Why are MBPs so over-priced?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by groove-agent, May 24, 2017.

  1. groove-agent, May 24, 2017
    Last edited: May 26, 2017

    groove-agent macrumors 65816


    Jan 13, 2006
    Macs have always been pricey, but now they're just over-priced.

    Three thousand dollars. That is what I paid for my 17" ages ago. Not only that, now you need to spend about 100 dollars in dongles/adapters and/or $200 in a docking station.

    You can't upgrade the RAM or SSD because it's not removable, so to future proof yourself you have to max yourself out, or get external drives which = more money. Furthermore they charge a premium in upgrades. To upgrade from 500GB to 1TB Apple charges $400. Dell's XPS 15" is a $200 charge ... and Dell is using Kaby Lake processor.

    I just bought my mom a replacement for her 2006 Mac mini (which still runs!). I wanted to get a new mini but I couldn't justify $849 just to get decent amount of soldered in RAM on a 3 year old machine. I bought an Acer - my first PC in 11 years. A sad day indeed.

    It's not so much that they're expensive, I have the money socked aside. The problem is they're awful value and overpriced now. I hope June 5 will turn everything around.
  2. fitzsimonsjl macrumors newbie


    Apr 6, 2017
    København, Damark
    They've been non upgradeable for a few years. I think most realise that they were never the best for price vs performance, but the integration of hardware and software and macOS over Windows is enough for some to justify the price.

    Isn't to me personally, but that's why you should simply be voting with your wallet as you've already done.

    Either way I sincerely doubt than June 5th is going to bring any drastic changes in a direction more to your liking.
  3. Lawzen macrumors member


    Apr 28, 2017
    The way I see it, Apple computers are just that. Apple computers.
    Takes cars for example. The purpose is to go from point A to point B. Let's do Honda compared to a Tesla. Both will get you there, but a lot of it comes to the inner workings and personal experiences.
    Same goes for Apple vs other computers. Apple just finds that "thing" people look for in their gadgets. As long as people find what they want in Apple, Apple can always offer a higher premium, but at the same time deliver on the user experience aspect as well.
  4. Lunfai macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2010
    Recession. US should be the last place to complain about the price. UK got massive increases across the board for all Apple products last year and some countries pay far more than us too.
  5. daflake macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2008
    But... You are really not getting any better components in that Apple whereas in the Tesla you will. Apple generally gives you outdated tech to run their OS.

    Apple computers are overpriced yet people are willing to pay for it so…
  6. KensaiMage macrumors regular


    May 25, 2017
    The answer is simple - because apple can price their devices premium and still sell these well - why? here is the answer:

    1. Long-term users paid for apps/media which they can not transfer to any other ecosystem - so they stay with apple and buy apple devices.
    2. iOS and macOS are the most advanced and the safest operating systems - so people prefer using the best OS with medium hardware to medium OS with the best hardware.
  7. sublunar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    2 factors contribute to the notion of overpriced for me.

    1. There's basically an Apple Watch included with every Macbook Pro now in the form of a touch bar, and Apple have to pay back R&D costs. The touch bar is dividing people - some claim it's great, other people hate it - everyone has to pay for it.
    2. Around the world exchange rate changes hit at the wrong time and Apple had to put prices up in Europe. This rankles when the price increases covered some hardware which was unchanged for a year. Imagine paying 20% more for an iMac from 2015 overnight when the Macbook Pros were updated.

    In the UK, prior to the 2016 Macbook Pro update the top model 2015 Macbook Pro with discrete GPU cost £1999 including VAT. The replacement model cost £2699 and the increase is a factor from both of the above points.

    In mitigation, Apple' OS is 'free' but it's just more acceptable to pay more for tangible hardware because so many people now expect software to be free or 'obtain it' as a necessary thing - consider Microsoft's travails over the years with pirates.

    As mentioned elsewhere the integration between hardware and software is a unique selling point for Apple, one that attracts a lot of customers. And people continue to do comparisons between top of the range Windows hardware and Apple stuff and find that the prices aren't that far apart.
  8. spac3duck macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2017
    There are many other factors to consider when doing a comparison other than just what's 'under the bonnet'. If rolling with the car analogy, you have build quality, design, user experience, the headhunt interface, fuel economy etc. You can never apply the analogy exactly yet the idea remains.

    Thus, you are paying for those kind of things in Apple laptops. A lightweight, all in one aluminium body shell with long lasting battery life running an operating system that is inherently more focused on security than windows from the start (unix) with an overall design philosophy of simplicity coupled with all of the goodwill that comes from a company that established the MP3 player, the smartphone and tablet to the masses.
  9. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 603

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001

    Then the current model is actually cheaper, due to inflation.

    That's a choice Apple has made. You pay more upfront if you want upgrades, but you get a lighter and smaller product. Some like it, some don't. For the majority of users, which never would want to upgrade their machine, this is a good payoff.

    Yeah, the Mac Mini is currently a disgrace, no discussion there. That one and the Mac Pro.

    As you mention above, you also get quality products from Apple, so you are definitely also paying for that. And long term software upgrades on top. I also have a perfectly fine working '06 MBP. My '11 Mac Mini and iMac are also going strong, and the same with my girlfriends '09 MBP.

    We are not in a recession anymore. And the UK price spike speaks for itself, due to the significant drop in the pound.
  10. daflake macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2008
    Based on what, checking e-mail and surfing the net? It certainly isn't the best OS for gaming or even for mid to large companies. Sure, a smaller company might be able to use it, but it still doesn't have the support that MS provides. Don't get me wrong, I really like the Mac OS and it has its place, but it isn't the end all OS. We have yet to get that...
  11. spac3duck macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2017
    1. Totally agree
    2. Debatable depending on who you ask.
  12. daflake macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2008
    Yes, but your hardware is still out of date and you have no ability to upgrade anything. It's like buying a 2015 car at full price in 2017.

