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Outstanding Features and Lower Prices

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have been viewing on these boards for a couple years and without fail people are always yearning for wildly improved specs and drastically reduced prices. For some reason, it seems like this is a little hard to do in one blow.

Why can't most realize that Apple will never price their product at Dell-like prices? We pay a premium for our OS and we pay a premium for all the little things that make the Apple experience.

Honestly, I would wager most people on here are above the average national income and a couple hundred bucks here or there are not going to break anyone. As an Apple stock holder, I am intrigued by a low priced entry level iMac, but I also realize that Apple's strong margins are a big part of its profitability and solvency.

So here me roar Apple - I have no problem with your prices, keep the price lineup exactly what it is. All I ask is for reasonable improvements that professionals need and consumers want.
post #2 of 17
The problem with paying a premium for the OS is that you won't gain market share. What we want is for Apple to pick up some market share, and the only way to do that is to be cheaper or vastly superior than the competition.

Currently, Macs aren't cheaper, and with Apple's profit margins being so high, they could and should be cheaper.
post #3 of 17
Just a thought:

Your stocks might go up if the prices where to be lowered. It is simple price-max. If Apple starts to sell more computers at the same quality then people will have greater faith in the company and therfore will the price on your stock rise.

Besides that will a bigger revenue from maximizing the price give you a larger revenue from the stock....

From my point of view there is no doubt, that a lower price will do Apple good. More students will have the money to afford a mac.
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post #4 of 17
[quote]Originally posted by specialkbdc:
<strong>I have been viewing on these boards for a couple years and without fail people are always yearning for wildly improved specs and drastically reduced prices. For some reason, it seems like this is a little hard to do in one blow.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I would rather say that the people want either improved specs or lower prices, which is mainly because Apple is really slow on updating specs during the last few years. In todays world doing updates every 6 months isn't good enough for people used to updates at PC speed.
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post #5 of 17
If Apple doesn't start picking up Market share soon, eventually it's not going to matter if they come out with a monster chiller killer box that eats pentiums for breakfast at half the cost ...

... eventually, if the downward market share trend continues, less and less software will be written for the Mac, more and more standards will be written around windows, and Apple will become a beautiful shiny Billion Baud Modem, with no place to dial into.


Fortunately, I think Steve knows this ... so the iMac bought us time, but I think MWSF will be another important part of reversing this nasty trend.
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post #6 of 17
specialkbdc,
I agree pretty much with the fact that Apple's prices will never be in line with the Dells and Gateways.

But I think what many hope for is a more competitive Apple. Pricing a system a few hundred buck more than a PC is acceptable given some of the inherent advantages of a Mac.

However, when a similarly equipped Mac is $800-$1000 more, that's when you shake your head and realize why we're only at 5% of the market share.
post #7 of 17
Good
Fast
Cheap

Pick any two.
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Still waiting for a PowerMac that is a significant jump in performance from current levels.
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post #8 of 17
[quote]Originally posted by specialkbdc:
<strong>
So here me roar Apple - I have no problem with your prices, keep the price lineup exactly what it is. All I ask is for reasonable improvements that professionals need and consumers want.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Professionals needs and Consumers wants are not always fhe same. Although both consumers and professionals want MHz, something in short supply on the platform lately, the need for speed is greater for Apple's graphics professionals.

Sahara, Apollo, and the G5 will all break the GHz barrier, which is exactly what Apple needs in every product. In the end it will be marketshare and volume that lowers prices. Apple needs to have a sub $1K entry level product, even if it is sold at a lesser margin than the rest of the line. It should have nothing less than a GHz Apollo. Like the iBook, it should use the same processor across the board, differentiating only in the drives and memory.

The iBook needs a GHz Sahara, and the TiBook needs a GHz Apollo. The PowerMac, if it can't get the G5 by MWSF needs at least a dual GHz G4 at the top. In any case the memory sub-system needs DDR and other improvements to compete.

The Rabbit and the Hat - or- "And one more thing"
Besides all of the above, Steve needs to pull something truly revolutionary out of his hat on the 7th of January. This has to be something that all of us will want to buy immediately. Something that Pro users will want and that Home users will want - something we all will want.

What would I want? I'd like a remote touch sensitive screen that can control and display anything that any AirPort equipped Mac can do. Make it thin and light, and cheap enough to be affordable. Give it a programmable IR port so you could control your TV and stereo with it. Leave it on the coffee table with the screen saver showing your favorite pictures. At $699 I think we'd all get one eventually.

