rMBP Early Adopters - About to Be Screwed by Resale Value?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MICHAELSD, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    As much as I love my rMBP, I cannot help but feel that we early adopters are going to see the worst resale value of every generation that is eventually released. After all, 256GB SSD retail prices are dropping to $220 and higher-resolution displays are becoming more common. I could see Apple phasing out the regular MBP and replacing it with the 15" rMBP at the $1800 rMBP within two years (come on, the 1440x900 screen is going to feel completely archaic by then). I'm not dissatisfied per se, I just don't foresee Apple maintaing price and features to cater to early adopters.
  2. KPOM, Jan 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013

    KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Technology shouldn't be acquired with a view toward resale. It changes very quickly, and as such doesn't hold onto value. While in the past Macs held their value a bit longer than Windows PCs, I think that's changing. MacBook Airs, for instance, typically decline in value significantly, partly because Apple made radical changes in 2010 and made significant improvements in 2011.

    Being an early adopter means paying a lot more and dealing with bugs. That's true with just about anything. Will Haswell bring significant improvements to the rMPB? Certainly, and in particular to the 13". However, the question is what device is right for you now.

    I bought a late-2008 MacBook Air with SSD that listed for $2499. Already that was a significant drop from the $3099 they wanted for a 64GB SSD model that January. 2 years later when the 2010s came out, I sold that late-2008 for about $850. I have the money, but as I always tell people, if you frequently trade up, buy the cheapest model that suits your needs. The cheapest late-2008 was $1499 from what I recall. Even at $0 resale, that would have cost someone less over time than the decline in value of the high end model I purchased.

    I bought the rMBP more out of necessity (I lost my MacBook Air and decided to trade up with the insurance proceeds). I went with the i5 256GB model because it was sufficient for my needs. I was actually tempted to get a 128GB model, but that would be really tight and would require using the SDXC slot (as I also use Windows occasionally on it).
  3. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    I bought this machine fully expecting it to last me at least 3 years. After that amount of time, resale value doesn't really matter too much.
  4. thefredelement macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2012
    New York
    Value the tech how you use it.

    That screen is going to look that good no matter what other good looking screens come out.
  5. Catsman macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2010
    On the Coast Australia
    Three years on at my age and my eyesight will be the bigger problem
  6. bgiaach macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2012
    To be perfectly honest, resale value is the least of my worries. I bought this laptop because I really needed a new computer. If it's anything like my last macbook pro, it will last me at least 4 years and be great the whole time. Sure those who buy new computers every year may worry about resale but honestly, if you can buy a $3,000 computer every year, I think a drop in resale would be hardly an issue. And that's if the resale value isn't what's expected.
  7. Arnezie macrumors 65816


    Oct 10, 2011
    I dont think I've ever bought anything ever that i was worried about re-sale value. From cars to computers you buy it for a reason to use it so use it , its not an investment its a tool.
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    If you can resell it then you're not completely screwed. How much value did you expect to lose and what are you actually losing?
  9. utekineir macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2008
    you paid retail?

    seriously though all technology loses value, and fast. The more bleeding edge and high end the faster the drop.

    want to scare yourself, take the costs of your technology purchases divide them by the lifespan/ownership in months, then add up the totals of the overlapping months.
  10. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    If you're buying computers with resale in mind, stop it.

    Assume you will get $0 come sale time. Anything you do get will be a bonus.
  11. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    Eh just think about the guys who spent $4,000 on a 5MB Hard Drive for their Apple II's. I just picked up a 16GB USB 3.0 drive for $10!

    Technology moves quickly. The cutting edge is expensive and drops rapidly in price. Some want cutting edge, and there's a cost in that. That means less resale value, since once initial R&D costs are recouped and competition begins building similar machines happens, prices will drop. Of course, that happens all the time. Lots of MacBook Pro generations have been 'shafted' in resale value when the NEXT generation introduced lower prices, which has happened a few times now in Apples lineup. (The first generation MBP's was what, $1999 or $2199 for the base model? Something like that?)

