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The Impact of Low Salaries At Apple

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the baby-needs-a-new-pair-of-shoes dept.

The Almighty Buck 782

orenh writes "Recent data indicate that Apple engineers have significantly lower salaries than their Silicon Valley peers: $89,000 at Apple, versus $105,000 at Yahoo and $112,000 at Google. Paying lower salaries had a major impact on Apple's bottom line when it was struggling in the market up until 2004. But now that Apple is highly profitable, these lower salaries are no longer a factor in Apple's success. Will Apple have to raise salaries to match the market rate, or face defections?"

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Will Apple have to raise salaries? (4, Funny)

yoder (178161) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831755)

"Will Apple have to raise salaries to match the market rate, or face defections?"

Yes!

Re:Will Apple have to raise salaries? (1, Insightful)

derspankster (1081309) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831799)

I thought all the "engineering" was done in China. Not bad money over there.

Re:Will Apple have to raise salaries? (1, Flamebait)

delysid-x (18948) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831913)

I'm surprised that China isn't producing low-$ apple clones. Though I guess they couldn;'t be sold in NA anyway with our anticounterfeit laws. I'd buy one over a "real" apple... well, if I cared to run an apple OS.

FIRST POST ABUSE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23832131)

Mod Parent Down.

POINTLESS COMMENT ABUSE (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23832325)

Moderate Parent Down.

Re:Will Apple have to raise salaries? (5, Informative)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832223)

Nah, they won't.

I live in the area, and let me tell you, people would rather KNOW they are going to have a paycheck, at least in theory because of seniority if nothing else, than NOT because they jumped ship to get a 20K a year raise.

Not when you paid nearly a million dollars for your 3 bedroom house.

There ARE people within a few miles of my house paying 25 thousand dollars a month in RENT.... My neighborhood is in the 2 to 3K a month range, and if I KNEW I could pay my bills with the economy going to the toilet, there is NO good reason for me to jump ship for a raise.

Three years ago, they ALL would have jumped ship. It's a different type of world now, since foreclosures, etc. are looming everywhere. Local trash mags have foreclosure sales listed, as do newspapers.

Apple should pony up some of those profits, but a smart board and CFO would realize, they might need a bit of cheese to get them through the thin period we can all see coming.

--Toll_Free

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23831757)

Got it!

Re:First Post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23831801)

FAIL

It's not always salaries... (2, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831759)

Maybe these people are fanatics about the platform.

Maybe there are benefits packages apple is offering which even google does not (though it's highly unlikely).

Re:It's not always salaries... (2, Funny)

delysid-x (18948) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831851)

YES! They probably are mostly zealots and fanboys otherwise they'd be working for M$. Pretty much anyone with an Apple becomes a zealboy so they have about 5% of the computing audience to hire from and most of them don't know they're being shafted, they're just working a dream job for the company that made the friendly overpriced computer they love.

Re:It's not always salaries... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23832013)

You're an idiot.

I know you're sarcastic, but... (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832239)

YES! They probably are mostly zealots and fanboys otherwise they'd be working for M$. Pretty much anyone with an Apple becomes a zealboy so they have about 5% of the computing audience to hire from and most of them don't know they're being shafted, they're just working a dream job for the company that made the friendly overpriced computer they love.


I know you're being sarcastic, but that does touch a subject that I've genuinely wondered about.

See most stories we're graced with from Apple (which isn't to say it's a comprehensive set, but just that that's the image that Apple itself is perfectly happy to give) is that everything happened because of the Great Man Steve Jobs, and (thinly veiled) in spite of those lazy incompetent engineers. X is all due to the Great Man's vision. Y was personally tested by the Great Man. Z only happened because the Great Man yelled at the engineers and told them to make the things He wants. W happened because, frighteningly enough, the Great Man didn't yell for a change, but just fixed the engineers with his iciest stare and asked them when are they going to get it done. Etc.

Frankly, it gives the impression of something more like Stalin's USSR or Mao's China than anything even vaguely resembling a company or a boss I'd like to work for. Not saying that it's necessarily that bad, I wouldn't know, but that's the impression that Apple's propaganda machine leaves. Seen from outside, and if the question came, "well, would I want to quit my job and try to get a job there?", it doesn't exactly sound motivational, to say the least.

Even skipping past the other implications, I never heard the Great Man giving credit to anyone else but himself. You hear all the time about how the iPod's success is because Steve Jobs himself said how loud the volume button should go, but you never hear who was actually the guy who designed the bloody thing. Well, not from Apple. It's not hard to dig up the names, but I'd like just once to hear Apple just come out and say "we'd like to thank these guys for making it possible."

