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

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

  1. Luba thread starter macrumors 65816

    Luba

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #76
    I certainly don't deny what you are saying. To be a "cord cutter" you'll need a computer. BUT, after years of computer prices going down in price or stabilizing, what has made it go up?? I was surprised to learn that Microsoft computers, both laptops and the upcoming Surface Studio are expensive ($3k-$4k ish). SSDs have gone down in price, but it has a limited effect on price of new MBPs. My current MacBook is quite old, but I remember the very top of the line being under $3k. It's now $4.3k!?! What happened? It's like I woke up from a long sleep with a new reality. :)
     
  2. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #77
    Stop drinking the Kool-Aid.

    Apple doesn't have anything like the Surface Studio. The display with the digitizer is no doubt expensive.

    Also, the 980M easily beats the 395M.

    Sorry to burst your bubble.

    The Wacom Cintiq 27QHD touch costs $2700 without a PC.

    The digitizer on the Surface Studio definitely isn't cheap either.

    If Apple makes anything like the Surface Studio, it probably costs north of $3000.
     
  3. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #78
    Care to define what the massive per unit licensing fee is or are you just guessing and don't really know if it is massive?
     
  4. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #79
    $1350 for the Surface Book isn't that bad.

    $3000 for the Surface Studio might be a lot, but you have to admit that huge screen with the digitizer is probably pretty expensive.
     
  5. Zenithal macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #80
    Sure. Flat fees were introduced years ago. $4 per connector for Apple approved cables. Pass through cables require $8. It used to be a variable percentage depending on what product you wanted to create for Apple devices. Official Apple cables cost quite a bit of money in relation to their production costs. Apple has tapped cheap, very, very cheap rates per unit construction costs through their vendors. Other companies such as Griffin, Belkin, et al. don't have the same luxury as Apple to get such low rates. So their per unit production cost would be higher. Include the $4/$8 fees, and the return isn't as grand as it is for Apple. It's not a big deal if you only require a few hundred cables a year, but the price goes up and up because you're adopting the production of each cable Apple has come up with in the last decade, for example. This is on top of the MFI verification process which requires a fee. Then a fee for production licenses. And if you want to act as a third party to other third parties, you need to cough up a development license fees and any unit fees associated with those. In addition, companies are required, on their dime, to spend money to make sure their product offerings behave and perform like authentic cables, or within a very tiny degree of it. I don't know if you caught the article from a few weeks ago in regard to fake "authentic" cables and one article had an electric chart showing how stable a real cable was to a fake one. Similar issue to consider and spend money on. Apple doesn't have to worry about a lot of these because their cables are made to spec each and every time.

    On the other end of the stick, developers get stuck with an annual $99 fee plus 30% commission charges on anything in the Applications Store and iOS. Companies face a $299 yearly fee plus commission fees. Do I think it sucks for third parties? Sure. But is it better for the customer in the end? You bet your butt it is. Whether buying authentic Apple port connectors, adapters, hubs, cables or even MFI licensed and certified products, you know you're not going to get stiffed with BS. Android? $25 one time fee, plus 30% commission. Android also has problems with their cables but that's a different issue altogether. Good universal cables are fine. Cheats love to go after Apple simply because they command a higher price. It's easier to make fake "authentic" cables than it is to enter the MFI program, cheapen out and get kicked out and possibly sued.
     
  6. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #81
    Thank you for the very detailed information.
     
  7. Zenithal macrumors G3

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    Sep 10, 2009
    #82
    No problem. I feel with adopting USBC from here on out, it'll be easier for companies not to pay for MFI fees but still make a high quality product that won't damage the computer they're connected to. I'm not sure if this was Apple's goal because they've faced criticism for their licensing fees in past years or their marketing department has done a bunk. Possibly both.
     
  8. powertoold macrumors 6502

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    Sep 8, 2014
    #83
    You guys are all stuck in the specs mindset. Just wait until the reviews or you use one to see if it's "worth it"
     
  9. ag29 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 7, 2014
    #84
    Because they're made out of sold gold! :(

    Well the real reason is because it's always easy to lower the price, but you can't raise it once you set it.
     
