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Apple Laptop Upgrades Costing 200% More Than Dells

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the pay-the-apple-tax dept.

935

An anonymous reader writes "C|net is highlighting the astonishing cost of Apple laptop hardware upgrades, compared to Dell — in some instances, Apple is charging 200% more for upgraded components, such as memory and hard disks. Either there's a serious difference in the quality of components being used, or Apple is quite literally ripping off those who aren't able to upgrade hardware themselves."

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Apple (5, Insightful)

adpsimpson (956630) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999497)

Top end vendor charges more for service than mass-market vendor.

Film at 11.

Re:Apple (1, Interesting)

daveatneowindotnet (1309197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999709)

I think it's a little more than that. Apple is manufacturing their own "high end" status. They are marking up this service and the parts, when comparable (if not identical haven't RFTA) parts and labor are much more cheap elsewhere. It a common gripe with Apple, they leverage their software to push their price inflated hardware. To me that sounds a lot like what antitrust is designed to thwart. But hey it's not like they did something awful like preloaded a media player into their OS or something.

Re:Apple (5, Insightful)

michael_cain (66650) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999991)

To me that sounds a lot like what antitrust is designed to thwart.

Sorry, antitrust is designed to thwart that kind of tying only if one has a dominant market position, and is using the tying to extend that dominance into a different market. With 5% or so market share, Apple is small enough to be free to do what they like in the way of bundling and tying.

Re:Apple (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999771)

Top end vendor charges more for service than mass-market vendor.

Film at 11.

The last time I checked (Consumer Reports), the only thing Apple has over other vendors is better customer service: not technology. And as someone who's more than willing to fix his own computer, I don't see any reason for the Apple premium.

Neighborhood friendly computer geek (3, Informative)

sleekware (1109351) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999507)

Just pay your neighborhood friendly computer geek to install the upgrade for you. You aren't forced to go through the Mac store.

Re:Neighborhood friendly computer geek (0, Redundant)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999639)

Your NFCG is about 10 times more competent with a PC or PC laptop than with an Apple. Most of them would be lost if you asked them to upgrade your MacBook. You can pay the NFCG now and pay extra to fix their mistakes later or you can pay Apple service now.

Re:Neighborhood friendly computer geek (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999701)

Oh I think we could figure it out. But we would of course insult you endlessly for buying a Mac and investing into the rape that comes with it.

Re:Neighborhood friendly computer geek (5, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999993)

Your NFCG is about 10 times more competent with a PC or PC laptop than with an Apple. Most of them would be lost if you asked them to upgrade your MacBook. You can pay the NFCG now and pay extra to fix their mistakes later or you can pay Apple service now.

Adding memory or replacing the hard drive on a MacBook is trivial (as long as you have a size 0 phillips screwdriver). Anyone who can hold a screwdriver and is not legally blind can do it.

Re:Neighborhood friendly computer geek (5, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24000037)

Golly sir those Macs must run on fairy dust and Unicorn poop...
Give me a break it isn't some magical device people. Apple uses off the shelf parts. Apple even provides instructions on how to do it!
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1270 [apple.com]
http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/MacBook_13inch_HardDrive_DIY.pdf [apple.com]
If your local computer guy can READ and use the internet this is a piece of cake.

Re:Neighborhood friendly computer geek (0, Troll)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24000045)

Your NFCG is about 10 times more competent with a PC or PC laptop than with an Apple. Most of them would be lost if you asked them to upgrade your MacBook. You can pay the NFCG now and pay extra to fix their mistakes later or you can pay Apple service now.

Current Macbooks are PC laptops with a different OS and some DRM.

But anyway, I thought installing hardware in your Mac was easy because 'it just works' and you wouldn't have to pay your NFCG, right?

Re:Neighborhood friendly computer geek (0, Flamebait)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999651)

And potentially void your warranty? No thanks.

Re:Neighborhood friendly computer geek (5, Informative)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999713)

You can up the memory without voiding the warranty, at least on the MacBook Pros; I'd imagine on most systems too.

As for the Hard-drives, I don't know.

Re:Neighborhood friendly computer geek (-1, Troll)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999937)

The last power book i saw had to be opened up for the hard drive, so id say that would kill your warranty.

How the hell did i get modded as a troll for not wanting to void my warranty? Morons.

Re:Neighborhood friendly computer geek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24000021)

You must not have seen a powerbook in the last decade then O_o.

