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Premium-priced MacBook Pros top sales at Apple retail stores

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Despite repeated calls from industry watchers for Apple to cut prices on its computer line, a new study reveals that sales of the company's premium-priced MacBook Pros are topping all other Macs at the majority of U.S.-based Apple stores.

An independent survey of the brick-and-mortar shops conducted by The Channel Checkers this past week found that 73%, or nearly three-fourths of the stores polled, reported that their best selling Mac this month was the MacBook Pro, which ranges in price from $2000 to $2800.

Only four of the fifteen stores questioned identified a system other than the MacBook Pro as their top seller, namely one in Houston that cited the aluminum 13-inch MacBook and another in New York City that pointed to the 2.66GHz iMac.

Two other stores, one in Jacksonville and the other in Sherman Oaks, said the MacBook Air and Mac Pro were their top sellers this month, respectively, but those same stores were the only two who said they were offering customers Mac discounts, and likely on those particular products.

Asked whether Mac sales were up during the month of February, 33% of stores said yes while the others said no. However, with 87% of stores doing nothing price-wise to compel consumers into buy a new Mac, Channel Checkers concluded that demand for Macs remains strong enough to support Apple's premium pricing model.

"Apple products are selling more slowly in February," the firm said. "However, despite the slower sales, demand remains strong enough that Apple does not need to discount products on a wide scale basis."

These findings arrive in the face of incessant concerns from Wall Street analysts and other industry watchers over the price of Macs, including Calyon Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi, who on Tuesday downgraded shares of Apple to underperform (sell) from outperform (buy) on the belief that the company's "premium-pricing model is vulnerable in today's recessionary environment."

The analyst's report came just hours after the aforementioned survey provided evidence that sales at Apple's retail stores are shifting to the company's most profitable products. Outside the Mac Pro, Apple's MacBook Pros generate the heftiest of Mac profit margins, suggesting the Cupertino-based company could make up in revenues some of what it loses in unit sales during the traditionally subdued March quarter.

Meanwhile, many of the company's largest resellers continue to take advantage of the MacBook Pro's higher margins by slashing the prices of the high-end notebooks by up to $270, as can be seen in our Mac Pricing Guide. This pushes additional units at no added expense to the Mac maker.



Apple doesn't seem to mind the friendly competition, either, with chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer recently saying he was pleased with the performance of the company's retail chain over the recent holiday quarter despite increased discounting and bundling from third-party Apple resellers.

While the shift towards MacBook Pro sales doesn't ring true for all of Apple's sales channels, independent checks by AppleInsider found that the 2.4GHz MacBook Pro is handily outselling the 2.4GHz MacBook this quarter as a close second to the top-selling 2.0GHz aluminum MacBook.

Piper Jaffray, a firm that analyzes monthly retail sales data from market research group NPD, recently crunched figures for the month of January and estimated that Apple would sell 2 to 2.2 million systems during the three-month period ending March, representing a mere 6 percent decline from the year-ago quarter.

"We believe this data will be perceived as a neutral or a slight positive given the uncertainty surrounding the [March] quarter," he said.
post #2 of 48
"Are sales up or down?" Yes/No.

That makes no sense, I assume Yes is up and No is down?

I'm not surprised the MPB is selling the best right now, isn't that the only model that has been updated lately while most others have been languishing for months?
post #3 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While the shift towards MacBook Pro sales doesn't ring true for all of Apple's sales channels, independent checks by AppleInsider found that the 2.4GHz MacBook Pro is handily outselling the 2.4GHz MacBook this quarter as a close second to the top-selling 2.0GHz aluminum MacBook.

This isn't surprising in the least. When people buy computers, they buy for value and the only model Apple sells that is worth the money is the Macbook Pro.

Good screen (despite glossy only), Firewire 800, Expresscard, easy upgrades for Ram, HD and battery, solid unibody design, excellent graphics performance. In terms of design, I'd say it's pretty near to being a perfect laptop.

The Mini is far too old now that it's terrible value. If you are spending £1000 or so, you'd be better getting a MBP than an iMac. What's the sense in buying an iMac for £1000+ when a cheap PC tower that is double the speed is half the price? The MBP is at least comparable to other laptops and comes out on top for value.

