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Product (RED) Mac Pro auction brings in $977,000; gold EarPods sold for $461,000

post #1 of 95
Thread Starter 
A special edition Mac Pro designed for the Product (RED) program was expected to bring in bids between $40,000 and $60,000, but the final "hammer price" reached an astounding $977,000.



Designated as Lot 27, Apple's Mac Pro in a special red finish was auctioned by Sotheby's today to benefit The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The nearly $1 million dollar winning bid makes the Mac Pro the most expensive desktop PC ever built or sold, a wide margin ahead of novelty machines created by Japan's Zeus Computer, built from platinum and gold, with moldings embedded with diamonds and priced up toward $750,000.

In addition to the Red Mac Pro created by Apple's design team led by Jony Ive, the auction also sold a series of other items designed by Ive and Marc Newson, including:

A pair of rose gold Apple Earpods that sold for $461,000; a 1966 bottle of Dom P?rignon housed in a red cooler auctioned for $93,750; a custom designed Leica Digital Rangefinder Camera that fetched $1,805,000 and "The (RED) Desk," which was sold for $1,685,000.

Earlier this week, AppleInsider was able to take a "hands-off" look at the collection.

Black Mac Pro available in December



Apple's new Mac Pro hasn't yet been made available to the general public; the company says the new Mac Pro will become available next month.

The standard black version of Apple's new high end desktop system will be priced starting at $2999 for the base model, with a second tier of performance beginning at $3999.

The new Mac Pro is powered by an Intel Xeon E5 CPU with up to 12 cores, and standard dual AMD FirePro GPUs, packed in cylinder with a 6.6 inch diameter and cooled by an innovative, central thermal core designed to wick heat away from the primary processing chips for evacuation out the top.



Apple detailed the new Mac Pro's design process in a video it presented at its iPad event last month (above). Apple's head of operations Jeff Williams explained, "To make a product as advanced as the Mac Pro, we had to pioneer entirely new processes."
post #2 of 95
Why does the Mac Pro in the photo above look like it's 5 feet tall and about 3 feet across?
and what's with the StormTrooper head in the reflection?
post #3 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

what's with the StormTrooper head in the reflection?

George Lucas auctioned a signed stormtrooper head:

http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2013/null-n09014/lot.17.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider 
Black Mac Pro available in December

They marketed it as coming Fall 2013. December is Winter. I wonder if they delayed the launch because of the auction so that this RED Mac Pro would be the first one sold.
post #4 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I wonder if they delayed the launch because of the auction so that this RED Mac Pro would be the first one sold.

That would be a very bad idea - lose millions of sales volume just to be able to say 'it's the first one sold'...

post #5 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirdir View Post

That would be a very bad idea - lose millions of sales volume just to be able to say 'it's the first one sold'...
But are they really losing sales because it's available in Dec and not Oct/Nov?
post #6 of 95

> They marketed it as coming Fall 2013. December is Winter.

 

Winter begins at the Solstice, on December 21.

post #7 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


They marketed it as coming Fall 2013. December is Winter. I wonder if they delayed the launch because of the auction so that this RED Mac Pro would be the first one sold.

Apple has until Dec 21. Most of December is fall and not winter.
post #8 of 95

I hope that Product Red Mac Pro was the top end model at least!

post #9 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirdir View Post

That would be a very bad idea - lose millions of sales volume just to be able to say 'it's the first one sold'...
But are they really losing sales because it's available in Dec and not Oct/Nov?

That might happen with PCs but Apple's computer sales will just be deferred until later. It depends on how you assess a 'loss' though because if you were to look at a fixed financial period, it would be counted as lower earnings than were possible but I'd still call that deferred. Still, the Mac Pro doesn't sell in the millions. It's more like 50-100k per month. Even with this being a new model, the higher entry price will affect sales volume.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pianophile 
Winter begins at the Solstice, on December 21.

I see, well that at least gives a timeframe. Given that they uploaded the manufacturing video on October 23rd, they're already stocking up supplies.
post #10 of 95
It comes with an Apple Genius who lives in the owner's mother's basement.
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post #11 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

George Lucas auctioned a signed stormtrooper head:

http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2013/null-n09014/lot.17.html
They marketed it as coming Fall 2013. December is Winter. I wonder if they delayed the launch because of the auction so that this RED Mac Pro would be the first one sold.

I wonder if the buyer of the Mac Pro can actually take delivery yet?
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post #12 of 95
Congrats to Apple & entire Team.