Even from MS, for all its other sins, you hear about who championed, say, their getting into the whole Internet thing, against Bill Gates's vision. Or about those two guys whose bright idea was to make DirectX instead of just going with the OpenGL flow. Heck, you even hear about the Bob clusterfuck being the brain child of Melinda Gates. Good or bad, it's not particularly hard to find out who was really behind what.

I'm not saying that Bill Gates is a nice guy, and Ballmer probably even less so. But between one narcissistic bully who at least gives credit, and a narcissistic bully who doesn't, Bill comes out as a bit less of a low life on my scale.

Frankly, just about the only positive thing I hear about Apple as an employer, is that they don't discriminate against anyone. Their world is so centered around the cult of Steve Jobs, that there is no room for caring whether you're black, gay or whatever else. You're the worthless peon, and that's enough about you already.

Now I hear that the wages aren't that great either.

So, really, please help me understand. Why _do_ those guys go work there? I'm genuinely curious.

Re:It's not always salaries... (4, Insightful)

piojo (995934) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832029)

Maybe there are benefits packages apple is offering which even google does not (though it's highly unlikely).
Or maybe people would rather work on OS development and desktop software than improve systems to sell ads.

Re:It's not always salaries... (5, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832187)

All i'm saying is, unless the salary is horrendously low, you have to look at more than just the pay.

Free iPhones! (3, Funny)

mactard (1223412) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831763)

But the Lord Jobs gave them all free iPhones! That surely has to make up for having to work for the biggest asshole in California.

Re:Free iPhones! (3, Insightful)

yoder (178161) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831803)

Perks and benefits are great, but when the novelty wears off they will be looking for greener grass (or at least more green).

Re:Free iPhones! (5, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831875)

It really depends how you define "green". Would you rather have iMovie or Windows Movie Maker on your resume? How about MobileMe vs Windows Live Spaces? What about iTunes vs Sonic Stage?

Re:Free iPhones! (1, Insightful)

delysid-x (18948) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831949)

I'd want the one with the most market share to make me valuable to the highest number of employers and they'd want to market to the highest viewership, which would make iAnything out of the picture. Do people still use Quicktime? I sure don't. It was the second worst to realplayer.

Re:Free iPhones! (4, Interesting)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832155)

Speaking of marketshare then, here is where Apple is currently leading:
iTunes Store #1 music retailer, relies on QuickTime
iPod #1 MP3 player, relies on iTunes and QuickTime

The iPhone is quickly rising, so it may, in a few years, become the #1 smartphone, with heavy reliance on Safari Mobile, OS X Mobile, and of course, iTunes and QuickTime.

So to put your post in perspective: If you want to be in consumer electronics, web services, online stores, consumer applications, or media players, you want to work at Apple.

I mean, you have heard of the iPod, iTunes, and iPhone, right? Nearly everyone who uses an iPod uses QuickTime, and there over 170m sold, plus 6m iPhones, that suggests nearly 1/6 of the US population is using iTunes and therefore QuickTime

Re:Free iPhones! (5, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832269)

Deep breaths there skippy, deep breaths.

Re:Free iPhones! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23832207)

I vote this Most Ignorant Comment of the Thread.

Wow. You, sir, are mentally handicapped.

"I'd want the one with the most market share to make me valuable to the highest number of employers"

No, it makes you an easily replaceable commodity because, let's be frank, there's no dearth of paper MCSEs.

"Do people still use Quicktime?"

You're joking, right?

Re:Free iPhones! (2, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832291)

Except the engineers at Apple are second to none, and the industry knows it.

I would higher a Apple Engineer before I hired a .net programmer.

Even if it was to program in .net.

Re:Free iPhones! (1)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832295)

ya, cause noone uses iTunes... (which incidentally, includes a front end for quicktime, which does all the media playback for itunes)

Re:Free iPhones! (5, Insightful)

cmacb (547347) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832177)

Doesn't do any good to have those things on your resume if you aren't planning to leave Apple. If they want to keep their best people they had better compensate them.

The Novelty (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832153)

Yeah, good heath care plans and options are just the kind of thing that wears thin and makes you seek something else.

Or not.

It's not like we're just talking free soda here.

Re:Free iPhones! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23832263)

Depends on the perks and benifents. I might not get as much salary as others in my field in my area do but I have a lot more flexibile schedule and better medical and dental etc etc... This is true at least compared to my counter parts at other local organization I happen to be friends with...