Re:Neighborhood friendly computer geek (4, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 6 years ago | (#24000039)

How the hell did i get modded as a troll for not wanting to void my warranty? Morons.

Probably because everyone knows that opening a Mac doesn't void the warranty.

Re:Neighborhood friendly computer geek (5, Interesting)

John_Booty (149925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24000029)

I upgraded the hard drive and memory on my MacBook Pro and had no problems with getting my machine serviced by AppleCare on two occasions. And those were full logic board replacements, not cursory looks at the battery or anything.

(It was the first-gen MacBook Pro. Lots of issues with those, although Apple did take care of me.)

Re:Neighborhood friendly computer geek (3, Interesting)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999995)

I bought a MAC mini a few months back at the local MAC store. I asked if there were any spare DIMM slots so I could increase the memory. The answer was "no, and besides you have to do memory upgrades through us or else you void your warranty". Well, I told him I was able to install the memory myself and would do so rather than pay their high prices. As we closed the sale he asked me if I wanted to buy the extended warranty. I said "I just told you I am going to void the warranty as soon as I get it home ... why would I buy the extended warranty?"

Re:Neighborhood friendly computer geek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999873)

>Just pay your neighborhood friendly computer geek to install the upgrade for you. You aren't forced to go through the Mac store.

When I was the neighbourhood friendly computer geek, that meant "You have a mac. It's not something I deal with. I deal with real computers. Sorry about that. I believe there's a Mac store 2 hours away that can help you with it, though." And yes, the nearest store that sells any Apple equipment is really 2 hours away. That's changed as of a couple of years ago, of course. You might think I live somewhere surprisingly small. Not really, it's the 10th largest city in my country. It's just outside the US, Macs are, well... unpopular, shall we say?

Things have changed since I was a teenager a decade ago, though. I still don't know much about macs (PCs, or hell, anything non-mac are way too dominant in the field of network dev work) but I'll now work on them. Of course, you'll be paying for me to learn whatever wacky way Apple decided to do something. Which means those cheap parts become expensive parts.

You may be wondering why I refused Mac work all those years ago. Some might say I was a stupid teenager. I'd say it's because few to no PC parts were Mac compatible. The pathetic Apple attempts back then included lovely things like 5 volt EDO-SDRAM. Yay... Fortunately now off the shelf parts usually work. Usually. Unless you have a Mac-mini with a broken DVD drive...

200% more? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999511)

Really? 200% more? That is 3 times as much. Or perhaps you actually meant 100% more, which is twice as much... or alternatively, "200% as much as".

Re:200% more? (3, Insightful)

ari_j (90255) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999585)

Cut him some slack. He also said that "Apple is quite literally ripping off those who aren't able to upgrade hardware themselves" (emphasis mine) when this is almost certainly not the literal meaning of ripping off.

Re:200% more? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999825)

Actually, "literally" can also have the nearly the opposite of its expected meaning: see Definition 2 [merriam-webster.com]

Re:200% more? (1)

freakmn (712872) | more than 6 years ago | (#24000007)

Actually, "literally" can also have the nearly the opposite of its expected meaning: see Definition 2 [merriam-webster.com]

Isn't that ironic [reference.com] ?

A pet peeve (2, Informative)

professorguy (1108737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999661)

Hear, hear!

A percentage should never be used with either the term "more" or "less." It should always be "of." Then any ambiguity is eliminated.

Apple's hardware costs 200% of Dell's.

The worst is when someone says "This costs ten times less than that!" Really? The price is NEGATIVE 900% of that? Better is "This costs 10% of that."

Re:200% more? (5, Informative)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999733)

An 8-headed display Mac Pro is $3239. To which you add four 1TB drives, and RAM, both from elsewhere. You chuck out (or sell, it's very good hardware) the 2 GB stick of RAM and the HD it comes with.

RAM is $699 per 8GB (as pairs of 4GB sticks @ memorysuppliers.com); so you need $2800 for 32 GB; a 1 Tb drive is $190 (WD Caviar GP WD10EACS Hard Drive @ buy.com), so you need $760 for four drives. Total:

$3239 - macpro w/wifi, 8 display outputs (4x ATI 2600 XT 256MB), 2.8 GHz
$2800 - ram
$ 760 - drives
---------
$6799...

Same configuration (32 GB, 4x1 TB drives) from the Apple store:

$13,989.00

Re:200% more? (2, Informative)

Danimoth (852665) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999805)

Actually, the numbers shown in the article ARE 3x as much. So yes, 200%

Re:200% more? (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999925)

No, no, no... you missed the point, they wanted to say "ONLY 200% more"

200% cooler (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999521)

They cost 200% more because owning an apple makes you 200% cooler.

