June 8, 2005

Not more expensive? I don't think so.

A commenter posted the following in the previous post:

But macs are so worth the extra couple dollars over the long run. I LOVE my powerbook, and it was the same price as the PC laptop I had before and it came with a 3 year warranty. Not more expensive at all.
Now, I'm not going to get into a war between PC and Mac lovers, as I've realized over the years that people with Macs are not totally rational, as evidenced by the huge number of Apple users calling Steve Jobs a sellout after switching to Intel. I don't understand their position; it's not like their love of Macs was really a love of PowerPC. Whether OS X is better than Windows XP, I'm in no position to judge due to my exclusive XP experience. As for OS 9, I've used it, and Windows XP beats it up and steals its girlfriend. Anyhow, I'm here to talk about price. The commenter says that her Powerbook was the same price as her previous PC laptop. this proves nothing except that electronics prices always go down. It's just the way it is, even with Apple. The Apple Lisa was released in 1983 with a 5MHz processor, 1MB of RAM and a 5MB external hard drive. Oh yeah, it was a monochrome display. Price: $9,995. If someone sold you a state of the art desktop today for ten grand, you wouldn't think you got a great deal because it cost the same as your old Lisa. In the same way, buying today's hardware at yesterday's inflated prices doesn't mean the cost is the same. Let's give an example comparison, using the same warranty for each:

Apple Powerbook G4
Processor: 1.67 GHz
Screen: 15.2"
Memory: 512MB
Hard Drive: 80GB
Warranty: 3 years
Price: $2,648

HP dv4000
Processor: 2 GHz
Screen: 15.4"
Memory: 1 GB
Hard Drive: 100GB
Warranty: 3 years
Price: $1,778

The difference in price between the two is $870, and the cheaper of the two is more powerful. Going with the standard warranty for each closes the gap in price, as upgrading to three years with Apple is more expensive than with HP. Is the difference in operating system worth nearly $900? Who am I to say? That's up to the individual user. For some people, maybe it is. I just wanted to make it clear (though with just one example) that Apple computers are definitely more expensive. The hope is that the price may come down with the switch to Intel.


Lara said...


My name is Lara.... seems weird to be called just "a commenter" :)

I bought the computers less than 6 months from one another, and the PC did have a larger screen if that's something you care about.

I returned the PC to Costco and then bought the Powerbook with the warranty. I ended up with $15 in my pocket after the entire transaction.

As for your example, I guess I feel strongly that it's worth paying more for a better product. Not to mention the incredibly better customer service. (PCs just can't compete with the Genius Bar at the Apple store). But granted, I live down the street from Cupertino, which is Apple's headquarters... we have a lot of large apple stores here so everything is convenient.

So you're right - they are more expensive... if you really want all the stuff you've listed. I just needed a computer that was portable, reliable, and stable. And that's what I got for the same price as the PC.

Lara said...

Also...I remember...

I got the educational discount at Apple. Something PC makers don't offer. I'd forgotten about that.