If you think Tim Cook is 'robbing' you, then so was Steve Jobs

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  • Reply 101 of 155
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    elijahg said:
    elijahg said:

    Is this report talking about gross margins or profit margins? Do you have a comparison of average selling prices over time?
    Meaningless to to this discussion.  When Dodge started selling the 12-cylinder Viper it would have had a positive effect on ASPs.   But it offered a lot more power and sportiness.  Apples latest iPhones offer a lot more performance and capabilities versus previous generations.  You’d expect ASPs to climb.  Gross margins is where the comparison should lay, and this article does a good job pointing out how they have not significantly moved during Cook’s tenure.
    The 2010 MBA had more performance and capabilities than the 2008 model but it was cheaper. Same with the $329 iPad compared to the original. Anyone who doesn’t see that Apple is offsetting slower/flat unit sales growth with price increases is blind. New flagship iPhones used to start at $649, now they’re $999. Now you can argue the XS is $350 better than 6 was, that’s obviously subjective but it’s still more expensive. Take the new Mac mini. Starts at $799. The previous entry point was $499. Again, one can argue that the new mini is way better and deserves the $300 price increase but the bottom line is you used to be able to get into the Mac ecosystem for $499 and now the cheapest entry point is $799. The previous entry point to iPhone was the $399 SE. Now the cheapest entry point is the $499 7. And the cheapest iPad used to be $259; now it’s $329. In the past you could get an Apple TV for $99; now it’s $179. It costs more to get into the Apple ecosystem that’s just a fact.
    Exactly, increasing prices to offset lower demand is never a good strategy. It works in the short term, but there's only so far you can go (and Apple's already there) before it affects sales in the medium to long term. I think Cook saw the revenue growth go negative in 2016, and to correct it just applied the easy fix of raise prices. The number one problem I and everyone I speak to has with regards to Apple products is the price. Apple gear is just not good value for money anymore. And articles like this don't help matters in Apple's favour; if articles excusing Apple's pricing need to exist, there's a big enough proportion of people who are concerned over the pricing, meaning there's a problem with it. People don't mind paying a bit more for quality and customer service, but people don't want to be ripped off.
    Like I said, it’s subjective whether someone thinks a product is priced fairly. But it absolutely is a fact that Apple products are getting more expensive.
    It is, there have always been a minority of people who have complained about Apple’s pricing, but they just weren’t Apple’s target market or couldn’t see how Apple’s devices were in fact good value. Apple doesn’t make machines for the budget end of the market so there’ll always be complaints from those people. The minority complaining about price has ballooned in recent years, and now seems to be the majority. Maybe Apple’s just trying to go after the high end; the Ferrari of the market - which would explain the pricing. Only thing is the performance doesn’t equate to the high pricing.
    That maybe used to be true.
    Latko
  • Reply 102 of 155
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    simply258 said:
    I just compared a Xs Max 512GB $1449 to a Note 9 512GB $1249, Apple’s premium is 16%. For that you get premium material (all glass, stainless steel), superior security, processor, screen among others. Noting that Samsung supply themselves with the display so it costs them less. Why doesn’t Samsung get some of this criticism?
    I don‘t know about the US, but in Germany Samsung sells the Note 9 with 512GB for 1249€ while Apples iPhone Xs Max 512GB can be had for 1649€. The prices outside the US are outrageous as Germany is not even really bad off. In other countries the differences to the US prices are even bigger. So your example just goes to show Apple is rightfully being criticized - at least outside the USA. 
    Except you can't compare hardware to hardware -- because with the Samsung you get a free OS that's worth every penny.   With the iPhone you get a great OS with ongoing virus protection and a plethora of Apple Ecosystem and services.   They aren't equivalent -- even if they have similar hardware specs.
    philboogieradarthekat
  • Reply 103 of 155
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    lkrupp said:
    Just saw a comment on Facebook about the market drop being led by Apple: "$1000 phones, what do you expect!"  LOL
    Well, the critics and haters have to have something to bitch about don’t they? For years it was performance, now it’s price. All the top flagship smartphones are approaching $1K but let’s single out the iPhone for ridicule. No amount of editorializing will stop the carping. The haters and disgruntled desktop crowd think they’ve found a new path to Apple’s doom and they will milk it for all it’s worth. Let them wallow in their negativity. Let them stew in their own hate filled juices. Let them be consumed by their own inadequacies. Let them think people who remain fans of the company are delusional.
    This kind of talk doesn't help address the problem. Calling them haters or disgruntled is considered 'gaslighting' and that's exactly what you're doing, in a defensive manner to deflect any Apple issues. There are angry people and there are ANGRY people. The users who have owned Apple products for years have a right to be angry and that doesn't make them haters. And when you call those people 'haters', it makes the situation worse and they would view you as arrogant or ignorant, even both which is much worse. 

    Gaslighting behavior like your's is EXACTLY the problem at forums from here to other websites and it draws in angry posters. 

    I, for one, have followed Apple for years and prefer their older products because they were well produced. I own a 2010-11 iMac which still works to this day, original iPad, iPad Pro 12.9, iPhone SE ( my previous phone ) and iPhone 7 ( now my current device). I also have stored away an original lime green iBook, PowerBook G4 Titanium (old school workhorse ), and G4 tower. Those last three computers plus my iMac were user upgradable on RAM and it was beautiful, providing me flexibility for my graphic design/dgitial art needs. Those old machines I've had were worth it which is why I'm still holding on to my iMac until I find something more practical to upgrade to ( and no, not the new Mac Mini which I have serious reservations about ). EDIT: I also have an original iPad (click wheel ) and iPod Touch. I also have a Lenovo Chromebook for daily webmail and browsing which gets the job done. No need for a fancy $2,000 laptop to do the basic things nor do I need it to talk to my iOS eco-system which is also connected to my wifi and wireless Brother laser printer. Simple set up. 

    Am I impressed with Apple's current direction? No. Not by a long shot. They can do far, far better than what they're offering. I'm not saying Steve Jobs was perfect, but at least, he kept the company in line under an 'iron fist' with a laser like focus on quality while on the other hand, you have Cook who doesn't have the mojo to get things back on the right track with products' quality control slacking. Under Tim's watch. There's a reddit topic going on now which is growing regarding the nickle and diming and I'm not going to link it here but you can find it. And it doesn't make them haters as they're pointing out what's wrong with the products and the pricing. 

    Here's a good example of what's wrong with Apple now. The new iPad Pro 12.9's industrial design looks nice but the problem was that this was what they should've went with in the FIRST place including a magnetic Pencil stylus to charge on. Surface got it right the first time which Apple pooh-poohed and then they do a 180 degree turn by going with that design after a few years. See the problem? It's called arrogance. The original iPad Pro worked fine for me and still does but I found charging it at the port side to be. . .weird as if it was some kind of 'sick joke' by someone inside Apple when Microsoft, OTOH, got it right the first time. However, the 12.9 size may be handy due to the portable nature of it which is fine, although had they gone with, say, a 20 inch iPad Pro, it would've been more practical for the professional creatives so that we can view images or projects at 100% actual scale. For example, comic book artists use an 11 x 17 illustration board for each page to be scaled down and if they do it on iPad Pro, they have to do a lot of zooming/scaling to see the whole thing while a larger tablet would make it easier, providing more room for palettes and seeing the entire image at once. Or page layout for magazine designers so that they can view both page spreads at the same time. This is why large screened monitors are handy for this reason.

