Originally Posted by JeffDM
I think you're going a bit far, and I think the analogy falls apart. Maybe you're not aware of it, but people do upgrade and modify their cars
I'm not sure where I stated or implied that I don't think people do. I have mechanic friends who modify their cars all the time.
I'm just stating that it's not fair to expect great a great warranty and service plan (as Macs have) on an inexpensive computer which can be user-customized. The technical support costs would greatly outweigh the slim profit margin. Business 101.
So far that I've known, people that do that don't expect the dealer to fix anything that's the fault of those modifications, unless it was an authorized mod done by the dealer and such.
Yes, I'm the same way when it comes to computer mods. If I install components myself, and they fail/cause problems, I'll deal with the manufacturer of those components and not waste Apple's time/money trying to fix a problem I caused.
However, I don't consider myself to be representative of the majority of computer users out there. I'd be willing to bet that the average computer user would probably get their technology-savvy friend/relative to install custom components for them, and then take the computer in to Apple if/when something goes wrong with it.
I understand why they don't do it, but Apple can make a less expensive tower just by not requiring that it be a Xeon CPU and chipset. I don't think that's the same as asking that Apple make junk as you seem to say it is.
Again, you misinterpreted what I was saying. I never said that Apple should make junk PCs, I said that people might install junk components.
For example: if you take a look at the memory in the Mac Pro, it's full error correcting (ECC) and has massive heat-sinks on it (much larger heat-sinks than those on most RAM). Very high quality (and more expensive) memory modules.
The average person looking to upgrade RAM themselves (most likely to save money) would take a look at the prices of various RAM modules and buy the cheapest ones they can get (not understanding the details about the differences). Then when their computer starts crashing randomly because the RAM is overheating, they're going to take it in to the Apple Store and waste Apple's time/money on a problem caused because they installed shoddy RAM modules.
I personally don't buy cheap PCs, I have bought previously expensive PCs inexpensively. For many years, I bought off-lease workstation PCs for a few hundred dollars instead of a few thousand, and they live for a long time. I did that again a month ago because even an original three year old Mac Pro is still too expensive for my workbench. Besides, the original 7300 is clunky and the X1900 is just plain unreliable.
Yes, you seem to be a very savvy computer buyer (researching models, components, etc). Unfortunately, I don't think one can assume that everyone who buys a Mac is as savvy. And therein lies the technical support cost dilemma for Apple.