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Apple's Secret Weapon To Influence Industry Pricing

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the but-that's-no-fair dept.

Businesses 407

Hugh Pickens writes "Nick Wingfield writes in the NY Times that Apple's present pricing strategy is a big change from the 1990s, when consumers regarded Apple as a producer of overpriced tech baubles, unable to compete effectively with its Macintosh family of computers against the far cheaper Windows PCs. Now within the premium product categories where Apple is most at home, comparable devices often do no better than match or slightly undercut Apple's prices. 'They're not cheap, but I don't think they're viewed as high-priced anymore,' says Stewart Alsop. Winfield writes that Apple uses its growing manufacturing scale and logistics prowess to deliver Apple products at far more aggressive prices, which in turn gives it more power to influence pricing industrywide, and one of Apple's pricing secrets has been it's willingness to tap into its huge war chest — $82 billion in cash and marketable securities last quarter — to take big gambles by locking up supplies of parts for years."

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True for tablets, not computers (2)

nepka (2501324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37956954)

This isn't exactly true for computers, but it sure is true for tablets. I can easily find better and more capable computers for lesser price than Macs, but it's an another issue with tablets. The current Android tablets either have bad hardware, bad design, are buggy or uninteresting and have less apps and games available. The good Android-tablets cost the same or even more than an iPad. At least with iPad I know to get consistent quality and a huge app store. And I don't mind paying a little for the apps and games, developers deserve support when they make good programs.

Hence, my current valuation for things is:
For desktop, Windows 7
For servers, CentOS Linux
For tablets, iPad

I didn't think tablets were that nice for a long time, but once I got mine I understand it now. It's really awesome when I'm laying down at the pool or hanging with my girlfriend in bed.

Re:True for tablets, not computers (2)

MichaelKristopeitDad (2488356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37956972)

You have to keep in mind that Macs used to cost 3x the price of PCs back in the days. It is now a little more expensive, but not by nearly that much.

One other aspect that lets them get their prices down is the number of SKUs they move around. Samsung may be ahead of Apple in terms of phones sold, but they have probably 25 SKUs where Apple only has 3 of them (4S, 4 and 3GS). That has to help as well with the overall price. Their Mac lines are similarly very thin in terms of SKUs, if you compare them to HP for example. Less variety means less stocks, less assembly lines, etc.

Re:True for tablets, not computers (2)

velco (521660) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957048)

> You have to keep in mind that Macs used to cost 3x the price of PCs back in the days. It is now a little more expensive, but not by nearly that much.

I regularly check local prices for iMacs compared to a hand-built PC (again from a local supplier) with same or better parts. Last time, a week ago, the iMac (several models) came about 2x the PC price.

(And yes, my hand-built PCs are generally from superior parts from vendor PCs, including box, cooling, PSU ...)

Re:True for tablets, not computers (1, Informative)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957114)

There is more to a computer than CPU and ram. iMacs have very expensive monitors.

Re:True for tablets, not computers (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957422)

Macs also come with a lot of "free" software that is useful. There are not always similarly good applications for "free" or cheap for Windows or Linux (e.g., Garageband, iMovie). We could also throw in Pages, Keynote, and Numbers; they are inexpensive on the Mac and without a really good educational discount, you cannot get comparable products (i.e., Office) for as cheaply (LibreOffice is nice, so is Google Docs, but they're not in the same class as iWork and Microsoft Office). Add in, as you said, the cost of a really nice screen for the iMacs (27" IPS screens comparable to the 27" iMac screen go for about $1000). This means that the base 27" iMac, negating the monitor cost, is $700. That's not unreasonable for what you get (2.7 GHz quad core i5, Radeon 6770M, etc.) from a hardware perspective. Add in the superbly designed case plus the reliability of Macs (they have the highest reliability of any of the major manufacturers plus Apple has top-rated customer service). If you include the fact that you get a UNIX-based OS (with all the perks of that - command line, stability, etc.) and all the software, it's a very reasonably-priced package. Yes, you can purchase or put together a cheaper Windows or Liunx computer (particularly if you already have a monitor or don't mind a TN panel) but Macs (mainly the iMacs) are not unreasonably priced considering what you get.

