Should Apple release a cheap notebook?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by futuremac, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. futuremac macrumors member

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    #1
    Notebooks with Windows can be had for as little as $500(probably even cheaper in the US). For most people these cheap notebooks are even overkill. My sister purchased one(an Acer) and after the rebate and some haggling we got it down to about $470. Although I wouldn't personally buy another PC because I need the software that only runs on a Mac, I'm also recommending my uncle purchase a cheap notebook PC. Why? It gets the job done. And why on earth should they spend at least $1,499 on the cheapest Macbook? I'm sure a small premium for OSX and nice looks would be in order, but for their needs the price cannot be justified.

    Is it worth it for Apple to go after this market? I'm guessing they might eventually get there(after many years), but given Vista's poor performance, Apple has an opportunity to strike an effective blow to the PC market. What damage might this do to Apple's image, and will it affect their dedication to creative professionals? I'm thinking in terms of application quality and hardware features including peripherals like the Cinema Display(which only use IPS panels)?

    You know, Apple might consider a subsidiary. Even if the hardware was somewhat **** it'd still run OSX! Bananas Inc?
     
  2. bigjnyc macrumors 601

    bigjnyc

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    #2
    I doubt it... they would lose their identity as a high end luxury company. You're paying for the brand and the looks and also a little extra quality. think car companies..... Mercedes would never make a car to compete with like honda accords, because they would lose their identity in the market. Hondas are reliable, they have decent power and they get the same job done but people buy mercedes for the image, the luxury and the little bit of extra quality they get with the product.
     
  3. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    #3
    Apple doesn't have a OS that can run on cheap laptops like XP or Linux.

    leopard is way too heavy for that. And strip down OSes like those on iPhone is not full feature at all.
     
  4. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #4
    I used to wish that Apple produced a cheap notebook.

    However, now I like Apple's style. You get what you pay for. Now with the ability to run a multitude of x86 based OS'es using Parallels or VMWare, I don't need to carry 2 or 3 PCs any ore. One Mac with Parallels or VMWare. What a nice simple and eloquent solution.
     
  5. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #5
    $1099 for the cheapest MacBook. I would recommend a PC laptop as well to those who are price sensitive. I guess the margins are just too small for Apple down there.
     
  6. Santa Rosa macrumors 65816

    Santa Rosa

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    #6
    A quote that seems lost on many in the forum and in the real world.
     
  7. tuxr99 macrumors newbie

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    #7
    let's not forget that most cheap sub-notebooks ive seen, run linux, not windows. windows is too much of a hog to run efficiently on low specs.
     
  8. futuremac thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    People who buy cheap notebooks need

    • Internet
    • Office apps
    • DVD and music player

    ...and thats roughly about it. Would OSX really perform these tasks poorly on low end hardware? A year or two ago maybe, but now?
     
  9. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

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    #9
    What do you think the iPhone runs?

    Yep - cut-down OS X
    Likewise ATV

    Apple COULD certainly do it without much trouble. The question is will they? My guess would be no - at least not in an EEPC type form factor
     
  10. applebum macrumors 6502

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    #10
    How about a $799 macbook - would that be low enough price? That is what I have - you can get them at the Apple Refurbed store. Why do people always compare cheap Windows laptops too the newest, shiniest Macs? As you so well stated, people who buy cheap don't need anything more than what comes on a refurbed Mac. Also, many times they have never been used - they are just the previous model that Apple still has in stock. AND they have the same warranty as the newest models. Apple does have cheap laptops available - buy refurbed!
     
  11. cal6n macrumors 68000

    cal6n

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    #11
    Should they? Probably.

    Will they? Probably not.
     
  12. mr.light macrumors 6502

    #12
    No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.:eek:

    Apple's rep for quality would be destroyed. I don't think you can make a cheap quality machine. Buy a refurb if you need cheap.

    I would love to be able to spend much less on a MacBook, but I don't think they can retain the quality if they were to meet a lower price point.
     
  13. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    #13
    It really doesn't matter to me. If they want to, sure, because some people will stop complaining. I look at the overall value of a computer and I get a better value from a Mac (Yes, at the current pricing) than I would from those cheaper computers.
     
  14. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    #14
    what do you think that is? an full featured OS like Windows XP or Linux? a cheap apple laptop that can only do super limited things,,,,, its NOT a laptop then.
     
