Why is midrange MBP $600 more than base model? (student discount pricing)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by evilspoons, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. evilspoons macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2007
    I'm looking at buying a MacBook Pro and actually already have the 2.2 GHz 15" model on order. I've recently discovered I may have $7000 more than I thought I did, so I'm considering calling Apple and asking them to upgrade the order to the 2.4 GHz model - but my problem is this. Why is it so much more expensive? The only differences, as far as I can tell, are:

    - 200 MHz faster clock speed
    - 128 MB more video RAM
    - 40 GB larger hard drive

    Locally, a Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz is $50 less than a 2.4 GHz. So, it's a laptop, let's double that. $100. Now 128 MB video RAM: local video card prices put 512 MB ones at about $50 more than 256 MB ones, so this is an even smaller change, but let's say the extra video ram is worth another, oh hell, $200. Finally, the hard drive. 160 GB vs 120 GB is $50 more for a laptop 5400 RPM drive. That gives me a total of $350, when Apple is charging another $600. This seems to me like really poor value, or am I missing something?

    Thanks in advance for any tips.
  2. sr5878 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2007
    any of that $7000 you don't want? :D

    PS it's only $500 difference. apple is in the business to make money, remember? steve jobs isn't your friend. no way does a macbook pro cost $2000 to make... they are selling it at that price point to make money. why would they sell the extra components in the 2.4 at cost?
  3. evilspoons thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2007
    I'm not talking at-cost prices, I'm talking component prices in a retail store. I can go out and pay for these things and the store I'm getting them from makes a profit.

    Also: it is not a $500 difference. It's $600 for me. The base model is $1999 Canadian with student discount; the upgraded model is $2599.
  4. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    i didn't think the upgrade was worth it and went for the 2.2 model

    also, in boot camp, you can share vram so the 128 limit in video ram isn't as big a hit
  5. chris y. macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2006
    los angeles, ca
    Yea the extra amount is the luxury tax for getting their fastest offering.
  6. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    For your needs, you're not getting anything extra. The mid macbook pro is meant for people who want the power of the 17" in a smaller form factor. If you can't see the value in it, then you definitely should not bump up your order.
  7. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    If you didn't realize you had $7K extra, can I have $3500 of it? You'll still be up :)

    Obviously they wouldn't sell the upgrade at cost (probably cost them $100 more to do the upgrade) - it's a business. Just because you have the money to get it doesn't mean you should get it - if you don't see any value in it (I didn't see it either when I bought mine, but for some people there is value in it obviously) then use the extra money on accessories (i.e. carrying case, extra battery, mouse, printer, etc.)
  8. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    it depends on what you will be using the computer for, and for how long. there was a bunch of talk about this when they were first released, try a search. Most people the difference is not worth it. Myself, I really wanted the extra VRAM.
  9. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    This reminded me of one more factor in pricing. Since Apple maintains two different 15" models, there are certain costs which increase that Apple must defray. For example, stores must try to keep both models in stock. This adds a certain cost to the mbp (though probably not much). Then there's the cost associated with having two different logic boards. I'm sure there are other costs, but when you factor that in with your (OP) analysis from before, Apple's margin drops slightly. Take into account that Apple wants to maintain the same profit margin on both, and you'll find that the 2.4GHZ model isn't actually that much more than it should be; in fact, it's probably pretty close.
  10. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    If I bought the mbp for gaming...I would have spent the extra money. Once you're spending this much anyway it's better to just get the machine you want. Though if the base mbp was priced at 2600 then I probably wouldn't have gotten it :)
  11. ctsport1234 macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2005
    because the best always carries a premium, whether the premium justifies the fact is up to you. :D
  12. xpovos macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2007
    If you try to use component prices to justify price differences between similar Apple models, you'll always, always end up scratching your head in confusion. Try justifying the price delta between a black MacBook and a baseline MacBook Pro, for instance.

    For that matter, you can't even justify the base model's cost on the basis of its components. Apple charges a "premium" price on its products because they're aware of their ability to create an unusually strong EMOTIONAL connection between their products and consumers. What other company on earth can sell half a million units of a product that hasn't even hit store shelves, and that nobody has even held in their hands?

    As for Macintosh computers, aside from their aesthetic appeal and the overall experience created by using their associated OS and other software, there's really very little to differentiate a MacBook Pro (for example) from a less expensive middle- to high-end HP or Dell laptop. But who really buys a Mac solely on the basis of its tech specs?

    In my opinion, the differences between the $1999 and $2499 models are nowhere near justifying the price delta. Obviously there are plenty of folks who disagree, else there wouldn't be two distinct 15" models. Like the other poster said, though, and I strongly agree, just because you have the extra money doesn't mean you need the extra specs.

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