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

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 94
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    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?
  • Reply 2 of 94
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    chris_ca wrote: »
    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
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 94
    sirdirsirdir Posts: 114member
    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'...

  • Reply 4 of 94
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sirdir wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 5 of 94

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

     

    Winter begins at the Solstice, on December 21.

  • Reply 6 of 94
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,124member
    Marvin wrote: »

    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.
  • Reply 7 of 94
    neilmneilm Posts: 640member

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

  • Reply 8 of 94
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    rogifan wrote: »
    sirdir wrote: »
    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.
    pianophile wrote:
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 94
    It comes with an Apple Genius who lives in the owner's mother's basement.
  • Reply 10 of 94
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,372member
    Marvin wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 11 of 94
    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!
  • Reply 12 of 94
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,902member
    rogifan wrote: »
    But are they really losing sales because it's available in Dec and not Oct/Nov?

    Not likely.
  • Reply 13 of 94
    sirdirsirdir Posts: 114member
    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...

  • Reply 14 of 94
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 94
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,716member
    What an Apple Tax! /s

    Kudos to the buyer and everyone involved.
  • Reply 16 of 94
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,429member
    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.

  • Reply 17 of 94
    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.

  • Reply 18 of 94
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    sirdir wrote: »
    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.
    sirdir wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 94
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    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.

  • Reply 20 of 94
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member

    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.

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