Personally I think the 2-3% salary disparity is a worth while trade. Its IT sometime we have to work weekends at least I get to decide which weekends ( barring serious breakage ) whcih is not something most people doing what I do can say.

Re:Free iPhones! (1)

Swizec (978239) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831855)

Was actually offered a job that gave free iPhones ... but it was the old iPhones so I bailed very soon into the process. I have better things to do than be getting that crap.

Just so you know the idea itself doesn't seem all that crazy to employers ...

Re:Free iPhones! (1)

delysid-x (18948) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831979)

I got a job involving the early Blackberries... 950 or whatever.. it was really cool. Early adoption is where the money is. People that don't get in right away can be #2 at best.

Re:Free iPhones! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23831977)

Wait, are you talking about Apple? Your reference sounded more like Oracle.

Re:Free iPhones! (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832105)

Well, the contest used to be between who was the richest tech CEO in America. Gates pretty much took that crown, so now they slug it out as to who is the biggest asshole. And I gotta tell ya, it's tough picking between the likes of Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, and the Gates/Ballmer combine. They're all royal jerks.

As the old saying goes... (2, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831765)

You get what you pay for;-)

Re:As the old saying goes... (2, Funny)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831837)

So Vista people are paying to be crapped on? Wow. what a bunch of shitheads.

Re:As the old saying goes... (0, Troll)

delysid-x (18948) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832027)

YES. Pretty much anyone who runs vista is clueless or knows the shit they're getting into. I'm still milking my Win2k and XP keys until they won't work anymore. The 2k ones still work though, so that's my default install. Windows 2000 is the best OS M$ ever released. Dos 2.11 was pretty good too.

Calling all fanbois! (-1, Flamebait)

Yoweigh116 (185130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831767)

I can't wait to see how the Apple faithful attempt to defend this one.

Re:Calling all fanbois! (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831821)

Defend what? There has to be an offense to defend, otherwise we'll be talking past each other.

I mean, the summary itself defended the low salaries as necessary when Apple was only 2.34% of the market.

Re:Calling all fanbois! (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831917)

Slashdot has been a champion of the strong growth recently experienced by Apple. Apparently not reflecting this financial upturn downwards is acceptable here.

Say what with the who now? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832231)

Apparently not reflecting this financial upturn downwards is acceptable here.

No one will ever know, as your sentence is unparseable.

If you meant to say, why are employees not getting more because Apple has done well - I invite you to look up the term "options" which would indicate exactly the opposite is true from what you seem to think.

A company can't just be giving raises and taking them away every year or quarter depending on the market or profits! That's exactly why employees get options, so they can benefit from the good times without imposing a financial burden if later years are not as good.

Re:Calling all fanbois! (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831853)

I can't wait to see how the Apple faithful attempt to defend this one.
What's offensive about this to Apple fans?

Re:Calling all fanbois! (5, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831919)

I can't wait to see how the Apple faithful attempt to defend this one.


How about "non-monetary benefits"?

Not everyone will jump at a job that pays more - I suspect for a growing number of people, there are certain non-monetary benefits that are worth way more than dollars. Things like flex time, telecommuting, vacation are often things that people may value more than their equivalent dollar value.

Maybe Apple offers a no-nonsense environment where they can work on their stuff until "it's done right" rather than "we must ship, fix it later" mentality. Maybe they like Apple. Maybe Apple as an employer treats them fairly. Who knows (I don't work for Apple). Or maybe the work environment is such that it's a healthy one, or stimulating, or something people can feel happy about and look forward to going to everyday. Or maybe they're working on a pet project (after all, Apple has hired a number of people from the open-source community, like FreeBSD developers), and they're getting paid for what would otherwise be volunteer work.

Money isn't everything to a job. For some, it's the most important thing, but for others, once they have enough to satisfy their material needs and current wants, excess money just goes to taxes. Sure other jobs can pay more, but they may make demands that are incompatible with how one wishes to spend their time. In fact, I might say if all that keeps one to a job is money, then there's something wrong.

Or, to answer the original quote - maybe the reality distortion field works great.

Re:Calling all fanbois! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23831963)

They are paying what the market demands

The day they can't hire quality talent at those prices, they will pay more. Until then, it would be stupid to do so, now wouldn't it? And if the Apple employees think they are being "wronged" by being paid this insulting, sweat shop type wage (har har), well they, like you, can STFU and GTFO.

No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Designed by an underpaid Apple employee. Lame

Re:Calling all fanbois! (3, Interesting)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832225)

Defend that the engineers continue to work at Apple despite lower than average salaries? Nobody's making them stay, and with Apple on their resume they could get work other places quite easily. This isn't like Wal-Mart dragging down the wages of an entire town.

