What's your theory as to why MacBooks now cost so much?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Luba, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. Luba macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2009
    Have the component parts gone up in price? I would think the component prices (SSD, GPU, etc.) have gone down or stayed the same in price over the years. Has Apple identified a new demographic they can exploit? Or perhaps, the top of line 15" MacBook have taken a huge jump in performance?

    For a long time, you could get a decent performing entry level MacBook for $1200, but now that decent entry level has crept up a couple of hundred dollars. And you could get "last year's model" for under $1200.

    For a long time, a top of the line 15" MacBook would cost around $2,500, or if you max'd it out completely it would be just under $3,000. Now, it's over $4,000! Some configurations of the Mac Pro cost less the new MacBook!
  2. myscrnnm macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    Not just inflation. But also research and development. This isn't just a spec bump, which is what a lot of people seem to be treating it as. As much as the new MacBook Pros share with their predecessors cosmetically, the new models are completely redesigned. The form factor is different, the trackpad larger, the keyboard uses a different mechanism, and hinges are all-new, et cetera.

    I'm sure the 2008 and 2012 MacBook Pros were quite expensive for their time too. People have just forgotten how much new tech costs because it's been too long for them. I'm sure the cost for components like the CPU, RAM, and SSD aren't that much more for Apple over the last-gen components, but new stuff like the OLED panel in the Touch Bar, the TouchID reader, all-new T1 security enclave, et cetera should add to the cost as well.
  3. Luba thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2009
    The inflation rate these days is under 2%, so I don't think it's that.
  4. apolloa macrumors G5

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    Price gouging for profit. They are not the richest coporation on the planet for nothing you know and they intend to try and stay that way, why else would they say they 'design for the user experience and not to a cost'.
  5. 2ilent8cho macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2016
    Whilst i always like to pay less, i spent last decade in the PC camp and i saw what cheaper laptops every year meant, a race to the bottom profit wise for the manufactures and corners were cut everywhere in build quality to keep those profit margins, every laptop i got was more flimsy than the previous one until i jumped to the Mac world, because i was willing to pay more for a better fit and finish.

    Mac's have come down a lot, i paid over £1000 for an entry MacBook Air in 2011, even with this price increase the MacBook Air is still under £1000. I think its just adjustment time.
  6. Pez555 macrumors 68020


    Apr 18, 2010
    entry level over here in the UK pre event was £675 (education pricing). Now it is £850.

    There is no excuse.
  7. Ries macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2007
    Apple kept their prices on the last generation stable, even though the components got cheaper and cheaper while they didn't change a lot. The had a very good profit margin in the final days. Now the new one eroded that profit margin and with the "we earn less money now" annoncement, they opted for keep the profit margin instead of going back to what they had when hashwell was launched. So they slapped on the $100 per letter in "Pro" on all their models.
  8. UnluckyXIII macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2014
    The "top-base" 15" MBP has gone from £1999 to £2699 that's a fair jump in price (up 35%), possibly the largest we've ever seen in a Mac of any kind??
  9. Ries macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2007
    about 20% is the brexit "we are going to be great" penalty and 15% is Apple.
  10. jasonsmith_88 macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2016
    Since you're quoting in pounds, surely you are aware that the £ has dropped significantly since the Brexit vote. Apple is a US company. Their base prices are in USD. They updated their UK prices to reflect the current exchange rate. They aren't responsible for the exchange rate.
  11. TheDoubler55 macrumors 6502


    Oct 21, 2011
  12. Spudlicious macrumors 6502


    Nov 21, 2015
    Bedfordshire, England
    The folks counting pennies just aren't the demographic in Apple's sights, never have been. It's the rule of P; premium pricing produces pleasurablely plentiful profits.
  13. Ries macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2007
    A person that spends money frivolously is just stupid and poor.
  14. Lucjan macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2015
    No idea why the prices in Europe increased so much, but from my point of view the 2 main reasons for the overall increase in price are:
    1) the new display. Displays with these properties of that quality costs quite a bit more than what Apple used in retina MacBook Pros before.
    2) SSD. Don't think of it as your run of the mill 2.5" SATA SSD that dropped in price so nicely. Apple went high-end on the new notebooks and those 3 GB/s modules are expensive as hell. Begs the question why they did it? I mean in all seriousness, what amount of users will actually notice the difference between the ~2GB/s SSDs they used in the previous ones?
  15. Branskins macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
    There is a lot of technology packed into the Touch Bar. It is essentially an mini Apple Watch. The T1 chip is the S1 chip from the Apple Watch and it is running watchOS (called embeddedOS apparently).

