Well, duh

Computerworld discovers what you already knew: yes, Virginia, on average, Macs don’t actually cost more.*

It’s just that:

A) Apple is a quality brand. eMachines, etc., aren’t.


B) Apple doesn’t make as many models as all the other PC makers combined.

It’s absurd we keep having to go through this exercise, but this is good. This is progress.

It should take only another 15-20 years for this particular piece of erroneous conventional wisdom to be drained from the fetid brain pan of public consciousness.

The Macalope is assuming your name is Virginia. Your name may not actually be Virginia, but the point still remains.

  • John Muir:

    Nah. People still seem to hanker for a conspiracy theory to explain the perfectly obvious JFK shooting forty plus years later, and don’t even get me started on global warming denial.

    “Look: $100 PC after rebates, stamps, coupons, phone scams, distracting the kid at the till, passing a five off as a fifty, poking an old man in the eye, pre-tax, post-closing down sale, during a fire, only while stockpiles last, terms and conditions may apply…

    How can Apple match that? Ha!!!11!!!!!!!11!”

  • GaryColeman:

    Here’s a theory that may be conspiratory.

    Have you ever noticed that these “Mac vs PC Prices” articles always pop up ONLY when a new Mac is released? At the cusp of a new Mac cycle then a Mac does compete reasonably well with a New high end PC. But why don’t they compare them 6months later when the same PC has dropped in price according to the market value and that same old Mac costs that same old price it did last year.

  • Splashman:

    Uh, Mr. Macalope, sir? Maybe I’ve just been up too late, but . . .

    “B) Apple doesn’t make as many models as all the other PC makers combined.

    Wouldn’t that be true of every computer company? For instance, let’s say Dell makes 50 models, and all-the-other-PC-makers-combined produce 450 models, therefore “Dell doesn’t make as many models as all the other PC makers combined.”

    Is this just one of the weird instances where a particular combination of words can be justifiably interpreted another way, and I’m just not seeing it?

    I assume you’re trying to repeat the point ComputerWorld made: Apple sells comparatively few SKUs. If so, I can’t think of a way that the word “combined” will help make that point. Perhaps instead: “Apple makes fewer models than any other PC maker.

    My head hurts. I’m going to bed.

  • @Splashman: Sure, Dell could also face the same comparison, but it’s less dramatic.

    Apple, by being the only Mac maker, does get compared to all Windows PC makers combined. “Oh, it doesn’t have a killer game machine and it doesn’t have a $400 junker.” It’s often phrased as the difference between 450 choices for Windows-based machines but only 9 for the Mac.

    And it’s true, of course. We do have fewer choices.

  • John Muir:

    GaryColeman said:
    Here’s a theory that may be conspiratory…

    That’s a good point. Apple do keep their prices frozen too long, and make a weird ever-decreasing curve of value for money out of every model that way until BOOM it’s suddenly refreshed without warning.

    We Mac geeks know our dates for MWSF and WWDC, and we check the guides so we’re not caught out unawares, but it’s not uncommon for retailers to have to deal with angry customers who just bought and now mere days later find there’s a better model and at lower price. Rightly enough, they feel burned. Wrongly, there’s nothing Apple Store or 3rd party dealers can do about it, thanks to Apple secrecy.

    Secrecy is nice for some things like the iPhone announcement which MS have even tried to clone with their Surface demo, while missing the point entirely. But it’s a pain in the backside for actual customers who aren’t aware of the rumours and the next date a big announcement is likely due. Bad Apple, bad!

    So yeah, I’d like to see comparisons done by several writers at the same time (each with a different axe to grind) and at a more reasonable / randomly selected date and price point. If you spot any such objective and fair journalism, don’t forget to faint because you’ll be extraordinarily lucky!

  • GaryColeman:

    One thing to consider also is that PC prices are so low now they can almost be viewed as disposable. A Core2 notebook for $5-600 isn’t hard to come by so is the “Macs are a better longterm value” even relavent anymore when you can annually update a PC and still pay less for better specs? Using two average consumers (me and the wife) here’s a real world example of “Cheap PC vs Mac”

    Purchased: Jul06
    Macbook CoreDuo/512/80gb
    $1500 My Macbook
    +120 1GB Ram upgrade
    +130 120GB HDD upgrade
    TOTAL: $1750

    Purchased Jan06:
    HP Notebook Centrino/512/60GB
    $650 @ Best Buy sale (Now a media center in bedroom)

    Purchased May07:
    Dell Notebook Core2Duo/1GB/160GB
    $600 @ Dell w/online coupon
    TOTAL: $1250

    If we start looking long term and next year she’ll update her specs for $600 again and spend $1800 in 3 years and I’ll (finally) upgrade my 2yr old Macbook to put my 3yr total at $3000. I love my Mac but if you step back and look at these prices without bias then clearly there is some incredible value in being cheap.

  • Solemmeseehere…..

    I can only have filet mignon, prime rib, new york strip, sirloin, and porterhouse.

    The other guys can’t have any of that, but they can have chuck, round, rump, flank, cubed steak, shoulder, tripe, sweetbreads, tongue, beef by-products, turkey franks, tofu burger, and mystery meat.

    Mine costs about the same.


  • PCBuyer:

    Are you saying spec for spec a Mac is around the same price as a PC?

    I recently bought an HP – Athlon 4800+, 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD and added a 20″ Samsung monitor, all for under $900. And yes, there was a DVD burner. Can your Mac match that?

    Internally the components are the same – Seagate, nVidia etc. Macs have a better build but does that merit a huge price difference? That’s your call….

Leave a Comment