Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

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Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:06 am

I'm probably out on a limb here, but I think Apple is going to have to extend their product range a bit lower, specifically because of the economic downturn. While I don't ever expect to see a $500 Mac Book, I think even at the higher prices they are getting somewhat uncompetitive, compared to what is available from other vendors.
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Re: Macbook Pro news

Postposted on Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:09 am

Apple would say they already did that with the release of the $999 MacBook, where the floor had previously been $1099. Besides of "everyone" is to be believe, we should be out of this by the end of August. And then they're stuck with a product slotted below their revenue goal and no way to get rid of it without revamping the product line. Depending on when that's planned, it could be a while.
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Re: Macbook Pro news

Postposted on Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:40 pm

Thresher wrote:I'm probably out on a limb here, but I think Apple is going to have to extend their product range a bit lower, specifically because of the economic downturn. While I don't ever expect to see a $500 Mac Book, I think even at the higher prices they are getting somewhat uncompetitive, compared to what is available from other vendors.



It's not even getting close to competitive at least in the 15 inch catagory.

Apple Macbook pro 2398 (250 gig 7200 rpm drive and applecare)

1568 dell precision m4400 1440x900 led matte (3 yr nbd) 830 dollar difference
1756 dell precison m4400 1920x1200 rbg led with truelife (glossy) (3yr nbd) 632 dollar difference
1649 hp EliteBook 8530w Mobile Workstation (KS049UT) 1680x1050 (3yr) 749 dollar difference

both dells come with a free 19 inch monitor... :lol:

Both dells configured with fx 770m (9600 gt m), 2.53 3m processors, led backlit keyboards, dvdrw, 250 gig 7200 rpm drive, camera, etc...

The hp doesn't have every single trimming, it was a preconfigured. 160 gig 7200 rpm, and no camera.

The 17 inch notebooks aren't close enough to compare. Size, weight, and graphic performance are all over the place.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:59 pm

That was kind of what I am thinking. I have an el cheapo HP laptop that I picked up about 8 months ago and it has better numbers than the base MacBook Pro at the time. It was $700 versus $2000. As much as I love my Mac Pro, I just don't have the cash right now for a Mac laptop.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:08 am

Their 15" model starts at 2,000. The 17" starts at 2,799. That's just freaking nuts. You can argue all you want about value added perks--back-lit keyboards, nicer screens, better built quality, but they're still just too expensive for most people. When you can get a functional 15.4" laptop for 550 bucks (and I have one, I'm writing this on it), it's hard to justify spending nearly 4 times that. True mine has a 1280X800 screen, and it's not aluminum, and no firewire ports. But it's still 1/4 the price, and it freaking works! You can get specs a lot closer to a Macbook pro without going much over 1,000 in the 15" and 1400 in the 17"--higher res screens, back-lit keyboards, bluetooth capability, etc. I've always been a proponent of paying for quality, but I can't see shelling out 1400-2,000 more for a nicer case and a different OS.
I've never gone for 13" laptops, so I can't speak as to them, but the disparity between the mac 15 and 17" laptops will be hard to swallow even when the economy picks up. 1,000 difference isn't pocket change to most people even in good times. That's a month and a half of mortgage payments, or groceries for 3 months, or my gas bill for the year.

I also find this very odd coupled with their recent improvement of the Mac mini, which is a much more reasonably priced machine. Hell, if you look at the mac mini, and even the iMac, they're not really much more expensive than other small form factor or all-in-one solutions, but jeez, their laptops sure as hell are.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:05 am

Not that Apple has ever really tried to be competitive in the low end, but I don't know how much longer they can completely ignore it. Netbooks have opened up the industry's eyes to the fact that people ARE willing to trade performance for small size and price. This is putting major downward pressure on the entire portable computer market.