    Although, I doubt having a  USB-C outlet to an external monitor for iPad Pro would solve the problem because the process would require looking at the monitor to view the image's actual print scale. Why Apple didn't come out with an actual touch screen monitor at 21 inches or larger to dock with iPad or other devices is beyond me. And it's NOT the first time Apple has made docking products. 

    Remember the Powerbook Duo Dock from the 1990s? Look it up. All Apple. If they can do this back then, they should've already done it again by now. 

    But that's just one example out of many. And that doesn't make me a hater. 
    I agree -- except you neglect to take into account the fact Tim is mostly operating in mature markets where major innovation is not really possible.  It changes the equation and, its very possible that, under those conditions Tim is out-performing Steve.

    But, to compare Tim to Steve you maybe need to compare the iPod to the Apple Watch -- both are new products superbly executed and evolved.  There I would say its neck and neck.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 104 of 155
    madan said:
    madan said:
    Marginal analysis has a lot of flaws that weren't taken into account in this article. For starters, MA assumes that items of comparable cost are taken into account, then the margins should match. Except that the average starting phone price today is higher, vis a vis salary increases, than the original iPhone-iPhone 5. Additionally, the average starting price for an Apple computer is also higher, for some models, vis a vis salary increases, than comparable models of just 3 years past. (ie: Mini, Air...et al.). That is, unless you think pv money conversions should increase by 50% on just a scant 4.5 years? No, of course not. That is going to leave a relative sense of increased cost (and rightly so), when people have to dip into their own pocketbooks more, to reach for the same class products, even if such products were proportionately profitable to Apple. This cognitive dissonance makes sense, because Apple is in fact choosing a higher economic target market (or in the iPhone X-XS case...shifting the market). Moreover, remember that as a whole, percentages represent disparities linearly. A constant percentage on higher sales will produce more money. A constant percentage on higher cost products will produce higher profits. If you price all your products 50% more expensive, even at comparable profit percentages, you'll make more money. IE: 40% profit off a Mac Mini (for example only, since the markup for the Mini is much higher than 40%), that costs 500 dollars, is approximately 200 profit. A 40% profit off a 700 Mac Mini will produce 280 dollars in profit. Shifting the market towards the higher price, forces customers to choose between the Apple product/ecosystem and an increased 80 profit increase (which is a relative 40% increase over the last profit... or a shift to a competing Windows platform. If Toyota kept their Camries profits at a constant 15% but raised the price from 25550 to 30550, their profits would increase, even as their marginal analysis would remain constant. Remember that iMacs were initially sub-1000 machines. Minis were significantly cheaper just a scant few years ago and apple laptops like the Air cost only 1000, compared to almost a 20% increase today. These are all intentional choices by Apple. Not accidental. Apple isn't a money-grubbing enemy but they're not cherubs. They're more expensive...and they know it. Food for thought.
    Here's the thing, right? We've got equivalent profit margins, but in the heady Jobs days, Services wasn't even a thing and contributed far, far less to the company's bottom line as a proportion to the whole. So, we're actually dealing with lower hardware margins than in the late Jobs era, offset by much, much higher contributions from Services to maintain the percentages. This whole thing is just another another bogus and logically fallacious "this never would have happened if Steve was alive" thing.

    And, nobody said that Apple was angelic, or inexpensive.

    I don't doubt that the stores and services/support or free OS all contribute to costs.

    But unless you can conclusively prove that those costs offset an average 40% price increase across the board for most of their products over the past five years alone, I'm going to assume that their price increases are a conscious effort to undermine the public perception that their growth has slowed.

    Which it has.
    Of course hardware growth has slowed. The entire smartphone and computing market in all aspects is contracting. Notably, however, depending on segment, Apple's either holding its own with no loss of ground, or slowing less than everybody else from a units shipped perspective.
    Are you sure Apple is bucking the trend on UNITS shipped, or is it in revenue dollars?

    If it's the former, it means people are still buying Apple stuff.

    If it's the latter, it means fewer people are buying Apple products but that's offset by higher prices.

    I was under the impression that we don't really know how many units Apple actually moved, and growth assessments are being made based on revenue reports. I could be wrong, though. It's been known to happen from time to all the time.
  • Reply 105 of 155
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,516administrator
    madan said:
    madan said:
    Marginal analysis has a lot of flaws that weren't taken into account in this article. For starters, MA assumes that items of comparable cost are taken into account, then the margins should match. Except that the average starting phone price today is higher, vis a vis salary increases, than the original iPhone-iPhone 5. Additionally, the average starting price for an Apple computer is also higher, for some models, vis a vis salary increases, than comparable models of just 3 years past. (ie: Mini, Air...et al.). That is, unless you think pv money conversions should increase by 50% on just a scant 4.5 years? No, of course not. That is going to leave a relative sense of increased cost (and rightly so), when people have to dip into their own pocketbooks more, to reach for the same class products, even if such products were proportionately profitable to Apple. This cognitive dissonance makes sense, because Apple is in fact choosing a higher economic target market (or in the iPhone X-XS case...shifting the market). Moreover, remember that as a whole, percentages represent disparities linearly. A constant percentage on higher sales will produce more money. A constant percentage on higher cost products will produce higher profits. If you price all your products 50% more expensive, even at comparable profit percentages, you'll make more money. IE: 40% profit off a Mac Mini (for example only, since the markup for the Mini is much higher than 40%), that costs 500 dollars, is approximately 200 profit. A 40% profit off a 700 Mac Mini will produce 280 dollars in profit. Shifting the market towards the higher price, forces customers to choose between the Apple product/ecosystem and an increased 80 profit increase (which is a relative 40% increase over the last profit... or a shift to a competing Windows platform. If Toyota kept their Camries profits at a constant 15% but raised the price from 25550 to 30550, their profits would increase, even as their marginal analysis would remain constant. Remember that iMacs were initially sub-1000 machines. Minis were significantly cheaper just a scant few years ago and apple laptops like the Air cost only 1000, compared to almost a 20% increase today. These are all intentional choices by Apple. Not accidental. Apple isn't a money-grubbing enemy but they're not cherubs. They're more expensive...and they know it. Food for thought.
    Here's the thing, right? We've got equivalent profit margins, but in the heady Jobs days, Services wasn't even a thing and contributed far, far less to the company's bottom line as a proportion to the whole. So, we're actually dealing with lower hardware margins than in the late Jobs era, offset by much, much higher contributions from Services to maintain the percentages. This whole thing is just another another bogus and logically fallacious "this never would have happened if Steve was alive" thing.

    And, nobody said that Apple was angelic, or inexpensive.

