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Rumor: Apple planning to launch $799 MacBook Air in Q3 2012

post #1 of 85
Thread Starter 
Apple is rumored to be planning to aggressively combat new "Ultrabook" laptops coming to market by releasing a $799 MacBook Air model in the third quarter of 2012, a price $200 less than the company's current cheapest model.

The claim came on Monday from the sometimes reliable DigiTimes, which cited sources in Apple's upstream supply chain. Apple's plans are reportedly to counter second-generation Ultrabooks, based on Intel's specifications for thin and light notebooks, which PC makers hope to price around $699.

If PC makers are unable to reach the $699 price point with their second-generation Ultrabooks, Apple could have a significant competitive advantage with an aggressive $799 price point for a new MacBook Air, the report claims.

Currently, Apple's cheapest notebook option is the 11.6-inch MacBook Air, which is priced at $999 and comes with a 64-gigabyte solid-state hard drive. Apple also offers a stripped-down 13-inch MacBook Air for education buyers only for $999.

Last month, it was said that Intel hopes to see shipments of as many as 30 million Ultrabooks this year. The company designed the Ultrabook specification after Apple found great success with its new MacBook Air, which features only solid-state storage, instant-on capabilities, and super-thin design thanks to the lack of an optical drive.

MacBook Air


Apple is expected to begin revamping its Mac lineup in the coming weeks with Intel's latest-generation Ivy Bridge processors. The product makeover is expected to begin with new MacBook Pros, starting with a 15-inch model, that will also rely on solid-state storage and lose an optical drive, taking design cues from the MacBook Air.

Prior to Monday's report, little has been said of a new MacBook Air lineup, with most rumors focusing on Apple's next MacBook Pros. In fact, one report even suggested that Apple could merge the two product lines, "effectively killing the Pro" and having all of its notebooks like MacBook Airs.
post #2 of 85

doesn't sound too likely to me, if they sell an $799 Air they will either have to cut corners with parts or quality (which isn't apples way) or sell at a loss, i have a 2010 11" air, damn its awesome, I'm waiting with my wallet ready to see what they are doing with the new run (Ivy bridge). Only way they might be able to do $799 ones maybe, if they keep selling current models as well as new ones.
If you look at the PC ultrabooks that are coming out, none have matched the current air with build yet, & they still cost more.

If apple sell at the current price point & update everything else id be very happy with that, maybe a higher res display for Mountain Lion :D 

post #3 of 85
Digitimes reliable?

Besides, Apple has never chased the lower end of the laptop market. Once you start, there's no turning back. Competitors can't build laptops similar to the Air line for much cheaper and Apple has no reason to build cheaper laptops when their pricier products have flourished for the past few years.

The price will not drop. The Apple laptops will step up performance but stick to the price points that have served Apple well.
post #4 of 85

no way. at $799 that would affect iPad sales....

post #5 of 85

i believe this is total BS.

 

it is much more likely that, if needed, apple will put 8gb on the thing, bigger SSDs, better camera, USB3, free OS upgrades and bang.. that's about it.

apple can't afford to low the price that much. they are a premium company.

 

those that are lowering prices are destroying the ultra book category.

 

the XPS looks like a very nice machine, for example. but folio? the copies?the other monsters (in appearance) that are coming?

those stupid bastards are already leaving good quality materials/components out of the equation so they can lower the price and the same sh*tty PCs will appear again. they just can't do it.

i'm very surprised by DELL.

 

I have an i7macbook air and i couldn't be happier with it, and my girlfriend just loves it. her 5 year old cheap plastic dell is pretty much dead and she needs a new computer.

obviously for her needs, a nice ultra book is the best bet and the air is, by far, the best between them. i would even argue that this computer is the best consumer laptop in the market right now.

anyway, we both are in the best college of this country, me in engineering, and even that is not enough to prevent the bullshit that makes us use windows.

 

I had the use Visual Studio (vb) -- windows. that's about it, but it was an inconvenience.

she will have to use SPSS -- Mac.