Re:True for tablets, not computers (1, Insightful)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957132)

I'd say that there are good reasons for the iMac to be a bit more expensive. You pay a premium on the iMac for the all-in-one enclosure, the form factor, the custom parts, the proprietary OS... if you were to try and custom-build a PC with the same form factor as an iMac, as well as various things like having an HD webcam built into the monitor, the touch-sensitive mouse, the aluminium keyboard etc it would most likely cost you more. My home-build PC cost me about a third less than the equivalent/worse-specced iMac (including an OEM copy of Windows 7, admittedly, which put the price up a little) but I'm not stupid enough to pretend it's entirely equivalent. Certainly it's bigger, looked a lot less polished and of course I had to build it, whereas the Mac comes as a complete package. That's another thing - you also tend to pay for convenience. Dell charge more for a PC than you would sourcing the components too. But at the same time, they build and support it for you. If my homebuild explodes one day I don't have someone I can shout at down the phone to fix it. Dell and Apple do that.

Of course there's no denying that at least some of the price is due to Apple wishing to position themselves as a "luxury" brand. I'm not going to defend that but I can understand that. They want to be a premium product so they charge a premium price. Personally, although I'm not a Mac user (but have been in the past, and would be again... if I could afford an iMac ;)) I'd feel the price is worth it, but that's just me.

Re:True for tablets, not computers (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957194)

I also want to buy Chevrolet corvette, but i dont have the money, and i am not willing to give them just for the pleasure to have this car, and it is not practical. Oh, and there are a lot cheap cars that are faster than this "race" car, but neve rmind the advertisements.So, if i wanna to get the girl, i would buy an iPad (and throw it in the garbage once i have her), but if i want a computer/tablet/phone, iApple is not in my wish list.

Re:True for tablets, not computers (5, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957272)

Really? The iMac is reaching end of release cycle, so isn't at its peak of value, but...

27" iMac built from scratch (prices from newegg):
27" 2560x1440 S-IPS monitor including camera: $999 (from apple, 1099 if you buy it from dell)
i5 2300: $179.99
DH67GD: $102.99
2x2GB DDR3 1333: $22.99
1TB 7200rpm HDD: $139.99
Radeon 6670 (aproximating the speed of the 6770m here): $79.99
Corsair CX430 PSU: $44.99
Antec 300: $69.99
Total: $1639.93
Apple's price: $1699

That really doesn't look like too bad to me. Were you by any chance ignoring the price of a 2560x1440 S-IPS monitor when you were finding they cost twice the price?

Aside –the system built here will be significantly louder than an iMac too, and significantly bulkier. Factoring that in, I'm sure we can forgive apple $60 at the end of their release cycle ;)

Re:True for tablets, not computers (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957292)

Oops, sorry to self reply, but I forgot to include a keyboard and mouse ($30 given that the ones apple includes are pretty crappy), and an OS for over $100 if you're going the windows route (though I apreciate you may not be if you're on /.)

Re:True for tablets, not computers (1)

inpher (1788434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957394)

Apple includes the Magic trackpad [apple.com] (in addition to the keyboard) which is probably the best input device for Mac OS X there is, a 13×11cm multitouch trackpad made from the same material as the trackpad on their laptops, it is well worth its $69 price tag if bought separately.

Re:True for tablets, not computers (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957428)

And Garageband and iPhoto (although Picasa is a good free replacement) and iMovie and iDVD and...

Re:True for tablets, not computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957398)

In Australia where all the tech is more expensive i bought the dell ips 27inch monitor for $760. Also there is no need to follow the specs exactly.