    I don't doubt that the stores and services/support or free OS all contribute to costs.

    But unless you can conclusively prove that those costs offset an average 40% price increase across the board for most of their products over the past five years alone, I'm going to assume that their price increases are a conscious effort to undermine the public perception that their growth has slowed.

    Which it has.
    Of course hardware growth has slowed. The entire smartphone and computing market in all aspects is contracting. Notably, however, depending on segment, Apple's either holding its own with no loss of ground, or slowing less than everybody else from a units shipped perspective.
    Are you sure Apple is bucking the trend on UNITS shipped, or is it in revenue dollars?

    If it's the former, it means people are still buying Apple stuff.

    If it's the latter, it means fewer people are buying Apple products but that's offset by higher prices.

    I was under the impression that we don't really know how many units Apple actually moved, and growth assessments are being made based on revenue reports. I could be wrong, though. It's been known to happen from time to all the time.
    It is bucking the trend on units shipped and revenue dollars.
    radarthekat
  • Reply 106 of 155
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,516administrator
    madan said:
    madan said:
    madan said:
    Marginal analysis has a lot of flaws that weren't taken into account in this article. For starters, MA assumes that items of comparable cost are taken into account, then the margins should match. Except that the average starting phone price today is higher, vis a vis salary increases, than the original iPhone-iPhone 5. Additionally, the average starting price for an Apple computer is also higher, for some models, vis a vis salary increases, than comparable models of just 3 years past. (ie: Mini, Air...et al.). That is, unless you think pv money conversions should increase by 50% on just a scant 4.5 years? No, of course not. That is going to leave a relative sense of increased cost (and rightly so), when people have to dip into their own pocketbooks more, to reach for the same class products, even if such products were proportionately profitable to Apple. This cognitive dissonance makes sense, because Apple is in fact choosing a higher economic target market (or in the iPhone X-XS case...shifting the market). Moreover, remember that as a whole, percentages represent disparities linearly. A constant percentage on higher sales will produce more money. A constant percentage on higher cost products will produce higher profits. If you price all your products 50% more expensive, even at comparable profit percentages, you'll make more money. IE: 40% profit off a Mac Mini (for example only, since the markup for the Mini is much higher than 40%), that costs 500 dollars, is approximately 200 profit. A 40% profit off a 700 Mac Mini will produce 280 dollars in profit. Shifting the market towards the higher price, forces customers to choose between the Apple product/ecosystem and an increased 80 profit increase (which is a relative 40% increase over the last profit... or a shift to a competing Windows platform. If Toyota kept their Camries profits at a constant 15% but raised the price from 25550 to 30550, their profits would increase, even as their marginal analysis would remain constant. Remember that iMacs were initially sub-1000 machines. Minis were significantly cheaper just a scant few years ago and apple laptops like the Air cost only 1000, compared to almost a 20% increase today. These are all intentional choices by Apple. Not accidental. Apple isn't a money-grubbing enemy but they're not cherubs. They're more expensive...and they know it. Food for thought.
    Here's the thing, right? We've got equivalent profit margins, but in the heady Jobs days, Services wasn't even a thing and contributed far, far less to the company's bottom line as a proportion to the whole. So, we're actually dealing with lower hardware margins than in the late Jobs era, offset by much, much higher contributions from Services to maintain the percentages. This whole thing is just another another bogus and logically fallacious "this never would have happened if Steve was alive" thing.

    And, nobody said that Apple was angelic, or inexpensive.

    I don't doubt that the stores and services/support or free OS all contribute to costs.

    But unless you can conclusively prove that those costs offset an average 40% price increase across the board for most of their products over the past five years alone, I'm going to assume that their price increases are a conscious effort to undermine the public perception that their growth has slowed.

    Which it has.
    Of course hardware growth has slowed. The entire smartphone and computing market in all aspects is contracting. Notably, however, depending on segment, Apple's either holding its own with no loss of ground, or slowing less than everybody else from a units shipped perspective.

    As an aside, while I thought the article wasn't offensive at all and made its point respectfully, the title was a tad defensive.  And it wasn't defensive against Wintel/Android fanboys, which is far more understandable but against Apple enthusiasts.  Which is odd.


    We have posters in this thread alluding that anyone that disagrees with the article is a "hater", without knowing anything about the poster.


    I think criticizing Apple is ok and I still own my Apple IIc, 2004 White eMac, 2010 MBP, iPod Nano G1, iPod Touch G1, iPad 1, iPad 4, iPhone 5C, iPhone X SG 256, and two 27" iMacs (1 2017 i7/580, the other 2013 i5/780m) thunderbolted together. (edit: I forgot my 2009 27" iMac Core 2 Duo/4850).

    Not everyone that criticizes Apple is a "hater".  We need to be inclusive of one another. 
    Headlines are funny, and between them and the lede, they never tell the whole tale.

    While I appreciate the generally sane conversations we have in the forums more than you may know, our larger audience is a little less so. Our emails we get, some of them confusing us with Apple as a whole, and yet, still frequent readers, are pretty intense. Probably 5% of our total traffic is forum-goers.
  • Reply 107 of 155
    I will do the Math for you: 1649€ includes 19% VAT, so net price is 1385.71€. Converted it amounts to 1561$. That is still 112 $ more than in the US. And that premium isbeing paid by none-US customers everywhere. Hard to be an Apple customer in Europe and not come off like somebody who likes being taken advantage off. 
    CE has always been cheaper in the US than in Europe. If prices where the same globally everyone could be traveling to the country of choice, where an iPhone or whatever is the cheapest, which would result in terrible economic consequences.
  • Reply 108 of 155
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,304member
    maestro64 said:
    AppleCare profits are pretty high, very few people actually use this extended warranty. I know better than to buy an extended warranty. I personally never had to use them for Apple products, my iMac is 6 yrs old next month and never been in the shop. My kid on the other hand has used their apple care on their phones. I have gotten Apple care from time to time when I think the tech leap was enough to think Apple may have not gotten it 100% right, also knowing that Apple does give people who had Apple care less hassle when you do have a problem.
    I thought the same until my GF's iPhone 5s's bluetooth and wifi stopped working outside of warranty. It was actually a common problem. I had it replaced a couple of weeks before the 1st year warranty ran out. Sure enough it happened again within a couple of months..actually the same day we picked up a replacement we ended back at the Apple store that same evening. For some reason the phone kept toggling mute on and off without the phone being touched? They swapped it again with no issue.  So my confidence that this replacement would last was not very high.

    Fast forward .. 2 months later same problem with the bluetooth and wifi.  We were now out of the original AC warranty. I tried at the store with no avail to get it taken care of. I even called customer support and escalated the call hoping to get it sorted out...In the end the person I spoke with at level 2 support told me that I should have purchased Apple care and there was nothing else that could be done. Our only option was replacement at I think $350.00 or buy a new phone.

