Originally Posted by Cash907
Sweet Christ, even discounted that's way too damn much.
Yeah, even when you compare the old MBP to an equivalent spec PC, the price seems very high:
The entry 2.3GHz Macbook Pro is $1799 for a lower spec than the $899 Lenovo so for comparable components, that's half the price. Again though, it's not so much that Apple is too expensive but PCs are too cheap.
Lenovo's gross margin is less than Dell's at 12%:
Apple's is 40%:
While 40% seems excessive, the net is what's important as that's their actual profit. Lenovo generates $141m profit on sales of $8.2b - their net margin is under 2% and Dell's is around 3-5%. Apple's net is around 23%, which is healthy. You can see the net margins in the following links on the right:
If you work out rough build/bundle costs from the gross margins, you get:
I could believe Apple's computers and software cost 36% more to put together - they definitely have a higher build quality. Now say Apple used around 30% gross margin, you'd get maybe $1599. It's hard to link it all together but the Mac line accounts for a smaller portion of the profits now so $200 average off the Mac line would only affect their profits by $1b per quarter (4.9m Macs x $200 = ~$1b). Their net profit would be $7.2b per quarter = 20% net. Obviously they don't want to push it too much so that the Mac line starts dragging down profits from the iOS line but it would make them seem much more reasonable.
The entry 15" Retina MBP would then be $1885, which is pretty much what you see here. This is still a healthy profit. But if Apple sold at that price, resellers then have to sell at margins which might not be so healthy.
The other way for the price to come down of course is for Apple to cut some costs but that could have been what happened with Browett trying to cut costs with the retail stores.
I'd quite like to see them cut the Mac prices a bit as I think they'd still make a healthy profit but it's really up to them what they want to do. The way I see it is that while the iOS devices are expensive, they are still very competitive - there's only at most $100-200 difference between a competing brand, sometimes they cost the same. When you see a $900 difference on the Mac side, that's a big disincentive to buy for people. A $500-700 difference isn't going to resolve that but it's a big improvement.
I actually wonder if they are doing this to prepare for the switchover to the Retina models. That $1885 price is not far off the $1799 price on the old model. Having these comfortable margins will allow them to shuffle prices around as they please and not worry about it. They could sell the Retina model at the same prices as the old model tomorrow and still make more profit than anyone in the industry but I suspect we will see a more gradual switchover.
I imagine the next step that we'll see in April is to eliminate the top-end old-style model from the lineup and bring the entry Retina model down to $1999 and the top-end Retina to $2499. Similarly with the 13" but $1499 and $1699 for those.