Apple to introduce more affordable Macs, sources say

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  • Reply 41 of 293
    macslutmacslut Posts: 514member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    This is NOT good. I repeat, NOT good. Thus begins the slow, downward spiral to mediocrity. Do the previous posters really think Apple can produce cheap PCs like Dell without sacrificing quality, customer service, and margins?



    Yes.



    The price of computers used to be in a whole list of expensive components that went into them, and then you added the software, packaged, marketed and shipped them. Very little revenue ever came after the original purchase.



    Unlike Dell, Apple has no Microsoft tax. Apple puts OS X on its Macs and doesn't pay Microsoft for the OS install. OS X is a profit source for Apple because it continues to sell upgrades for it. The same goes for iLife.



    As the component costs of computers drop, the margin of the software costs increases. To make matters worse, customers see value in iLife, and are increasing put off by shovelware on PCs.



    While Apple has more expenses in R&D as well as certain material costs (aluminum vs plastic), these are offset by the OS and software costs, and likely increased revenue from various other purchases by the Mac owner.



    Apple is in a much different place now than it was just a few years ago. They should seriously consider lowering their margins on Macs to increase revenue from other sources and thus increasing profits overall.



    To be clear, a few years ago, Apple would've gone out of business selling Macs at unit cost. Now, while Apple shouldn't go THAT low, they could still be profitable by doing so because of the boost in other revenue streams.



    Because of this, Apple could be competitive on price while still maintaining superior quality. Really the line for them to draw is where the superior quality is perceived as worth the price by enough people to maximize profits. I'm sure they analyze the heck out of this every day.
  • Reply 42 of 293
    wheelhotwheelhot Posts: 465member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp

    This is NOT good. I repeat, NOT good. Thus begins the slow, downward spiral to mediocrity. Do the previous posters really think Apple can produce cheap PCs like Dell without sacrificing quality, customer service, and margins? If so then you live in a fantasy world. Just imagine what a $500 Macbook would look like. It would look like an Acer of course. I'm sorry but even Jon Ive can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. The drive for market share also drives down margins as Michael Dell has found out the hard way. You have to keep selling more and more just to break even.



    I hope the "we want cheap Macs" crowd doesn't get their wish any time soon. I would rather see Apple stop making Macs altogether before producing drab, black plastic abominations. Leave the trailer park market segment to Dell and the design-impaired nerd crowd.



    Definitely agree with you on this one. Those who don't understand, fails to understand how Apple do their business. Apple softwares are cheaper then Windows equivalent cause most of the price has been subsidized by the hardware cost! Which company will sell a professional photo management will Aperture at its current price and with 2 licenses! 1 for notebook and 1 for desktop.



    There are a few reasons why people stick with a Mac and if Apple decides to lower their prices considerably, this could jeopardize the fundamental reasons of owning a Mac.



    Furthermore, why do you think Apple manage to produce frankly speaking, remarkable basic softwares packages at prices that many people would never dream of, iPhoto has faces which I wish Aperture will have in the future, iMovie has improved considerably and GarageBand is useful for beginners. These 3 softwares that came bundled with each new Mac is generations ahead of Windows equivalent.



    Oh and not to mention I hate the current netbooks now, the only netbook Im comfortable using was the HP Mini, Vaio netbook was an utter disappointment. So if Apple say they are a piece of junk, I couldn't agree more
  • Reply 43 of 293
    MacMini back to 499. That would be a nice thing to happen. It used to be that price, and could probably easily go back!



    Maybe Apple can listen and make the xMac? Out of DESKTOP parts (instead of using the more expensive and less durable laptop parts in their iMacs). Using desktop parts you could reduce the cost, and come out with a cheaper Mac all the while keeping those premiums, er, margins.



    But no, expect nothing at all. They are doing good business, why change it?



    (And to those poo-pooing the netbooks... they really are decent machines! Margins aren't great, that is true, but I am always asked about mine and have sold over ten so far. I haven't sold a Mac in a few years, even in the instances where a Mac was needed. Reason, people feel they can't plunk down that kind of cash for what the machine really is, a PC. But Apple won't listen to this. Ah well, their loss.)
  • Reply 44 of 293
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    How much is Apple charging you, say for a 5 license family edition, of a new OS versus Microsoft? Microsoft's cost of entry is low bundled with a computer but Apple's solidly ahead when it comes to upgrading future computers IMO.



    Good point and I would like to add that it is important because many Macs owners upgrade to the latest OS as soon as possible and Macs also last a lot longer and can run OS newer than what came with it.



    Windows users generally don't ever upgrade their OS except for SPs and not surprisingly most Windows computers can't even run the next version of Windows. The only time Windows users upgrade their OS is when they upgrade their computer.
  • Reply 45 of 293
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,354member
    $599



    10" Touchscreen Widescreen Tablet with portrait or widescreen display.