 

but chembio office suite and a few other programs? only in windows.

for that reason, and since we don't have apple stores in portugal, and windows should be considered malware for any mac (even if it works very nicely, it's the same of f*cking a dirty, disgusting wh*re on your mercedes s 65 AMG) I asked her to try both the XPS and the air and then decide, based on the good vs bad of each machine. the XPS looks very nice, with an awesome small bezel, nice screen, etc.

 

she is only used to windows and isn't tech expert at all and let's be honest, windows 7 (f*ck windows 8), for everyday use is a very nice OS, far from the OSX greatness, but very good.

 

any opinions? any experience with the XPS? as fair as i know, it is selling a lot and usually anyone that does not want the mac route are just buying the XPS. it is very difficult to find one, so i still don't know how the battery is, the trackpad.. those little things that make every mac a much better machine.

post #6 of 85
I think this is more likely than other posters. Two of the most expensive components in the MacBook air are the SSD and the CPU. We already know that Apple gets a better deal on flash memory than anyone else. If Apple were to include an AMD processor instead of an Intel processor then they might be able to hit this price point.
post #7 of 85
if this is true "it's over Johnny"
post #8 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I think this is more likely than other posters. Two of the most expensive components in the MacBook air are the SSD and the CPU. We already know that Apple gets a better deal on flash memory than anyone else. If Apple were to include an AMD processor instead of an Intel processor then they might be able to hit this price point.

 

yes they could, for what?

they have the iPad for that price point.

for now, leave AMD for others.

it makes 0 sense.

post #9 of 85

I think this sounds plausible. SSD prices fall so you leave small SSD in 11". Use current gen. processor after the new one comes out and up sale. 

 

Kinda like how they do the "New iPad" and the "iPad2" at the same time.

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post #10 of 85

With the lower SSD prices and new intel CPU design for untrabook, Apple should be able to lower there prices on the Mac lines.  Would be nice to see Apple gain some significant market share in the PC business. With the volume they sell, Apple could reduce the "Apple design tax" from 2 times the price of the same PC to 1.2 to 1.5x. They will never be able to sell at the same prices because of the superior design but getting close would help gain market shares.

 

I try to recommend Macs to people I know but they all end up buying Pc's for 1 reason: price.

post #11 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

With the lower SSD prices and new intel CPU design for untrabook, Apple should be able to lower there prices on the Mac lines.  Would be nice to see Apple gain some significant market share in the PC business. With the volume they sell, Apple could reduce the "Apple design tax" from 2 times the price of the same PC to 1.2 to 1.5x. They will never be able to sell at the same prices because of the superior design but getting close would help gain market shares.

 

I try to recommend Macs to people I know but they all end up buying Pc's for 1 reason: price.

You get what you pay for...if you buy a cheap POS PC...thats exactly what you'll get. Not saying Macs are perfect but you do get something for that price. If people didn't think this, they wouldn't be selling as many as they do. 

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post #12 of 85

A drop in SSD pricing would not likely translate into lower prices but rather more memory for the same price. The entry Air with 64GB of memory is crying out for a boost to 128GB.

 

The iPad is a fine choice for casual use at a lower price point so I think having the Air line start at 128GB would make a lot of sense. 

post #13 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The claim came on Monday from the sometimes reliable DigiTimes,

DigiTimes? Sometimes reliable? If they told me that the sun would come up tomorrow morning, I'd still want to verify it with other sources. I don't think they've EVER gotten one of their predictions right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zozman View Post

doesn't sound too likely to me, if they sell an $799 Air they will either have to cut corners with parts or quality (which isn't apples way) or sell at a loss, i have a 2010 11" air, damn its awesome, I'm waiting with my wallet ready to see what they are doing with the new run (Ivy bridge). Only way they might be able to do $799 ones maybe, if they keep selling current models as well as new ones.

If you look at the PC ultrabooks that are coming out, none have matched the current air with build yet, & they still cost more.
If apple sell at the current price point & update everything else id be very happy with that, maybe a higher res display for Mountain Lion 1biggrin.gif 

Apple could easily sell an MBA for $799 if they wished. Keep in mind how fast component prices drop in this industry - SSD prices in particular are dropping rapidly (for a change). I could picture them updating the MBA with more RAM, Ivy Bridge, etc and then leaving the current base model as a $799 model for cheapskates. They're already doing that with the iPad and the iPhone, so why not with the MBA? I believe they did it with the iMac at one time, as well as an educational model.

