated $2000 version so they carried over the 2015 model to fill that price point. The $2400 & $2800 model price points fall in line with 2013, 2014, and 2015 dedicated GPU models.
    4) More likely than not, we will see Apple update that $2000 model with an integrated model in 2017 but the dedicated GPU versions will probably keep those historical prices so again we will have the $2000, $2400, & $2800 price points.
    5)We can probably expect a marginal $100 or $200 price decrease over the next couple years but these prices are not unprecedented.

    The recent lower barrier of entry is primarily due to lower performance parts. Top end macs have held their prices pretty consistently.
  2. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    The 2012 MacBook Pro Retina is pretty much an exception.

    The Retina Display and solid state drive justify the price hike.


    It's hard to justify the price hike for a gimmick Touch Bar.
  3. Westbrook0 macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2016
    Better display, better battery life, thinner laptop, and increased storage at a faster rate. Let's not oversimplify it.
  4. powertoold macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2014
    I think people are gonna like the Touch Bar, not as a necessity, but it's going to make a lot of apps more pleasurable to use.

    You can't really make a conclusion without using it.
  5. andrewbee macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2013
    Apple carelessly broke their own reality distortion field by offering a redesign with limited upgradability and a soon to be replaced CPU at their historic price points.

    I am really happy to see the public's conscience waking up to this strategy and I hope fans and consumers start to demand for better value because technological advancements have made hardware more affordable and corporations need to stop pulling the wool over our eyes.
  6. tubeexperience, Oct 31, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016

    tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    A lot of those naturally comes with better (and cheaper) technology.

    For example, more efficient processors and memory allow Apple put in a smaller battery and hence make the laptop thinner.

    Similarly, new PCIe SSD (from Samsung) are faster and cheaper than previous PCIe SSD.

    Again, none of those things are specific to Apple.


    Can you imagine if every time new technology comes out, the price has to go up?

    A computer today would cost millions of dollars.
  7. rasputin1969 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2010
    @OP - Thank you for this, a very clear and simple explaination that sums up how I too see things going next year, which is maybe a price drop of $200 and an introduction of a model with iGPU.

    Unfortunately that won't solve the issues I have with the keyboard, removal of magsafe, lack of ports and SD card reader and the poor performance of the AMD dGPUs compared to nvidea. To be honest, the keyboard alone is bad enough.
  8. syan48306 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 15, 2010
    Sure prices go up and then they trickle back down in subsequent years. Personally, I feel like the touch bar is a gimmick. Most things I would use the touch bar for is available via multi touch gestures or hotkeys. As they said it themselves, "it reveals features buried in menus". To power users, it doesn't bring all that much. Sure it's nice to have but not necessary, thus gimmick.

    That said, I can appreciate the technology behind the touch bar. The touch bar is essentially the same hardware as an apple watch. It's got a "massive" OLED display compared to the apple watch and it's got the same S1 processor repurposed and renamed to T1. The component cost of the apple watch ranges from $80 to $100 so that touch bar probably isn't an "insignificant" cost.

    I think variable refresh rate IGZO panel outputting P3 color gamut, 3.1GB/s & 2.1 GB/s read write speeds, while still retaining 10 hour battery life makes this laptop an epic upgrade from the previous generation and well worth the cost. Lets not forget similar Surface Book's are also in the $2000+ price range and are also featuring "old" technologies.

    That said, I do think it's a misstep removing the old keyboard, magsafe, SD card, and USB-A ports, for those reasons I cancelled my preorder and bought a 1TB SSD for my 2012 rMBP. I'll probably jump on a 2017 version next year. Perhaps by then USB-C will be more prevalent.

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7 October 31, 2016