MacBook Air pricing

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Can somebody please explain to me how the entry level MacBook Air can possibly be more expensive than the MacBook?



How can REMOVING components ADD to the cost of the unit?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    maffrewmaffrew Posts: 166member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Messiah View Post


    Can somebody please explain to me how the entry level MacBook Air can possibly be more expensive than the MacBook?



    How can REMOVING components ADD to the cost of the unit?



    Miniaturisation costs money
  • Reply 2 of 23
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,797member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Messiah View Post


    Can somebody please explain to me how the entry level MacBook Air can possibly be more expensive than the MacBook?

    • 1.8" HDD more expensive than 2.5" HDD.

    • Custom CPU doubtless costs muchos monies.

    • Backlit keyboard more expensive than non-backlit keyboard.

    • Aluminium more expensive than plastic.

    • More expensive manufacturing/assembly process.

    • L.E.D. backlight more expensive than cold cathode.

    For the hundredth time, compare this notebook to other ultraportables, then come back here and try to tell us the MacBook Air is overpriced.
  • Reply 3 of 23
    i think macbook air is at the right price. just because it is out of your price range doesn't mean it is overpriced.
  • Reply 4 of 23
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eddieaus View Post


    i think macbook air is at the right price. just because it is out of your price range doesn't mean it is overpriced.



    Agreed. I'm sure the engineers at Apple (or the bean counters or somebody) are steamed about now: "Sheesh we put together this awesome compact bundle in 3 lbs AND priced it aggressively at under $2000 while the competition is $2200 or $2400 and these no-nothings say it should cost under $1000!!"



    Also from a marketing perspective it's nice that the Air will be tempting to both MacBook and MacBook Pro markets without making either look out of whack pricewise. Don't be surprised if the sexy ads for the Air don't result in higher sales of the less-sexy and more affordable MacBooks. Remember, the Air isn't REPLACING anything. It's an addition to the product lineup for people like me who want the most portable Mac they can get--and will pay the premium that fancy engineering demands,
  • Reply 5 of 23
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    I think you guys are confusing miniaturization with reduction.



    There's a very big difference. If Apple had managed to shoe-horn a fully featured MacBook in to that size of enclosure then yes that would have been a feat of miniaturization, and yes that would have cost money. But that is not what Apple has done, they've simply removed components, and it doesn't cost money to remove components.



    Underclocking the processor doesn't cost money. Stripping out the USB and Firewire ports doesn't cost money. Stripping out the SuperDrive doesn't cost money. Stripping out the Ethernet doesn't cost money. Stripping out the upgradeable DIMM slots doesn't cost money.



    The use of aluminium over plastic can only cost pennies. Likewise, does the cost of a 1.8" drive over a 2.5" drive really justify what Apple's asking?



    The standard MacBook's motherboard isn't that much smaller than the MacBook Air's. All they've really done is remove several components, or substitute an internal battery for a replaceable one, in order to meet their self-imposed volume requirements.



    As for the Intel processor being 'custom' that remains to be seen. AFAIK, all SJ said was that they 'asked' Intel to shrink the size of the CPU ? there may have been other manufacturers asking the same thing and we may well see other manufacturers using the same part.



    If Apple released a cut-down version of the Mac Pro, with one underclocked processor, memory soldered on to the motherboard, one 80GB hard disk, no PCI, no FireWire, one USB, no Ethernet, integrated graphics ? would you pay more than a Mac Pro because it came in a smaller enclosure?



    If you believe that miniaturization costs money, then the 17" MacBook Pro should be the cheapest machine in the range and the iPod Shuffle should cost more than an iPod Nano.



    The MacBook Air is nothing more than 'Executive Jewellery' and it's going to bomb worst than the Cube.



    And for the last time, I don't care what Apple's competitors charge for their executive jewellery ? they aren't selling product either!
  • Reply 6 of 23
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Again, and as per Mr. H above, the obvious answer is "go look at other notebooks in this segment and ask yourself why every other manufacturer charges more than their full sized offerings for ultra-portables with lesser processors, smaller, lower resolution screens, smaller, cramped keyboards, no optical drive, etc., etc.."



    Apple's version of an ultra-portable leaves out some of the things other manufacturers include, such as more dedicated ports, slots, or upgradable ram, but counters that with things the others guys don't have, like full sized, back-lit keyboard, multi-touch track pad, better processor and a larger screen. And they do it at a price point that is quite competitive, with other machines in this segment.



    If you can't understand why these machines cost more, then you have a beef with the computer industry in general, not just Apple.
  • Reply 7 of 23
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,797member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Apple's version of an ultra-portable leaves out some of the things other manufacturers include, such as more dedicated ports, slots, or upgradable ram, but counters that with things the others guys don't have, like full sized, back-lit keyboard, multi-touch track pad, better processor and a larger screen. And they do it at a price point that is quite competitive, with other machines in this segment.



    If you can't understand why these machines cost more, then you have a beef with the computer industry in general, not just Apple.



    Well said.
  • Reply 8 of 23
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    The MacBook Air is the new Cube. The unit is over-priced and under featured. It will not sell well. Apple should have included the portable SuperDrive, Apple Remote, and Ethernet to USB adapter to make it slightly more attractive. Right now who would be stupid enough to buy a MBA versus a MBP? People who like to waste money thats who.



    Mac users have been crying for a sub-notebook for years, not an ultra-portable notebook. There is a difference. The MacBooks are a little over a inch high, the MacBook Pro's are under a inch. I can't imagine this is an issue for anyone.



    Dave
  • Reply 9 of 23
    icfireballicfireball Posts: 2,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    The MacBook Air is the new Cube. The unit is over-priced and under featured. It will not sell well. Apple should have included the portable SuperDrive, Apple Remote, and Ethernet to USB adapter to make it slightly more attractive. Right now who would be stupid enough to buy a MBA versus a MBP? People who like to waste money thats who.