I could picture it being a great little computer for education, for example. Most school districts could easily get buy with a base model with Sandy Bridge and 64 GB (even perhaps 32). My daughter's school is using tablets that are a lot less capable than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post







yes they could, for what?
they have the iPad for that price point.
for now, leave AMD for others.
it makes 0 sense.

Entirely different items. Apple indicated that the iPad had only marginal effect on MBA sales, so I don't expect that the opposite would be any less true. Let's compare three items:

MBA at $799
Physical keyboard, traditional form factor, WiFi only, no GPS, ability to run full desktop apps

iPad at $829
No physical keyboard, 4G service, GPS, limited to iOS apps

iPad at $399
No physical keyboard, WiFi only, GPS, limited to iOS apps

There's enough difference in the $800 devices that I don't see them affecting each other much. Either you want a tablet or a traditional laptop. Similarly, if you're on a real budget, $399 is far more accessible than $799, so introducing a $799 MBA wouldn't have much impact.

While I don't have any faith in DigiTimes' predictions, this one's actually not a bad idea. Just like they are doing with the iPad and iPhone (and they did earlier with their Macs), having a previous generation MBA at a discount for educational purposes would probably work well. Since they'd be using older components, their margins wouldn't have to suffer much and it might open some doors into budget conscious customers.
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post #14 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Digitimes reliable?
Besides, Apple has never chased the lower end of the laptop market. 

 

Apple doesn't chase any market when it comes to what the other players are doing. This is something Digitimes just can't get in their heads. 

 

I could see them perhaps keeping their current 11 inch model and due to the cost of parts going down cutting the price but that's the best they would do. They aren't about to tarnish their image by trying to make a cheap model to compete with folks that are actually trying to design to compete with them. 

post #15 of 85

It's only Monday, but this gets my vote as stupidest rumor of the week.

 

The absolute last thing anyone in Apple's upstream supply chain would know is Apple's product pricing plan.

post #16 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post

no way. at $799 that would affect iPad sales....

 

I doubt Apple would really care about that. the iPad and the computers are two different realms. Yes there's a little crossover but those that want the iPad will get it and even perhaps also get an Air, Pro etc. 

post #17 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

You get what you pay for...if you buy a cheap POS PC...thats exactly what you'll get. Not saying Macs are perfect but you do get something for that price. If people didn't think this, they wouldn't be selling as many as they do. 

 

It's important that consumers keep thinking this and the best way to do that is continue to upgrade performance while holding the line on price. The competition can't do much better at a given price point so let them have the market below $1,000, which is what Apple has done, sort of. I say sort of because the iPad has really picked off a lot of people who don't need all the computing power and physical keyboard offered in a full-bore laptop. Quite a few consumers who would have been buying a cheap laptop are opting for the iPad instead. 

 

I use my iPad a lot and the form factor is convenient for puttering around the house while the device can do a lot of what many had been using laptops for. The iPad will gain functionality over time and as such the lower end of the portable market is well served by that device. The laptop range, instead, will be aimed at the $1,000+ end of the market. Makes sense. 

post #18 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

With the lower SSD prices and new intel CPU design for untrabook, Apple should be able to lower there prices on the Mac lines.  Would be nice to see Apple gain some significant market share in the PC business. With the volume they sell, Apple could reduce the "Apple design tax" from 2 times the price of the same PC to 1.2 to 1.5x. They will never be able to sell at the same prices because of the superior design but getting close would help gain market shares.

I try to recommend Macs to people I know but they all end up buying Pc's for 1 reason: price.

I really wish the phrase "Apple tax" would die. It hasn't been true for years.

Let's look at the segments Apple is in:

iPhone - price is comparable to other comparable high end phones - especially with a discount

iPad - price is very competitive. Who offers a 10" tablet with similar capabilities for less?

Mac Pro - Easily competitive with high end Xeon workstations (particularly dual core)

MBA - No one else could come close so Intel had to subsidize the competition

iMac - There's maybe a shred of truth here because Apple offers only high end AIOs. Still, show me where you can find something comparable to the 27" iMac for a better price. Even for the 21" iMac, it's hard to find something that's a lot less with similar quality (most of the cheaper ones use inferior screens, for example).