  10. Puonti macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    #85
    There is wisdom in this, but perhaps not only of the kind that immediately comes to mind; sometimes spending more means you're being smart and saving money. Paying 3000 - 4000 euros for a computer every 5 years is financially smarter than spending 2500 euros every year or even every other year. Thus far my experience with Apple supports the expectation that the computer will last that long and serve well. If someone absolutely has to have the latest and fastest tech every year, then they are expected to make that investment back through whatever it is they purchase those tools for. Also not frivolous, just a different situation.

    You run into problems when you don't actually need the annual upgrades and don't have the willpower to stay away from them - which I believe is your original point.

    True. My understanding also is that the price of all SSD tech has been trending downwards for years. The SSD tech Apple uses in this year's MacBook Pros simply has a higher starting price because it's faster, and I think that's part of what's tripping people up (there are other reasons for the price hikes, too, of course).

    In very simple terms, Apple has maintained a 128 GB SSD baseline for years. The price they pay for that hardware has fallen, as has the price for other sizes of SSDs. It is reasonable to expect that at some point they will have to make a choice: A) stick with the same tech at 128 GB and lower the price, B) stick with the same tech at 256 GB and maintain the price, or C) go with improved tech at 256 GB and increase the price.

    No doubt with every incremental upgrade and redesign the people at Apple weight everything that's gone into updated product and make these kind of decisions - not on an item-by-item basis, but taking into account all of the changes. Maybe this time they felt that the improved SSD tech they were going to use anyway was not so much more expensive that also increasing the baseline size of the SSD to 256 GB would be out of the question and might even help maintain profits when considering how much every other improvement cost them.

    Now allow me to digress a little...

    The balancing act I describe above is usually not visible to the end user, which can lead to several types of negative reactions:

    1) I didn't want / I don't need this particular tech / feature improvement, so it's a bad reason to increase the price

    2) This field of technology as a whole (ignoring newer, costlier variations of said tech within that field) has been getting cheaper every year, so the prices should be going down not up

    3) I can get the same or better tech numbers / features from some of the competitors for a smaller price number, so Apple is out of touch with the industry

    4) I really love Apple's products, but I just can't afford the prices of all of their devices I'm interested in, in my current financial situation and with the frequency that I want to buy new stuff, so obviously this was a bad move

    5) Apple has so much money in the bank they could afford to drop their profit margins, which would mean lower product prices, which might mean more people buying the products, which might mean they could still maintain their level of wealth

    We're seeing all of these reactions on these forums every time Apple releases a product, and even between releases. Someone is always going to disagree with Apple's tech / feature choices. Someone is always going to look at the big picture without considering the nuances. Someone is always going to find someone who makes and sells cheaper stuff than Apple. Someone is always going to be unable to save up the money to purchase Apple's products at a pace they'd like. Someone is always going to think they know how to run a huge business better than the people at Apple.

    It's nothing new, and when fenced just right there's often a nugget of objective, not just subjective truth in those comments. So yeah, you're absolutely correct - SSD tech continues to get cheaper.
     
  11. H2SO4 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    #86
    Because they can. Simple.
    The MacBook I was going to purchase for a relative for college has now turned into a Dell Inspiron 15-7559 @ £850.
     
  12. Abazigal macrumors G4

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #87
    My theory is that Apple is pushing for the iPad pro as a laptop replacement for the average consumer with fairly modest needs. Hence, the high prices of the new MacBook Pros make the iPad Pro seem more affordable in comparison. A 12.9" 128gb iPad Pro with cellular, smart keyboard and Apple Pencil works out to about US$1.3k, roughly in line with an entry level MacBook.

    It seems that Apple is content to allow iPads to cannibalise sales of the Mac, while positioning the Mac as a niche product for professional use. Classic Apple "courage" at work here, though the writing is still on the wall as to whether their gamble will pay off.
     
  13. George Dawes macrumors 6502a

    George Dawes

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    Location:
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    #88
    Because Tim Cook is a Scorpio

    In business, Scorpios tend to easily gather wealth, they make very wise business decisions and they are very conservative about spending their money.

    Scorpios are known for making money and hiding it, they will not announce it due to to fear that others will take the same route and becoming a possible competitor, or worse try to use the Scorpio to their advantage to use them for their money.
     