The Macbook has no firewire and a lower quality screen and slower graphics. Now that they made the aluminum model so expensive, it's not such a jump to go to the Pro.

I used a unibody MBP recently and I think it's a great machine but the room it was in had some bright overhead lights and the glare was blinding. If they make a matte 15" model and I was looking for a laptop, I wouldn't hesitate buying one - I'd probably wait for a refurb though.
post #4 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

"Are sales up or down?" Yes/No.

That makes no sense, I assume Yes is up and No is down?

I'm not surprised the MPB is selling the best right now, isn't that the only model that has been updated lately while most others have been languishing for months?

Haha, the first thing I noticed too. I suppose in the Jobs distortion field it's Yes, sales are up or No sales are not down

Also concur on the sales, the items that are newest are selling the most, no shocker there.
post #5 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

"Are sales up or down?" Yes/No.

That makes no sense, I assume Yes is up and No is down?

I'm not surprised the MPB is selling the best right now, isn't that the only model that has been updated lately while most others have been languishing for months?

Fixed. Was meant to say "Are Mac sales up in February?"

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post #6 of 48
The screens on those consumer MacBooks are so bad this is not a surprise. I love my Air.
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post #7 of 48
Maybe if Apple actually released updates for their other computers, they would sell better!

I'm not asking for full redesigns every 4 months, but if they're keeping the price the same, they need to do gentle specification bumps every so often, when Intel passes on a price cut or new CPU release, or the graphics chip is mildly updated, or RAM drops in price, or hard drive capacity grows for the same price. Keep the base platform the same - chipset, case design, etc - just bump to stay competitive.

Then when you do the chipset or case design bump, you can do it when appropriate, instead of to a fixed calendar (yearly, etc).

I must say that Safari 4 on my old iBook screams. The only problem is UI element scaling when you are zooming, but I am on Tiger still. Actually, maybe if I send a bug report now ...
post #8 of 48
well it's official. recession over.

thanks apple.
post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

"Are sales up or down?" Yes/No.

That makes no sense, I assume Yes is up and No is down?

If you read carefully, Yes means that sales are "up or down", and No means they are not meaning they are equal to whatever they are comparing to. I don't think that's what they ment though...
post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

The screens on those consumer MacBooks are so bad this is not a surprise. I love my Air.

I concur. The Macbook panels are almost as bad as the previous gen. Macbook panels. Otherwise I would probably own one. It's too bad that most people don't notice the difference, but for me the difference is striking. The Macbook Air is better, but too it's too bright. The MBP screen is great, but I'd much better prefer a smaller, lighter, cooler running, and cheaper Macbook, if not for the screen issues. I'm currently looking at netbooks..
post #11 of 48
How much of this data can be trusted?

After all, I doubt that Apple allows it's managers to talk to random people walking into stores asking about data. And the store crew aren't going to know much more than what they and some of their co-workers have sold.
post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by macless View Post

I concur. The Macbook panels are almost as bad as the previous gen. Macbook panels. Otherwise I would probably own one. It's too bad that most people don't notice the difference, but for me the difference is striking. The Macbook Air is better, but too it's too bright. The MBP screen is great, but I'd much better prefer a smaller, lighter, cooler running, and cheaper Macbook, if not for the screen issues. I'm currently looking at netbooks..

Yeah a 13" MacBook Pro (i.e. just drop in the Air's screen) would be ideal. I would pay the premium!
OK, can I have my matte Apple display, now?
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post #13 of 48
Mac Pro's top selling model at a store? That must have been some promotion!

I've heard some confusion over Mac models likely sales figures after the 70% notebooks headline came out. Here's my uninformed guess as to how they break down in general:


Model........%

MacBook.....30
MacBook Pro 25
MacBook Air 15

iMac........20
Mac Mini.....5
Mac Pro......5

{Dots for spacing as apparently repeat spaces are automatically stripped from comments.)


Like I said: mere guesses of the % of total Macs sold. Notebooks come to 70 and desktops to 30.