If anything, Yahoo should question why they're paying their engineers so much.

But !? Apple is 'cool' ?!? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831775)

HOW can you defect ?

Re:But !? Apple is 'cool' ?!? (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831911)

Considering they aren't the military, it's actually called 'quitting'.

Re:But !? Apple is 'cool' ?!? (4, Funny)

sien (35268) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832023)

Considering it's Apple it's called "committing an act of heresy" or "being excommunicated".

Careful how you say that (4, Funny)

Zerth (26112) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831779)

You're implying that Apple engineers are equally skilled as Google engineers!

On the other hand, why are Yahoo engineers so overpaid... :)

What? (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831783)

Your loking at just the salary? don't be stupid.
Benefits. I make less then I could, but the benefits of where I work more then make up for it.
So, what are their benefits?

Re:What? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23831879)

You're looking at just the salary? Don't be stupid. Benefits. I make less than I could, but the benefits of where I work more than make up for it. So, what are their benefits?
I hope the benefits include remedial education.

Look who's talking (2, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832109)

I hope the benefits include remedial education.

Honestly, someone too inept to create a userID should not be casting the first stone as far as intelligence.

Re:What? (5, Insightful)

NumbDr9 (601117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832035)

While you're on the topic of benefits, don't forget about the golden handcuffs. Any employee who was around for the bump and has unvested stock options has a compelling reason to stay.

I worked for a company that went through a profit cycle after a long period of doing nothing. I was expecting the company to do something to compensate the engineers who had been patient through the hard times, but then I realized something. They didn't have to. We all had significant stock options, and now that the stock was worth something we would all think twice about leaving (even though there were no raises or bonuses that year).

On the other hand, when the stock price went back down, people were dropping like flies. Eventually Apple will have to make corrections, but they are probably not there yet.

Re:What? (2, Insightful)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832229)

I seem to recall google having a pretty excellent benefits package in *addition* to their superior salary.

Well yeah... (0, Flamebait)

delysid-x (18948) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831787)

Everyone knows that Apple is ALL Steve Jobs. The people that actually MAKE the overpriced hardware are just bit-players.

Now you did it (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831789)

The cat's out of the bag - everyone was happy at Apple until you told them they're underpaid.

Not Needed.... (0, Flamebait)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831805)

Apple doesn't really need to increase salaries especially at the software division as because OS X is UNIX based there are a lot of high-quality open-source applications for Apple to take code from (KHTML for Safari for example) thus, Apple doesn't have to do a whole lot to improve software other then add a few features and clean up the code. In addition, unlike at Microsoft, Apple engineers don't have to reinvent the OS every time they need to ship a new OS, they just speed up the code, add in a few features, burn it to a DVD and release it, compare that to Windows where most of the code has to be rewritten and then extensively tested for backwards compatibility. Basically, by using a combination of open-source and UNIX, Apple doesn't have to do much with software and therefore can use lower-paying people because they don't have to work as much.

Re:Not Needed.... (-1, Troll)

delysid-x (18948) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832117)

>> Apple doesn't have to do a whole lot to improve software other then add a few features and clean up the code. ]
OH! Are they doing the Embrace and Extend like Micro$oft?
>>In addition, unlike at Microsoft, Apple engineers don't have to reinvent the OS every time they need to ship a new OS
uhh no... that's why the next Windows will (maybe/probably) be better since they're completely reinventing instead of retaining backwards compatibility. Fucking over users of old versions of the OS is Apple's game. Ever try to run an old Mac Classic app? Well, I never did, but I hear it doesn't work. I never bought an Apple, iPod (gay name) or otheriwise. Though I did make a lot of hypercard stacks in highschool.

Re:Not Needed.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23832237)

I don't think I can agree with that. If it were that easy, I think integrating dtrace and zfs should have already been done in addition to the improved smp capabilities of BSD 7. They are insanely great, they didn't have to invent them, and all they had to do was just port them. So why aren't they done yet ( with the exception recent de-crippling of dtrace)?

Uh, Google has fairly low pay, too. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831807)

I have multiple friends who work for Google, that used to work for Intel.

They got paid significantly more at Intel, for what was effectively a lower-level job. (Not directly comparable in job function, but in heirarchy.) Google pays on the order of 25% less.

Comparing one single job isn't the way to go. Apple may pay less than Google or Yahoo, but, really, what job position at Apple are they referring to? TFA just say "engineers". Well, what kind? If you're comparing, say, the guy who designs the box that the iPod comes in to the guy who designs Google's customized Linux kernel, then it's not even close to comparable.