This just in... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999523)

Computer manufacturers charge way more than they should for components & installation.

my personal experience... (0, Flamebait)

zzottt (629458) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999525)

my personal experience is that the Apple hardware is far superior and requires less upgrades and that is why the cost is much more. Supply and Demand.

Re:my personal experience... (2, Insightful)

ari_j (90255) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999559)

Everything you said makes logical sense, except for "supply and demand" at the end. You just got done saying that the demand is low!

Re:my personal experience... (2, Insightful)

PachmanP (881352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999573)

my personal experience is that the Apple hardware is far superior and requires less upgrades and that is why the cost is much more. Supply and Demand.


Drink much kool aid?

Re:my personal experience... (4, Insightful)

mastershake82 (948396) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999607)

A fool and his money are easily parted.

Re:my personal experience... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999745)

hmmm... too bad Apple doesn't make any computer hardware.

Re:my personal experience... (5, Funny)

silentrob (115677) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999777)

my personal experience is that the Apple hardware is far superior and requires less upgrades and that is why the cost is much more.

Right... because Apple's memory comes from a *completely* different part of Tiawan than Dell's.

Re:my personal experience... (4, Insightful)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999833)

Huh? We're not talking about the base hardware here. We're talking about the upgraded components you can get. Those components are the same ones you can buy on pricewatch or anywhere else. Anyone who is buying RAM or HDs from the Apple store is getting completely ripped off.

And what does supply and demand have anything to do with it? Trust me, Apple has plenty of computers to sell to anyone who wants one.

Re:my personal experience... (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999919)

My brother got a mac a while back. He was in love with it for a while and talked about how much better it was and the quality of components etc etc.

Within 3 month he had sent it back to the shop for replacement of defective parts not just once, but 3 times. Between the 5 other systems in the family and 15 years of owning computers I have only ever had one completely defective part, a power supply. He held out saying it was superior for a while, but now he just built himself a new machine and is running good ol' windows.

So much for anecdotal evidence that macs are superior quality. IMO its all about the coolness factor.

Desktops too (5, Informative)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999531)

This is also true of Apple desktops.

Simple check: Go to the Apple store, and price a Mac Pro 8-core with the basic amenities; 2 GB ram, the recommended HD. Then price it maxed out; one HD of the largest size (1/2 TB last I looked) and 32 GB of RAM. Finally, take the original price and add 32 GB of RAM in 4 GB sticks (the Mac Pro can take 8 sticks) from a reputable online store. The difference is astonishing.

I have a recent Mac Pro, and I expanded it the sensible way; the amount of money I saved by doing that is staggering. I've had absolutely no problems.

XServes Too.. (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999895)

Though we can get a good deal on XServes, I went with a Mac Pro just because of the hard drive lock in. 80GB for $200? Or 1TB for $450? It's just ridiculous.

Re:Desktops too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999987)

Absolutely. This has always been true. The Apple price for a hard drive upgrade is often more than the cost of the new drive online. If you are capable of doing your own hardware installations, the general rule is to always buy a Mac in the stock configuration, upgrade it yourself, then take the stock drive and use it for backups or whatever. You are basically paying for both drives whether Apple upgrades it or you do. You might as well get to keep the extra drive..

For RAM, it's not always that clear-cut because you can't always use the stock RAM if you upgrade it. Even still, it's usually quite a bit cheaper to buy the RAM yourself and toss the stock RAM than to buy the upgrade from Apple. The more RAM you add, the bigger the difference.

What amazes me is that every couple of years, somebody notices this and pitches a fit, completely unaware that long-time Mac users have known this for decades....

I don't think that means what you think it means (0, Troll)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999541)

... Apple is quite literally ripping off those who aren't able to upgrade hardware themselves

Ouch! What are they ripping off and why would they do that to people giving them lots of money?

Re:I don't think that means what you think it mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999625)

I think it means exactly what he thinks it means.
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=rip%20off

Wrong word. (1)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999797)

literal [reference.com]

in accordance with, involving, or being the primary or strict meaning of the word or words; not figurative or metaphorical

Slang would also typically come under that. If someone said they "literally pissed all over [urbandictionary.com] someone" you wouldn't take it to mean they got the better of them would you?