Note that all three lines of Mac notebook seem to sell very strongly. The MacBook Air was the top seller online at the UK Apple Store for most of last year. The Unibody overhaul clearly helped the MacBook and MacBook Pro out back in the autumn.

It's my guess that the iMac outsells the Mac Pro at 3 or 4 to 1. The iMac despite being long due an update is Apple's desktop flagship and an iconic machine with good exposure in any Apple retail environment. The Mini is stuck in a niche, especially as it's so horribly outdated. And the Pro the Pro is the Pro. Top dollar, power users only, bring your own professional software suite along for the ride.

That's why it amazed me the Mac Pro would be the top seller anywhere. Anyway, I'll stop pulling numbers out of dark places and pretending to be an analyst now
post #14 of 48
Well, I was one of those people that bought a Macbook Pro 15" in February. It really is an outstanding machine, and the complaints about the glossy screen (just my experience) are overblown...I even calibrated it and the color matches just fine with the professional lab I use. The trackpad is the nicest I've ever used on a laptop, and the keyboard is improved from the previous generation. The machine just oozes quality compared to the previous generation white Macbook I owned (which I thought was more shabbily built and did have a pretty crappy glossy screen).

I don't know how well Apple will manage through the recession, as times are very tough out there, but they did right by the unibody Macbook Pro line.
post #15 of 48
Well, those are the only models they've updated recdently, of course they are selling well. It's a good product. Mac Pros will sell well when they (finally) update them. Same with the iMac.
post #16 of 48
Once again... I'm thankful that Apple does not listen to the whiners complaining about how Apple is ruining everything. It seems that perhaps they know better than you do on how to run a business.

If they listened to you, they would have been out of business.

Back to your parent's basements all of you!!
post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

If they listened to you, they would have been out of business.

Or they would have been selling a lot more iMacs, Mac Minis and Mac Pros...
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

Or they would have been selling a lot more iMacs, Mac Minis and Mac Pros...

Or, equally plausibly, maybe not.
post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

The screens on those consumer MacBooks are so bad this is not a surprise. I love my Air.



REALLY?

I seem to remember you lambasting it to hell and back.
I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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post #20 of 48
The Air display is better than the new unibody MacBook's display.
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post #21 of 48
This can be seen one of two ways and each on the different end of the spectrum.

1) Macbook Pros are selling very strongly.
2) Macbook sales have dropped off to a point where the Macbook Pro sales have caught up.
post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

The screens on those consumer MacBooks are so bad this is not a surprise. I love my Air.

I remember you.... I'm still waiting for the type of pistol that was pointed to your head forcing you to buy an Apple product. You were really ranting on Apple in a previous thread...
post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by macless View Post

The Macbook Air is better, but too it's too bright.

You know there's a brightness control right?
post #24 of 48
I guess this survey was conveniently conducted BEFORE the arrival of the updated plastic Macbook.
Because the current Amazon notebook bestseller list tells a different story:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers...f=pd_ts_pc_nav

The only conclusion we can safely draw: The unibody Macbook didn't become a bestseller as expected.
But of course the missing FW port has absolutely nothing to do with it...
post #25 of 48
Of course the FW port has nothing to do with it, 99% of consumers don't care about that. The reason the white Macbook is such a success is it offers nigh on exactly the same features of the unibody 'books for less, not because it has firewire.
post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post

You know there's a brightness control right?

Yes, but it's still uncomfortable for me to look at for some reason, even if I play with the brightness setting. On the other hand I really like the IMac, MBP, and ACD panels.
post #27 of 48
Umm... Okay so the MacBook Pro is making up a larger percentage of sales, but what are the sales revenues and gross profit for each store, for Apple as a whole, in the US and Global? Those are the more important numbers.

I may have missed it, it's well and good to sell a lot of MacBook Pros but if your total units moved and revenue and gross profit decline from the year-ago quarter, that *is* of some concern.

Okay, I went back and read some more,

"Asked whether Mac sales were up during the month of February, 33% of stores said yes while the others said no."