    I also had an Iphone 6 replaced free of charge ( 2nd year )  because it was bent and caused the screen to lift on the corner.  I took it in for my teenage brother to get it fixed for him as a gift. I was expecting to pay the Apple care repair cost, but was told by the person doing the repair that even after she replaced the screen it still didn't sit right and the same lifting in the left corner occurred so they were swapping it out because of a defect free of charge.

    I am def not an extended warranty guy with my electronics as I think most are a money grab and they make you jump through hoops to get a repair done; if the need arises within the extended period. With a device that is with me almost 24/7 and my only communication device I feel it's worth the piece of mind to buy Applecare for all of our phones.

    On the other hand my mac Mini is Mid 2011 as well as my macbook air, both are still running strong..neither had Applecare. B)
  • Reply 109 of 155
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member
    To pick a nit:

    Consistent gross margins don't tell me anything about changes to the affordability of products. One doesn't need to be a financial analyst to figure out that the price of a 15" MacBook Pro is substantially higher, even after inflation, than it was five years ago. If the reason for that isn't growing margins, then obviously costs have also increased. Maybe Apple has a problem with cost control and/or spending decisions?
    Or maybe the ratio of costs to selling prices have remained steady for cutting edge technologies.  If it were milk or toasters we were talking about then I could understand your implication that input costs should not be increasing and perhaps even be going down.  But Apple is doing the same thing today as it was doing 10, 15, 20 years ago; developing new products with increasing performance and capabilities.  Seems that will always remain the same percentage of total costs.  
    I hear you, except that price increases are accelerating compared to the past. Why are costs so much higher lately than they used to be?

    It may well be that this is just how much it costs to make fancy-pants computers now. I'm neither qualified nor adequately informed to offer an opinion about what Apple should or could do. All I'm saying is the current approach is moving the income level required to be an Apple user even higher. Our middle-class household can no longer afford the products we used to buy on a three-year cycle. Maybe I need to just accept that and walk away. I hope not, though.
    Price increases in the Mac product line represent the move to higher performance in the components for SSD, TB3, screen density, etc while achieving the size and weight desired for that product line.  The cost for software development increases because the OS is more complex than it was.

    Thus margins indicate that costs have increased and not profits.

    Also, the needs of most middle-class households can now be met by iPads or lower tier Macs rather than 6 core i7 15" MBP.   The downside to the product line is that the direct replacement for a MBP from 3 years ago has a smaller screen but likely also costs less.

    Apple still provides the iPhone 7 at $449 when talking about iPhones.  The iPhone 8 is $599.  The three year old iPhone 6s was $649 at launch.  The 8 is a solid upgrade at $50 less than your $649 replacement budget.  The Xr costs $749 but is 6.1"...so it's a worthwhile stretch if you want to go that route and the same price as the 6S Plus.  So if your phone was a 6S Plus in 2015 the Xr is a direct replacement at the same price.

    There's just this extra tier above the tier that you purchased in 2015 and there isn't a smaller option anymore.

    That you don't like the upgrade path doesn't mean that Apple has priced it out of the range of a middle-class household.  If you could afford a $649 phone every three years in 2015 you can afford a $599 iPhone 8 in $2018.  The Xr should be $649 next year if the pattern holds and be an excellent replacement for a 3 year old iPhone 7.

    Call it "gaslighting" but the complaints are simply entitled bullshit.  There's no "acceleration" in price increase.  The replacement for the 6S Plus is the Xr at the same price point.  There wasn't a replacement for the 6S but a viable replacement is $50 less expensive than the 6S was in 2015.  The Xs is a higher tier product than the 6S was.

    6S->7->8->Xr
    fastasleepradarthekatphilboogie
  • Reply 110 of 155
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,242member
    gilly33 said:
    Compared to most of you here I’m still quite new to the Apple ecosystem. Having owned my first Apple device in 2012. So my question is had Steve Jobs never passed and at the helm of the ship would the doomfest be the same? Are people responding to Cook or they just like to hate Apple period? I mean I get it that they are morons and naysayers out there. Just wondering guys. 
    Apple has been declared dead, by one count, 71 times since 1995: 

    https://www.macobserver.com/death-knell/

    Though it seems to have got rare in the past few years that people see Apple as dying. 
    Today, they just like to put current problems into a historical context they're misremembering or have made up entirely. 
    radarthekat
  • Reply 111 of 155
    madanmadan Posts: 103member
    elijahg said:
    elijahg said:

    Is this report talking about gross margins or profit margins? Do you have a comparison of average selling prices over time?
    Meaningless to to this discussion.  When Dodge started selling the 12-cylinder Viper it would have had a positive effect on ASPs.   But it offered a lot more power and sportiness.  Apples latest iPhones offer a lot more performance and capabilities versus previous generations.  You’d expect ASPs to climb.  Gross margins is where the comparison should lay, and this article does a good job pointing out how they have not significantly moved during Cook’s tenure.
    The 2010 MBA had more performance and capabilities than the 2008 model but it was cheaper. Same with the $329 iPad compared to the original. Anyone who doesn’t see that Apple is offsetting slower/flat unit sales growth with price increases is blind. New flagship iPhones used to start at $649, now they’re $999. Now you can argue the XS is $350 better than 6 was, that’s obviously subjective but it’s still more expensive. Take the new Mac mini. Starts at $799. The previous entry point was $499. Again, one can argue that the new mini is way better and deserves the $300 price increase but the bottom line is you used to be able to get into the Mac ecosystem for $499 and now the cheapest entry point is $799. The previous entry point to iPhone was the $399 SE. Now the cheapest entry point is the $499 7. And the cheapest iPad used to be $259; now it’s $329. In the past you could get an Apple TV for $99; now it’s $179. It costs more to get into the Apple ecosystem that’s just a fact.
    Exactly, increasing prices to offset lower demand is never a good strategy. It works in the short term, but there's only so far you can go (and Apple's already there) before it affects sales in the medium to long term. I think Cook saw the revenue growth go negative in 2016, and to correct it just applied the easy fix of raise prices. The number one problem I and everyone I speak to has with regards to Apple products is the price. Apple gear is just not good value for money anymore. And articles like this don't help matters in Apple's favour; if articles excusing Apple's pricing need to exist, there's a big enough proportion of people who are concerned over the pricing, meaning there's a problem with it. People don't mind paying a bit more for quality and customer service, but people don't want to be ripped off.
    Like I said, it’s subjective whether someone thinks a product is priced fairly. But it absolutely is a fact that Apple products are getting more expensive.
    It is, there have always been a minority of people who have complained about Apple’s pricing, but they just weren’t Apple’s target market or couldn’t see how Apple’s devices were in fact good value. Apple doesn’t make machines for the budget end of the market so there’ll always be complaints from those people. The minority complaining about price has ballooned in recent years, and now seems to be the majority. Maybe Apple’s just trying to go after the high end; the Ferrari of the market - which would explain the pricing. Only thing is the performance doesn’t equate to the high pricing.
    That maybe used to be true.

    Ferrari doesn't shove Mazda engines into Ferrari chassis and call it a day.


    The Mini is a prime example of that.