  14. Luba thread starter macrumors 65816

    Luba

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #89
    How about this: Apple figures that the casual web surfer will get an iPad or even make do with just an iPhone, so it's too difficult to entice them to get a MacBook. And Apple had pledged not to make inexpensive ChromeBook type laptops. So all that's left of the market are "Pros" who are a captured market. Apple figures they can increase the price by 33%. The "Pros" will complain, but they need the power of a MBP. College students who are just writing papers will get either the MacBook or low end 13" MBP.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 30, 2016 ---
    You wrote your post a few minutes before me, so I wasn't plagiarising your idea. :)
     
  15. fokmik macrumors 68040

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    USA
    #90
    The new Macbooks PRO really are more expensive than the older one? how come? and how much?
     
  16. MH01 Suspended

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #91
    Arrogance and greed. Apple beliebve they are so awesome, the customer will pay whatever they set, and Cook is clueless about innovation and his top requirement is profit.

    They launched a $10 000 smartwatch. That should explain the delusional state of apple HQ at the moment.

    For Cook to meet his performance goals, he needs to pull in the profits, Hence penny pinching across the range.

    When my iPhone 7 got worse reception than my 6S and the price went up, apple lost a loyal customer that upgraded every year. I need value for money, and though I will accept price rises, I will not accept gimmicks and inferior performance.
     
  17. haydn! macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #92
    If we are expecting a price drop at the next speed bump. When will that be? I know Apple have done them as little as six months later, but considering this took 18 months to get to market, I think we'll be looking at 12 months.

    Add in the fact the £ will no doubt continue to drop against the $ this year, there may actually be no benefit in waiting for folks in the U.K./Europe
     
  18. Geert76 macrumors 68000

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    Feb 28, 2014
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    #93
    please sticky this in the forum here!!! totally agree
     
  19. MH01 Suspended

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #94
    In my opinion for all the wrong reasons. People know the difference between a hammer and a screwdriver, but apple wants you to buy a screwdriver which has vastly higher profit margin and say it will make a great hammer.

    An iPad Pro at $1.3K is pure greed......

    I stand by the fact that Cook has a profit margin to maintain, and due to the fact that computers have hit such a standard these days that less and less people are upgrading on a regular basis, all he knows is to raise the prices.

    The iPad Pro would be much cheaper if people were upgrading it every 12 months.....but to achieve that you need to innovate and give people a reason to upgrade , gimmicky crap does not get someone to part with over $1000.

    If you want proof, look at unit sales and how that has resulted in prices going up..... and apple maintaining its profit margin. The secret is to look at falling unit sales and price rises to compensate.

    Cook is doing a Steve ballmer on apple, record profits....
     
  20. AdonisSMU macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #95
    Greed, just pure greed.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 30, 2016 ---
    I agree with this actually. One of my best friends only uses his iPad Pro as it suits his needs just fine. My sister just uses her iPad Air 2 I purchased for her. My other best friend uses a Chromebook.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 30, 2016 ---
    You might ask them if the preferred to make their own purchase and you just subsidize the cost with the £850.
     
  21. fokmik macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    Location:
    USA
    #96
    The last gen 15 mbp was 2500$ with 512+dgpu now the current one is 2400 with 256+dgpu. The price to have 512 ssd is + 200 from that we take 100 and we have an more capable machine with just 100$ more. Wow thats MORE expensive? If 100$ its too much plz buy an chromebook
     
  22. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

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    Netherlands
    #97
    My theory is simple and uneducated: they do it because they can.
     
  23. haydn! macrumors 65816

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    Nov 10, 2008
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    UK
    #98
    The price jumps are not as bad on the 15" due to the inclusion of discrete graphics on all variants. But the removal of a lower entry point does mean people are forced to pay more if they need a 15" as there are no cheaper options (current generation). Perhaps a non-touch 15" with slower processor at a $1999 entry point would have made this whole thing easier for people to stomach.
     
  24. fokmik macrumors 68040

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    USA
    #99
    remember you need a dGPU since the 15" DOES NOT HAVE the IRIS PRO. So without a dGPU you have HD530 that is lower than even the new 13" MBP HD 550
     
  25. Wiesenlooser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #100
    Makes no sense. You are basically saying it is justifiable that they charge more because the new models are more modern. But --newsflash-- ths is what I expect from a company in the tech business : Better technology for the same (if not lower) price. It is called progress.
     

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