My gut tells me that we're going to see major price restructuring in the next year, which Apple ignores at their peril. When your base unit sells for $1000 and has fewer features than a $600 competitor, it's going to be very difficult to sell. It's going to be even more difficult of that competitor lowers the cost even further to compete with netbooks. As big a competitor as we may think the Mac is, the true competition for a PC laptop is the netbook, not the Macbook. Margins wills shrink as a result, causing the price differential between the average laptop and the Macbook to widen, making the Mac even less attractive, despite its other qualities.

My guess is that in a year, there will be a Macbook at the sub $800 level, and it will not be a totally stripped model.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:26 am

Hell, it doesn't have to be low end; right now, as far as 17" laptops go, they're focusing only on the very high end. Try getting the 17" down to maybe 1500-1800, which is a bit more than a roughy equal dell/gateway/whatever.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:36 am

Apple has NEVER been cheap. MacBooks and MBPs have always been set to prices not commonly seen in 3-5 years on the PC side. You could look at these as possibilities:

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/macbook_pro
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:41 am

My feeling is that apple products are always high priced and the company has a large margin on its products. Apple to me is a design, not performance, company. Many people are willing to pay a lot more for a mac because they have the feeling that it "just works" and there is no hassle with setting anything up; it's all there.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:05 pm

Apple doesn't want to decrease the value of a Mac, so they'll ride out the tough times with the current price. If they start selling a $500 netbook now then they'll have to keep selling that computer at the same price point after the recession. They have plenty of money sitting around and the people who typically buy Macs aren't hurting for money. It's a shrewd business move that might seem a bit harsh, but it's just how they keep their margins during good times.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:48 pm

Turtle, I think you miss my point. The current economy is a compounding factor. The real issue is the development of the netbook market. This will push prices down permanently, not temporarily like a recession might.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:39 pm

Thresher wrote:Turtle, I think you miss my point. The current economy is a compounding factor. The real issue is the development of the netbook market. This will push prices down permanently, not temporarily like a recession might.


Not everyone wants a netbook. There are plenty of people who want or need something more powerful and/or fancy. Personally, I can't see myself getting a netbook. From the horribly awful keyboards to underpowered internals, lack of expansion and puny screens I can't see anyone but very casual users actually get anything out of them. Sure, they're cute little toys but to me they're just that and nothing else. I'm sure I'm not the only who feels that way.

Apple is essentially the luxury machine manufacturer and they position themselves as such. Other than some artsy professionals most people don't NEED them per se, yet their sales remain strong and Apple stores are often full as far as I can see.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:12 pm

I think a netbook would be a good first computer for a kid.

But I sympathize with your point; I don't see much utility in a netbook, either. I'm sure lots of folks do, though.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:45 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:I think a netbook would be a good first computer for a kid.

But I sympathize with your point; I don't see much utility in a netbook, either. I'm sure lots of folks do, though.


I've thought about buying one, but I'm in a bit of a strange position. I want to take a laptop to classes, but I often bike to school, so I want to avoid carrying my large laptop in my backpack. A $200-$300 computer could be easy to transport and good enough for notes and net-browsing. I can use my desktop at home when I need more power.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:47 pm

I don't like/want a net book, but I think they're going to need to come to grips with just how of a price gap they have there; a 1500 USD 17" is not exactly a netbook after all, but that's thier nearest real competetion it seems like. And that's a 1300 difference, which is nuts.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:49 pm

For most people netbooks make a ton of sense and some arguments against them are very silly. The only draw backs are lack of power. I don't see the lack of power mattering for the great majority of what you'd do on a netbook. Office work, media playback, and Internet browsing are all very fine on the most recent netbooks and as Nvidia's Ion and new chipsets from Intel release HD playback is no longer a point of concern. I don't really understand the expansion as an issue either. Most netbooks allow you to swap the memory module for a 2GB stick and a number of netbooks also have 2.5" drives that can be upgraded. With mobile broadband built in or a option the lack of ExpressCard is also very minor. The keyboards have also quickly improved in quality with several of the layouts being very usable for a system that is not your main machine.

