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Apple resellers instate broad price cuts on MacBooks amid concerns of slowing growth

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
With whispers of slowing growth in Apple's Mac business gaining traction and overall sentiment surrounding the company at its lowest levels in roughly a decade, several of its largest resellers this week instated unusually steep price cuts on almost all sub-$2000 MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs.

MacBook Air


The cuts, which began at the top of the week, precede Apple's fiscal first quarter earnings release (4:30 p.m. Eastern) and conference call (5:00 p.m.) scheduled for later this afternoon, both of which are viewed by industry-watchers, analysts, and pundits alike as the most critical for the Cupertino-based company in 10 years.?

In addition to widespread concerns over Apple's capacity to maintain growth and and premium profit margins in its bread-and-butter iPhone business in the face of stiff competition from the likes of Samsung, recent data from U.S.-based market research firms have also done their part to depress sentiment surrounding the company's computer business.?

One average, analysts have extrapolated those data releases to predict that Mac sales for the three-month? period ending December will fall 4 percent year over year to 5 million units ? figures that are unquestionably hampered by a roughly estimated 500,000 new iMac units that Apple was unable to push into the channel during the quarter due to well-documented production problems.

While the precise catalysts for this week's Mac price cuts is unclear, our historical Mac Price Guide data confirms the trend began at Best Buy ? Apple's largest domestic brick-and-mortar retail partner ? and was quickly mirrored by Apple's other top-tier partners including Amazon, B&H Photo and MacMall. In most cases, pricing now sits near or below wholesale costs for those Macs.

And while there is no hard evidence to suggest that Apple may have played a role in the reductions, Best Buy is known to be a preferred partner with which Apple often consults prior to material price drops on its products that present potential to dilute the company's premium brand in the face of consumers.

2013 Predictions
Source: KGI Securities


Alternatively, Best Buy may have made the move to help maintain robust sales of Macs through the first half of 2013 given increasingly convincing evidence and leaked product roadmaps that suggest Apple won't be ready to introduce any new Mac notebook models until very late in the second calendar quarter, or early in the third quarter.?

There's also been rumblings amongst insiders that the company's MacBook Pro Retina pricing is proving a bit too rich for average consumers in the face of today's global economy, and customers are therefore buying down the chain towards lower ASP (average selling price) models in a play to remain loyal to Apple's ecosystem. As such, Best Buy could be simply looking to capitalize on the trend in a bid for attach-rates and customer retention.?

Nevertheless, Apple's financial and disclosures this afternoon will go a long way towards validating lingering concerns about its fundamentals and future growth prospect, or give the company an opportunity to largely discount them, proven them to be overblown, and set the record straight by "changing the tone of the conversation."

In the meantime, consumers in the market for a new Mac are presented with the greatest value proposition since last summer, with new MacBook Airs starting at $873, MacBook Pros starting at $1,067, and 15-inch MacBook Pros with Retina display starting at $1,988.?

With MacMall's latest price drops today, the reseller dominates standalone pricing across the entire MacBook family, offering the lowest prices anywhere to AppleInsider readers who use the links in our price guides to activate the Promo Code field on MacMall's product pages and then manually applying the additional 3% Promo Code: APPINSDRMWB37994



New Macs with 3-Years of AppleCare bundled


Meanwhile, consumers interested in a 3-year Apple Protection Plan in conjunction with their new Mac purchase similarly have the best prices on the Mac+AppleCare bundles we've seen yet through B&H Photo, with combined savings of up to $427. (See our step-by-step guide to making sure you get these rock bottom prices).?



As usual, AppleInsider will provide comprehensive and extended coverage of Apple's earnings release and conference call beginning at 4:30 p.m. Eastern this afternoon.
post #2 of 38
This "story" is brought to you by MacMall. Any information content that may be present is strictly incidental.