    OS X Tablet version

    USB and Bluetooth input device support

    Dock

    iWork for iTablet included

    802.11n

    Sealed battery



    That would go a long way towards addressing Mac pricing concerns.
  • Reply 46 of 293
    lamewinglamewing Posts: 742member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    This is NOT good. I repeat, NOT good. Thus begins the slow, downward spiral to mediocrity. Do the previous posters really think Apple can produce cheap PCs like Dell without sacrificing quality, customer service, and margins? If so then you live in a fantasy world. Just imagine what a $500 Macbook would look like. It would look like an Acer of course. I'm sorry but even Jon Ive can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. The drive for market share also drives down margins as Michael Dell has found out the hard way. You have to keep selling more and more just to break even.



    I hope the "we want cheap Macs" crowd doesn't get their wish any time soon. I would rather see Apple stop making Macs altogether before producing drab, black plastic abominations. Leave the trailer park market segment to Dell and the design-impaired nerd crowd.



    You seem to think that cheap equates to poor quality. That it not necessarily the case and to make your argument based upon that idea is rather pointless.



    A cheaper Mac could easily mean a base Macbook selling for $799.00 instead of $999.00; a unibody Macbook selling for $999.00, etc. The profit margins on Macs is significant. Apple could drop the prices and simply make a smaller profit...but still a profit...and continue to provide their products as is.

    But, to answer your question, yes Apple could easily make a $500.00 laptop. Drop the internal drive. Drop the lighted keyboard. Use the Atom processors. Max the RAM at 2GB (the Air uses this much). Use a sturdy, but simple plastic enclosure. Use a 10 - 12 inch screen. It would not be that hard to do. None of the above would require mediocrity in the quality of an Apple product.
  • Reply 46 of 293
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    Windows already has a low opinion. It's just accepted that way by the masses. The same can be said (in the US) about the cell phone market too before Apple came into the game.



    I disagree with the cell phone comment. Most people that I know who have the iPhone love the "iPod Touch" portion of the device. As a phone, they say its a horrible device. Most of it is to blame on carriers. All of them have faults, big glaring faults.



    "The iPhone is an amazing phone, given you don't need a phone!" (Common joke at work)
  • Reply 48 of 293
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lamewing View Post


    You seem to think that cheap equates to poor quality. That it not necessarily the case and to make your argument based upon that idea is rather pointless.



    A cheaper Mac could easily mean a base Macbook selling for $799.00 instead of $999.00; a unibody Macbook selling for $999.00, etc. The profit margins on Macs is significant. Apple could drop the prices and simply make a smaller profit...but still a profit...and continue to provide their products as is.

    But, to answer your question, yes Apple could easily make a $500.00 laptop. Drop the internal drive. Drop the lighted keyboard. Use the Atom processors. Max the RAM at 2GB (the Air uses this much). Use a sturdy, but simple plastic enclosure. Use a 10 - 12 inch screen. It would not be that hard to do. None of the above would require mediocrity in the quality of an Apple product.



    Fully agreed! Owning two netbooks, neither of which are poor on quality (and both are out lasting the 3 MBPs I went through) Apple could still make a stellar MacBook Mini, and it would not skimp on quality. 500 seems reasonable.



    [Many posts today folks... sorry but I am so bored at work!]
  • Reply 49 of 293
    wheelhotwheelhot Posts: 465member
    Quote:

    Maybe Apple can listen and make the xMac? Out of DESKTOP parts (instead of using the more expensive and less durable laptop parts in their iMacs). Using desktop parts you could reduce the cost, and come out with a cheaper Mac all the while keeping those premiums, er, margins.



    But no, expect nothing at all. They are doing good business, why change it?



    (And to those poo-pooing the netbooks... they really are decent machines! Margins aren't great, that is true, but I am always asked about mine and have sold over ten so far. I haven't sold a Mac in a few years, even in the instances where a Mac was needed. Reason, people feel they can't plunk down that kind of cash for what the machine really is, a PC. But Apple won't listen to this. Ah well, their loss.)



    There is this thing called the premium market. An Apple seem to only be interested in the premium market, think of it this way, why many people dreamed of buying Merc or BMW? Cause there is a huge luxury stamp labelled on it and owning one is like a status quo. That is what Apple is also, why do students own Mac? Well some of them is to look cool and some to show that "I am from a wealthy family", now some people will whine that this is not a good thing and such, but look at Toyota, they decide to make for the mass and now they made losses! So what comes of this, cheaper does not necessarily be better, its how the company get it cards right. Why MS is currently so confused into what should they focus? Cause they want to monopolize everything which now cause their performance to degrade considerably. Apple is doing the right thing by just keeping an eye at the netbook market and not doing anything and instead focusing on its iPhone and iPod Touch platform.
  • Reply 50 of 293
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    Please don't misinterpret my article. Apple isn't going to make cheap PCs. That's not what this is about. It's about marginal yet noticeably more affordable Macs on par with the company's current standards. It could be as simple as taking the current models and lopping $100 - $150 off in a few months.



    I was very conscience of using the term "more affordable" rather than "cheap." I did this for a reason.



    K



    Unfortunately, those over at MR, misinterpreted your story as their Headline read "Apple to Introduce Cheaper Macs?"



    Their article goes on to say...



    "AppleInsider reports the Apple is preparing to introduce cheaper Macs as soon as this spring. The move reportedly comes in response to consumer buying patterns shifting toward cheaper computers, including those in the netbook category."