If you're the type of lug around a 15.4" laptop or larger then I don't really see why you'd even worry about netbooks, you're clearly not the target audience. If you honestly think you need a Core 2 Duo in the machine you take notes on then you have issues.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:47 pm

I guess I am not being literal enough regarding netbooks....

Netbooks show that there is a market for even LOWER end computers. While I don't expect them to appeal to everyone, I do expect that some of the netbook philosophy will trickle upwards into 13-15" laptops. This will put downward price pressure on the entire market.

So perhaps we start seeing 13" to 15" laptops with lowend processors, no optical drive, a low rez screen, and a small SSD rather than a harddrive.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:56 pm

what I sincerely hope is that the "philosophy" isn't the Atom. That thing sucks, and it's part of why I'm not interested in a netbook. If you start seeing them in 13"-15" laptops, I have a feeling it will really hurt the market.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:09 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:what I sincerely hope is that the "philosophy" isn't the Atom. That thing sucks, and it's part of why I'm not interested in a netbook. If you start seeing them in 13"-15" laptops, I have a feeling it will really hurt the market.


I hope that atoms don't move into that market. I don't mind using the dual core celeron or lower end c2d, but I'd rather not use an atom.

If you're the type of lug around a 15.4" laptop or larger then I don't really see why you'd even worry about netbooks, you're clearly not the target audience. If you honestly think you need a Core 2 Duo in the machine you take notes on then you have issues.


That's fine, but I'd prefer a ultraportable that can occasionally handle my desktop needs.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:06 pm

The rumored apple "netbook" is actually really interesting, even though it's well beyond my price range. It's more an ultraportable than a real netbook though. Whole different market segment, but for a reasonable competent ultraportable, it isn't a bad price.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:33 pm

Apple may be working on a netbook, but don't expect it to be sold for $300
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:34 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:what I sincerely hope is that the "philosophy" isn't the Atom. That thing sucks, and it's part of why I'm not interested in a netbook.

Why exactly does the Atom suck?
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:38 am

performance-wise. It doesn't do what I need it to. I'd be very disappointed to see it make its way into lower-end full-sized laptops for two reasons:

1.) we'd be going backwards in performance from where we are right now in entry-level machines
2.) the performance isn't adequate for my needs.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:03 am

A lose of performance with basically no other gains. I seriously doubt we'd see lower prices. Low end 15.4" prices are at $399 from Dell with the Inspiron 15. While it is a crap, low quality unit, it honestly isn't much worse in build quality than most netbooks. Consider that Dell's own Mini 12 starts at $449 too. Besides a battery life gain and maybe thinner units I just don't see it being a helpful "advancement."

Atom needs to stay in 12" and smaller platforms. I think it will because Intel likely doesn't want it going any higher either. Likely it'll be pushed back down into 10" as Intel pushes CULV more.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:44 am

If you don't mind refurbs, Dell's outlet store is just chock full of nutty deals. We just picked up a Latitude e6500 2.26GHz, 160GB, with the 1920x1200 screen, and non-flammable 9-cell battery all for about $850. That's a pretty decent $500 savings.

Surprisingly, Apple also has an outlet store, which might be a good option for those who still want the Apple experience without paying all the money. It's a pretty suck-tastic $300 savings on a MBP, though.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:18 pm

drsauced wrote:If you don't mind refurbs, Dell's outlet store is just chock full of nutty deals. We just picked up a Latitude e6500 2.26GHz, 160GB, with the 1920x1200 screen, and non-flammable 9-cell battery all for about $850. That's a pretty decent $500 savings.

Surprisingly, Apple also has an outlet store, which might be a good option for those who still want the Apple experience without paying all the money. It's a pretty suck-tastic $300 savings on a MBP, though.


