Originally Posted by hmm
I agree that they have tried to minimize price conflicts. In fact you mentioned a long time ago that you thought the mac pro pricing went up due to the imac. They have raised its pricing slightly every cycle, which is why I'm skeptical that it will go any other way.
The Mac Pro price most likely went up due to lower volume of sales but they do try to keep the lines as separate as possible.
There was an article a while ago saying that 9/10 computers sold above $1000 in the US were Macs:
Total desktop sales per quarter worldwide are ~25 million units.
$0-1000 = 20 million units (HP 24%, Lenovo 21%, Dell 15%, Acer 10%, Asus 10%, other 20%) = ~ 300k Minis per quarter
$1000-2000 = 3-4 million units (Apple has 90% in the US but it will be 50-70% worldwide) = ~ 1.3m iMacs per quarter
$2000+ = 1 million units (HP 33%, Dell 26%, Apple has 22%, Lenovo 8%, other 11%) = ~ 220k Mac Pros per quarter
The numbers and percentages don't match exactly but it gives a ballpark of where Apple stands. Where Apple loses out to Windows PCs is in the sub-$1000 range and given that the average selling price is $650 for PCs, a significant number are in the sub-$650 segment.
Apple knows this already and the problem isn't so much building a decent PC for $500, it's having a complete bundle for $500. They can build a Mini for $500 no problem but they can't give you a Mini, keyboard, mouse and display for $500 otherwise something in that bundle will be junk.
Their answer to address this was the iPad as it's a complete bundle for under $500 and this is obvious when you add the iPad into the overall stats because counting the iPad, Apple exceeds HP's overall PC marketshare.
The conclusions that we can draw from this are:
- a consumer tower in the $1000-2000 range has a fairly small audience to win over and most likely, it will just drive profits in that segment down. It could persuade 0.5m-1m new customers over but it's not what's holding Apple back from the bulk of the Windows audience by a long shot and if it doesn't significantly increase profits, there's little point.
- Apple is doing ok in the workstation segment, which has an even lower audience so they can do whatever they want. If they choose to do something nice, it's simply because they choose to, not because they have to.
- to win more customers over on the low-end, they need better bundle prices. The iPad covers the sub-$650 bundle segment but they could really do with having a $299 display and a <$100 keyboard and mouse bundle so that a customer can walk out of a store with a full desktop computer setup below $1000. They can't do that right now and yet they can get a laptop for under $1000. Dell can sell a 23" 1080p IPS for $231 so Apple should be able to sell a plastic backed display for $299 (it would be like the plastic back on the 2009 iMac and it can have a glass front with an aluminium surround, no speakers but possibly an iSight and Thunderbolt). They can have a wired keyboard at $39, not $49 and a wireless mouse at $59 not $69, even if they have to take some Magic out.
I'd like to see them get the entry MBA SSD to 128GB, eventually drop the 11", have a lower entry price for a 15" laptop (say $1499-1599 with a dual-core and IGP) have an affordable 23-24" 1080p IPS display, have slightly cheaper peripherals, use 23-24" 1080p displays on the entry iMac, possibly get a 27" iMac at $1499, although a 23-24" on the entry models would negate that a bit and for the Mac Pro, just use the latest, state-of-the-art cooling, no optical drives so that it can have a smaller form factor and lower build and shipping cost with a $2000 entry price but making the same profit.