Apple cuts 512GB, 1TB SSD upgrade prices by up to $200 on older Mac models

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited November 2016
It appears Apple's push toward an all-flash storage Mac lineup is driving an amortization of SSD costs for the tech giant, as the company recently cut upgrade pricing for 512GB and 1TB modules on older Mac models.


Source: iFixit


Quietly announced through Apple's online storefront, the new pricing nets buyers an up to $100 savings on 512GB configurations and up to $200 for 1TB modules, and appears to have gone into effect shortly after last week's MacBook Pro unveiling.

Previously, Apple charged between $200 to $500 for a 512GB SSD upgrade, depending on Mac model and base configuration, while the 1TB option sold for between $700 and $900. With the updated pricing, shoppers in the market for a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iMac or Mac Pro can save up to $200 on custom high capacity configurations. The 2015 MacBook does not benefit from the price drop.

For example, adding a 512GB SSD to Apple's base model 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display now costs $400, down from $500 prior to the change. The high-end version of that same computer retains a $200 price tag for 512GB of storage, but gets a $100 drop in 1TB SSD pricing to $600.

Similarly, the 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display 512GB SSD configuration drops from $500 to $400. Custom 512GB and 1TB SSD configurations for all Mac Pro models now cost $200 and $600, respectively, down from $300 and $800 prior to last week.

On the MacBook front, upgrade pricing for the configurable version of Apple's 13-inch MacBook Air comes in at $200 for a 512GB SSD, a savings of $100. The MacBook Pro also benefits from lower SSD costs, with legacy 15-inch model upgrades selling for $200 and $600 for 512GB and 1TB, respectively, down from $300 and $800.

Finally, Mac mini upgrade prices drop from $300 and $800 for 512GB and 1TB configurations to a respective $200 and $600.

MacRumors reported on the price change earlier today.

Apple last week updated its flagship MacBook Pro line, an important series in the company's computer lineup. On the top end are completely redesigned 13- and 15-inch models featuring a slim-and-light chassis, reduced internal volume, an all new OLED Touch Bar interface with Touch ID and wide color gamut Retina display. An entry level 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar also debuted at a more affordable price point. All three notebooks integrate an all-flash storage architecture, with SSD drives ranging from 256GB to a new 2TB option.

To grab the lowest prices on Apple's new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, as well as older Mac models, see AppleInsider's Mac Price Guide.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    tomo.commenttomo.comment Posts: 7unconfirmed, member
    'Up to' $200. From $800 to $600? It's still super expensive just for storage. That's why they introduced the Fusion Drive. And they charge the same $800 on the older Macbook Pro. Why? Because they know nobody pay $800 for desktop, but some people pay $800 rip-off on laptops. But they charge less on new laptops. Why? Because they want to force us to buy new ones. Up-sell. They kept the older models just in order to say 'it starts from $1299.'
    schlackavon b7frankeed
  • Reply 2 of 12
    dougddougd Posts: 201member
    Good but why no 2TB option ?
  • Reply 3 of 12
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,840member
    No change on Mac Pro?
  • Reply 4 of 12
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,785member
    'Up to' $200. From $800 to $600? It's still super expensive just for storage. That's why they introduced the Fusion Drive. And they charge the same $800 on the older Macbook Pro. Why? Because they know nobody pay $800 for desktop, but some people pay $800 rip-off on laptops. But they charge less on new laptops. Why? Because they want to force us to buy new ones. Up-sell. They kept the older models just in order to say 'it starts from $1299.'
    Up-sell and lock in. If you want more it has to be from them and at time of sale. They don't want you getting a faster, cheaper third party options down the line. There are many areas where they need to change their attitude. This is just one of them.
    frankeed
  • Reply 5 of 12
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,334member
    If Apple gave away extra RAM on the Mac Pro at this point would it make one extra sale?
  • Reply 6 of 12
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Why Apple RAM and SSD prices are 2 to 3 times more than exactly the very same product from manufacturer or other resellers like Amazon?
  • Reply 7 of 12
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,374member
    appex said:
    Why Apple RAM and SSD prices are 2 to 3 times more than exactly the very same product from manufacturer or other resellers like Amazon?
    Can you show me this "exactly the very same product"? I'm especially curious who else has been selling extremely fast PCIe SSDs that are both sideways mounted and use an Apple designed controller.
    redgeminipamike1
  • Reply 8 of 12
    appex said:
    Why Apple RAM and SSD prices are 2 to 3 times more than exactly the very same product from manufacturer or other resellers like Amazon?
    RAM and SSD have many intricate parameters that don't figure in sales specs of shopping sites. You need to download product data sheets from the manufacturers to get an idea.
    Soli
  • Reply 9 of 12
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,748member
    "driving an amortization of SSD costs for the tech giant"