    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 112 of 155
    nht said:
    To pick a nit:

    Consistent gross margins don't tell me anything about changes to the affordability of products. One doesn't need to be a financial analyst to figure out that the price of a 15" MacBook Pro is substantially higher, even after inflation, than it was five years ago. If the reason for that isn't growing margins, then obviously costs have also increased. Maybe Apple has a problem with cost control and/or spending decisions?
    Or maybe the ratio of costs to selling prices have remained steady for cutting edge technologies.  If it were milk or toasters we were talking about then I could understand your implication that input costs should not be increasing and perhaps even be going down.  But Apple is doing the same thing today as it was doing 10, 15, 20 years ago; developing new products with increasing performance and capabilities.  Seems that will always remain the same percentage of total costs.  
    I hear you, except that price increases are accelerating compared to the past. Why are costs so much higher lately than they used to be?

    It may well be that this is just how much it costs to make fancy-pants computers now. I'm neither qualified nor adequately informed to offer an opinion about what Apple should or could do. All I'm saying is the current approach is moving the income level required to be an Apple user even higher. Our middle-class household can no longer afford the products we used to buy on a three-year cycle. Maybe I need to just accept that and walk away. I hope not, though.
    Price increases in the Mac product line represent the move to higher performance in the components for SSD, TB3, screen density, etc while achieving the size and weight desired for that product line.  The cost for software development increases because the OS is more complex than it was.

    Thus margins indicate that costs have increased and not profits.

    Also, the needs of most middle-class households can now be met by iPads or lower tier Macs rather than 6 core i7 15" MBP.   The downside to the product line is that the direct replacement for a MBP from 3 years ago has a smaller screen but likely also costs less.

    Apple still provides the iPhone 7 at $449 when talking about iPhones.  The iPhone 8 is $599.  The three year old iPhone 6s was $649 at launch.  The 8 is a solid upgrade at $50 less than your $649 replacement budget.  The Xr costs $749 but is 6.1"...so it's a worthwhile stretch if you want to go that route and the same price as the 6S Plus.  So if your phone was a 6S Plus in 2015 the Xr is a direct replacement at the same price.

    There's just this extra tier above the tier that you purchased in 2015 and there isn't a smaller option anymore.

    That you don't like the upgrade path doesn't mean that Apple has priced it out of the range of a middle-class household.  If you could afford a $649 phone every three years in 2015 you can afford a $599 iPhone 8 in $2018.  The Xr should be $649 next year if the pattern holds and be an excellent replacement for a 3 year old iPhone 7.

    Call it "gaslighting" but the complaints are simply entitled bullshit.  There's no "acceleration" in price increase.  The replacement for the 6S Plus is the Xr at the same price point.  There wasn't a replacement for the 6S but a viable replacement is $50 less expensive than the 6S was in 2015.  The Xs is a higher tier product than the 6S was.

    6S->7->8->Xr
    Somehow the option to buy an older model iPhone escaped my attention. That's a valid point and is something I will look into.

    I still get to gripe about the laptops, though. My wife absolutely insists on a 15" screen. Non-negotiable. Anything smaller is a deal-breaker. Apple offers that screen size ONLY in its most expensive model. That means buying screen size also means paying for things we don't need. That would be okay if the price were similar to previous generations, but it's not, mostly because the faster-than-the-speed-of-light storage chips Apple is using cost three spleens and a kidney to get decent capacity, and because it's soldered in place there's no way for us to cross-grade to a third-party solution that trades excessive speed for adequate capacity.

    I also strongly disagree with you that there is no acceleration of price increases. We've only been Mac users since 2007, but in that time we've replaced MacBook Pros and minis twice. Each time the cost of the new machine was similar to the one it replaced. This time it costs half-again as much as before because the storage upgrade is so expensive. It may be argued that the storage is so much better that the cost increase is justified, but that doesn't change the fact that the price of Apple laptops is rising faster than it used to.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 113 of 155
    madanmadan Posts: 103member
    nht said:
    To pick a nit:

    Consistent gross margins don't tell me anything about changes to the affordability of products. One doesn't need to be a financial analyst to figure out that the price of a 15" MacBook Pro is substantially higher, even after inflation, than it was five years ago. If the reason for that isn't growing margins, then obviously costs have also increased. Maybe Apple has a problem with cost control and/or spending decisions?
    Or maybe the ratio of costs to selling prices have remained steady for cutting edge technologies.  If it were milk or toasters we were talking about then I could understand your implication that input costs should not be increasing and perhaps even be going down.  But Apple is doing the same thing today as it was doing 10, 15, 20 years ago; developing new products with increasing performance and capabilities.  Seems that will always remain the same percentage of total costs.  
    I hear you, except that price increases are accelerating compared to the past. Why are costs so much higher lately than they used to be?

    It may well be that this is just how much it costs to make fancy-pants computers now. I'm neither qualified nor adequately informed to offer an opinion about what Apple should or could do. All I'm saying is the current approach is moving the income level required to be an Apple user even higher. Our middle-class household can no longer afford the products we used to buy on a three-year cycle. Maybe I need to just accept that and walk away. I hope not, though.
    Price increases in the Mac product line represent the move to higher performance in the components for SSD, TB3, screen density, etc while achieving the size and weight desired for that product line.  The cost for software development increases because the OS is more complex than it was.

    Thus margins indicate that costs have increased and not profits.

    Also, the needs of most middle-class households can now be met by iPads or lower tier Macs rather than 6 core i7 15" MBP.   The downside to the product line is that the direct replacement for a MBP from 3 years ago has a smaller screen but likely also costs less.

    Apple still provides the iPhone 7 at $449 when talking about iPhones.  The iPhone 8 is $599.  The three year old iPhone 6s was $649 at launch.  The 8 is a solid upgrade at $50 less than your $649 replacement budget.  The Xr costs $749 but is 6.1"...so it's a worthwhile stretch if you want to go that route and the same price as the 6S Plus.  So if your phone was a 6S Plus in 2015 the Xr is a direct replacement at the same price.

    There's just this extra tier above the tier that you purchased in 2015 and there isn't a smaller option anymore.

    That you don't like the upgrade path doesn't mean that Apple has priced it out of the range of a middle-class household.  If you could afford a $649 phone every three years in 2015 you can afford a $599 iPhone 8 in $2018.  The Xr should be $649 next year if the pattern holds and be an excellent replacement for a 3 year old iPhone 7.

    Call it "gaslighting" but the complaints are simply entitled bullshit.  There's no "acceleration" in price increase.  The replacement for the 6S Plus is the Xr at the same price point.  There wasn't a replacement for the 6S but a viable replacement is $50 less expensive than the 6S was in 2015.  The Xs is a higher tier product than the 6S was.

    6S->7->8->Xr

    Your entire argument is horseshit.

