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Average Mac price now 2X Windows PCs

updated 10:30 am EDT, Wed August 6, 2008

Mac Prices 2X Windows PCs

The going price for a Mac notebook is now over twice that of a typical Windows model, according to data collected by The NPD Group. While the average selling price of a Windows notebook has dropped from $877 in June 2006 to $700 today, the average cost of an Apple system has remained consistently above $1,500 and has only dropped $59 in the past two years. Differences in desktop pricing are more extreme still and have Macs selling for approximately $1,000 more than a common Windows desktop, which sells for about $550.

Specifications often vary sharply for these systems, with Apple often focusing on faster processors than some rivals in notebooks but at the expense of memory and hard drive space. Its insistence on using mobile processors and custom designs for desktops, however, has created feature discrepancies where a Dell Inspiron 518 tower nearing the $700 mark features two more processor cores, three times as much memory, and twice the hard drive space of an $1,199 entry-level iMac despite both coming with near-equivalent LCDs.

While the average price for Windows-based systems is described in the NPD data as having largely flattened and unlikely to drop further in the near future, the disparity between these and Macs has only widened in the last few months, according to eWeek. Apple's general policy of refusing to alter prices until its next hardware revision has reduced the value of its systems relative to Windows competitors.

Apple has until now had little pressure to follow suit. Gartner analysis shows the company's US retail market share having climbed to 8.5 percent despite the price gap, and the computer builder has often traded on the uniqueness of its experience. Troubles with Windows Vista and a lack of marketing response from Microsoft until recently have also driven customers to Apple, many of whom are willing to pay more for a non-Windows experience.

This may soon have to change, eWeek says. Concerns both about sustaining sales momentum as well as a renewed Microsoft campaign are thought to be motivating factors behind Apple's mystery product transition, which will instigate a major cut in gross margins from 35 percent to 30 percent. Such steep drops 'strongly suggest' price cuts and may reveal that Apple is aware of a point at which its traditional approach will no longer work.

"If Apple is going to continue its market share gains, or simply maintain that 8.5 percent U.S. share, prices must go down and configurations bulk up," eWeek notes. "The math is simply undeniable."



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. rjwill246

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2003

    +8

    Absurd

    We are not even comparing Apples to Oranges here.
    NDP group, that is such poor reporting-- and flies in the face of any other comparisons that examine equally equipped computers... and as always, there is no attempt to take the included software into account!
    You have to wonder at the agenda of the likes of NDP. It is not tot tell the true story!

  1. rjwill246

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2003

    -5

    Absurd

    We are not even comparing Apples to Oranges here.
    NDP group, that is such poor reporting-- and flies in the face of any other comparisons that examine equally equipped computers... and as always, there is no attempt to take the included software into account!
    You have to wonder at the agenda of the likes of NDP. It is not tot tell the true story!

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    +4

    I'm looking harder...

    ...at those $799 laptops with 17" displays vs $2000 for a 17" macbook pro, and just bought a Samsung monitor instead of an Apple at literally 1/3 the cost... Of course it isn't 'as good' but the difference was too big to ignore @ 3:1...

  1. unity@mac.com

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2005

    0

    So.....

    Because Apple sells high-end (thus high retail) laptops they are to be "punished" by this report? Why are they comparing averages?

    Its like comparing Cadillacs to Porsches.

  1. starwarrior

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2006

    +2

    No No

    Golf Carts Corvettes

  1. gudin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2000

    +8

    hmm

    seems to me that this is actually good news for apple. It doesn't mean apple computers cost twice as much, it means people who buy macs buy better computers. PC users are more likely to get the cheapest box they can find, while people who buy macs get something worth more (not the cheapest, the best).

    Not a big deal, though presumably PC trolls will interpret it the other way.


  1. macmad

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Dec 2000

    +5

    Shock!

    A top spec Mac laptop is twice as much as a low spec Windows one...

  1. tsmelker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006

    +7

    Comparisons like these

    ...have been going on for years. "Apple prices their computers too high, they'll go out of business if they don't stay competitive..." Compete with whom? Dell, Gateway, Levono and the like are just hardware manufacturers, while Micro$oft is just a software pimp. In fact, anyone can cobble together a custom PC out of a bunch of parts- so what?But Apple is a TECHNOLOGY company. They design and manufacture both the hardware and software, and therefore their products are award-winning in their design, robust, inter-complimentary and they "just work". They are industry leaders, and always have been- otherwise, why would computer manufacturers, analysts and the like spend so much time focusing on them? You get what you pay for... Gateway, Dell and such are the Chevrolets of cars, while Apple is the Mercedes of the line. There really is no comparison.

  1. JuanGuapo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008

    +9

    Newsflash

    First Class is more expensive than Coach

  1. calverson

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Jul 2007

    +1

    well

    Things cost less when you make more of them.

    There are a lot more pee-c's produced each year than Macs.

    If there was an equal market-share, then this would be an accurate report.

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