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post #3 of 38

This makes total sense, by the way¡

 

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Originally Posted by asdasd

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post #4 of 38
Maybe if AppleInsider keeps telling themselves this garbage, they'll actually start to believe it.

"Overall sentiment surrounding the company at its lowest levels in roughly a decade..."

What are you talking about? Making this stuff up doesn't help your reputation one bit.
post #5 of 38
Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post
Making this stuff up doesn't help your reputation one bit.

 

They're not making it up; they're just helping it along. That's equally bad, but the distinction is meaningful.

Originally Posted by asdasd

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Originally Posted by asdasd

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post #6 of 38

Hmm, uh... Not sure what to make of this move; timing wise.

 

Kinda weird, maybe.

post #7 of 38
Stupid alarmist Apple Insider! Most of these cuts are less than ten percent. All are less than the tax or the duties. This is nothing.
post #8 of 38

Hey right. DO YOU KNOW what Apple's stock was valued at 10 years ago? I do.

post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

Hmm, uh... Not sure what to make of this move; timing wise.

Kinda weird, maybe.

Any number of reasons:

1. The companies realize that retail sales slow after the Holidays and want to try to get more business in the first quarter.

2. The companies suspect that updated versions will come soon and they want to clear out inventory.

3. The companies simply like to have sales going all the time to drive traffic and it just happened that a couple of them had sales on Apple products at the same time.

4. One company had a sale for any reason (perhaps their own sales figures were low) and everyone else jumped on board.

5. The owner of Best Buy has AAPL options that are expiring soon and they need to drive the price down so they don't lose their shirt.

Don't try to read too much into it since no one knows what's really going on. The earnings call today will be informative.
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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 #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post

Hey right. DO YOU KNOW what Apple's stock was valued at 10 years ago? I do.

Al Gore knows and now he's dancing like this...


"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

Goodbyeee jragosta :: http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/160864/jragosta-joseph-michael-ragosta

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

Goodbyeee jragosta :: http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/160864/jragosta-joseph-michael-ragosta

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post #11 of 38

Quick, we've only a few hours before actual numbers are reported, let's stick it to them one last time.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #12 of 38

I'd say they just didn't sell as many units in the holiday quarter as they had predicted and are now trying to get rid of excess inventory.

 

If that's the case then Mac sales could be slowing.

 

Depends on how they project future sales.

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post #13 of 38
This "story" is a mess, from the point of view of "truthiness," ethics, proofreading, and even grade level of English: "There's also been rumblings . . ." (There HAVE been rumblings, but are you sure you want to promote them this way?)

Shameless. If you want to do an infomercial, at least have the decency to leave out the anti-Apple propaganda angle.

I'm left with a very depressed view of AI from this.

" . . . whispers of slowing growth . . ." Give me a break.
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

" . . . whispers of slowing growth . . ." Give me a break.

 

That's poetry.

 

I guess we'll find out really soon.

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post #15 of 38

Perhaps Thomas J. Watson's 1943 prediction will ultimately be correct. Unless of course, you believe that iPads are are really computers but simply for the sake of increasing Apple's marketshare numbers. Otherwise it is a mobile device when arguing Apple's dominance in mobile web usage sector.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #16 of 38
Retina pricing on the 13" models is ludicrous - they are a huge rip-off.
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

That's poetry.

I guess we'll find out really soon.

Ha! I didn't think of it that way. For some reason . . .
post #18 of 38
Originally Posted by Automaticftp View Post
Retina pricing on the 13" models is ludicrous - they are a huge rip-off.

 

Marvin? (Was it Marvin…) Care to repost your analysis debunking this?

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Originally Posted by asdasd

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post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Automaticftp View Post

Retina pricing on the 13" models is ludicrous - they are a huge rip-off.

 

Which is why I picked up a 15" rMBP yesterday to replace my 2011 13" MBA. I just couldn't pass up a deal that Best Buy was offering. They had the base model for $1811 open box, minus a 10% off coupon for open box items. Came to $1630 plus tax versus an MSRP of $2200 plus tax. Plus I had over $500 in gift cards to cash in.