    Your work to educate those about the difference between "more affordable" versus "cheap" is not done yet.
  • Reply 51 of 293
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post


    I don't think you understood the article. It's clearly speculating that the prices of the computers will drop in price, therefor reducing the profit margin.



    Well i was trying to make the point that this is a ridiculous notion and one that Apple has expressly never done in it's entire history. It's the opposite of their business model.



    So I was *assuming* that AppleInsider was referring to the recent rumours of cell antennas being put in the MacBook to be announced at the upcoming WWDC, but being unable to break confidentiality to spell it out, that they simply referred to "changes" in the price.



    I probably shouldn't have used the term "ham-handed" because that implies a fail. I meant only to imply that AppleInsider was obfuscating and being kind of circumlocutory in the post, so as to get the meaning across without actually saying what it was.



    On reflection, it seems I read a heck of a lot into those spaces *between* the lines and could of course be totally wrong. However, it does seem like a total non-starter for Apple to reduce it's margins, which could have alarming and very bad consequences for Apple's future profitability and management.



    However poor you are and however poorly anyone thinks of Apple's current pricing structure, it would indeed be a very bad move for them to lower their margins, depression or not.
  • Reply 52 of 293
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    I was gonna buy a white MacBook this weekend but now I'll wait. It's only worth $899 tops anyway.

    I hope the MacMini drops to where it should be too- $500.

    Sorry MacMall- you just lost my April 30th deadline sale.

    To all of those who paid the higher prices- I feel your pain.
  • Reply 53 of 293
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 717member
    This isn't really news as Apple has been offering more and more value with each model change. Maybe not as fast as some would like (including me), but it's consistent and predictable. The iPods followed a more aggressive schedule and are blowing out the doors at this point.



    $100 here and there will add up. They will make it up in volume. I understood the writer's point. This isn't about 'cheap' Macs but taking advantage of any and all opportunities to lower prices as component prices allow.



    I'd like to see Apple adjust the prices as models age. We start out fantastic but by the end of the upgrade cycle, the offerings appear weak and overpriced.



    No one can be certain, but I'm guessing that Apple has not hit the optimal mark of the curve where Price x Quantity = Total Revenue. They are leaving some marketshare behind and focusing on margins.



    For what it's worth... I do think the stock would get battered a bit with a lowering of margins, but if the gains in marketshare were pronounced, the stock would recover and it'd set a firm base for future gains.
  • Reply 54 of 293
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    However poor you are and however poorly anyone thinks of Apple's current pricing structure, it would indeed be a very bad move for them to lower their margins, depression or not.



    I hope you meant "recession or not." In a depression, you get deflation -- but not in a recession. In fact in a recession, you more often see companies attempting to cut their costs in an effort to boost margins. They're trying desperately to preserve margins, not sacrifice them.
  • Reply 55 of 293
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    I'd like to echo other's sentiments here and state that cheaper does not mean lower quality. What I feel Apple should do is mainly focus on their Macbook line.



    Lower the price of the Unibody MacBook 13" to $999.



    Introduce a 15" MacBook with NVIDIA integrated graphics, 2.26GHz CPU for $1499



    Introduce a 17" MacBook with NVIDIA integrated graphics, 2.4GHz CPU and 1680x1050 LCD for $1999





    And a midrange desktop.
  • Reply 56 of 293
    llamallama Posts: 101member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    I was gonna buy a white MacBook this weekend but now I'll wait. It's only worth $899 tops anyway.



    I was totally happy with the price I paid for the two white MB's I bought my kids, but hopefully the price drops happen later rather than sooner.
  • Reply 57 of 293
    If the low-price Macs have any hint of cheapness or degraded quality, those of us who feel that the current Macs are fairly priced will call the new ones McMacs. I ought to trademark that!
  • Reply 58 of 293
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Why does everybody keep trashing Net Books on here? They are for the PC masses who just need to surf the internet and get mail. That's all- nothing more, These people have probably never run an application outside of their job in their life. Give it up already. So what if they're selling crazy? WHo cares?

    When Apple delivers a full powered small tablet or pad, Netbook users are not going to care at all because they would never have any use for all these Apps, power, etc to begin with anyway. All they want is a browser so they can shop and google. It's nothing to get upset about- people rant and rave about netbooks on here like someone is forcing you to buy it or they're snobbishly angry because it has no power and it's one more device in the PC camp.

    Apple makes the most amazing products however their lateness in coming to market for a small notebook/ pad/ tablet is getting really old fast. I've been lambasted on here for asking for a small device for over a year- I have no desire for the current laptop line- will get a white macBook as soon as the price drops. I hope something smaller comes sooner than later,
  • Reply 59 of 293
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,910member
    I'd be satisfied if Apple charged a non-inflated price for memory. How much profit do they want on memory that users can buy for a fraction of Apples price. It doesn't cost Apple any more than users can buy it for - actually less. Apples memory charges are outrageous.
  • Reply 60 of 293
    slapppyslapppy Posts: 331member
    Microsoft FUD campaign is easy to overcome. Conficker has cost 9+ billion dollars already and growing. Microsoft TAX yeah its real.
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