    Mac users have been crying for a sub-notebook for years, not an ultra-portable notebook. There is a difference. The MacBooks are a little over a inch high, the MacBook Pro's are under a inch. I can't imagine this is an issue for anyone.



    Dave



    You could be correct that it will not sell well, but there is a HUGE difference between the Cube and the MacBook Air. And that difference is while the cube attempted to be miniature and cute just for kicks, the MacBook Air is miniature for the sake of mobility. I can definitely see how people who use a desktop as their primary computer would want a MacBook Air as a supplementary computer for mobile purposes. If they travel a lot for instance.
  • Reply 10 of 23
    I think the MBA is fairly priced. I should disclose, I pre-ordered one yesterday, and have an infinity for small laptops, thus, I am currently playing with my latest toy, an Asus Eee.



    To those those who argue it is underfeatured, that's your opinion, which is fine. No machine is going to meet everyone single persons needs. This is why Apple has other notebooks in its line up, like the regular MB and the MB Pro. So, if you don't like the MBA that's fine, go spend your money on something that meets your needs. I just hope you don't waste your money on a PC!
  • Reply 11 of 23
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    You have an affinity for small laptops.



    And as far as missing features being no big deal, think about why they had to introduce an entirely new (to Apple, not to the industry) feature to make up for a glaring omission (remote disk install).
  • Reply 12 of 23
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Messiah View Post


    Can somebody please explain to me how the entry level MacBook Air can possibly be more expensive than the MacBook?



    How can REMOVING components ADD to the cost of the unit?



    Because its designed to go at the low end of the MacBook Pro line (sleek design, all aluminum case, etc.), which is exactly where it is priced.



    Removing components adding to the cost ... well that's what Apple are experts at.
  • Reply 13 of 23
    serranoserrano Posts: 1,806member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by groverat View Post


    You have an affinity for small laptops.



    And as far as missing features being no big deal, think about why they had to introduce an entirely new (to Apple, not to the industry) feature to make up for a glaring omission (remote disk install).



    It's not even a new feature for Apple. It's just a shared remote disk.



    The sales figures will be interesting - I'm beginning to think this product is so niche I'm the only guy it makes sense for!
  • Reply 14 of 23
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by serrano View Post




    The sales figures will be interesting - I'm beginning to think this product is so niche I'm the only guy it makes sense for!



    I like it. For the past three years I have been lugging around a 17" PB, which has done well, but it is neither a good full-featured computer nor a good portable. I really need two computers and this would be one of them.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post


    Because its designed to go at the low end of the MacBook Pro line (sleek design, all aluminum case, etc.), which is exactly where it is priced.



    I'd argue that it's the low end of the MacBook line. The Pro machines are characterised as having discreet graphic chipsets with dedicated RAM and top-notch high-res screens. They are fully featured workstations that you can chuck in your rucksack. Aside from the aluminium enclosure and the backlit keyboard, there's nothing remotely pro about the Air. It never ceases to amaze me that people are willing to pay such a premium for an aluminium enclosure – look at the spec people!



    Also with regards to price, it's possible to spec a top-of-the-range 17" MacBook Pro with a high-res screen upgrade cheaper than the MacBook Air. So, on paper, you're buying a machine that has a lower spec than a MacBook, when you could have a MacBook Pro cheaper. But hey, it fits inside an envelope and that appears to be all some people care about!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post


    Removing components adding to the cost ... well that's what Apple are experts at.



    I couldn't agree more.
  • Reply 16 of 23
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sammy Davis View Post


    I like it. For the past three years I have been lugging around a 17" PB, which has done well, but it is neither a good full-featured computer nor a good portable. I really need two computers and this would be one of them.



    Just out of interest, how is the 17" not a fully featured computer? What is it missing?
  • Reply 17 of 23
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    The MacBook Air is the new Cube. The unit is over-priced and under featured. It will not sell well.



    I absolutely agree, and it won't be until independent reviewers start to test it properly that people will start to realise what a lemon it is. Try pulling your 30GB iTunes or iPhoto library across a WiFi network. Try installing CS3 from a Remote Drive and see how long it takes you. And what happens when Mr. Roadwarrior rocks up to a hotel that doesn't offer WiFi?



    The MacBook Air is nothing more than Executive Jewellery, and if you're one of the people that quite fancies one, wait a few months ? there will be plenty on Ebay going cheap.
  • Reply 18 of 23
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by birdwellcc View Post


    This is why Apple has other notebooks in its line up, like the regular MB and the MB Pro. So, if you don't like the MBA that's fine, go spend your money on something that meets your needs.!



    That's a good point ? it's not as though the MacBook and MacBook Pro are no longer available. If anything, the MacBook Air has only served to remind me how lucky we are to have the MacBook and MacBook Pro families.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by icfireball View Post


    You could be correct that it will not sell well, but there is a HUGE difference between the Cube and the MacBook Air. And that difference is while the cube attempted to be miniature and cute just for kicks, the MacBook Air is miniature for the sake of mobility.



    Well yes and no. You could argue that the both the Cube and the Air offer less functionality than their full-sized counterparts, at a much higher price. In that respect, they are similar.



    I'm just not convinced that it costs extra to remove components. I guess we'll see when someone reverse engineers an Air and provides an estimate of the cost to manufacture one of these machines. I suspect it will set a new record.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    If you can't understand why these machines cost more, then you have a beef with the computer industry in general, not just Apple.



    Yes, I have a beef with the computer industry in general ? but none of the other manufacturers come close to the amount of spin that Apple puts on it's products.
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