    You guys go on about security over and over, but I haven't had a virus or malware in years running Windows. I don't install crapware and I have a good AV program running (Kaspersky) that keeps it running smoothly. No problems at all. I haven't had to re-install my OS since the XP days as Win 7 and 10 have been running great.

    The only thing I like more in apple than windows are the trackpads but I tend to use an external mouse anyway so it isn't that big of a deal.

    Again, I love Mac OS, but the hardware really has slipped over the years in my opinion.
  13. ascender macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2005
    Its all about opinions. If you look at similar "premium" laptops, the Apple MBPs aren't really over-priced in comparison.

    As to expandability of the new laptops, that subject's been done to death on here and has been signposted by Apple for a number of years. What I would say is that for the majority of users, they will never want or need to upgrade a laptop's RAM or HDD, even moreso now that cloud storage has matured and is a mainstream thing now. Also, the CPU speed "arms race" from years ago is over, so machines are lasting longer and longer than ever before.

    The new MBPs will not be suitable for all users - the next refresh will probably offer faster machines with 32GB RAM as an option, but it will be in the same chassis with the same ports etc.

    I've had to use Windows for the last few years for a few specific things which don't have a native macOS version. My experience of Windows 7 and 10 has been the exact opposite of yours and I could never see me returning to that OS as my main one for my other businesses. Even just the way Windows handles updates is enough to make me shudder with dread any time I need to fire it up.

    But everyone's workflow and needs are different, so I know its not as black and white as just rubbishing one OS versus the other.
  14. fitzsimonsjl macrumors newbie


    Apr 6, 2017
    København, Damark
    This was exactly a contributing factor for me. I don't even mind the higher price, and it certainly wasn't the cost aspect. It was the fact that the 15" model didn't come without a touchbar, and I'm not paying Apple 23.000 SEK for a two year old computer.

    If there'd been an update this year without it, I'd have bought it without a second thought rather than the XPS 15. I'm more than comfortable with Windows, and all the applications I use day to day are cross platform, but I do still miss macOS on occasion.
  15. meteoreos macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2016
    Midlands, UK
    I transitioned from being a long term Windows user to using MacOS, and I can pretty much guarantee that I won't be going back to using a Windows machine. Ever.

    I agree that Apple's hardware is overpriced, but just take a look at the Microsoft equivalents as they're similarly priced. Plus, you're paying for Apple's top notch customer service.

    Having been a Windows user for over a decade, it's utterly awful compared to MacOS and therefore worth the money for me.
  16. spac3duck macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2017
    Apple hardware has always been considered premium.

    Sounds like you have a good approach to cybersecurity and that's awesome.. The unfortunate reality is that many others don't. That is why you will continue to hear people go over and over about UNIX's approach to security.

    +1 for the Apple's trackpads.
    Their display is also top notch in contrast to many mid to lower range laptops/chromebooks etc. (Yeh it's a bit of an unfair comparison haha)
  17. daflake macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2008
    Has is more like was... Not so much any longer though in my opinion. This coming from a guy who had several Macbooks over the years. There are a lot of nice, good quality, options out there now.

    Oh, I agree with the UNIX type approach. I have several Linux machines running at the house as well.

    I like the display as well, but there are other options out there with nice displays as too. What you do get with Apple that is lacking in every other company is the service. You can't really put a price on that one....
  18. OneSon macrumors member


    Jan 6, 2013
    No such thing as 'over priced' in economics unless something isn't selling. Macs are selling so they're not over-priced.
  19. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I have to disagree with you on that point. You can get a Dell XPS 15, which has a 4k display, better dGPU, better keyboard, USB-C and USB-A ports and its for a 1,000 less then the MBP. On top of that, the ram, storage and battery is user replaceable.
  20. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    I think they meant Microsoft's OEM products (Surface Pro/Book, etc.).
  21. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Oh, you're right - my bad. Yes, MS' Surface products are just as expensive.
  22. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    In short, because people will pay the prices they ask, and what constitutes a good value is very much subjective.

    Indeed, they are engineered to be non-upgradable luxury goods of a finite lifespan. However, you get a very fine product that generally works outstandingly well, and can enable great productivity. You also get an OS that is far more User friendly, secure & reliable for the most part, equally capable (or more) than more complex OS', capable of running other OS', and a solid support network.

    Apple is an interesting company in that, rather than understanding segmentation and working products to fit into or cross through various segmentation models, they are one of the few companies that actually define it.
  23. boss.king macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    I got my dongle for $70 US and it has more ports than my whole 2014 MBP. Shop around, if you're paying that much for dongles then you've done something wrong.

    I'll be honest, my usage has changed since using a MBP, I now store a lot less on the actual machine, I stream movies and shows for entertainment and back work up to dropbox or to external drives for later use. External drives are really cheap, so if you only need an extra terabyte or so, you should be able to pick that up for not too much if you shop around. If not, just get the largest configuration you can afford.

    June 5th won't change much. You'll be able to buy a slightly higher specced machine for the same price or slightly lower. The MBP will never be a value machine. That said, they will be durable and retain resale value, something no other laptop is able to do. That said, if they're still not worth it to you, maybe another machine is the better solution for what you need.
  24. daflake macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2008
    Also overpriced....
  25. ascender macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2005
    Are there really lots of people out there who buy laptops and need to upgrade RAM or HDD at any point in that machine's lifetime?

    In terms of the quality of Apple's product, I've yet to see a laptop which comes close to it in terms of overall build quality and attention to detail. Let alone in producing a great trackpad. Those elements alone are worth paying something for in my opinion, but I totally understand why some people don't feel like that.

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