    You can't charge more for more performance otherwise every product in existence is an order of magnitude better than previous products.  Automobiles are much faster, fuel efficient and safer than past vehicles.  By your distorted, stunted argument every Toyota Corolla or Honda Accord should ship for 80,000 "cuz look how much better they are!".  Computers increase in performance over time.  Their prices increase relative to pv calculations and inflation fluctuations.  They might also increase as Wurthele astutely indicated because they have some intrinsic cost (ie support or services).  However products shouldn't cost more just "cuz betta".  That's nonsense because by definitions computers ard phones are *better* than the previous model.  Otherwise, what would be the *point*?

    In that respect, Apple products have very much accelerated price increases.  MBP prices have increased 20%.  Mini prices have increased 50%.  Phone prices have increased 40%.  And that is not accidental.  The answer has already been divined in this thread:  Apple is compensating for dips since past super-performing sale record years.  The price of components have declined.  Screens may be more dense but prices for high density screens have declined.  SSD prices have tanked.  DDR4 RAM is no longer 100 bucks per 8 GB by default.  Even Intel has dropped its CPU prices in response to simple market economies of scale, as well as competition of AMD.

    Your entire argument that computers have more abilities and should therefore cost proportionally more is asinine to the extreme, because human salaries, neither here in the US, nor anywhere else, can keep up with such advances.  Apple in fact, under your thesis, would make computers for themselves because no one would be able to afford them.

    Comparing the XR to the 6S Plus is beyond disingenuous.  The 6S Plus was the best you could get at the time, while the XR is the lowest possible model.  The 6R would be analogous to something below the 6S which cost less than the XR.

    Your entire argument is one long nonsensical circle jerk predicated on product cost based on capability.  That entire argument is pointless because otherwise, I could argue that a $10000 Core 2 Duo system in 2018 would be a "value" because it outperforms my old Performa or Apple IIC. 


    edited November 2018 sebastian37muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 114 of 155
    I believe that Apple has used a very similar system to price their products over the years, but I am not sure that they are aware of how important giving up a bit on the little things will go towards increased brand loyalty.  You probably have all made your own list of complaints about icloud, dongles, repairs, ecetera.  My own view is Apple should be giving a discount to anyone who has been buying, a watch, phone and computer.  They need to know who has been buying from them for 35 years and wants to continue to do so but are finding it much harder as the number of phones of phones, computers, and gadgets multiply.  

    The other issue that I would love to see some movement on is simplifying login changes to get you back on a device when you have multiple devices in multiple places and with multiple family members.  There needs to be a common sense way to leverage the extended connectivity.  When I am at home and changing a login for one device, it should be much easier then when I am on the road doing the same thing.  I realize this is mainly how the internet is set up, but Apple is one of the few companies that has the leverage and scale to repair issues like this.  More privacy, less being told by my own devices that I am not me, and less gotchas like broken screen costs.  If Apple want's to lock people in to their ecosystem then using a few carrots would go a long way toward making it a win win.  If registered Apple service providers could fix common problems like broken screens for low prices with good quality screens then the higher price would be worth it many times over.  

    Recycling old devices and simplifying the administrative steps necessary to migrate to a newer device are other areas that could help. There is no reason Apple could not sell 2 year old used devices at much lower price points to bring in young people into the ecosystem.


  • Reply 115 of 155
    madan said:
    elijahg said:
    elijahg said:

    Is this report talking about gross margins or profit margins? Do you have a comparison of average selling prices over time?
    Meaningless to to this discussion.  When Dodge started selling the 12-cylinder Viper it would have had a positive effect on ASPs.   But it offered a lot more power and sportiness.  Apples latest iPhones offer a lot more performance and capabilities versus previous generations.  You’d expect ASPs to climb.  Gross margins is where the comparison should lay, and this article does a good job pointing out how they have not significantly moved during Cook’s tenure.
    The 2010 MBA had more performance and capabilities than the 2008 model but it was cheaper. Same with the $329 iPad compared to the original. Anyone who doesn’t see that Apple is offsetting slower/flat unit sales growth with price increases is blind. New flagship iPhones used to start at $649, now they’re $999. Now you can argue the XS is $350 better than 6 was, that’s obviously subjective but it’s still more expensive. Take the new Mac mini. Starts at $799. The previous entry point was $499. Again, one can argue that the new mini is way better and deserves the $300 price increase but the bottom line is you used to be able to get into the Mac ecosystem for $499 and now the cheapest entry point is $799. The previous entry point to iPhone was the $399 SE. Now the cheapest entry point is the $499 7. And the cheapest iPad used to be $259; now it’s $329. In the past you could get an Apple TV for $99; now it’s $179. It costs more to get into the Apple ecosystem that’s just a fact.
    Exactly, increasing prices to offset lower demand is never a good strategy. It works in the short term, but there's only so far you can go (and Apple's already there) before it affects sales in the medium to long term. I think Cook saw the revenue growth go negative in 2016, and to correct it just applied the easy fix of raise prices. The number one problem I and everyone I speak to has with regards to Apple products is the price. Apple gear is just not good value for money anymore. And articles like this don't help matters in Apple's favour; if articles excusing Apple's pricing need to exist, there's a big enough proportion of people who are concerned over the pricing, meaning there's a problem with it. People don't mind paying a bit more for quality and customer service, but people don't want to be ripped off.
    Like I said, it’s subjective whether someone thinks a product is priced fairly. But it absolutely is a fact that Apple products are getting more expensive.
    It is, there have always been a minority of people who have complained about Apple’s pricing, but they just weren’t Apple’s target market or couldn’t see how Apple’s devices were in fact good value. Apple doesn’t make machines for the budget end of the market so there’ll always be complaints from those people. The minority complaining about price has ballooned in recent years, and now seems to be the majority. Maybe Apple’s just trying to go after the high end; the Ferrari of the market - which would explain the pricing. Only thing is the performance doesn’t equate to the high pricing.
    That maybe used to be true.

    Ferrari doesn't shove Mazda engines into Ferrari chassis and call it a day.


    The Mini is a prime example of that.


    You think? I dunno...

    The mini has really fast RAM (fastest ever in a Mac?), and it allows for a healthy amount of it. It has ridiculously fast storage (to the point of overkill), and provides two channels of Thunderbolt 3 to add more. I don't know enough about CPUs to assess where the ones in the mini sit, but they seem pretty decent (am I wrong?).

    The only really weak point is graphics, but if it's true that the most common uses of minis don't involve using a monitor at all, there isn't much point in buyers paying for a powerful graphics chip they'll never use. Besides, because a mini isn't something you carry around with you, adding an eGPU is a reasonable option for people who need graphics grunt.
    radarthekat
  • Reply 116 of 155
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member

    madan said:
    To pick a nit:

    Consistent gross margins don't tell me anything about changes to the affordability of products. One doesn't need to be a financial analyst to figure out that the price of a 15" MacBook Pro is substantially higher, even after inflation, than it was five years ago. If the reason for that isn't growing margins, then obviously costs have also increased. Maybe Apple has a problem with cost control and/or spending decisions?
    Or maybe the ratio of costs to selling prices have remained steady for cutting edge technologies.  If it were milk or toasters we were talking about then I could understand your implication that input costs should not be increasing and perhaps even be going down.  But Apple is doing the same thing today as it was doing 10, 15, 20 years ago; developing new products with increasing performance and capabilities.  Seems that will always remain the same percentage of total costs.  
    I hear you, except that price increases are accelerating compared to the past. Why are costs so much higher lately than they used to be?