    Not amortization. More like economies of scale.
    Soli
  • Reply 10 of 12
    neilmneilm Posts: 546member
    So now Apple's SSD upgrade pricing is down slightly from "outrageously ridiculous" to merely "insulting".

    For reference, bumping the base 256GB up to 512GB costs $200, and from there to 1TB is another $400. Yes I do know that these are very fast drives, but we also know that as basic naked modules with standard PCIe interfaces their manufacturing process is less expensive than conventional SATA SSD's.

    (Apparently I'm willing to be insulted, since I have a new 13" rMBP Touch Bar with 1TB storage on order.)
  • Reply 11 of 12
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,182moderator
    appex said:
    Why Apple RAM and SSD prices are 2 to 3 times more than exactly the very same product from manufacturer or other resellers like Amazon?
    Apple uses MLC memory so it should be compared to the premium SSDs. Cheaper SSDs use TLC, which have much lower write endurance. The Samsung 850 Pro is MLC. Just now this is priced at ~$0.45/GB. Apple's upgrades are $0.78/GB so they charge 73% more than what you can get retail but that's around the best retail price. Those retail drives are also mostly SATA drives, the PCIe ones cost more, like the Samsung 960 Pro ( https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-960-PRO-Internal-MZ-V6P1T0BW/dp/B01LYRCIPG ), which is $0.61/GB.

    The accessories and upgrades are often where manufacturers make the best margins. Apple's net margins are 25% so after costs, they make $750 on a $3k MBP, maybe lower as their company net margins are mostly set by iOS devices and Macs are less profitable. If they are making 73% premium on the SSD, charging $1597 for 2TB is where a SATA one on Amazon is $816, they can double the margins on the machine.

    I don't think a premium of 28-73% here is excessive, especially the comparisons with SATA drives as these are 5x faster than retail SATA drives. These aren't going to be shipping in as high a volume as SATA drives just now but as more computers change to shipping SSDs internally, they'll switch to PCIe SSDs vs SATA and this will bring the prices down a bit. I reckon people will have a lot less problems with SSD pricing when it's around $0.25/GB. For Apple, I expect that will be 4 years from now.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,727member
    It's funny, I always had Mac Pros (cheese graters) with massive internal storage maxed out to whatever was available at that time,  through the years. The last one I had back in 2012 used 4x  2 TB internal Barracudas including the boot drive.  When I got my new Mac Pro with  its 256 GB internal SSD I was bemused to say the least.  Then I started to see a massive benefit.  I made sure absolutely everything that could be on an external high speed 6 TB RAID via Thunderbolt was ... Aperture Libraries (now Photos too), Music Libraries and so on.  I even made Symbolic Links for the likes of Logic Pro X's massive additional data files.  Eventually I whittled the actual amount of 'stuff' on the boot disk to around 150 GB leaving 100 GB free.  This made making Carbon Copy Clones of my boot disk, be they onto other 256 GB (now very cheap) SSDs and also onto externals as disk images, well sparsbudle images actually, a breeze.

    However I made them it takes just a few minutes, it's blindingly fast as is a restoration if required.  I have versions of every boot configuration going back to the day I bought it and playing with the latest developer betas is no sweat as I have clones to revert back to if needed (not that I ever had to).  I also have several Windows 10 boot SSDs too (made with WintoUSB) .  

    The thought of increasing the internal on my New Mac Pro now is an anathema to me, I love the small 256 GB  boot disks on modern desktop Macs! :smile: 
    edited November 2016
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