Mini - I could possibly give you this one. The base Mini is not significantly more powerful than PCs that cost less (but not half the price). You are paying for the form factor. Still, it's not twice the price of a comparable PC. Maybe 30-40% premium at most.

So where's this "Macs cost twice as much as PCs" coming from?
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post #19 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

With the lower SSD prices and new intel CPU design for untrabook, Apple should be able to lower there prices on the Mac lines.  Would be nice to see Apple gain some significant market share in the PC business. With the volume they sell, Apple could reduce the "Apple design tax" from 2 times the price of the same PC to 1.2 to 1.5x. They will never be able to sell at the same prices because of the superior design but getting close would help gain market shares.

 

I try to recommend Macs to people I know but they all end up buying Pc's for 1 reason: price.

 

Apple makes a huge profit percentage,  They could lower prices, increase volume, and make even higher net profits.

post #20 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

It's only Monday, but this gets my vote as stupidest rumor of the week.

The absolute last thing anyone in Apple's upstream supply chain would know is Apple's product pricing plan.

True, but if you're able to put 2 and 2 together, you can learn a lot from upstream supply.

For example, I would assume that the motherboard for the next ivy Bridge MBA is somewhat different than the motherboard for the older MBA. So if you were the motherboard supplier and Apple ordered 2 M of the new motherboard for delivery over the next 12 months and 1 M of the old motherboard for delivery over the same time period, you could assume that they are planning to continue to offer the old one at the same time as the new one.

That wouldn't tell you anything about price - that might be a pure guess based on the level of discounts Apple usually offers on previous generation products. For example, the old iPad is 20% lower than the base new one - just like the 20% being projected here.

I'm not saying that it's true, but it is possible for an upstream supplier to have information that would allow one to make a reasonable prediction.
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post #21 of 85

I very much doubt that.

Manufacturers are going to use cheaper materials (plastic instead of aluminium) to lower the prices of their ultrabooks (see Intel says cheaper Ultrabooks likely to be seen this year). What sort of threat would such laptops pose to the Airs?

Speaking of plastic... I would like Apple to revive their plastic unibody line of Macbooks. They were so cute! I don't like the cold industrial design of the current Airs :-( And I'm afraid how will the air-inspired refreshment of Pros look like.

post #22 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post



iPhone - price is comparable to other comparable high end phones - especially with a discount

Indeed...

post #23 of 85

A lot of you are saying how this is most likely a completely wrong rumor. Well, I hope it's not! I've been wanting to get a Mac for awhile and scrounging up $799 is easier than $999. Just because Apple is a "premium" company doesn't mean they can't do things like this, and already do. Granted they aren't brand new builds but Apple has the iPhone 3GS/4 around after new models to hit the lower end of the market, and the same with the iPad 2. So if they can bring out a cheaper Macbook, why not?

 

This would likely be my first Mac, and I do hope it happens!

post #24 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post


...snip...

I have an i7macbook air and i couldn't be happier with it, and my girlfriend just loves it. her 5 year old cheap plastic dell is pretty much dead and she needs a new computer.
obviously for her needs, a nice ultra book is the best bet and the air is, by far, the best between them. i would even argue that this computer is the best consumer laptop in the market right now.
anyway, we both are in the best college of this country, me in engineering, and even that is not enough to prevent the bullshit that makes us use windows.

I had the use Visual Studio (vb) -- windows. that's about it, but it was an inconvenience.
she will have to use SPSS -- Mac.

but chembio office suite and a few other programs? only in windows.
for that reason, and since we don't have apple stores in portugal, and windows should be considered malware for any mac (even if it works very nicely, it's the same of f*cking a dirty, disgusting wh*re on your mercedes s 65 AMG) I asked her to try both the XPS and the air and then decide, based on the good vs bad of each machine. the XPS looks very nice, with an awesome small bezel, nice screen, etc.

she is only used to windows and isn't tech expert at all and let's be honest, windows 7 (f*ck windows 8), for everyday use is a very nice OS, far from the OSX greatness, but very good.

any opinions? any experience with the XPS? as fair as i know, it is selling a lot and usually anyone that does not want the mac route are just buying the XPS. it is very difficult to find one, so i still don't know how the battery is, the trackpad.. those little things that make every mac a much better machine.