"Piper Jaffray, a firm that analyzes monthly retail sales data from market research group NPD, recently crunched figures for the month of January and estimated that Apple would sell 2 to 2.2 million systems during the three-month period ending March, representing a mere 6 percent decline from the year-ago quarter."

So a 6 percent decline in unit sales, does that mean a 5-10% decline in revenue and 5-10% decline in gross profit from the year-ago quarter?

If looking at Macs alone we're seeing up to 10% decline in revenue and profit from the year-ago quarter, this is something I would consider serious and would need to be addressed with either price cuts on the Alu MacBook line, and just for f*ks sake update the gawdamn iMac and Mac Mini, and put out a fresh LED-backlit pro-level matte 30" or larger Cinema Display.

Maybe it's just me but for Apple to now face 10% lower units, sales and profit on the Mac side, even if other areas of business are growing, is actually quite a concern and we've yet to see Tim Cook bring his A game (I'm sure he has it, but post-Macworld we really need to see it). Things are a little too quiet on the Mac front.

Remember that these sexy MacBook Pros have been in development for a long time, and the models are now 4 months old, iMac and Mac Mini, Mac Pro staggeringly more.

There better be some serious sorting out going on at Apple. I think there is, but let's not take this too lightly. Sure the analysts will spin things positive because they need to stop the stock from dipping ever further. But let's look at the real Mac situation here.
post #28 of 48
I mean, iTunes side of the business is definitely growing, iPhone3G... what are the numbers on that... Overall Apple is healthy financially, more so than many other Tech companies, but if they rest too much on the iTunes and iPhone legs of the chair, things will get wobbly. They need to shore up the Mac scene soon. iLife'09, iWork'09, excellent, but the consumer/prosumer is like a rabid dog looking for a juicy leg to chomp on. We need more from the Mac business. Not saying more sales, we need more real *value* in there.
post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...The analyst's report came just hours after the aforementioned survey provided evidence that sales at Apple's retail stores are shifting to the company's most profitable products. Outside the Mac Pro, Apple's MacBook Pros generate the heftiest of Mac profit margins, suggesting the Cupertino-based company could make up in revenues some of what it loses in unit sales during the traditionally subdued March quarter...

Finally, I would say that this is a stopgap strategy, to make up lost profit in "shifting sales to more profitable products". Remember the traffic, interest and mindshare that Apple has globally is on a well-rounded, if sometimes limited, though I would say well-focused, portfolio of products.

Shifting too heavily to more profitable products means moving in a more-niche direction which is really not where the momentum is and could undo years of work getting Switchers, and so on. Going niche to "survive" the recession is a very risky move and I hope Apple is not doing this.

It could lead to a vicious-cycle of ever more finely-targeted Macs which cater to only certain demographics, possibly a downward spiral of lower number of units but higher profit margins, resulting in fewer units sold, etc.
post #30 of 48
Sales may be up in some stores, not up in others...That does not mean they are down.

Even if they were down somewhat (as compared to last year, when we had no financial meltdown to slow spending), that's to be expected in a depressing recession...

The meaningful way to gauge Apple sales is to compare it's sales to the rest of the computer industry's. That's the story.

WHile computer industry spending shrinks - BIG TIME, Apples sales grow. Statistics also show that more than 50% of Apple's computer sales are 1st time Mac buyers and previous Windows users...

Who needs that explained?
post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbw87 View Post

Of course the FW port has nothing to do with it, 99% of consumers don't care about that. The reason the white Macbook is such a success is it offers nigh on exactly the same features of the unibody 'books for less, not because it has firewire.

So you categorically state that as fact with absolutely no supporting evidence.

I will only speak for myself but Apple lost a planned MacBook Christmas sale when it left FW off the unibody MacBook. In fact it was worse for Apple because my money went to Panasonic (rather than just holding off on the purchase). By your calculations I'm in the 1% as my decision not to buy was 100% firewire related.

However, 1% means very little to me. Could you please convert that 1% into an absolute figure?
post #32 of 48
This article just goes to prove the old adage of, "There are lies, damn lies, and statistics."

Bluntly, this is all useless jibberish and questionable statistics.