Re:I don't think that means what you think it mean (1)

UserChrisCanter4 (464072) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999891)

Apparently they're literally ripping off the cover of both laptops so that they can shoehorn in 3.5 inch Hard drives (at the top of the page). It's either that or this guy's editor needs to be shot...

It costs a lot to be trendy: (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999543)

Doesn't matter if it's trendy clothing, a trendy car or anything else, it's going to be more expensive if it's the 'cool' thing to do.

Or both (1, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999547)

I vote that they are using higher quality then the sub par commodity dell components, but still charging more then they should because they can.

Re:Or both (2, Insightful)

BytePusher (209961) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999769)

Not that I love DELL or anything, but I've found their business level systems are very reliable. They tend to be very picky about what they will sell you, because they want to make absolutely sure it will work fine so they don't have to provide support later. In addition I think you'll find DELL upgrades over priced as well, just not nearly as bad as Apple.

News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999553)

Apple tax isn't news....it's old hat.

I'm an Apple user and I can tell you, no-one where I live 'upgrades' through Apple...the local Apple Centre will sell you kingston memory if you want an upgrade becasue it's cheaper to buy a mac, rip out the memory and replace it than it is to upgrade through apple.

old news.

Oil change at the dealer (4, Insightful)

CambodiaSam (1153015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999579)

I get my oil changed at the dealer for various reasons:
1. I don't know how to change my own
2. I prefer to use the dealer since they can do warranty replacement on the spot if something is broken

Yes, I pay probably twice as much, and I like it. Kinda seems like the same situation here.

But.. (4, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999683)

The thing is not about the 'dealer' generically overcharging. It's about Apple overcharging more than other vendors overcharging. All of them charge more for options for the general philosophy you hold justifying it, but overcharging more than a comparable competitor....

BTW, I did have the dealer change my oil during warranty because they sent me coupons for free oil changes for the duration of my warranty, but in the end, I find it hard to see how an oil change could break anything else, so I do it myself now that it is out of warranty.

Re:But.. (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999871)

but in the end, I find it hard to see how an oil change could break anything else, so I do it myself now that it is out of warranty.


I think the grandparents comments were along the lines: I'll let them do the oil change, because while they're under the hood if they notice anything they can fix it (under warranty). I think my place does a general diagnostic and such when I bring it an and gives it a once-over.

Meanwhile an owner (even an educated one) might not notice something wrong unless the one of the "obvious" alerts are appearing. Lights on the dash, hesitation, weird noises, etc.

Re:Oil change at the dealer (2, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999789)

Well, you're obviously just a noob sucker who doesn't know a thing about his car. You should have your license revoked until you know how to rebuild an engine from scratch. : p

Re:Oil change at the dealer (2, Informative)

wiggles (30088) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999795)

Two thoughts on that.

1. You should learn; it isn't that difficult. I was changing my mother's car's oil at 15. Just make sure you don't drop the drain plug in the pan :)
2. In my state, any reputable mechanic can do warranty repairs. You should check with your local mechanic to see if you have similar laws on the books.

As a rule, I never go to a dealer for anything except for warranty repairs, but those are extremely rare since I've only owned one car with an actual warranty (and it was a Honda). Dealers will charge you double for parts and extra for labor, and they screw up oil changes fairly regularly -- usually by over-tightening the oil filter.

Beware of local guys, though. Some will try to rip you off, but if you find a local guy with integrity and establish a good relationship with them, you'll be much better off than going with a dealer.

Re:Oil change at the dealer (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999847)

Do they charge twice as much for the oil, or just more for the labor?

Re:Oil change at the dealer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999915)

Yes, same situation. You are a sucker when it comes to both cars and computers.

Re:Oil change at the dealer (1)

JayAitch (1277640) | more than 6 years ago | (#24000011)

And face the dealer talking you into replacing things you don't need. I used to go to the dealer for the same reasons, but they don't seem to understand I do not want a new hepa filter, and I don't need new wiper blades. Sometimes they would even replace it without ok'ing it with me. I have free inspections there yet I choose to take it to my friendly neighborhood mechanic and pay their fee. They'll speak with me frankly about my car not a sales pitch from the guy that didn't even touch your car.

Duh? (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999581)

I like Apple. I've got my MacBook Pro next to me. At home we have another MBP, a MacBook, and an iMac. In the past we've owned numerous other Macs (all the way back to an LC II).