 

It was originally purchased on December 13, 2012 (and of course returned), so I only lost about a month's worth of warranty (no big deal to me). Damn thing looks brand new, without a single scratch on it. Gave the wifey my old 2011 MBA and sold her 2008 MBA on eBay.


Edited by Mazda 3s - 1/23/13 at 11:31am
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

 

Which is why I picked up a 15" rMBP yesterday to replace my 2011 MBA. I just couldn't pass up a deal that Best Buy was offering. They had the base model for $1811 open box, minus a 10% off coupon for open box items. Came to $1630 plus tax versus an MSRP of $2200 plus tax. Plus I had over $500 in gift cards to cash in.

 

It was originally purchased on December 13, 2012 (and of course returned), so I only lost about a month's worth of warranty (no big deal to me). Damn thing looks brand new, without a single scratch on it. Gave the wifey my old 2011 MBA and sold her 2008 MBA on eBay.

 

Indeed an extremely good deal - too bad I can't get one of those here in overpriced Switzerland.

iMac Intel 27" Core i7 3.4, 16GB RAM, 120GB SSD + 1TB HD + 4TB RAID 1+0, Nuforce Icon HDP, OS X 10.9.1; iPad Air 64GB; iPhone 5 32GB; iPod Classic; iPod Nano 4G; Apple TV 2.
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iMac Intel 27" Core i7 3.4, 16GB RAM, 120GB SSD + 1TB HD + 4TB RAID 1+0, Nuforce Icon HDP, OS X 10.9.1; iPad Air 64GB; iPhone 5 32GB; iPod Classic; iPod Nano 4G; Apple TV 2.
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post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post

Maybe if AppleInsider keeps telling themselves this garbage, they'll actually start to believe it.

"Overall sentiment surrounding the company at its lowest levels in roughly a decade..."

What are you talking about? Making this stuff up doesn't help your reputation one bit.

 

It's almost as if AI is part of the stock manipulation going on. Is the management of AI on the take from some Wall Street hedge fund? Are they doing some insider trading here? Will any AI management be indicted when this all comes to light with an SEC investigation? I guess we'll just wait and see.

post #22 of 38

"Anti-Apple sentiment" has 3 sources, outside of the stock manipulators:

 

1. People who for various a- and ir-rational reasons have always "hated" Apple. This includes people and organizations who've made their living directly and indirectly shilling for competitors, as well as people who fell victim to their propaganda over the years.

 

2. People who switched from Apple years ago and need to psychologically self-justify that. This includes people like John Dvorak who, at one time was an Mac user, doesn't really understand technology even though he makes his living writing about it, and has a nagging suspicion that he looks like a fool (he's right) for embracing Microsoft. They have a need to see Apple fail, so, given the opportunity, will do anything they can to make their need a reality.

 

3. Tech journalists. Journalists, by and large, don't have any ethical sense, and don't really give a damn about anything. But they do want to have juicy stories to write. And, as far as a juicy story goes, the only thing better than the rise of a hero is the fall of that hero. (Witness the Lance Armstrong story.) Who wants to read stories that tell us everything is just fine. I mean, a story that Apple is doing jut fine under Tim Cook, better than the rest of any of the industries they compete in, doesn't sell so well. It's boring. But, hey, a story that "the biggest technology company on the planet is falling apart in front of our very eyes," will not only get them a lot of attention, it appeals to reader's baser instincts. It sells newspapers, it generates clicks, it's exciting! Who cares if it's true. And, if they can "help the story along" a little, so much the better. If it turns out they were wrong, no problem, they'll just move on to the next juicy story.

post #23 of 38
Seriously, these AppleInsider 'hidden advertisements' (or not hidden, actually, and rather blatant) for their 3% discounts with MacMall were increasingly annoying before, but to get to the point they're at now with trying to make news out of it, is bordering on unethical.
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

It's almost as if AI is part of the stock manipulation going on. Is the management of AI on the take from some Wall Street hedge fund? Are they doing some insider trading here? Will any AI management be indicted when this all comes to light with an SEC investigation? I guess we'll just wait and see.