So what if the MacBook Pro is the best selling computer. What is the rest of the story? Have the sales of MacBook Pros gone up or have the sales of the MacBook went down since they raised the price of the unibodies?

Also, at this point in the game what is more desirable increasing profits or increasing market shares?

See, to me this is the golden opportunity that Apple is squandering as they thumb their elitist nose. The economy is faltering and Micorsoft is struggling with Vista (good or bad consumer perception is generally that it is not good). Come next year Microsoft will be releasing Windows 7, possibly shutting the door on the opportunity that Vista presented for Apple to grow their market.

Right now if people are looking to by a computer the majority are going to be looking to buy an economical computer. Sure, there are always going to be those for whom the economy doesn't dictate, but Apple needs to decide if that small niche percentage is what they are going to be happy with or if they want to be the computer of the masses. My point is that if Apple wants to be more than "the rich man's" computer they are being dumb.

Dropping the price even as little as $100 and revamping the Mini would make an affordable Mac computer which people could buy now while the economy is poor. This could possibly create a customer for life. A person whom, when the economy gets better would have a vested interest in buying a better Mac. Dropping the price of the MacBooks back down to something even close to competitive could make the difference between that cash strapped student becoming a Mac user for life or another Windows drone.

I could be wrong, and I am not some super successful CEO, but then again I also haven't run a computer business with such an elitist air that they niched themselves virtually out of business. Steve Jobs might be a savvy businessman, but he has a past of NOT getting what is required to be successful. NEXT anyone? Apple is not infallable, and the old song and dance of "they know better than you" might be right, and it might be wrong. After all we are the ones coming to a Mac forum and we are their customer base.

So when a number of your customer base keeps saying that they want a more economical computer is it really foolish to expect that it would sale?
post #33 of 48
... as to WHY the MacBook Pro is outselling the MacBook?

FIREWIRE.

If this doesn't make Apple rethink crippling the MacBook, I don't know what will.

Apple, put FireWire back in the MacBook where it BELONGS!
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post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post

... as to WHY the MacBook Pro is outselling the MacBook?

FIREWIRE.

If this doesn't make Apple rethink crippling the MacBook, I don't know what will.

Apple, put FireWire back in the MacBook where it BELONGS!

Don't kid yourself

Go on any college campus and ask the 50% of users whether they've ever used FW, or even noticed that funny connector. The answer will be no, 100% of the time.
post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mknopp View Post

Right now if people are looking to by a computer the majority are going to be looking to buy an economical computer.

If people are worried and hunkering down, the SMART thing to do is to buy the MOST computer you can, hoping it will outlast the recession.

A MacBook Pro has all the features you'll ever need. You may not need some of them now, but what if you need them in the future and they're NOT there? Trying to add them later is EXPENSIVE or impossible.

It's the kind of rationalization that helped SUV sales take off...
What if I ever need 4-wheel drive? It's there if I ever need it.

Also, something that is expensive is something that is unreliable or you're forced to replace.

For instance: I bought a Miele vacuum cleaner back in the mid-80's for $300. At the time $300 was a LOT for me to spend for something like that, it cost about half a month's rent... New York City rent!

20+ years later, the thing still works and it's NEVER needed a repair! That was an economical purchase.

Buying a cheaper computer with fewer features is not economical, if your intention is to keep it for the long haul.
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post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by macless View Post

I concur. The Macbook panels are almost as bad as the previous gen. Macbook panels. Otherwise I would probably own one. It's too bad that most people don't notice the difference, but for me the difference is striking. The Macbook Air is better, but too it's too bright. The MBP screen is great, but I'd much better prefer a smaller, lighter, cooler running, and cheaper Macbook, if not for the screen issues. I'm currently looking at netbooks..

Man, what a great post! I had to register just to complement you.

Allow me to paraphrase:

"I am a hardcore computer guru, unlike the teeming masses. Using my hardcore guru-ness, I can tell the difference in the quality of these screens, nothing but the best is good enough for me. Oh, by the way, what I really want is a cheap piece of crap which probably can't accurately show more than 16 colors"
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mavfan1 View Post

Haha, the first thing I noticed too. I suppose in the Jobs distortion field it's Yes, sales are up or No sales are not down

Also concur on the sales, the items that are newest are selling the most, no shocker there.