Not to mention their talents have assisted many clueless and dumb companies such as google and samsung to make billions all these years!

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

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post #13 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

But are they really losing sales because it's available in Dec and not Oct/Nov?

Not likely.
post #14 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


That might happen with PCs but Apple's computer sales will just be deferred until later. It depends on how you assess a 'loss' though because if you were to look at a fixed financial period, it would be counted as lower earnings than were possible but I'd still call that deferred. Still, the Mac Pro doesn't sell in the millions. It's more like 50-100k per month. Even with this being a new model, the higher entry price will affect sales volume.
I see, well that at least gives a timeframe. Given that they uploaded the manufacturing video on October 23rd, they're already stocking up supplies.

If you think that way, why bring new models at all?

And if 50-100k per month multiplied by at least $2999 isn't 'millions' of sales volume I don't know...

post #15 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I wonder if the buyer of the Mac Pro can actually take delivery yet?

I actually think the buyer doesn't care. If he wanted a Mac Pro he'd ordered one once Apple starts selling them. This $977k spent is probably more of a charity donation then getting a new Mac.
post #16 of 95
What an Apple Tax! /s

Kudos to the buyer and everyone involved.
post #17 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


I actually think the buyer doesn't care. If he wanted a Mac Pro he'd ordered one once Apple starts selling them. This $977k spent is probably more of a charity donation then getting a new Mac.

Correct.

 

As a matter of fact, the buyer may end up donating it to a museum for a second tax deduction.

post #18 of 95
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post
I wonder if the buyer of the Mac Pro can actually take delivery yet?

 

It exists already, so I imagine so. He probably got it as soon as the auction was over.

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post #19 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirdir View Post

If you think that way, why bring new models at all?

That's the reality of the target audience. A lot of people just don't have any reason to spend $3k+ on a computer. The worldwide workstation audience across all manufacturers is about 1m per quarter. Server installation volume is 2 million per quarter:

http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS24285213

Apple's desktop revenue in 2012 was $6b. The Mac Pro had an entry price of $2500. If only the entry Mac Pro was responsible for all of the desktop revenue, it would have shipped 2.4 million units for the year. Apple shipped 4.6 million desktops in 2012 and the iMac is typically thought to account for 1 million per quarter. Tim Cook acknowledged that when the iMac was constrained, it was down 700,000 units vs the previous year's quarter. This leaves the Mac Pro and Mini sharing about 600k units per year and it's likely evenly split.

My estimates of 50-100k for the Mac Pro are optimistic because the real numbers suggest only 25k Mac Pros are sold per month worldwide.

Apple acknowledged they were crazy to build it and they could easily have just stopped making the old one with these kind of sales. They must know we're checking up on them too as they didn't split the desktops out in their 10k filing this year. Desktops were at 25% of their whole Mac lineup and they said desktops decreased this year while laptops increased.

The reason for them to make one is just because they wanted to. It's a design that will see them through the next 10 years as the market inevitably migrates to smaller form factors and still satisfies the current performance requirements where the iMac just falls short.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirdir View Post

And if 50-100k per month multiplied by at least $2999 isn't 'millions' of sales volume I don't know...

The sales volume would still be 50-100k no matter how much revenue it's multiplied by. But it's certainly hundreds of millions in revenue. To a company making over one hundred billion in revenue, it's not much but it all helps. It's not even that much vs the other Macs though as the Macs come out around $20b, 70% coming from laptops.
post #20 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post
 

Correct.

 

As a matter of fact, the buyer may end up donating it to a museum for a second tax deduction.

That wouldn't really be a second donation.  It would just let him (or her) write off the entire amount.  Otherwise only the amount over and above the market value of the item is tax deductible for the auction.  So if the computer were valued at $60K, then the winner has already made a tax deductible donation of one-point-whatever million minus $60K.  Donating the actual computer to a museum would be a $60K donation.  Ok, that's a second donation, but it's not like it some clever scam to double count dollars.

post #21 of 95

Did you notice that the Product (Red) Steinway piano (also featuring some Ive and that other guy touches) sold for more than the camera or the table at just under $2 million?  That makes sense to me since the piano and the table will be family heirlooms for generations--unlike the tech stuff.

post #22 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


That's the reality of the target audience. A lot of people just don't have any reason to spend $3k+ on a computer. The worldwide workstation audience across all manufacturers is about 1m per quarter. Server installation volume is 2 million per quarter:

http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS24285213

Apple's desktop revenue in 2012 was $6b. The Mac Pro had an entry price of $2500. If only the entry Mac Pro was responsible for all of the desktop revenue, it would have shipped 2.4 million units for the year. Apple shipped 4.6 million desktops in 2012 and the iMac is typically thought to account for 1 million per quarter. Tim Cook acknowledged that when the iMac was constrained, it was down 700,000 units vs the previous year's quarter. This leaves the Mac Pro and Mini sharing about 600k units per year and it's likely evenly split.