    The T1 chip allows for secure Apple Pay as well as secure control over the camera.


    This plus R&D may account for the increased price. There is a lot of thought (i.e. security) and technology packed into the new machines
  16. Macalway macrumors 68030

    Aug 7, 2013
  17. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Prices have fluctuated for years within the MBP line. It has not been uncommon in the past for them to start at $1499 for the 13" model and up to $2200 for the 15" with 17" models going even higher. Apple competes at the top of the market; they always have. Prices have dropped somewhat in the recent few years because the laptop kind of stagnated industry-wide. Apple didn't provide an update until enough technologies had come on line to make it worthwhile. A single one of the new Thunderbolt ports has more bandwidth than most of their laptops with all their legacy ports previously had combined. There is no other laptop on the market with 4 of them.

    The prices feel higher because the last few years people became used to the price points that had been reduced for mature products. These are approximately the prices that really new models have held in the past. And I'm sure that from Apple's perspective the old models available at lower price points fit the budget user's needs.
  18. tevion, Oct 28, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016

    tevion macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2009
    It comes down to two things.


    The only realistic competition in terms of build quality is Microsoft with the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book, strictly speaking neither is like for like but close. Again, Microsoft offerings are highly priced.

    Yes you can say Dell has some models with similar build quality - I wouldn't say it's on par though. I've owned a Dell XPS 15 and it's just not the same.


    It's a premium brand and as long as people buy them and competition in their segment is low, there is always room for them to push up pricing to a degree.

    I love the Macbook Pro. I also love the Surface Pro 4 / Surface Book... At same price point, I'd go for a Macbook Pro.

    As things stand, when I saw the new Macbook pricing I purchased a used Early 2015 13" with 16GB RAM for a very very good price.

    I'm not price restricted by means, I could buy one of the new ones.. The difficulty I have is even though it's affordable for me, I don't think it represents good value. When I say good value, I don't mean raw specs to what I pay. I understand with Apple you pay a premium for that refinement and build quality, just this time it's a step to far on price.

    The OLED strip looks very cool, also like the size reduction. Will likely pickup a used one when they do a kabylake refresh...
  19. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The price increase is tied to the fact that Apple's profits have shrunk and they can make the excuse that the Touchbar components are to blame, while ignoring the fact that ram, and SSD prices have fallen over the years.
  20. motime macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2015
    I think there are two factors. One is that Microsoft and apple now seem to be competing on who can sell premier laptops for the highest price, yes as stupid as this sounds, people obviously associate price with quality. The other reason seems to me to make up for lower iPhone sales. I think it's a mistake, apple would have done a lot better financially if they priced the notebooks competitively, but you can't have Microsoft laying claim to the best premium notebook out there.
  21. blackberrycubed macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2013

    They will need to cough up the 13 billion Europe tax bill, already paid what 345 million to italy in tax fraud already.... isheep will be paying for it all while the "white leadership" continue to get the millions in bonus/salary/retentions.
  22. RHD 42 macrumors member

    RHD 42

    Jun 17, 2016
    New development and tooling for the stupid touch bar so we can have emojis and Applepay neither of which I care about on a pro machine.
    Apple are turning into a toy shop.
  23. UnluckyXIII macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2014
    No doubt, but over the years when exchange rates have changed (all be it not as drastically) we've always been "punished" for living the othersside of the pond, either way, it won't change the price and the increase is what it is but I can see it having an effect on the UK market, it's one thing to spend £1999 on a new laptop but when you start nearing the £3000 price bracket people start feeling uneasy (not that it makes any difference as I'll be getting the 15 tMBP with increased storage and the 460 for work) but the non-pro users will surely look elsewhere (or possibly the smaller 13" Pro or even the MacBook if it's just for email and browsing).

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158 October 28, 2016