So let me say... duh. It is very well known that Apple does this. Read any thread on Macs here on /. Someone says Macs are great computers. Someone replies "but look what they charge for RAM!". The someone else says "well yeah, Apple is like that, buy the RAM separately."

This OLD. This is STALE. This is well known by anyone who watches this stuff. It's stupid, but Apple is allowed to price gouge if they want. This is just some "journalist" writing about a "discovery" to get page-views.

Just don't buy your upgrades from Apple.

And don't give this guy the hits he doesn't deserve.

Re:Duh? (0, Offtopic)

Sethus (609631) | more than 6 years ago | (#24000013)

Hyuk hyuk, guess what happens when you get a stale news story about a mac?

You get a rotten Apple!

Re:Duh? (4, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#24000051)

Yep, but also watch out when Apple has specials. When I bought my MacBook, I was going to get the base model and upgrade the HD and RAM to get it to be nearly the same as the middle model.

But they were running a special at the time (I think it was a Back-to-School special). For about $200 more, I could double my RAM, upgrade my HD and get a slightly faster processor. So I just paid the $200 upgrade as it would have cost me as much just to buy the parts.

Obligatory.. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999589)

Company over prices commodity hardware, unwashed masses run to store with cash in hand. Film at 11.

Time != Dollars? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999595)

I can change the hard drive in a Dell in a conservative 4 minutes, to do the same in a MacBook Pro takes 40 minutes and chances are it is going back together bent with a couple screws stripped.

Not Quite a Rip Off (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999613)

I've tested Apple ram and non-Apple ram (most of the big ones) extensively as part of what I do for a living, and it is very much the case that Apple ram has a very, very low rate of failure--one of the lowest actually. I don't know about the rest of their hardware, but part of the Apple deal that I do know about is how they pay for their care plans, which almost always cost Apple more than it costs the customer...

They do it by rigidly controlling the components of the hardware---they're not about to replace non-Apple ram for you when it fails for free--or at all. In return for using all Apple components, you get what amounts to the best guarantee (for the first year) in the industry. In order to pay for that level of care, Apple charges more for its components.

I'm not sure that it's not a rip-off in some sense, but anyone who's dealt with Dell's customer service in the last three years knows veyr well that you get what you pay for.

but but . . (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999635)

That apple SODIMM is so PRETTY!

This is why I will never buy an apple (1, Flamebait)

Erie Ed (1254426) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999645)

Seeing as how I enjoy building my own computer apple pretty much prevents you from doing this...Prepare to get fscked by the long dick of steve jobbs

Of course (5, Funny)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999667)

In other news: radio upgrades cost more on a BMW than on a Hyundai. With that or with RAM upgrades, you can either do it yourself (or hire someone), or you can let the dealer do it. Guess which is always more expensive?

Apple is quite literally ripping off those who aren't able to upgrade hardware themselves.

That would literally hurt.

Re:Of course (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999843)

In other news: radio upgrades cost more on a BMW than on a Hyundai.

no they dont. the local Car audio shop charges the same price for a specific stereo to be installed in a car. you MIGHT need some additional gear to make it fit in the BMW because of their stupid systems like GM has but it's no more money.

now at the dealer is a different story. only fools get work or upgrades at the dealer.

Re:Of course (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999909)

See here [slashdot.org] .

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24000017)

Do you understand that increasing the size/amount of RAM in a laptop is completely different from upgrading a radio system in two different classes of cars, even metaphorically?

You're either a car person who doesn't understand computers very well or a computer person who doesn't understand cars very well.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24000023)

because you are paying for the luxury of bmw. my audi dealership has an executive lounge for me to wait in while my car gets serviced. i can watch tv on a 70" tv, or send faxes that i otherwise would have been sending at work or in my home office, or i can relax on a leather couch and take a nap. if i couldn't stay at the dealership, they would have given me a loaner car to use for 24 hours.

now lets look at my pontiac dealership. when i need to service my other car, i sit in a 12x10 room with a pot of day old coffee, a 19" tv with rabbit ear antennas, and a payphone in case i need to make a call. i'll have to pony up $100 to get a used toyota corolla as a rental. but lets compare prices, replacing control arms on the audi costs $900 as opposed to $200 on the pontiac.

quality of components isn't the only cost factor (5, Interesting)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999671)

There's a lot more that determines pricing apart from "quality" (you mean cost) of components and greed. First and foremost, there is cost of labor (although I doubt that Apple employs expensive US/European people for assembling their stuff). Also don't underestimate the cost benefit of having efficient logistics / infrastructure for assembly.