You will have to excuse me but "you get what you pay for" rule applies here. Dell isn't in the same league as Apple. Vast majority of Dell's laptops reek of awful cheap engineering and execution. I don't insist that people paying for Apple machines are the smartest shoppers ever but deals can be had if you look around sufficiently. People who buy cheap Dells, otoh, are just asking for it. I had enough run-ins with Dell junk to stay away from it as far as possible. About the only exception to the rule are their higher class Ultrasharp monitors which are actually of good performance and quality but they are almost never cheap.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:37 pm

Synchromesh wrote:You will have to excuse me but "you get what you pay for" rule applies here. Dell isn't in the same league as Apple. Vast majority of Dell's laptops reek of awful cheap engineering and execution. I don't insist that people paying for Apple machines are the smartest shoppers ever but deals can be had if you look around sufficiently. People who buy cheap Dells, otoh, are just asking for it. I had enough run-ins with Dell junk to stay away from it as far as possible. About the only exception to the rule are their higher class Ultrasharp monitors which are actually of good performance and quality but they are almost never cheap.


Dell produces a tremendous variety of machines. If you even put a bit of research in your statement it would be quite clear that Dell produces a product line for every market at this point. Yes, the Inspiron line is very cheap but then they're targeted to folks who need a computer and don't have the budget to spend anymore than $400. Then you have the Studio line that is very stylish for the most part, a significant step up in build quality and comes with a wide array of component choices. Then you go even higher where you have the XPS units and the new XPS Studio which are of equal quality to Apple's options. You can now purchase a XPS M1330 with starting at $699 that has better hardware than Apple's $999 model and with slight tweaking has exceeds it in basically every way when both at $999. Now you can also purchase the XPS Studio 13 which is a absolutely beautiful unit. Then even further is the Adamo lineup that Dell has started which while the first unit is slower than an Air, I don't think anyone could argue with a straight face that it is of less build quality than an Apple unit.

Apple produces premium units. They're of very high build quality. But Dell also produces premium units that are of very high build quality. So does HP, so does Sony, so does Lenovo.

The difference is the range in which each company covers. Dell, HP, Sony, Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, Asus, etc, etc, etc all have notebooks that fit everyone's budget and you get what you pay for. While I think the "Apple tax" doesn't apply so much to the hardware you buy (Apple by default includes extras that bring many others to very similar prices) I do think it applies to the extras you have to buy and also to the fact that you can't get a cheaper Macbook. Being premium only allows the company to focus on designing the units but it also allows them to do things like charge for dongles for connectors that are entirely pointless(*cough* miniDisplayPort *cough*). It's just not something I'd buy into personally. I rather pick a unit that I can tweak the components to what I want and need on a individual basis, in many regards I'm too demanding of the details to settle on a Apple unit.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:07 pm

drsauced wrote:Surprisingly, Apple also has an outlet store, which might be a good option for those who still want the Apple experience without paying all the money. It's a pretty suck-tastic $300 savings on a MBP, though.

I don't see how >10% is "sucktastic".

In fact, everything on the Apple refurb page is at least 10% off.

But you don't buy direct from Apple; buy from Amazon (and depending on the model, Newegg) and get out of sales tax and still keep free delivery.

I believe Apple and Dell both charge sales tax. I'd rather not pay it.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:12 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
drsauced wrote:Surprisingly, Apple also has an outlet store, which might be a good option for those who still want the Apple experience without paying all the money. It's a pretty suck-tastic $300 savings on a MBP, though.

I don't see how >10% is "sucktastic".

In fact, everything on the Apple refurb page is at least 10% off.

But you don't buy direct from Apple; buy from Amazon (and depending on the model, Newegg) and get out of sales tax and still keep free delivery.

I believe Apple and Dell both charge sales tax. I'd rather not pay it.


Compared to Dell or HP the savings really isn't that big, though if you take the steps you mentioned it likely helps a bit but... you can often find items on the Dell or HP outlets at half cost.
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Re: Macbook Pro news <split> What about price?

Postposted on Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:50 pm

I'm not saying that their discout is as large as a Winbox vendor; I'm saying that ~10-20% is nothing to sneeze at.
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