Have you considered a Mac running VMWare Fusion and the Windows (or Linux for that matter) OS of your choice, for those few programs that you must run that don't run on a Mac. That's what I do and there really is no speed penalty. Best of both worlds. PC programs running in there own environment on a Mac. I even taken a disk image of the local PC drive so, if I think I have a malware infection, I replace the suspect image from a known good backup. Takes minutes.
post #25 of 85

It makes a great deal of sense. Apple plays to win, and they aren't worried about competing with themselves. If they were, they wouldn't have introduced the iPad in the first place. 

 

I agree that Apple would never sell at a price point that isn't profitable, nor would they sell at a price point that results in a low quality product. But if they can sell at a lower price while maintaining margins and quality, then they absolutely will. 

 

Perhaps some observers do not appreciate how the economic realities have changes for Apple in the last 10 years. Ten years ago, Apple couldn't compete at lower price points with the Mac because Apple lacked the economies of scale to drive down costs. But now Apple is the biggest, baddest tech company in the world and can get prices on key components that also-rans like Dell and HP can only dream of. 

post #26 of 85

On this category, mobility is paramount. Just bring the 400 to 600 g MacBook Air. Ideal for Keynote and PowerPoint presentations. The Mac in your pocket or purse. Always. For heavy work, just get a MacBook Pro.

post #27 of 85

DigiTimes.

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post #28 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Digitimes reliable?
Yes, DigiTimes reliable. I've been following Apple rumors since 2003, and DigiTimes has been reliable many times.
I don't know what this shit about it not being reliable is. As far as rumor sites go it's fine.
(Keep in mind that even initially correct information can turn out not to be "right", if, say, Apple changes their mind regarding a product and alter or cancel it. Since you can't know whether Apple originally planned it as the rumors had it, you only take from a cancellation or alteration that the rumors were wrong.)
Besides, Apple has never chased the lower end of the laptop market. 
Which  doesn't mean anything. They also never chased the phone or the tablet market, until they released the iPhone and the iPad. Besides the catered to the low end with the Mac Mini and the now discontinued plastic Macbook. And $799 vs $999 is not catering to the low end. They will probably build upon their economies of scale, to keep their margin, and release models similar to the current ones for the lower price tier. Like they do with the older iPhone 4, that still sells.
post #29 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

 

Apple makes a huge profit percentage,  They could lower prices, increase volume, and make even higher net profits.

Really?  How do you know that?  Are you privy to their internal cost and sales figures?  Are you claiming that Apple is choosing not to maximize its profits?  Do you even understand the concept of demand elasticity?

post #30 of 85

I think the problem here is that the 13" Air is $1299, which is a little high. But if they create a basic 13"Air for $999 or $1099, that doesn't leave a lot room for the 11.6" models in terms of pricing.

 

If the 13" MBP is going away, at $1199, then at the very least the 13" Air has to drop $100, in order to avoid a price rise for Apple's starter 13" laptop. But the $1199 price point is now held by the 11" 128GB Air, so that one has to drop to $1099, and that would push the 11" 64GB model to $899.

 

Now, recall that the 13" entry price level for years was $999 with the plastic MacBook, and that for whatever reason Apple has not often used, if ever, the $1099 price.

 

That said $799 does get into iPad territory, and could hamper future iPad positioning, especially the notion of an 11" iPad, which I happen to think would be brilliant but Apple does not appear to be pursuing.

post #31 of 85

Sounds like an excellent plan so long as the margin-shrink is largely offset by reductions in manufacturing costs. These are fast silky machines that are a joy to use (I've a maxed out 13") and a lower price should serve to keep people 'defecting' from the Dark Side into MacOS. 

post #32 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post

I think the problem here is that the 13" Air is $1299, which is a little high. But if they create a basic 13"Air for $999 or $1099, that doesn't leave a lot room for the 11.6" models in terms of pricing.

