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

Luba

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 22, 2009
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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!
 

myscrnnm

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2014
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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.
 

2ilent8cho

macrumors 6502
Mar 9, 2016
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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.
 

Pez555

macrumors 68020
Apr 18, 2010
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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.
entry level over here in the UK pre event was £675 (education pricing). Now it is £850.

There is no excuse.
 
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Ries

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2007
2,198
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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.
 

UnluckyXIII

macrumors 6502
Feb 20, 2014
297
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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??
 

jasonsmith_88

macrumors regular
Jul 27, 2016
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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??
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.
 

Ries

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2007
2,198
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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.
A person that spends money frivolously is just stupid and poor.
 
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Lucjan

macrumors newbie
Dec 18, 2015
12
9
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?
 

Branskins

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2008
1,233
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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.

So:

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
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,692
3,303
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.
 

tevion

macrumors member
Apr 2, 2009
72
51
It comes down to two things.

Competition

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.

Brand

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...
 
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motime

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2015
292
161
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.
 

blackberrycubed

macrumors 6502a
Feb 26, 2013
663
700
Greed.

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.
 
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RHD 42

macrumors member
Jun 17, 2016
49
29
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!
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.
 
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UnluckyXIII

macrumors 6502
Feb 20, 2014
297
65
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.
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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