I have the same suspicion after this piece of garbage. From Kasper no less.
post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

Hmm, uh... Not sure what to make of this move; timing wise.

Kinda weird, maybe.

Any number of reasons:

1. The companies realize that retail sales slow after the Holidays and want to try to get more business in the first quarter.

2. The companies suspect that updated versions will come soon and they want to clear out inventory.

3. The companies simply like to have sales going all the time to drive traffic and it just happened that a couple of them had sales on Apple products at the same time.

4. One company had a sale for any reason (perhaps their own sales figures were low) and everyone else jumped on board.

5. The owner of Best Buy has AAPL options that are expiring soon and they need to drive the price down so they don't lose their shirt.

Don't try to read too much into it since no one knows what's really going on. The earnings call today will be informative.

Well, thanks but "Any number of reasons" isn't particularly meaningful. I could add another 500 on to your 5 reasons.

The real question is; Why this now?  Why TODAY?

post #26 of 38
> Apple resellers instate broad price cuts....

Instate? Really? Did you dictate this into Siri? She didn't listen very well. Or you don't know any better. Webster's: instate -- to set or establish in a rank or office. Example: The new secretary of the treasury was instated on Monday.

Did you perhaps intend to say instituted?

Accuracy *is* credibility.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

"Anti-Apple sentiment" has 3 sources, outside of the stock manipulators:

1. People who for various a- and ir-rational reasons have always "hated" Apple. This includes people and organizations who've made their living directly and indirectly shilling for competitors, as well as people who fell victim to their propaganda over the years.

2. People who switched from Apple years ago and need to psychologically self-justify that. This includes people like John Dvorak who, at one time was an Mac user, doesn't really understand technology even though he makes his living writing about it, and has a nagging suspicion that he looks like a fool (he's right) for embracing Microsoft. They have a need to see Apple fail, so, given the opportunity, will do anything they can to make their need a reality.

3. Tech journalists. Journalists, by and large, don't have any ethical sense, and don't really give a damn about anything. But they do want to have juicy stories to write. And, as far as a juicy story goes, the only thing better than the rise of a hero is the fall of that hero. (Witness the Lance Armstrong story.) Who wants to read stories that tell us everything is just fine. I mean, a story that Apple is doing jut fine under Tim Cook, better than the rest of any of the industries they compete in, doesn't sell so well. It's boring. But, hey, a story that "the biggest technology company on the planet is falling apart in front of our very eyes," will not only get them a lot of attention, it appeals to reader's baser instincts. It sells newspapers, it generates clicks, it's exciting! Who cares if it's true. And, if they can "help the story along" a little, so much the better. If it turns out they were wrong, no problem, they'll just move on to the next juicy story.

And now a fourth. Imitation journalists on advertising sites like this one who co-opt the negative "real" journalists in your source 3 in order to sell merchandise directly for a commission.
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tux Kapono View Post

Seriously, these AppleInsider 'hidden advertisements' (or not hidden, actually, and rather blatant) for their 3% discounts with MacMall were increasingly annoying before, but to get to the point they're at now with trying to make news out of it, is bordering on unethical.


They must be getting some massive kickbacks from this or they wouldn't be doing that. You would think that the user/commenter backlash would be enough for them to scale it back a bit, or at least not post them so frequently. But I guess $$$ talks.

post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

This "story" is brought to you by MacMall. Any information content that may be present is strictly incidental.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tux Kapono View Post

Seriously, these AppleInsider 'hidden advertisements' (or not hidden, actually, and rather blatant) for their 3% discounts with MacMall were increasingly annoying before, but to get to the point they're at now with trying to make news out of it, is bordering on unethical.