If the 13" MBP is going away, at $1199, then at the very least the 13" Air has to drop $100, in order to avoid a price rise for Apple's starter 13" laptop. But the $1199 price point is now held by the 11" 128GB Air, so that one has to drop to $1099, and that would push the 11" 64GB model to $899.

Now, recall that the 13" entry price level for years was $999 with the plastic MacBook, and that for whatever reason Apple has not often used, if ever, the $1099 price.

That said $799 does get into iPad territory, and could hamper future iPad positioning, especially the notion of an 11" iPad, which I happen to think would be brilliant but Apple does not appear to be pursuing.

I don't see that there needs to be any change in the higher level models. Based on Apple's modus operandi for the iPad and iPhone, I would imagine:

13" - starting at $1299 just like now. Upgraded to Ivy Bridge, hopefully with 8 GB RAM capacity and I would hope with lower prices for the higher SSD sizes.

11" - starting at $999 just like now. Upgraded to Ivy Bridge.

11" - previous generation Sandy Bridge - $799

The first two are very high probability. Apple has quite a history of leaving prices unchanged and increasing the specs in each revision. The $799 is pure speculation but is consistent with their offering of previous generation iPads and iPhones at a discount.


Quote:
Originally Posted by foljs View Post

Yes, DigiTimes reliable. I've been following Apple rumors since 2003, and DigiTimes has been reliable many times.
I don't know what this shit about it not being reliable is. As far as rumor sites go it's fine.

Funny, but the people who actually track such things disagree.
http://stupidapplerumors.com/news/2012/six-month-rumor-Report

Digitimes has a perfect record - they've never been right on the rumors that SAR tracked. If they happen to be right on this one, it's pure luck.
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post #33 of 85

Well.... it's clearly a loaded phrase, at least in the U.S. where people reflexively see a tax as a dead weight loss (it isn't, but that's how a lot of people see it).

 

But it does have a sliver of truth in so far as Apple has higher margins than its competitors. The real question is whether customers are getting value for those higher margins. As an Apple customer, I definitely believe I'm getting value for those higher margins, and so I'm willing to pay. That is, if I could buy a PC that is equivalent in terms of technical specs (CPU, RAM, etc) to a Mac for less money, I would not do so, because I think the Mac has a better OS/ecosystem and a better build quality. 

 

An interesting development in recent years is that for some Mac configurations, it's actually hard to find a PC with the same tech specs for noticeably less money, even though Apple has higher margins. This is because Apple has become so large that they can get better prices on components than competitors. And so the "apple tax" still exists conditional on component costs, but from the consumer's view (which is unconditional on component costs), the apple tax might not exist in some cases. Pretty amazing when you think about it. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I really wish the phrase "Apple tax" would die. It hasn't been true for years.
post #34 of 85

All interesting conversations.

 

Has anyone thought of the theory that perhaps this digitimes prediction could indicate the price point that Apple will post for refurbished MBA's?

Currently, the 11" MBA with the core i5 is priced at $849.  It could be possible that they will drop the refurbished price point on previous models to $799 easily.

 

However, I could subscribe the to the notion that Apple introduces a previous model (like the iPad and iPhone) for a lower price point as well.  That model (in recent article) has seen some traction with finge consumers looking to get into the Mac ecosystem at a lower price point.

post #35 of 85

Seems like this is a product best slotted for the education market in bulk shipment, perhaps augmenting the $999 MBA for that market.

 

Also, this is not necessarily a "race to the bottom" offering when you can find Wintel notebooks out there for under $500.
 

post #36 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

Seems like this is a product best slotted for the education market in bulk shipment, perhaps augmenting the $999 MBA for that market.

Also, this is not necessarily a "race to the bottom" offering when you can find Wintel notebooks out there for under $500.

Exactly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

Well.... it's clearly a loaded phrase, at least in the U.S. where people reflexively see a tax as a dead weight loss (it isn't, but that's how a lot of people see it).

But it does have a sliver of truth in so far as Apple has higher margins than its competitors. The real question is whether customers are getting value for those higher margins. As an Apple customer, I definitely believe I'm getting value for those higher margins, and so I'm willing to pay. That is, if I could buy a PC that is equivalent in terms of technical specs (CPU, RAM, etc) to a Mac for less money, I would not do so, because I think the Mac has a better OS/ecosystem and a better build quality. 