Re:Uh, Google has fairly low pay, too. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23832051)

If you're comparing, say, the guy who designs the box that the iPod comes in to the guy who designs Google's customized Linux kernel, then it's not even close to comparable.
You are right. the iPod box is one of the greatest things I've ever seen, Seriously. You might laugh it off, but Apple doesn't. Every product I've ever unboxed from them is really well done and thought out. It's clear that Apple intentions are for you to have a good experience from purchase, to opening, to use.

Re:Uh, Google has fairly low pay, too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23832265)

ya, I'd pay the box designed more money. What makes more money? iPods or google's kernel hacks?

Don't think it's a problem (5, Insightful)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831813)

Now, I know Google is supposed to be an absolute delight to work for, but there is also a certain "coolness" to working at Apple. Think about it, you get to work at the company that makes some of the coolest electronics and computers out there, wouldn't it be awesome to work there? That will go quite a ways towards bridging the salary gap. In addition, if Apple really started noticing its employees leaving en masse and couldn't find competent people at the salaries they offer, then they would definitely raise salaries to attract top talent. I don't think they are having much of a problem doing that with their current situation. And, if you don't have to arbitrarily raise salaries, why would you as a company do something that would cost you more if it wasn't required?

Re:Don't think it's a problem (3, Insightful)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832099)

you get to work at the company that makes some of the coolest electronics and computers out there, wouldn't it be awesome to work there?
"Coolness" and "awesomeness" are hardly things that would tilt a talented person's interest in their favor. If you were offered $19K/yr to muck out the toilets at Apple when you could get $24K/yr at IBM, I doubt neither the "awesomeness" of working at Apple, nor the "coolness" of their products would significantly influence your decision.

No, if you're working in an engineering capacity what matters are things like how "interesting" the projects you're assigned are, and the support you receive from the non-engineering staff. I have worked on software projects that were utterly mundane in their purpose and end use (military fuel management systems), but were extremely interesting to work on. Slick packaging and good interface design aren't what make you want to get up in the morning to go to work.

Re:Don't think it's a problem (3, Insightful)

skelly33 (891182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832163)

Agreed - also, sorry but $90K is not chump change. "engineers" maybe convincing themselves of an over-inflated sense of self-worth just because of what's happening at another company. The fact is that Google cannot and will not hire 100% of engineers, thus the reality of being "able" to make better money at Google is tempered by the fact that the opportunity needs to actually present itself.

To me, that's a bit like a store with a low price guarantee on a product - if you show them a competitor's ad that has a lower price, they call and find out if the product is actually in stock and the shopper can head over right that moment and buy it. If so, then the opportunity has actually presented itself and so they honor the price.

If you take a poll of competitive salaries for similar positions at Google to your employer and demand a match, the might be inclined to determine whether any of those positions are actually opportunities for you, or if you're just trying to give them the squeeze.

Not saying that you will never get what you want, but:

a) Consider how important the difference is to you , versus...;
b) Consider the risk of losing your job over such a high differential demand with no backup plan.

For what it's worth, companies DO (sometimes) review employee compensation to ensure that they are keeping the ones they want and trimming the ones they don't, and in time Apple may end up doing the same. Any corporation worth its salt knows that its greatest asset is its workforce talent.

Work/Life (5, Insightful)

Trojan35 (910785) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832221)

People love working for Google, but my friends there tell me they work 70+ hrs/week.
People like working for Yahoo, but my friends there tell me they work 60+ hrs/week.
People tell me they love working for Apple, because they only work 50hrs/week.

Maybe the salaries reflect that? Maybe the salary difference between Yahoo/Apple reflects the relative financial positions of the company? Maybe the salary differences have to do with Cupertino vs Mountain View cost of living? Maybe Apple employees have made buttloads of stock and HR doesn't need to pay them $20k more because they're making $50k each year in restricted stock that's vesting? Maybe Apple gives 30% bonuses and the others don't?

I don't know, you tell me. I know Salary vs Salary is normally a weak comparison.

Re:Don't think it's a problem (0, Flamebait)

delysid-x (18948) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832227)

I'd really rather work for Google. I use Google many times a day, while I use Apple never. Somehow Apple manages to maintain its image as a "player" with a tiny slice of the market... This is mostly from hype. You can't even really compare them because their "coolness" is in completely different directions. Google is THE GOD of internet. Apple just makes nice hardware, with a decent stolen BSD os layer on top. I could run that on my generic beige box (which is all i'd ever pay for) so what does Apple really have?

Re:Don't think it's a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23832235)

I'll take the $20,000. Screw apple.