 

Exactly. I don't begrudge advertising on the site (and actually recently made a purchase from MacMall with the click-through promotion), but they shouldn't take a blatant promotion and try to disguise it as a "news" article. "Breaking news: Struggling retailers who had a less-than-stellar holiday season are instituting January price cuts to move stock" SHOCKING. /s/

post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post


Exactly. I don't begrudge advertising on the site (and actually recently made a purchase from MacMall with the click-through promotion), but they shouldn't take a blatant promotion and try to disguise it as a "news" article. "Breaking news: Struggling retailers who had a less-than-stellar holiday season are instituting January price cuts to move stock" SHOCKING. /s/

Same here, I'd be glad to buy through this referral, but it's the disguising it as bad news for Apple that's the outrage.
post #31 of 38

post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post


Same here, I'd be glad to buy through this referral, but it's the disguising it as bad news for Apple that's the outrage.


How is that a disguise if the overstock was caused by slowing Mac sales?

 

[other than the fact that AI decided to place the whole damn ad in the article]


Edited by island hermit - 1/23/13 at 12:41pm
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post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

This "story" is a mess, from the point of view of "truthiness," ethics, proofreading, and even grade level of English: "There's also been rumblings . . ." (There HAVE been rumblings, but are you sure you want to promote them this way?)

Shameless. If you want to do an infomercial, at least have the decency to leave out the anti-Apple propaganda angle.

I'm left with a very depressed view of AI from this.

" . . . whispers of slowing growth . . ." Give me a break.

Agreed, I have never seen AI pull such a crappy stunt since I started visiting the site. It made me go to MacRumors where there was a least coverage of the lead up to the call.
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Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
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Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #34 of 38

But Apple's Mac growth has been slowing progressively over the last several years.

 

I'm guessing we're about at the glass ceiling or getting close to it or the 'wall.'

 

I've been impressed Apple has got to around 5 million Macs per quarter.

 

The stores have certainly helped.  So has the car crash of Windows over the years.  

 

Especially in the economic climate since 2008.  We're in it.  Deep.  World recession and all that.

 

Apple hoiked the prices in the UK in 2008.  

 

...and they hoiked the prices of the 'barely available' iMac.  (Just bought that one...I'm typing on my 27 incher now.)

 

You pay £100 more for the iMac, plus £60 for the DVD external, and £200 more for a 'fusion drive' when you can get 256 SSDs for just over a £100 now.

 

That's an extra £360 for SSD and DVD capability.  Way to go in the recession, Apple.

 

Take away the Retina from the MacBooks...and you're left with a pricey notebook.  Instead of looking after shareholders, I'd like to see Apple giving us customers some price cuts or some added value in the line up.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

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You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #35 of 38

...and a crap Mac Pro 'update' with a dinosaur machine that is way over priced for a tower.  2k for a machine that you can really tinker/upgrade with a crappy quad core processor.  Bet that helped sales along with it's cheap ass Gpu.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Perhaps Thomas J. Watson's 
1943 
prediction will ultimately be correct.
Unless of course, you believe that iPads are are really computers but simply for the sake of increasing Apple's marketshare numbers. Otherwise it is a mobile device when arguing Apple's dominance in mobile web usage sector.

It can be done both ways. The iPad uses a mobile OS in iOS and that is why Android v iOS is a more accurate comparison than Android v iPhone in regards to mobile market share. It's also a computer because its hardware.
post #37 of 38
Those 13" MBPr's are still ridiculously overpriced, even with discount. I honestly wish they made a model with the MBA's screen, because all I want is a lighter, thinner MBP with a decent processor that doesn't suffer from the knuckle-bruising shallow keyboard of the MBA.
post #38 of 38
After earnings are out, this actually looks like they are cutting MacBook prices because that is what they have to sell. All of these businesses are not getting much iMac revenue. My guess anyway.
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