  15. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #15
    Linux is a Unix workalike. MacOS X 10.5 is certified UNIX 03. :rolleyes:

    If the iPhone can run a subset of MacOS X, then certainly any new Apple laptop can run the whole thing. That is not the issue. The issue is that there is really no market for cheap Macs--desktops, laptops, or otherwise. The prices of Wintel laptops have very little to do with the cost of production. Even full-priced Wintel-computers are sold at a price near the break-even point. Most Wintel OEMs do not earn a profit on their hardware. Those that do earn a profit the same way that magazines and newspapers earn a profit--from advertising. All of that crap that Dell installed on your computer is what subsidized its low price point. A cheap computer is cheaper because it has a larger subsidy or is serving as a loss-leader. It is not cheaper because it is significantly cheaper to produce.

    Apple sells music on the iTMS near the break-even point, not its computers. Mac customers get what we pay for. For the extra expense, we get much more reliable machines and we don't have to deal with preloaded spyware.
     
  16. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    #16
    after re-read OP's post, I changed my mind, yes, I think apple can do it, and market is there as well.
     
  17. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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  18. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #18
    I wish everything were cheap so I could buy everything because I deserve to have the same luxury items that everyone has without having to pay for them.

    Either way, I'd rather people complain about the cost of food going up and what that means for the people that can't afford to eat already.

    In the tech world, as was said already, you get what you pay for... that's not bad by any means. Apple won't make a $500 laptop if they are selling their $1099 laptops like hot cakes. And get your price right people, where in God's beautiful green earth did you get $1499 for the cheapest Mac Book?

    Sounds like people need to start reading before ranting.

    Either way, I'd rather Apple make a decently priced tower with regular processors and upgradeable graphics, since that seems to be the only thing missing from the lineup. I would say a cheap LCD display for the none pros out there, or the ones that just want to watch TV and game, but what would be the point?

    $500 laptop, naw, who needs that. If there is someone out there that needs it then there are plenty of PC laptops that will surf the web just fine, and if they need to surf the web on a Mac they can certainly find a used or refurbished one.
     
  19. nick9191 macrumors 68040

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    #19
    Not in a million years. People have been asking Apple to do this for years, basically asking them to be like Dell. And for every profit Dell makes by selling 3 computers, Apple makes by selling one. And Dell are going down the crapper.

    Acer- Kudos to your sister for getting an Acer that works, but generally Acer's are just terrible. Terrible quality, terrible style, terrible support, and of course they try to make some money back by bundling every kind of imaginable trial software with the machine.

    Its just not worth Apple's time to go down this route, there are so many companies making cheap computers (like Dell and Acer) and the profit margin is just nonexistent.
     
  20. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #20
    Agreed. I would like to know what kind of deals and rebates the OP's sister got, and how much would the machine have cost without them. Are you wishing Apple had rebates? Or that Apple price a lower end machine at the same price point of a Dell with rebates and deals from Best Buy?
     
  21. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #21
    Australia...


    futuremac
    macrumors newbie

    Join Date: Jun 2008
    Location: Melbourne, Australia



    ;)
     
  22. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #22
    A$ or AU$


    I got this sweet computer for 4000 which one is it? :D

    If you have a hard time, then that's why we use symbols to designate the currencies. Hint, Danmark
     
  23. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #23
    How about a nice netbook?

    Low price, but not cheaply made
     
  24. mikesown macrumors member

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    Aug 12, 2004
    #24
    Simply put: no. Apple has positioned itself as a luxury brand in the computer space. While you may pay a high price for the hardware, you get a VERY solid build quality, an iSight in all computers(save for the Mac Mini, Mac Pro, and XServe), and an unbeatable warranty.

    As an example, the optical drive on my Macbook Pro was broken. I brought it into the Apple store, and it was fixed within 24 hours! Imagine how long this would take with a PC from, say, Dell or HP. It would likely involve a 14-day+ repair process to replace the drive.

    Also, I think it's important to look at Apple's business model and what you get. Buying a computer from Apple entitles you to use OSX. This means dirt cheap software. Final Cut Studio for $700 educational($1400 regular). Logic Studio for $600. The above programs cost tens of thousands of dollars from competitors. Apple subsidizes software with hardware.

    Also, let's not forget about the freebies: iLife is an amazing software package - nothing comparable exists on the PC.

    So, while you may gasp saying "Oh my god, how could you pay $1500 for that laptop when a PC with the same specs costs only $1000?" realize that you are getting significantly cheaper software, a solidly built machine, and a great company to stand behind the computer if anything breaks. Do you get that with the $500 laptop?
     
  25. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

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    #25
    Nonsense - there's absolutely no reason why Apple couldn't add the functionality required to a slimmed-down OS. Whether they should, however, is a whole other issue.
     

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