    It may well be that this is just how much it costs to make fancy-pants computers now. I'm neither qualified nor adequately informed to offer an opinion about what Apple should or could do. All I'm saying is the current approach is moving the income level required to be an Apple user even higher. Our middle-class household can no longer afford the products we used to buy on a three-year cycle. Maybe I need to just accept that and walk away. I hope not, though.

    It's worse than that.  Not only are the products quickly escaping low-mid middle class household budgets but high-mid household budgets and even low-wealthy households are hard pressed to justify the cost.

    Example.

    I'm in the market for a next-gen iMac.  I'm looking for the 2019.  A Core i7 is fine. I'm sure they'll have 8th-9th gen in there by then.  I'm sure they'll have 16 GB of DDR4. The screen is spectacular and that's ok.  Storage is fine.  But a lot of my work (3D modeling and real-time texture rendering) requires a beefy graphics card and the current 580 I have is good (but not great).  I expect the new iMac to have 1080-class performance 2 years after the RX 580 iMac.  At least 1080. 

    Let's assume that by virtue of the fact that Apple refuses to contract with NVidia that AMD is the only supplier they have (which Soli thinks they probably also develop nyuk nyuk). The 680 isn't ready yet.  And if it isn't ready by next May-June on iMac release, Apple may just shove another 580 in the high end non-Pro iMac.  Well, that means I'm looking at the same performance as the 2017 model for 2500-3000 dollars. Ridiculous.

    My point is, it's not just about the price eliminating middle-tier families from purchasing Apple products (although that's likely to happen) but also shooing away professionals and prosumers that can get Wintel systems at the same price that, no, may not run Mac OS but are literally 100% faster. We can see that situation plain as day with the new Mini. 

    It's not that Apple is simply more expensive than ever before.  It's that they seem to offer less than ever before for those high prices.

    What the next gen iMac costs in 2019 is conjecture but in 2018 the entry point for a 6 Core i7 Mac is $1099.   An eGPU will have a performance tax from TB3 but may not thermally throttle as it might in the iMac (or just clock higher).  Plus you can stick a Vega in it.

    So for a $3000 budget in November 2018 you get:

    $1500 Mac Mini 6 Core i7 16GB DDR4 256GB SSD
      $950 ASUS Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB HBM2 + Razor Core X Bundle
    ------ 
    $2450

    $550 remaining for monitor, keyboard, and mouse.  While that's only an entry level 27" IPS 4K you can drop to a Vega 56 if you wanted a little more budget.

    Second highest single core performance (5653).
    Sixth best multi-core performance (23973).

    eGPU performance: 

    https://barefeats.com/macbook_pro_2018_egpu.html

    The CPU in the mini is faster than the one in the 2018 MBP Core i9.  5653 / 23973 vs 5346 / 22575.

    Your assertion is BS.  The Mac line up has never been better for pros on a budget since 2012.  And from a GPU options perspective it's much better than 2012.
    fastasleepradarthekat
  • Reply 117 of 155
    madanmadan Posts: 103member
    The lowest end Mini has an i3 that trades with a 2400g...a 150 dollar CPU.  Hardly a world beater in an 800 dollar computer.

    The DDR4 in a Mini isn't 3200.  It's 2666 which is fast by Mac standards but isn't even the fastest on the market.


    The only great part about the Mini is the fact that it's:

    A. Small & stylish in a nice aluminum box with excellent heat management through shared blowers, proper air routing, software cooling profiles and thermal skin dissipation.

    B. It has that insane motherboard design with fantastically forward thinking IO (thunderbolt-enabled USB-C ahoy!).

    Beyond that, you mentioned it.  It uses IGP.  The issue isn't whether Mini purchasers need it.  It's whether Apple charges people like the Mini *has* that grunt.  Which it doesn't have.

    A 2400g, some fast RAM, a nice PCIE SSD on a mini ITX would be about twice the size.  Sure.  And no Mac OS X.  And you'd lose 2 or 3 USB C ports.  But you'd also chip 400 dollars on a computer that could tie the Mini on half the tasks and run rings around it on the other half.

    Again, Mac OS is the best OS on the market.  Apple hardware engineering is great.  But is it worth 100% markup great? I wonder.  They're charging the same that a Dell with a Core i5/twice the fast RAM/and a GTX 1060 costs.  And those two systems aren't even in the same solar system, much less planet.

    So yeah. Mazda.  Ferrari. Fits.
  • Reply 118 of 155
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member
    madan said:
    nht said:
    To pick a nit:

    Consistent gross margins don't tell me anything about changes to the affordability of products. One doesn't need to be a financial analyst to figure out that the price of a 15" MacBook Pro is substantially higher, even after inflation, than it was five years ago. If the reason for that isn't growing margins, then obviously costs have also increased. Maybe Apple has a problem with cost control and/or spending decisions?
    Or maybe the ratio of costs to selling prices have remained steady for cutting edge technologies.  If it were milk or toasters we were talking about then I could understand your implication that input costs should not be increasing and perhaps even be going down.  But Apple is doing the same thing today as it was doing 10, 15, 20 years ago; developing new products with increasing performance and capabilities.  Seems that will always remain the same percentage of total costs.  
    I hear you, except that price increases are accelerating compared to the past. Why are costs so much higher lately than they used to be?

    It may well be that this is just how much it costs to make fancy-pants computers now. I'm neither qualified nor adequately informed to offer an opinion about what Apple should or could do. All I'm saying is the current approach is moving the income level required to be an Apple user even higher. Our middle-class household can no longer afford the products we used to buy on a three-year cycle. Maybe I need to just accept that and walk away. I hope not, though.
    Price increases in the Mac product line represent the move to higher performance in the components for SSD, TB3, screen density, etc while achieving the size and weight desired for that product line.  The cost for software development increases because the OS is more complex than it was.

    Thus margins indicate that costs have increased and not profits.

    Also, the needs of most middle-class households can now be met by iPads or lower tier Macs rather than 6 core i7 15" MBP.   The downside to the product line is that the direct replacement for a MBP from 3 years ago has a smaller screen but likely also costs less.

    Apple still provides the iPhone 7 at $449 when talking about iPhones.  The iPhone 8 is $599.  The three year old iPhone 6s was $649 at launch.  The 8 is a solid upgrade at $50 less than your $649 replacement budget.  The Xr costs $749 but is 6.1"...so it's a worthwhile stretch if you want to go that route and the same price as the 6S Plus.  So if your phone was a 6S Plus in 2015 the Xr is a direct replacement at the same price.

    There's just this extra tier above the tier that you purchased in 2015 and there isn't a smaller option anymore.