Re:Don't think it's a problem (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832247)

> Think about it, you get to work at the company that makes some of the coolest electronics and computers out there

And then provides shockingly poor firmware support, such as for the iPod Classic, which is apparently persuading previously happy Apple customers to buy Zunes and other alternatives.

Should be retitled: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23831815)

Will the reality distortion field hold up in face of lower salaries?

No, since only Apple geeks use Mac OS X... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23831829)

Since only Apple geeks and graphic artist types use Mac OS X, people working at Apple can't work at another place since everyone else uses Windows. Tough luck.

Re:No, since only Apple geeks use Mac OS X... (1)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831929)

There is some truth to that. There aren't that many Mac programming jobs.

Which engineer level? (1)

Jack Malmostoso (899729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831861)

Which level are we talking about? From a European point of view, 89000$ are quite some money. Is this before tax? How much would it be net at the end of the month? I am not familiar with US salaries so please excuse the silly question.

Re:Which engineer level? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831983)

To put the numbers in perspective:

At $89000 I would expect to get someone with maybe 3-4 years of experience, and at least one successful project under their belt. That's (as always when discussing US salaries) pre-tax. When you want net for the month, you then have to factor in various tax shelters, such as 401k retirement savings, which are pretty much mandatory if you don't want to be penniless in your golden years.

Take home on that 89000 might be $4-5k monthly after federal and state taxes plus medical insurance etc. Then pay at least $1200 out of that for a studio apartment (more if you need space for your family). A mortgage payment near (15 miles) google HQ is about $5500/mo, so you don't have a house on that salary alone ... maybe if your spouse also has a high paying job or you had a large inheritance.

Re:Which engineer level? (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832333)

>maybe if your spouse also has a high paying job or you had a large inheritance.

Or, as was the case in my experience when I worked in Silicon Valley, you have equity in the real estate market that pre-dates the growth of the early 90s.

Re:Which engineer level? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831997)

That would be before taxes.

FICA/Social Security Pyramid tax: ~7.5%
Federal income tax: ~18%
State inome tax: 0--10%

At that range in California, state income tax is ~8%, so that salary means ~58,000 at most.

Re:Which engineer level? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832071)

Tax would be at most 30%, but only when you're married, joint filing, with a total over $189,000. Tax on $89000 single-filing would come to roughly 27%? Joint filing with a non-working spouse lets you file like you make only $45000-$48000 and you pay 23%.

Of course, I live in a state with 6% sales tax and enough income tax to pull me up to 30% overall. Out there, they might lose 30% to income tax, $26700 in the whole year, leaving $62300. They'll get some of that back due to expenses; and filing properly lets you file things like interest on a loan as a pre-tax expense, so your mortgage interest comes off and if you paid for $1000 in interest you get $300 back then (the 30% you paid in taxes), etc.

Re:Which engineer level? (1)

Javagator (679604) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832127)

This is before tax. My taxes run about 25%. This varies quit a bit depending on number of dependents, and other deductions. Most Americans also get benefits, such as subsidized medical insurance, matched savings plans, etc.

Duh.... (1)

Bentov (993323) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831867)

Freedom, Fame, or Fortune. If working for a company doesn't give you atleast one of the above items, chances are you will get another job. I doubt they have the freedom, and we all know who has the fame there, so that only leaves fortune, and if they are making that much less than their counterparts, chances are they will leave. I guess security fits in there somewhere, but I think you all know what I mean.

How 'bout them AAPLs? (2, Interesting)

TNOVA (546953) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831871)

It's not always just the salary. There are many compensation factors- stock options, even if they are backdated and the 15% employee discount on hardware! And when you get bored at work, where else can you look at Hypercard source code?

Apples and Oranges (3, Funny)

telchine (719345) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831873)

Comparing Apple with Google is like comparing apples with oranges, or, like comparing Apple with Orange!

It's not all about salary (4, Insightful)

bigtangringo (800328) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831877)

I DNRTFA, but compensation includes benefits and options.

Additionally, and more to the point, the environment has a huge impact on the salary I'll require.

In the words of a friend of mine: My ability to tolerate bullshit is commensurate with my salary.

Re:It's not all about salary (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832085)

Even more to the point, the "data" here are a handful of self-selected, self-reported anonymous reports, and therefore completely meaningless.

It depends (3, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831883)

Will Apple have to raise salaries to match the market rate, or face defections?
Depends on what else they can offer employees and how good they are at recruiting talent. Salaries are an important part of the equation but not the only one. The perks at Google are legendary which is perhaps the clearest admission that salary isn't everything.