Also, compared to most smaller market players, both Apple and Dell are outrageously overpriced in this regard.

Re:quality of components isn't the only cost facto (1)

zontroll (714448) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999943)

Almost all Apple products have the following on the box: "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China". Therefore, the labor argument is moot.

literally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999677)

Is that "literally" in the figurative sense, as in "figuratively literally ripping?"

True, but very old news (4, Informative)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999703)

It's true that Apple gouge on upgrades, but it's hardly a new phenomenon. They were doing it 4 years ago when I bought my first Mac and were doing it well before then too. It's a form of price discrimination, similar in that way to rebates and coupons. Those willing to expend more effort (fit their own RAM, fill out a rebate) effectively pay a lower price which allows the store to sell to a broader range of customers while maximising profit.

Nothing new (1)

iXiXi (659985) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999715)

That applies to everything. Look at how many people pay top dollar for a better product. Mercedes sells a lot of those C(heap) class models to people who want the better quality vehicle. I figure it is just like corrective optical surgery. Do you want the cheap guy to perform that procedure? I am so glad no one has come by and tried to force me to buy an Apple yet, I can still buy them by choice.

Not new (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999721)

I once had a friend of mine explain to me he didn't have internet because it would cost too much to have an airport card installed on his precious Mac. He even had Wi-Fi in his apartment. That's just sad.

Change your own oil! Or don't! (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999729)

Sometimes (the last two times) I change my own [automobiles'] oil. Sometimes I don't. The point is whether or not I feel capable or up to it and whether or not the money and time I spend is worth more or less than the money.

Personally, I wouldn't dream of paying someone to work on my computers. But that's just me... and probably most everyone here has similar sentiments. HOWEVER, the masses think of computers as difficult, scary and complicated beasts and would rather pay. If they bought an Apple, they are no stranger to the belief that they pay more but are getting more. While the latter is debatable, that's not the point. The point is that they are more than likely very comfortable with paying whatever price they end up paying or else they would seek less expensive alternatives... and there *are* alternatives. This is a classic "what the market will bear" capitalism. Leave it alone.

Re:Change your own oil! Or don't! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999947)

But if Valvoline charges 200% more than Midas for essentially the same oil change, customers might rightly wonder why they're paying so much when they can get the same service for cheaper elsewhere. We're not even getting into alternatives, or the possibility of changing your own oil.

Or a little of both (2, Interesting)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999737)

In other news, people pay for service. Seriously, I don't know many places at all that charge less than $40-50 min for a lot of simple things like putting in a stick of RAM. I do charge less - which most private clients comment on - but I only do that when I have the time to bother.

You are paying for the service. It's not a new thing. Have a look at internet hosting providers, where many will charge you an extra $60/month for an extra gig stick of RAM, or $600 outright to have it installed.

As for the quality of components, it's well known that Dell - and many others - use shit components. The last few Dell's I serviced (and I avoid them if at all possible now) had cheap, no-name brand BS boards, bargain-basement RAM, and feather-light cruddy PSU's. On top of this, oft-times stock components (floppy drives, etc) would not work in them, due to special case-configurations (such as the drive-screws being on top instead of bottom) that worked only with Dell components. The dell components were still genero-brand crap, but higher priced and altered enough that they were the only ones that fit.

So is it ripping off customers? Well, they're definitely paying more. But I'd consider a long-lasting, reliable PC at $1500+ a deal compared to a $500 unit that runs like crap and may decide to die (and take my data with it) anytime.

I haven't disassembled any of the newer macs in awhile though, but why not buy the parts and - if you don't want to pay Apple to install them - get a local geek to do the job?

Re:Or a little of both (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999967)

I think you're missing the point. Dell already charges a hefty markup on components -- a year back, I priced the same RAM as 2x more expensive at Dell than at Newegg. So this basically means that Apple's markup is that much beyond the conventional markup that comparable companies provide.

THe car analogy would be a do-it-yourself oil change for $14, a Ford and Toyota dealers charging $30 for the service, and Mercedes dealers charging $90 for the same service.

You knew that, don't you ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999773)

if you rearrange RAM ... you get ARM, so of course they have to charge you extra to justify your ARM. No, I don't know when is the LEG.

the thing with laptops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999783)

The only problem with laptops is that fact that it's not very easy to add new ram compared to desktops or iMacs, and most people won't want to try. It's easier for them to just buy the extras from Apple and have it pre-installed.