Any Comments?
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post #9 of 17
I absolutely agree with Hi Ho Quicksilver. It was possible to justify paying a premium for a Mac back when the user interface was undeniably superior to Windows AND the hardware was faster and less trouble-prone.

Now with the hardware lagging in speed (and OSX seeming more like Windows...) Macs don't seem like such a great value any more.

Macs will never be the low price leaders. But if I pay a premium for a BMW, I expect to get BMW performance in addition to style.
post #10 of 17
Like many other organizations, Apple is facing this issue in a backwards way.

CURRENT FRAME OF THOUGHT:

If we keep profits high, that'll look good for our stockholders, and people will want to buy more stock and their value will go up. Oh, market share should...um, go up to.

NEEDED FRAME OF THOUGHT:

If we reduce our profit margin, yes, we won't make as much money, but our machines will be more in line with what people will want to pay. We'll then sell more machines, market share will go up, more software will be made for our platform, and our stock's value will increase. Over time, and as we increase market share, if higher prices are warranted, then we can slowly raise prices, while still keeping them fairly competitive with PC's. The kicker is that we'll have greater market share because of our previous efforts, and consumer's won't mind as much because they're "hooked" on our platform and the superior product that we produce.
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post #11 of 17
One question concerning market share is: how much is enough? An example: if you look at the newspaper market, which kind of newspapers have the largest share of the market? I doubt that it's the well written, extensive, in-depth ones, which, in analogy to the BMW example above, give the higher class experience. Rather, it's the cheap, biased, mass-appealing newspapers which own major part of the market. Are they better? No! So why are they more appealing to the masses? Because, at least superficially, they do their job, and are cheap and easily consumed. They don't necessarily incend new thoughts or give you any creative input or provide aesthetics but that's not the desire of their target group. On top of it, their name has become synonymous with what they deliver which for an average reader of one of the lesser-read papers, is not what *they* want, which is why they buy more expensive, better founded, more dialectic newspapers which offer them more food for thought and probably a better sense of aesthetics, etc.
They provide a different quality of *EXPERIENCE*.
And that's exactly what Apple products do, to (or are aspiring to, anyways). Which makes them - niche products. They might not provide you with zillions of program options (most of which you don't need or want, anyways) and they are well enough designed (and hopefully keep getting better at it) so you don't need all the little popup explanations that are set to plague average users of Windows XP. On top of it they are transparently organized both physically as well as software-wise which makes it easy to debug or fix them. The fact that they don't appeal to *everybody*, partially because they aren't recommended by some geek-fiend who likes to screw around inside of average-white boxes and "knows best what's good for you" which keeps you (the majority who doesn't know anything else but that the price is cheap...) from actually experiencing how delightfully easy to use a Mac actually is, thus isn't a bad thing; it's probably just the fate of things that have a better "spirit", a set of thought-about qualities that mass-appealing items don't. After all, BMWs and Mercedes's don't have the the bigger market share, either.
What I believe is important though is the differentiation, making the difference, either in price (earning a bad reputation if high) or by other measures like putting up dedicated stores as opposed to making a mass market-compatible product which ends up being sold near the groceries at the corner supermarket (really! At least here in Germany, the first nForce boards were available built into boxes at "minimal", a food chain!!!).
I don't think, Apple ever will take over the largest part of the market. Maybe not even much more than what it has at the moment. But maybe it doesn't need to, maybe it's sufficient to keep what it already has (didn't seem to be faring to poorly, considering its 4 billion $ in the bank?) and this way keep its faithful bunch of followers who are dedicated to getting the *best* EXPERIENCE rather what *everybody* has.
OK, I'd like the Mac to be the fastest, too. But I'd also like it to be the quietest, the most transportable, the most connectable, the biggest, the smallest, the niftiest, the most long-running, etc. Although they are ot all mutually exclusive, I think Apple (and definitely NOT Dell!) is one of the rare companies that try to stick to their mission to strike the best balance between all these ideas to continually improve and be inovative if necessary, even if it means not dividing down to the common denominator and capture all of the market. And I believe that's why everybody in the industry keeps demanding of them to come up with the very best and cutting edge because that's what they think the innovation is all about. I refuse to reduce innovation to only that (bootstrapping). And looking at what Apple has done for itself during the recent 3-4 years, I think it's on the right way. Especially without always looking at its market share, for the above reasons. Although, if Apple would take over 90% of the computing and gadget market, I wouldn't object, unless it would lose it's attidude: 'Think: "Different"! ' <img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />

[ 12-29-2001: Message edited by: heinzel ]

Ummh... just read the "Apple must revolutionize or..." thread - sorry for being so redundant, everybody, but thank you Appleinsider for letting me let it all out, finally

[ 12-29-2001: Message edited by: heinzel ]</p>
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post #12 of 17
[quote]Originally posted by Aphelion:
<strong>What would I want? I'd like a remote touch sensitive screen that can control and display anything that any AirPort equipped Mac can do. Make it thin and light, and cheap enough to be affordable. Give it a programmable IR port so you could control your TV and stereo with it. Leave it on the coffee table with the screen saver showing your favorite pictures. At $699 I think we'd all get one eventually.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes, I suppose that would be cool in some ways. But what exactly would I *do* with it. If its just a screen then I can't type on it, I couldn't do much since I would have to be near an airport enabled computer to use it. I think the iBook is the answer to any use for the market you are aiming at. If I am at home, I'll go to my desktop computer and use it. Why would I want to sit 50 feet away and use my finger to move the mouse around when the Power/i Mac is sitting right over there. Steve will never do anything like this "Tablet" you are describing. For one, its far too risky. And the added IR port to control your TV is also of no interest to Steve. He wants no part of any convergence. And anyway, I have a remote for my TV, and it works great.
post #13 of 17
Heinzel, are you saying that Apple should not try to increase its market share so it can keep that small *special* user base that it has: an exclusive Mac club that we don't want anyone else in?

I'm sure that's not what you're saying, but that's basically what I got from your post.

I personally would like for Apple to increase its market share for the sake of those who don't use Macs. If Apple's market share goes up, that means that more people are realizing the usability, style, and solid platform that is the Macintosh Computer.

If MS were to offer something as stable and efficient, fine. The problem is that they don't. PC hardware and software makers have all reduced themselves to the lowest common denominator to preserve low prices for products that just aren't as good as they can be.

Those same companies realize that Apple Computer, Inc. is a formidable opponent and potentially dangerous. The cool thing is that Apple keeps itself in a position that PC makers will never have to worry about REAL competition.

Goodness help MS, Dell, and their cronies if Apple ever takes off.
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post #14 of 17
2 5.25 inch bays in the powermac and front mounted USB and firewire ports. PLEASE
post #15 of 17
CosmoNut, I totally aggree with you. I do NOT want Apple to try and serve an exclusive group of users but neither the lowest common denominator, i.e. be cheap (as in junk) or just: faster. All I wanted to say is that Apple is mainly about the experience (including zippieness, etc.) and no matter if they'll grant us the G5 in Jan. or not, I am happy with them stressing that point (which seems to slowly become a differentiator in the PC world, too, since at post 2 GHz, raw performance advantage won't matter to the average Word user anymore). Therefore, "market share" (as in: trying to get more by letting clones be sold; Man, that REALLY worked, didn't it?) shouldn't be the objective at all but rather, how to make the experience even better (which will eventually get them the market share increase).
I guess others have made my point more eloquently and shorter (thank you, Hi Ho Quicksilver).
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post #16 of 17
What jobs thinks of clones.

<a href="http://www.np.edu.sg/~pcb/macnp/events/" target="_blank">http://www.np.edu.sg/~pcb/macnp/events/</a>

Bottom right of the page/ clone licenscing quicktime video. Takes a second to load, but empahsizes how Jobs feels about clones.
post #17 of 17
[quote]Originally posted by specialkbdc:
<strong>I have been viewing on these boards for a couple years and without fail people are always yearning for wildly improved specs and drastically reduced prices. For some reason, it seems like this is a little hard to do in one blow.

Why can't most realize that Apple will never price their product at Dell-like prices? We pay a premium for our OS and we pay a premium for all the little things that make the Apple experience.

Honestly, I would wager most people on here are above the average national income and a couple hundred bucks here or there are not going to break anyone. As an Apple stock holder, I am intrigued by a low priced entry level iMac, but I also realize that Apple's strong margins are a big part of its profitability and solvency.

So here me roar Apple - I have no problem with your prices, keep the price lineup exactly what it is. All I ask is for reasonable improvements that professionals need and consumers want.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I think $499 iMacs recently is about as cheap as anyone could realistically imagine.
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