We have to remember too that Apple is not really a direct competitor to Yahoo or Google. Sure there is some significant overlap but the real question is what are their competitors at Dell, HP, Nokia, RIM, Motorola, and Microsoft paying. I suspect Apple is likely fairly competitive on the pay. HR folks are pretty aware of what the going rate for talent is in a given area.

I don't know too much about Apple's corporate culture but clearly they are able to attract some pretty talented folks. All other things being equal people talent will migrate towards higher pay but things are rarely equal. Speaking for myself I'd rather make a little less in a fun place with interesting work and cool co-workers. Benefits are also a consideration.

My last boss used to work for Apple (2, Interesting)

maynard (3337) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831999)

He loved it. The only reason he quit was that his wife took a position in Boston and there was no comparable position for him at Apple over here. So he took another position, reluctantly.

He said it was the best job he'd ever had.

I've never worked for Apple, so ... \*shrug\* that's all you get.

Re:It depends (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832005)

Salary isn't everything to someone who can afford the pay cut. If you're a college grad who is fresh out of school, you can easily live dirt poor to work at Google (living with others to ease the rent burden). If you have a family, or perhaps parents to care for, free massages and vacations at Google aren't going to be your cup of tea. Getting paid a fair salary is.

Discounts.. (1)

White Shade (57215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831889)

I guess it depends on how good the employee discount is! If I could work there and get a $9500 fully tricked out studio-quality system for significantly less than that, then maybe I wouldn't complain about not making top dollar.

In the end, though, I guess it depends on intangibles: How is the office camaraderie? What are the health benefits? What's the vacation plan? Is it a super high stress environment, or is it a bit more laid back and awesome? Is there a lot of turnover, or are jobs there pretty stable?

I know I for one would be more than willing to take a somewhat lower salary, if I know there's good job security, the job is intellectually stimulating, I can take a vacation from time to time, I like my coworkers, and I don't go home with less hair than I started with from being stressed out the whole time, and if I get sick I can pay my doctor's bills. Other people I'm sure would take the money, but I find a ton of value in comfort!

google is already facing defections due to this (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831907)

Google is well known for paying below industry to try to keep away non-believers. As a result, they've lost some pretty good talent. With housing prices continuing to rise on the peninsula in spite of the housing bust, everyone is being forced to bump salaries to improve employee retention.

Re:google is already facing defections due to this (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832145)

Google is well known for paying below industry to try to keep away non-believers. As a result, they've lost some pretty good talent.

Funny, a company recently worked for lost a lot of their top talent to Google, and a lot of them took a pay cut to go there.

As Steve Jobs supposedly said to John Sculley... (2, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831931)

"Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?" [pbs.org]

There's more to a job than the salary.

Of course, we all know how well that worked out for John Sculley.

Re:As Steve Jobs supposedly said to John Sculley.. (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832305)


>There's more to a job than the salary.

Yes but a job that requires the employee to be located in any major city in California, needs to pay in the 250,000 range as a base salary, if it is expected to attract any kind of mid-career talent.

Remember, you aren't trying to recruit "kids" out of "college", that's easy. But what you want is experience -- the kind of experienced people that you need to persuade away from operating their own businesses. You don't get that for $90K in California. 90k after taxes is about 55k in California. If you already have some kind of equity in the housing market there, you can do it, but you're still looking at something on the order of 25k after expenses. It's doable, but it's not lucrative.

That said, I don't know anything about Apple's career band, or how the staff is distributed to get this "89,000" average. It could mean a whole lot of things. But I can assure you, experienced engineers at Apple are getting much more than that. One thing they aren't, is stupid.

Yeah Yahoo (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831937)

Yeah I sure would like to be working at Yahoo right now.

Now google is one thing. But the older I get the more I care about working at a place that will change the world.

Ironically, we always exhort the "young people" to forego wealth and do things they are passionate about. Maybe the reason we "elders" give this altuistic advice is that is that it's only later after we have the house, kids, and pool, that we crave some meaning in our work.

By meaning I don't just mean, curing Aids or feeding the poor. I mean bringing changing how people do things or think about things. an iPod is very meaningful. So is something mundane like a voting machine's design. Teaching has its attractions because guiding even three or four brilliant students can multiply ones impact, and that definitely is low pay.

  Apple is one such place where ideas can become great products with a lot of impact.. My outsider perception of Apple is that integration of many idea-level contributions is the thing that is sold, and that makes everyones contributions more powerful and more accessible.