Oh duh (1)

ToasterTester (95180) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999787)

I don't know anyone who buys or recommends buying their upgrades from Apple. Some prices are reasonable, but mainly memory and hard drives are cheaper to buy and install on your own. I wouldn't say Dell and the others are that much better, if I get a IBM or Dell laptop I order the same way and upgrade with 3rd party.

Literally Ripping What Off Consumers? (5, Funny)

greenskin (81846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999793)

If Apple is literally ripping off consumers, I think you forgot your direct object. Maybe Apple is quite literally ripping the arms off those who aren't able to upgrade hardware themselves? Why isn't this bigger news?

Re:Literally Ripping What Off Consumers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999951)

Because you can't pick up and dial a phone, nor can you use a keyboard without any arms. Obviously

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999801)

It ain't UNICEF!

Isn't that the idea? (2, Informative)

Qwavel (733416) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999813)


Apple is a premium brand, so you pay more for everything.

One of the ideas behind this strategy is that you are trying to attract primarily the most 'price-insensitive' customers. These are, after-all, the most desirable customers.

One can see how it pays off with the recent AT&T deal. Apple got the best of the deal, but AT&T justified it to their shareholders by reminding them that these are the best customers you can get.

Of course, getting these customers is not as easy at just raising your prices - being the #1 cool brand is the key and is very expensive in marketing etc. - but the upside is huge.

Literally? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999815)

So if they're literally ripping people off, the people must be hiding somewhere, once they're ripped off the face of the earth, right? And why would ANYONE agree to that for an upgrade!? I mean, once you're ripped, game over man!

operating system differences (1)

pohl (872) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999817)

With respect to memory, my first thought is that this inflated price may be offset somewhat by the different requirements between the operating systems. Microsoft's official recommendation for Vista Home Premium / Business / Ultimate is 1GB, with a common belief among users that 4GB may be the "sweet spot" [slashdot.org] . Compare that to Leopard, which has an official minimum recommendation of 512MB, and any new machine that you buy ships by default with 2GB, which seems to be Leopard's "sweet spot".

Services? (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999845)

Now, i don't know that much about apple products, but the same can be seen for servers.

Assume i buy an IBM server and add a 24x7 4h 3Y ServicePack to it.

Now, if i buy IBM branded RAM, it will automatically be covered by the ServicePack i bought for the server.

If i buy some (matching) Noname RAM, i'll have to run after that myself.

So you pay a price premium for having

* A assured working configuration (which you don't get if you chose components on your own)
* Service covered by a single vendor

Of course IBM tacks on a hefty profit of their own - but i don't see much wrong with that.

Wow, after about 20 years this hits the news? (2, Insightful)

Shawn Parr (712602) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999849)

I've been an Apple user for quite some time, and quite frankly, this is not news. This has always been the case.

Any time I configure a machine for myself, or help someone configure their machine, I always set any Apple accessories to the minimum, then budget in an order from Newegg, OWC, etc, for any RAM and HD expansion needed.

On one hand, yeah it sucks, however many of the newer laptops, especially the Macbook (not pro) line have made it very easy to swap out RAM and HDs, so it really isn't that much of an issue. The one place that you really have no option is if you want to upgrade the CPU.

Is it a money grab from Apple for those who don't know better/are timid of their own upgrades/don't care? Does it really matter? Quite frankly if you don't research before buying anything you are probably going to get taken. This also increases the market for 3rd party upgrade retailers from Mac users who are in the know.

I know there is this stigma that Mac users only care about looking cool and being clueless, however many of the Mac/Apple users I know do not really fit into that niche at all. Many of us chose the machines we have because they fulfill the needs we have, can run the software we desire, and at a price point we are happy with. Most of us have machine that look a bit worse for the wear due to being used day in and day out both in offices and on-site. Just because Apple marketing likes to play the 'cool' person card whenever possible to grow brand recognition, does not mean that there are not serious professionals out there using the platform for serious work.

Steak (5, Insightful)

greyhueofdoubt (1159527) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999875)

"Can you believe it? When I go to the local steakhouse, they charge me more than twice what the meat itself actually cost! I can grill porterhouses for the whole family for half of the cost of going to the restaurant, and then there's the cost of gas! WTF! Restaurants suck!"

And yet you keep going to them.

Geek squad, car mechanics, roomba accessories, batteries for power tools, printer ink cartridges, etc... the list is long of transactions that grossly favor the seller. This is business. Things are not priced according to their material cost, they are priced based on their market value. They cost what they are worth to the target market.