    That you don't like the upgrade path doesn't mean that Apple has priced it out of the range of a middle-class household.  If you could afford a $649 phone every three years in 2015 you can afford a $599 iPhone 8 in $2018.  The Xr should be $649 next year if the pattern holds and be an excellent replacement for a 3 year old iPhone 7.

    Call it "gaslighting" but the complaints are simply entitled bullshit.  There's no "acceleration" in price increase.  The replacement for the 6S Plus is the Xr at the same price point.  There wasn't a replacement for the 6S but a viable replacement is $50 less expensive than the 6S was in 2015.  The Xs is a higher tier product than the 6S was.

    6S->7->8->Xr

    Your entire argument is horseshit.

    You can't charge more for more performance otherwise every product in existence is an order of magnitude better than previous products.  Automobiles are much faster, fuel efficient and safer than past vehicles.  By your distorted, stunted argument every Toyota Corolla or Honda Accord should ship for 80,000 "cuz look how much better they are!".  Computers increase in performance over time.  Their prices increase relative to pv calculations and inflation fluctuations.  They might also increase as Wurthele astutely indicated because they have some intrinsic cost (ie support or services).  However products shouldn't cost more just "cuz betta".  That's nonsense because by definitions computers ard phones are *better* than the previous model.  Otherwise, what would be the *point*?
    Did you really go there with a car analogy?  Because that's just stupid.  Are you so clueless as not to realize that people complain about how cars are more expensive than before?  There was a time that they cost under $10K.

    Try googling "cars too expensive" and see how colossally stupid it was to use that to try to bolster your position. 

    And more importantly they are not "charing more for more performance".  They are charging the SAME or LESS for more performance.  The iPhone 8 is $50 cheaper than the 6S was at launch and much much faster.  That the 6S was the most expensive tier in 2015 is immaterial.  The Xr is the 2018 replacement for the 2015 6S (Plus).  Just like the 8 was the 2017 replacement for the 7.  That the X and Xs are two new premium tiers above the old line didn't make the old line more expensive.  

    Both the 8 and the X had an A11.  Both the Xr and the Xs have an A12.  None of the phones cheaper than the 6S had the A9 as the 6S in 2015.
    fastasleepelijahgradarthekat
  • Reply 119 of 155
    I just want to know why BOTH Tim and Steve are robbing me.    ;)

    /s
    edited November 2018 radarthekatmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 120 of 155
    madanmadan Posts: 103member
    nht said:

    madan said:
    To pick a nit:

    Consistent gross margins don't tell me anything about changes to the affordability of products. One doesn't need to be a financial analyst to figure out that the price of a 15" MacBook Pro is substantially higher, even after inflation, than it was five years ago. If the reason for that isn't growing margins, then obviously costs have also increased. Maybe Apple has a problem with cost control and/or spending decisions?
    Or maybe the ratio of costs to selling prices have remained steady for cutting edge technologies.  If it were milk or toasters we were talking about then I could understand your implication that input costs should not be increasing and perhaps even be going down.  But Apple is doing the same thing today as it was doing 10, 15, 20 years ago; developing new products with increasing performance and capabilities.  Seems that will always remain the same percentage of total costs.  
    I hear you, except that price increases are accelerating compared to the past. Why are costs so much higher lately than they used to be?

    It may well be that this is just how much it costs to make fancy-pants computers now. I'm neither qualified nor adequately informed to offer an opinion about what Apple should or could do. All I'm saying is the current approach is moving the income level required to be an Apple user even higher. Our middle-class household can no longer afford the products we used to buy on a three-year cycle. Maybe I need to just accept that and walk away. I hope not, though.

    It's worse than that.  Not only are the products quickly escaping low-mid middle class household budgets but high-mid household budgets and even low-wealthy households are hard pressed to justify the cost.

    Example.

    I'm in the market for a next-gen iMac.  I'm looking for the 2019.  A Core i7 is fine. I'm sure they'll have 8th-9th gen in there by then.  I'm sure they'll have 16 GB of DDR4. The screen is spectacular and that's ok.  Storage is fine.  But a lot of my work (3D modeling and real-time texture rendering) requires a beefy graphics card and the current 580 I have is good (but not great).  I expect the new iMac to have 1080-class performance 2 years after the RX 580 iMac.  At least 1080. 

    Let's assume that by virtue of the fact that Apple refuses to contract with NVidia that AMD is the only supplier they have (which Soli thinks they probably also develop nyuk nyuk). The 680 isn't ready yet.  And if it isn't ready by next May-June on iMac release, Apple may just shove another 580 in the high end non-Pro iMac.  Well, that means I'm looking at the same performance as the 2017 model for 2500-3000 dollars. Ridiculous.

    My point is, it's not just about the price eliminating middle-tier families from purchasing Apple products (although that's likely to happen) but also shooing away professionals and prosumers that can get Wintel systems at the same price that, no, may not run Mac OS but are literally 100% faster. We can see that situation plain as day with the new Mini. 

    It's not that Apple is simply more expensive than ever before.  It's that they seem to offer less than ever before for those high prices.

    What the next gen iMac costs in 2019 is conjecture but in 2018 the entry point for a 6 Core i7 Mac is $1099.   An eGPU will have a performance tax from TB3 but may not thermally throttle as it might in the iMac (or just clock higher).  Plus you can stick a Vega in it.

    So for a $3000 budget in November 2018 you get:

    $1500 Mac Mini 6 Core i7 16GB DDR4 256GB SSD
      $950 ASUS Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB HBM2 + Razor Core X Bundle
    ------ 
    $2450

    $550 remaining for monitor, keyboard, and mouse.  While that's only an entry level 27" IPS 4K you can drop to a Vega 56 if you wanted a little more budget.

    Second highest single core performance (5653).
    Sixth best multi-core performance (23973).

    eGPU performance: 

    https://barefeats.com/macbook_pro_2018_egpu.html

    The CPU in the mini is faster than the one in the 2018 MBP Core i9.  5653 / 23973 vs 5346 / 22575.

    Your assertion is BS.  The Mac line up has never been better for pros on a budget since 2012.  And from a GPU options perspective it's much better than 2012.

    Which is still trash when you can get any off the shelf computer OEM to ship you a computer for half that price with a 1080 in it.  Part of the allure of the iMac is that you have that fantastic screen gobbling up cost. When I bought my iMac 580, I knew I was getting 1060 performance but I accepted it because 900 dollars of the 2200 dollar cost was sunk into the screen.  So I paid 1300 dollars for a Mac that competed with an identical Dell. I traded a 1060 and Mac OS in exchange for a 1080 and Windows. I could live with that.

    Your system costs almost 2500 dollars and you're going to get what kind of monitor for 400 dollars?  As good as the iMac's? Unlikely since that self-same LG monitor is selling for 899 on Amazon...right now.

    So you get more or less the same CPU. Slightly better GPU performance (you're getting Vega 56 with your Vega 64...congrats, you paid 900 for a 1070)  and an inferior screen for $800 MORE than the competing iMac if you go with the Mini option.  Gee, sounds like a GREAT BARGAIN!

    Keep shoveling that horseshit.
    edited November 2018 elijahg
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