    Bottom line, one nice thing about Apple computers is that they actually HAVE resale value. I couldn't get $50 out of my 4 year old Windows laptop, but I could get a few hundred bucks out of a 4 year old MBP. But, in the end, any resale value should be treated as an unexpected blessing, as technology moves it's not likely, in all honesty.

    What's REALLY going to upset the early adopters is the price drop. I foresee rMBP models dropping down to cMBP prices in a matter of a couple of years. But, it's the nature of being on the cutting edge. Again, the very first commercially available hard disk drive 'systems' (ones with the controller and everything packaged together) meant for consumers (not the huge IBM concoctions) exceeded 10 grand. Just a few years later, they were included INSIDE (these early ones were large, and external) computer systems, and the entire SYSTEM cost less than that, with MORE storage.

    (By the way, I'm referring to 'modern' HDD's, technically Hard Disk Drives have been around since the late 50's)
  12. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    If u drop it, dent it, big scratch it, the point would be moot.
  13. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    Not necessarily. If the dent or scratch is on the bottom 'lid' it can be replaced fairly cheaply and recover the value!
  14. Newfiejudd macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2010
    I don't think we are screwed by the resale but more by the current problems with the unit.
  15. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    You are only screwed if you care...

    That said I didn't pay retail.
  16. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    Use your machines to the ground. At that point, you'd have enjoyed complete and care-free use of it. And naturally, no resale value to even be concerned about.
  17. racer1441 macrumors 68000

    Jul 3, 2009
    Buying Apple for resale value is good, but nothing deeper. You'll do better with Apple than anything else, but that's it. Don't worry about the final value or you ill go insane.

    Technology is not an investment.
  18. Dominus Mortem macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2011
    The people who buy early on a technology curve always see the biggest drops over time, this is not news. People who buy early in a product cycle probably aren't largely worried about depreciation as much as they are about how the new product can help them in some way.
  19. Rizzm macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2012
    You really should've seen this coming. Clearly a lot of the price of the rMBP is in the SSD. Comparing it to the regular MBP you can see how much Apple is charging for it, and the trend for SSD prices was/is going down steadily. This is the main loss of value.

    Of course there's the regular depreciation by having an older generation product, and other newer technologies that Apple will learn how to produce more efficiently (retina display, components, etc.).
  20. mr.bee macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2007
    Brussels, belgium
    Apple never makes their first revision the latest and greatest in hardware (and software).
    They know the early adopters will buy it. And depending on the market they will up their product in the second rev.

    example: iPad mini could already have been released with the new a6x processor, if they can fit that in an iPhone why not in an iPad mini.

    their first rev is always for the 'I need to get that gadget' crowd. It only gets interesting from the second rev. especially for resellers value.
  21. Catsman, Jan 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013

    Catsman macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2010
    On the Coast Australia
    Spent 120 pound sterling on a 16k upgrade (not gig) for Apple ][ in the 70's so I could run wordstar on cpm. Still don't use any more features today in Word......ah technology. It's been a great ride but expensive.
    Ps. Still have the shops price list.
  22. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    Memory prices I think are the ones that have fallen the most, or at least the most drastically, over the years. Forget size, but what $200 would buy you 10 years ago, you can get the 'adjust for technology innovation' equivalent for $30 or $40!

    I think the craziest thing, looking back, is not buying computers with other computers! Going into the shop (not a big box store either, some local shot somewhere), picking it out, or ordering it with a catalog over the (landline) telephone, or even mailing a check for it.

    Although SOME Wal-Mart stores did occasionally carry computers. A friend bought a Commodore 64 new at a Wal-Mart!
  23. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    We can't out of one side of our mouth talk TCO when justifying a computer and say resale isn't important out of the other side when someone gets rightfully concerned about resale.

    Yes first gen rMBP owners are going to get the short end of the stick on resale but such is life.
  24. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    Prediction: 15" rMBP starts with 512GB SSD with possible $200 price drop tomorrow.
  25. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    Not sure. It will be interesting to see how serious Apple is going to take that 7% decline in unit movement though (Which is now less than 15% of their revenue).

    If they introduce the next MBP's with a bang, we will know. If it's a typical upgrade with typical pricing then that will speak volumes IMO.

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