You could sit all day making little beaded merkins with fur trim and I won't pay you a damned cent because I don't want your damned merkins. You get paid what you're worth. Apple gets paid what their products are worth on the market. They have done the math and figured that they make more money by charging X dollars and losing a few customers than charging X to more customers.

I hate it too and when I do buy apple hardware I downgrade the memory as far as I can in order to save money by buying it elsewhere.

Think of it this way: Buying RAM at newegg or wherever is cheaper than buying it from apple, but it's also cheaper than buying it from dell. So skipping the RAM from both companies saves you money. Right?

Maybe you feel like people are getting ripped off, but that's just because you're sensitive to this area of the market. I think people are getting ripped off whenever they pay a premium for something made out of 'aircraft grade aluminum' or titanium or whatever. I work with those materials all the time and the phrase 'aircraft grade aluminum' is as useless as saying mil-spec or heavy duty. There are mil-specs for shitty things, too. 'Heavy duty' batteries are among the worst. And aircraft aluminum ranges in strength from steel down to something you can rip with your hands.

So screw people who can't open the memory access panel on their computers. Apple has free and detailed instructions on how to do that for all of their hardware. If you're paying that much for RAM, then you're also probably the kind of person who pays $45 for someone to do their oil change or $6 for someone to make their coffee for them.

Again: Market value.

-b

This is not news. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999877)

Apple has been doing this all the way back to the original Macintoshes.

There's a reason that, when Apple licensed people to sell clones, Apple's business went to the clone makers.

Here at work, that surcharge for Apple to install something in the first place, test it, and cover it with their warranty (so I don't have to prove that a failure is not my fault before sending it back) still isn't as much as it costs for me or the local IT guy to install it and fix it when it fails.

Apple isn't selling upgrades to everyone, just the folks whose time is worth too much money. Everyone else can upgrade their machines themselves. This has the added benefit of letting them stock mostly a few baseline models in their stores and distribution channels.

It's been this way for effectively forever. Nothing to see here, get off of my lawn.

Apple Rips off do it your-selfer's too (1)

wardk (3037) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999893)

check the prices on self-installed memory, it's well over double what you can get the same memory from ANYwhere else

Apple is in your face with this. it's a blatant "rip off" IMHO

what can you expect from a company that sends out 100 dollar make-up-for-the-iphone-ripoff coupons that quietly expire a month before Christmas, thanks for nothing Steve

Wow!! I didn't know (4, Funny)

LM741N (258038) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999913)

that Apple still made computers. Thought they were in the online music business or something.

This is news? (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999921)

Come on, this was old news in 1985. Apple has always had a premium price attached to their hardware. The only reason you can get into a Macbook for under $2k these days is because guys like Dell and HP are pushing the $1200-1500 range for their top flight notebooks.

Well, yes they are (1)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999923)

"Apple is quite literally ripping off those who aren't able to upgrade hardware themselves."

They have been, and could, for decennia, because of their 'custom' hardware.

Newsflash: Apple is a company, it doesn't have ethics, it'll screw customers over if market forces or legislation won't stop it.

Oh apple, why are you so lame? (2, Interesting)

ckuttruff (1315571) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999931)

This is not about some argument about which OS is better Microsoft of OS X or linux (cause linux clearly wins hands down), but come on Apple...

Really? Check out ram upgrades on their site - about 100 dollars / gig. On newegg or tiger direct for the same crucial ram, it's about 20 dollars / gig (sometimes less).

So absurd... get a grip apple, you're not that cool. Your advertisements are :P But in all other respects, you are so not legit.

Smart implementation of policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23999935)

These people are already buying a mac -- they have accepted the higher cost.

If the customer are savvy enough to know that the upgrades are too expensive, the customer will simply buy the upgrades themselves. If they aren't, they will simply pay the higher price.

Apple wins either way since the customer has already decided to buy the machine.

Clearly this story CAN'T be true! (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999941)

Wait... Macs?!? Expensive??? Nahh, couldn't be.

This is news? (5, Funny)

noewun (591275) | more than 6 years ago | (#23999985)

Three rules for owning Macs:

1) Do not talk about Fight Club.

2) Never buy the first generation of hardware.

3) Never order RAM or drives from Apple.

Seriously, this is old news. Buy the machine bare bones, order the stuff thuird party and install it yourself. As a bonus, it gives you an excuse to buy a set of Torx drivers!

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