Originally Posted by digitalclips
The term 'overpriced' is somewhat debatable.
Is a computer that is so low in price that it is total crap in design and implementation and the OS it runs is poorly written really a good deal? If so I know some cars in Russia the lady should buy too.
On the other hand does a computer that enables a good profit for the manufacturer and therefore the hiring of the brightest and smartest in the industry that can create an OS that is light years ahead and design hardware that is truly awesome ... make for a bad deal?
Plus remember the latter computer is still worth 50% of its initial price three years later whereas the former one is landfill fodder (and not even green at that!).
There is an old adage that fits here ... M$ buyers beware ... 'you get what you pay for'
Is that irony?
Of course price is debatable. I am representing my point of view, which you might not share.
Then again, for me your point is pure cliché.
Insisting that all PCs are lower built quality than Macs, that is. True you can buy some cheap systems (or components if you prefer to build yourself) but you can also get high-end parts and still save significant money compared to Macs.
Since I've just built my new system, let me give you an example. Prices are in New Zealand Dollars, and, though I did build it myself, I could have it built in the shop I've purchased parts from for free (so I didn't save anything regarding that):
CPU: Intel C2Q 9550 2.83GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA EP45 - UD3R
RAM: 8GB G-Skill Black Edition DDR2 900 4-4-4-12
HDD: WD 1TB
Power: Silverstone Decathlon 650W modular
Case: Lian-Li PC-7S aluminium
Monitor: Samsung 24" (still choosing it)
Graphics: HT ATI Radeon 4870 1GB
OS: Vista Ultimate 64 OEM (already had it but for fair compare)
If you are interested in hardware, you'll find out that - quality wise - all parts are high end. I actually sacrificed going Intel i7/X58 platform for getting top quality parts for C2Q/P45 platform.
All together, price will be (once I have my monitor) between NZ$3000 and 3100.
Here in NZ, 24" iMac with C2D 2.93/4GB/640GB/GT120 would cost me NZ$4000 (official Apple price - could be a bit cheaper on street, not sure). And it is still way bellow specs wise.
Entry Mac Pro with single 2.66GHz Xeon/3GB/650GB/GT120 would cost me NZ$5600. I think my system can hold it's ground against it - and then some.
Back to the original question - quality. What do we really know about Mac quality - regarding components? For example, I know that my motherboard comes with all solid state caps, 2oz copper layer (compared to common 1oz - for better heat distribution and cooling), ferrite core chokes, lower resistance MOSFETS, heatpipe cooler design for chipset etc. But what do we know about motherboards in iMacs? Who is behind Apple's power supplies and what are characteristics? RAM chips manufacturer..?
All I can see is perceived quality... but from what I could read about various problems different Mac models and generations have/had, I'm not convinced that perceived quality really translates in actual quality.
At the end of a day, I'm still interested in having one OS X machine in my household, but I'm finding harder and harder to justify what I see as Apple's attempt to use great OS to sell me overpriced (and often outdated) hardware with good looks but unknown and questionable components quality. I would be very happy if Apple would explain - in details - why are their configurations so much more expensive than PC. Maybe I would change my position on pricing issue. But i doubt that. I don't believe that parts inside Apple desktops (primarily) and notebooks are anything out of ordinary. No magic there. If there was any, I'm sure Apple would talk about that much more as an argument to justify pricing.
And just one more short remark (true story, I swear); Last year I got beautiful, shiny all-aluminium external 2.5" CollerMaster X-Craft HDD enclosure, with great carry case, polishing cloth, manual... for NZ$50 (at the time); one of best looking enclosures I have seen (and exact reason why I purchased it impulsively).
All fine... except my 160GB WD HDD had all kind of problems with enclosure. Quick search showed a lot of people experiencing various problems with different X-craft enclosures. I got darn thing back and got cheap, NZ$15 ICZ enclosure. No polished aluminium, no fancy holster and polishing cloth.
But it works brilliantly.
And you don't always get what you paid for. Sometimes you get great bargain. Other times you might be ripped off.