My estimates of 50-100k for the Mac Pro are optimistic because the real numbers suggest only 25k Mac Pros are sold per month worldwide.

Apple acknowledged they were crazy to build it and they could easily have just stopped making the old one with these kind of sales. They must know we're checking up on them too as they didn't split the desktops out in their 10k filing this year. Desktops were at 25% of their whole Mac lineup and they said desktops decreased this year while laptops increased.

The reason for them to make one is just because they wanted to. It's a design that will see them through the next 10 years as the market inevitably migrates to smaller form factors and still satisfies the current performance requirements where the iMac just falls short.
The sales volume would still be 50-100k no matter how much revenue it's multiplied by. But it's certainly hundreds of millions in revenue. To a company making over one hundred billion in revenue, it's not much but it all helps. It's not even that much vs the other Macs though as the Macs come out around $20b, 70% coming from laptops.

 

I agree, only very few people need the power of a mac pro. And going away from internal HDDs and PCIe etc. slots makes the target audience even smaller. It's just a pity Apple doesn't offer somethink like a 'normal pc'. Even for twice or tripe the price of a normal PC. That's what I would buy. But they're going the opposite direction. an iMac is as unexpandable as a Macbook pro now. So, no need to buy an iMac for me anymore (in the one I have I was at least able to replace the DVD drive for an SSD and replace the HDD for a bigger one and make a Fusion drive...). But the direction seems to be going towards a completely closed iPad anyway (I'm using it as well, but just for games, I couldn't work with it...)

 

And I know Mac Pro isn't Apple's cash cow, I just wanted to make clear it's still many millions of revenue. I was probably using the wrong word, english isn't my native language.

post #23 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirdir View Post

That would be a very bad idea - lose millions of sales volume just to be able to say 'it's the first one sold'...

That's not how Apple looks at it. They'll just sell a few more iPhone 5s' worldwide to make up the difference.

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post #24 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Did you notice that the Product (Red) Steinway piano (also featuring some Ive and that other guy touches) sold for more than the camera or the table at just under $2 million?  That makes sense to me since the piano and the table will be family heirlooms for generations--unlike the tech stuff.

I was really surprised by the table. How long could that possibly have taken to even make? An hour? Ive even said in the interview they couldn't make it out of a single block so I guess the legs are friction stir welded on and the pattern is lasered onto the surface.

I know the money spent here has little to do with the value of the product but there must have been a bidding war for it to go for that much.
post #25 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

What an Apple Tax! /s

Kudos to the buyer and everyone involved.

Ironically, the first thing Bill Gates is going to load on it is Windows Vista.

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post #26 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Did you notice that the Product (Red) Steinway piano (also featuring some Ive and that other guy touches) sold for more than the camera or the table at just under $2 million?  That makes sense to me since the piano and the table will be family heirlooms for generations--unlike the tech stuff.

C'mon. The collectors edition TAM can still run Mac OS 9 for many generations. 1wink.gif

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post #27 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


That's not how Apple looks at it. They'll just sell a few more iPhone 5s' worldwide to make up the difference.

Hmm, as I don't think anybody will buy a 5s instead of a MacPro I guess they'd rather sell both...

post #28 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

They marketed it as coming Fall 2013. December is Winter. I wonder if they delayed the launch because of the auction so that this RED Mac Pro would be the first one sold.

My guess is it has nothing to do with the auction but with other factors that oft plague Apple's production capabilities. They seemed to have been well aware (this time) of when it will launch so the question I want answered is what component(s) is causing the hold up here. We know TB2 is now available since it's in the new MBPs, but what about those new Xeon chips or the AMD GPUs? Or it could be something else like drivers. I only mention this because the Mac Pro is the only machine Apple advertises as being able to run 4K displays despite the new MBPs have HDMI 1.4 and a single TB2 controller for two TB2 ports. In a very unlikely guess I wonder if it could be a new Apple 4K display to be launched alongside the Mac Pro as a way of boosting free marketing in December once it's announced.