An interesting development in recent years is that for some Mac configurations, it's actually hard to find a PC with the same tech specs for noticeably less money, even though Apple has higher margins. This is because Apple has become so large that they can get better prices on components than competitors. And so the "apple tax" still exists conditional on component costs, but from the consumer's view (which is unconditional on component costs), the apple tax might not exist in some cases. Pretty amazing when you think about it. 


You're confusing margins with "Apple tax". The latter phrase implies that the consumer is paying more money for something with an Apple label - which as I've shown (and you are agreeing) is incorrect. Apple's products tend to have a price comparable to the market price of competitive products.

The fact that Apple is able to obtain sufficient efficiencies to improve their margins is irrelevant to the consumer. As far as price is concerned, the consumer only cares about the price of product A compared to product B.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #37 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by softeky View Post


Have you considered a Mac running VMWare Fusion and the Windows (or Linux for that matter) OS of your choice, for those few programs that you must run that don't run on a Mac. That's what I do and there really is no speed penalty. Best of both worlds. PC programs running in there own environment on a Mac. I even taken a disk image of the local PC drive so, if I think I have a malware infection, I replace the suspect image from a known good backup. Takes minutes.

that's what i did myself when i had to use VisualStudio.

 

in my girlfriend's case, she needs a few more windows-only programs and is not tech savvy at all, even the mac version of office is a little troublesome for her because she is just used to the windows version (it is different).

 

having said that, and even if macOSX is easy to learn, together with the fact that buying a mac in portugal is always risky, i think (and she agrees) that she should give a try to another high quality computer.

 

cudos to dell, the XPS looks awesome (in every review) and is small and good looking HQ tech. they even had the decency to do not fill it with bloatware. it looks like someone with common sense came to that company.

 

having said that, for me it's macs all the way, but I see and understand her situation and i try do advise her, as i should. 

post #38 of 85

The people who think that Apple will not do this, are forgetting that this is Tim Cook's Apple - not Steve Jobs' Apple. For a master at logistics, the best way to showcase his skills is to increase supply (and therefore marketshare), and lower prices, without impacting profit margins significantly.

 

Secondly, it is high time Apple made a serious attempt at marketshare. There is absolutely no point in having $100B in the bank, if Apple does not use that money to improve its market presence in areas where they can. For a large company, Apple's profit margins are approaching obscene levels. Even Apple lovers will soon start questioning the pricing strategies. Apple is better off sacrificing margins for market share today. In all likelihood, their overall profits would increase at lower margins, because of much higher sales.

 

The new iPad has seen humongous demand, but still Apple has managed to keep supply at reasonable levels. Wait periods are in days, and not weeks. And Apple did not increase pricing on the new iPad, despite significant improvements - and even expectations in the market that the new iPad would be priced at $579 or $599. I believe, these two facts signal a clear departure from past strategies.

 

I really want Apple to employ a scorched earth strategy to increase market share. Do not leave any low lying fruit for the opposition. Insistence on 40% margins might not be the best strategy for Apple today. If they can sell twice the volume at half the margins, their overall profits would be the same - and it is not inconceivable that Apple can sell twice the volume at half the margins in some product segments - notably desktop and laptop computers. Anyway, today desktop and laptop computers are such a small percentage of Apple's business that lowering margins will not impact the company much.

post #39 of 85

Here's what will probably happen: Apple will take the existing Airs, rebrand them as MacBook Pros by adding a little more memory and more peripherals. At the same time, they will scale that down for a new Air. Now at the price point of $799? No way, I say stick with the $999 entry and they will still have the market. The important thing to remember is that they are revamping their Pro line to all have SSDs. 

post #40 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


 As far as price is concerned, the consumer only cares about the price of product A compared to product B.

Many people fail to grasp the concept of "You get what you pay for". They don't understand that a $500 Dell is not a good deal. They will pay for vanity though, which is a significant factor in Apple's recent success as it is perceived as very trendy at the moment, to be a MacBook or iPhone owner. 

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