You can spin it any way you like but when you look at Apple's success compared to everyone else in this market it is obvious they are doing something right.

Funny thing about a tough economy is it makes people spend their money more frugally. Overall everyone does cut back but on what they do buy they often buy they tend to care more about quality than before (at least on big items). This is because most rational people look at the cost more in terms of "if this computer only lasts through it's warranty can I afford to buy a new one in a year or 2?" Apple has repeatedly shown it's value here as there is still a healthy market for used PPC Macs.

Please, no one get me started on NetBooks. I know many will disagree with me but they have all the signs of a fad & are unlikely to continue their growth for much more than a year or 2. Fads are quick money, but then they often drop off rapidly taking whole companies with them.
post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Don't kid yourself

Go on any college campus and ask the 50% of users whether they've ever used FW, or even noticed that funny connector. The answer will be no, 100% of the time.

Yup, in fact I bet you could drop by a few 3rd party Apple retailers & more often then not have a sales guy tell you that the pros can't do firewire 400. I got the 15" Pro for several reasons but one of them being firewire. Now that I've seen the capabilities of the 9400M (I likey very much) I now find myself wishing I'd gone 13". I just never use Firewire & so I don't think I'll miss it.
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post



REALLY?

I seem to remember you lambasting it to hell and back.

Sure, but I have version two. And yes, I still find the pop-down door a dumb idea. Case in point; the Apple headphones don't even go in flush, fully, and yes, that's not on just on my Air, I've tested this. So yeah, the door is a stupid idea, I'd love more ports, but this version Air it just powerful enough. I like the screen and the weight of it, that's why I bought it. Oh Walter, you're such a cool guy.
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post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post

If people are worried and hunkering down, the SMART thing to do is to buy the MOST computer you can, hoping it will outlast the recession.

A MacBook Pro has all the features you'll ever need. You may not need some of them now, but what if you need them in the future and they're NOT there? Trying to add them later is EXPENSIVE or impossible.

It's the kind of rationalization that helped SUV sales take off...
What if I ever need 4-wheel drive? It's there if I ever need it.

Also, something that is expensive is something that is unreliable or you're forced to replace.

For instance: I bought a Miele vacuum cleaner back in the mid-80's for $300. At the time $300 was a LOT for me to spend for something like that, it cost about half a month's rent... New York City rent!

20+ years later, the thing still works and it's NEVER needed a repair! That was an economical purchase.

Buying a cheaper computer with fewer features is not economical, if your intention is to keep it for the long haul.

And what would you have done if you didn't have that $300? What if all that you had to spend was $100? My guess, you would have bought that $75 0r $100 vacuum and used it as long as you could. The most relevant point that you made, but seem to not grasp is "that you can".

My parent's eight year old computer is on its last leg. They are going to have to get a new computer soon. They do not have $2000 to spend on a computer. Period. It doesn't matter if it is the best damn thing in the world. It could make their beds and butter their toast, but the economics of the situation dictate that they cannot spend $2000 on a computer.

Hell, they can't even spend $1000. Times are tough, and comments like yours show that they really haven't affected you yet, which is good, but simply goes to demonstrate the complete disconnect between some computer company CEOs, the people who frequent this board, and the vast majority of the rest of the world.

So, I am praying that Apple pulls their head out of their ass and updates the Mac Mini soon. If they lower the price all the better. I really want to get my parents moved over to a Mac. It would make life simpler for all of us. However, if by the time my parents are ready to buy a computer Apple still insist on ignoring the majority of Americans who need to buy computers then I will buy another Windows machine for my parents. I can get twice the hardware for half the price and it will likely last them another six to eight years.

This is the opportunity that Apple is too proud to take advantage of. They could have a Mac in people's homes. They could be selling software updates to them for the next half decade. Then when they are ready for another computer if the people are in better financial straits maybe they will want to upgrade to that better system.

The simple matter is that right now, the MOST computer that many people can afford is below the price point that Apple offers. (At least that they offer on anything newer then two year old hardware.)
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