Why Are MacBooks So Expensive?

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The Macbook is priced so high that small businesses or students are sure to think twice about purchasing it. The high entry price is also due to the fact that it offers full upward compatibility. Even in the cheapest Mac Pro, the powerful 1.4 KW power supply is built in, which also powers the full equipment.

The Reasons Why Macbooks Are So Expensive

High quality of all Macbooks

Apple is known among buyers for its extremely high standard of product quality. This can be seen most clearly in the latest Apple MacBook Pro. While third-party notebooks are often made of plastic, the Macbook base is milled from an aluminum block.

This means that nothing squeaks or wobbles in a Macbook. Everything is securely in place and can withstand harder use with virtually no problem.

This high quality standard of workmanship is of course included into the high price of Apple products.

Apple products are intuitive to use

However, one of the most important points is the intuitive use of all Apple products. Once you have got your hands on an iPhone or iPod, you know immediately what is meant. Even if you have never come into contact with an Apple product before, you can usually use them immediately and intuitively.

Apple attaches great importance to a simple and conclusive operability of the products. A lengthy familiarisation phase to be able to use them is not desired and is usually avoided as much as possible.

Especially with demanding applications for a Mac, it is obvious that this lead is enormous. Professional software, such as video editing software, is intuitive and easy to use on a Mac. Even for a person without any experience beforehand.

The Apple brand is special

In any case, the Apple brand itself is at the forefront. Customers associate something special with it. Apple stands for high-quality products that are at the same time completely intuitive to use. They are also designed to be visually extremely appealing.

In line with classic marketing, Apple is therefore targeting the feelings of consumers. Apple’s products realize a certain quality of life. The competing products can rarely keep up with the pure technical features of Apple devices.

Profit maximization through high sales prices

How much does an iPhone cost? Buyers will spontaneously respond with a lavish three-figure sum. But that is not the aim of the question. Rather, the question is how much Apple spends to produce an iPhone.

Service providers such as isupply have specialised in disassembling hardware and calculating the cost of components. The result is always very sobering, especially with the iPhone. While the smartphone goes over the counter for 1000 USD being not even the best version, it costs only a fraction of that in production.

Apple has understood in an impressive way how to define the perceived value of the products also through the price. True to the saying “What costs nothing, is worth nothing“, Apple products are often particularly valuable to consumers. Even more so because of the enormously high price.

Why is the Macbook Pro price so high?

Macbook Pro 2020

When the Mac Pro was introduced, a scream went through the tech industry. Because Apple had not only presented the most powerful Mac ever, but also the most expensive. The fully equipped workstation costs up to 15,000 USD. Does that mean Apple has overstepped the mark?

$25,000. That’s how much it costs to buy one copy of every Pro product from Apple. Only the entry price, mind you, if you want to upgrade the equipment, it will be much more expensive. This is what our colleague Michael Warren from MacWorld calculates. And he criticizes it, because in his opinion, even professionals can increasingly no longer afford the pro products.

The New Macbook Pro

According to Simon, the entry price is simply too high. Without a large company with a large budget behind them, very few people will spend that much money. And who needs upward compatibility if you can’t afford to upgrade any further? Wistfully, he thinks back to times when the most expensive Mac tower was available for 3,400 US dollars.

To further illuminate the question, we need to take a look at Apple’s product portfolio. If a mid-level professional can’t afford the Mac Pro, what are the alternatives?

Each Macbook has different features

Which Mac is best for you depends on the application, of course. People often talk about professionals, but not all professionals are the same. Developers, editors, music producers: The requirements vary depending on the application. The new Mac Pro has all the power you need and can be used by top-notch professionals to edit motion pictures or develop the most complex applications. These users are used to spending five-digit sums for the right hardware. Windows workstations from providers like Dell also rank in the same price range. Simon doesn’t question that there are users for whom the Mac Pro is a realistic alternative to traditional Windows or Linux workstations.

Film studios and development companies may be able to afford a full-featured Mac Pro, but a smaller music producer or independent app developer may not. That’s not because of Apple’s pricing policy, but because hardware with that kind of power costs a lot. Clearly, a last-generation Mac Pro was far more affordable than the current one for a user with a smaller budget. The maximum available performance, also in relation to the technical possibilities, was also much lower. The Mac Pro has evolved from a very powerful tower PC to a professional workstation for the most demanding users. From this point of view, it is true that many buyers, who were previously Apple’s target group, are now rather out of their category. At least with the Mac Pro. And this is where my contradiction to Simon’s complaint sets in that he, as a professional with a smaller budget, is virtually excluded. Because Apple does offer alternatives, even for the smaller budget. In October 2018 Apple introduced the revised Mac Mini. And the small rectangle is something special. For around $2,400, there’s a configuration with an i7 processor and 32GB of memory, including a 512GB SSD. Not included is a powerful graphics card, but thanks to eGPU support it can be easily upgraded. Of course, performance is worlds away from the Mac Pro, but the question remains whether the Mac Mini is not enough for the vast majority of Apple customers. The iMac is also a powerful machine, which (supplemented by an external GPU), does an excellent job in our editorial office of editing 4K material.

A professional even without a Macbook Pro

We are currently experiencing a radical change. Apple is challenged to compensate for the stagnating iPhone sales figures and is reinventing itself to do so. Not everyone can and does not have to like this, and certainly there will be fans and opponents for every development. It is a logical step that Apple wants to get more involved in the professional segment again. Because Apple is thus finding its way back to its own roots, in times when the difficulties are mainly to be found on the mass market. The Pro series is becoming more and more powerful, but also more and more expensive, and thus further and further out of reach of “normal” customers. But Apple is not losing them, and continues to provide enough alternatives with products like the Mac Mini and iMac. The nostalgic look back to the times when even a normal editor could afford a Pro device is understandable. However, one shouldn’t get too attached to the term “Pro”, but simply go for the Apple device that best suits one’s application area and wallet. Because in most cases, one will find what one is looking for.


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