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post #29 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

It exists already, so I imagine so. He probably got it as soon as the auction was over.

I believe that is the way auctions work, yes.

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post #30 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I was really surprised by the table. How long could that possibly have taken to even make? An hour? Ive even said in the interview they couldn't make it out of a single block so I guess the legs are friction stir welded on and the pattern is lasered onto the surface.

I know the money spent here has little to do with the value of the product but there must have been a bidding war for it to go for that much.

Probably took longer than this piece of "art" which recently sold for over $300K.

http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2013/nov-2013-contemporary-evening-n09037/lot.1.html
post #31 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

I actually think the buyer doesn't care. If he wanted a Mac Pro he'd ordered one once Apple starts selling them. This $977k spent is probably more of a charity donation then getting a new Mac.

My question wasn't about his or her motives, rather about whether the Mac Pro even really exists yet as a sellable product. That could be a red case over a prototype. Sorry I wasn't clear.
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post #32 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

My guess is it has nothing to do with the auction but with other factors that oft plague Apple's production capabilities. They seemed to have been well aware (this time) of when it will launch so the question I want answered is what component(s) is causing the hold up here. We know TB2 is now available since it's in the new MBPs, but what about those new Xeon chips or the AMD GPUs? Or it could be something else like drivers. I only mention this because the Mac Pro is the only machine Apple advertises as being able to run 4K displays despite the new MBPs have HDMI 1.4 and a single TB2 controller for two TB2 ports. In a very unlikely guess I wonder if it could be a new Apple 4K display to be launched alongside the Mac Pro as a way of boosting free marketing in December once it's announced.

I've always suspected there will be a new monitor with launch of Mac Pro.

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post #33 of 95
How come none of these articles mentions the additional premium fee (profit) that sothebys tacks on to each item sold? Because if its their usual 20-30 %, one aould think thempublic might like knowing how generous sothebys is or isnt when it comes to charities.

Having attended an auction or two like ths and having been upcharged an additional 25% per item on TOP of the winning bid....it makes me curious because a million dollar sale was probably more like 1.25 million.
post #34 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

My question wasn't about his or her motives, rather about whether the Mac Pro even really exists yet as a sellable product. That could be a red case over a prototype. Sorry I wasn't clear.

Ah, ok, gotcha. Well, I think it's not a prototype - I presume this model takes OSX updates just like the stock ones they'll sell later this...erm, next month. And for compatibility reasons it'll be a stock model, weather it's bae spec or high end. I presume base spec, as this little $977,000 (thermal core vacuum) sucker doesn't even have a keyboard or mouse 1biggrin.gif
post #35 of 95
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
Probably took longer than this piece of "art" which recently sold for over $300K.

 

Maybe someone thought it was product (red). ;)

 

That’s ‘art’, and Hitler was rejected from art school for this:

HOST: Mac OS X 10.4.6

 

 I wonder sometimes.

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post #36 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I see, well that at least gives a timeframe. Given that they uploaded the manufacturing video on October 23rd, they're already stocking up supplies.

That's the curious part. The video was uploaded late October and was shot maybe a month earlier. The amount of capacity to produce the can cover in volume is impressive and certainly wasn't sitting idle all this time, so what's holding up shipping the product before now???
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post #37 of 95
Was applecare included?
post #38 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by echosonic View Post

How come none of these articles mentions the additional premium fee (profit) that sothebys tacks on to each item sold? Because if its their usual 20-30 %, one aould think thempublic might like knowing how generous sothebys is or isnt when it comes to charities.

Having attended an auction or two like ths and having been upcharged an additional 25% per item on TOP of the winning bid....it makes me curious because a million dollar sale was probably more like 1.25 million.

The prices listed include that "buyer's premium" already.

 

See for the Mac Pro it says:

LOT SOLD. 977,000 USD 
(Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)

 

http://www.sothebys.com/content/dam/sothebys/PDFs/buyerspremium/Buyer_premium_chart_2013_new.pdf

post #39 of 95
Tim Cook and Laurene Powell Jobs were in attendance. As was Dieter Rams.

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2013/11/red-auction-sothebys-bono
Edited by Rogifan - 11/24/13 at 10:30am
post #40 of 95

Kudos to whoever spent that much money to help a very worthy cause. Now imagine the buyers’ remorse if Apple released the Mac pro in red!


Edited by AdeFowler - 11/24/13 at 10:54am
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