Google seems to me to the place where individual simple ideas reach the outside and then are backed by a legion of busy beavers to implement them. Apple I'm sure has many more hunchbacks. I'm just saying that one seems to be about pure concepts that a single PI can think of, and one seems to be about concept fusion--more like building an airplane. So one has to ask onseself, will I be one of the few google technologies that takes off, or would I rather create a novel low power Software controlled radio inside an ipod.

That's for "Engineers" (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831965)

My question is... how are comparable salaries for designers and developers? Engineers commonly make a bit more than designers and developers. Apple has a very design-centric philosophy, and engineers may be lower on the totem pole than they are at other companies like Yahoo and Google. Maybe they are simply leveling the playing field a little, or at least adjusting it to their needs.

Engineers can bitch all they want, but it may very well be that Apple is putting their salaries elsewhere, which would make a whole lot of sense.

Look at the stock (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23831967)

I joined Apple 5 years ago, and received some options as a hiring bonus. The stock is now worth 2000% of what it was.

That's why you don't hear me complaining about salaries.

Apples and Oranges (so to speak) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23831969)

Maybe the comparison holds up when you are talking about Dell, Gateway, Microsoft, and so forth - but Apple, Google and Yahoo are primarily analagous here only because they all have engineers. Google and Yahoo don't have any hardware that I am aware of (vaporware excluded). Not the best comparison to make, unless there is an agenda...

Uh, what? (1)

sokoban (142301) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832007)

Google, Yahoo, and Apple are peers?

I mean, yeah, they are all three tech companies, but with entirely different products and workplace cultures.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832277)

If you want to write Mobile OSes, you can choose between Google and Apple. If you want to write web apps, you can choose between all three. If you want to write search engines and data mining applications, you can choose between Yahoo and Google.

So if you make web apps for a living, yes, they are all peers.

OBjoke (5, Funny)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832031)

No the engineers are paid just fine, it's just that Steve Jobs' $1 salary is dragging down the average...

No need to raise salaries (1, Insightful)

Wansu (846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832033)

Anyone who has a good paying job in the US today is lucky.

May just be smart instead of greedy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23832057)

Everyone has already forgotten the tech run up. Wages and bonuses were flying fast and furious then after 2000 so were the lay offs. Apple has had a couple of good years but if they start spiking their wages and it falls off in the second half of this year or next year they'll have to lay off a lot of the people. The last keynote didn't exactly set the house afire. Better to keep people employed than overpaid and unemployed. Another good year and I'm sure they'll ease up on paying people but the economy is shaky and they are likely looking long term. The money may sound good but if the economy tanks they may be able to hang onto most of their people where are Google and the others will face massive layoffs. It's not all about being the evil empire some of it is done to promote stability. Now if the department heads are getting massive bonuses and there's a pay raise freeze that's another story and I'd send a resume to Google. You have to look at the balance sheet and not the stock price and profits. They are likely investing big in pushing iPhone to the next level. Personally I'd rather have stock than the raise anyway. Just imagine if you had been given 5K in stock three years ago instead of a 5K raise. Instead of 15K you'd have enough for a very sweet sports car or even the down playment on a house.

What a dumb question... (0, Flamebait)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832079)

Either they will have to pay more or severely lower their expectations.

uh, stock options ? (1)

goffster (1104287) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832181)

stock options perhaps worth much more than salary

Problem with the article: Apple retail staff (5, Insightful)

bomanbot (980297) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832203)

Well, I RTFA and while the data from the TechCrunch posting is quite interesting, the conclusion drawn from the blog post mentioned in the blurb is missing one important factor:

It takes Apples R&D budget and spreads it over the total number of employees from Apple. It then gets to the conclusion that Apple has underpaid its software engineers especially in the last few years as the R&D budget was not nearly as big as it should have been for the number of employees Apple has.

The problem with this conclusion is found in this article [daringfireball.net] , which estimates that half of Apples employees are now working in retail i.e. in an Apple Store. Since Google and the likes do not have a brick and mortar business, so most employees are actually engineers, the simple calculation from the article might work there, but with Apple, it is a bit more complicated than that, especially since the retail store business has just been built in the last couple years

Dont understand me wrong, Apple could still by all means underpay its engineers, but the conclusion of the article is too simple, I think.

Small sample size, self-selecting, etc (4, Insightful)

mbessey (304651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832299)

I doubt those numbers are worth the paper they're (virtually) printed on. For Google, their results are based on TEN responses, according to the article. That's not statistically meaningful for a population of several thousand.

In addition, they don't verify the information they're given (how could they, anyway?), nor do they have any idea who is actually posting those salaries. Interesting idea, but very suspect methodology.
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