Re:True for tablets, not computers (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957362)

Really? Did you ever check what is the price of a 27" IPS screen? A bit more expensive, sure, but not by much, at least not the iMacs. You can argue that you don't need an IPS panel, and that's ok, but if you factor in all the separate pieces plus the price of actually buying windows and subsequent upgrades, in the end of your computer's lifetime you haven't payed that much more.

Re:True for tablets, not computers (1)

jedrek (79264) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957436)

(And yes, my hand-built PCs are generally from superior parts from vendor PCs, including box, cooling, PSU ...)

And of a completely different form factor. You can have an iMac on a table with literally one cable running up into it, did you calculate that into your price?

supply chain dynamics (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957130)

Having fewer SKUs definitely helps, when one is talking leveraging prices over volumes, and not having a fragmented product line definitely pays its share. But it also helps Apple that most of the parts they use are not used by few other vendors, so that when they order something, the supply is theirs, and in a tight market, it cannot be easily allocated to anyone else. For starters, their CPUs have almost always - except for the x86 based Macs - been used solely by them. I dunno about the RAM, but they use(d) 8Mb of flash memory, unlike 2 or 4Mb that PC makers used, and I doubt that when Intel moved to the Firmware Hub model, Apple went w/ it (although that may be different right now w/ the Macs.) On tablets, the A4 or A5 is their own - they just need to book their capacity in the fabs, the flash is probably custom and not just off the shelf, and the other chipsets they use are more likely than not, ones that cater mainly to their architectural definitions.

As a result, it's not difficult for them to get allocation priority from several points in their supply chain, and given their pricing, it's probably not difficult to lock up fab and assembly capacity either. However, I think that locking up supplies for years is more likely a legal agreement than actually purchasing those parts. Generally, any company would be better off if it could use those resources to buy those parts when there is a surplus in the market, rather than when product is on allocation. But even w/ that, storage of such parts, and ensuring that they get moved, and don't just occupy warehouses, is important. Since Apple sells to end users, rather than to OEM purchasers (unlike say, Intel selling to Dell), it has a lot more flexibility in its sales than say, an Intel.

Incidentally, how well are Macs selling these days? Has Apple gained marketshare @ the expense of PCs?

Re:supply chain dynamics (1, Interesting)

MichaelKristopeitBro (2488396) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957266)

Incidentally, how well are Macs selling these days? Has Apple gained marketshare @ the expense of PCs?

Every quarter for about six years now IIRC.

Re:supply chain dynamics (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957512)

Incidentally, how well are Macs selling these days? Has Apple gained marketshare @ the expense of PCs?

Apple is strongest in the USA, so world wide numbers are weaker. If you look at world wide numbers, Apple has grown in the last quarter to slightly more than 5% of unit sales in the category of "workstation, desktop, laptop and netbook". However, Apple has about 12.5% of the total revenue in that category. iPads are not counted in this category by most people, but Apple's iPad revenue is again about 11% to 12% of that number.

Re:supply chain dynamics (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957544)

Incidentally, how well are Macs selling these days? Has Apple gained marketshare @ the expense of PCs?

In the US, Apple's marketshare went down to something like 1.5% at it's lowest. Mac has 12.9% now according to the latest Gartner study.

Elsewhere in the world, Apple's marketshare is lower, and Gartner only publicly publishes the top 5, so one would have to look elsewhere to get a estimate on how that's been growing.

http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1 [gartner.com]

All the same = not perfect for anybody (3, Insightful)

tebee (1280900) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957162)

Yes having little variation in the range results in economies for the manufacturer, but the "one size fits all" approach combined with Apple's resistance to letting the people who buy their stuff do any changes to it means that very few people are perfectly served by the model range . The more choices you have in choosing a device and what you run on it the more like is the result you end up with something that severs your needs, rather that the needs the manufacturer feels you should have.

Re:All the same = not perfect for anybody (1)

MichaelKristopeitDad (2488356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957224)

Huuuu, not sure where you're heading here. It's all true, but perfectly offtopic.

Re:All the same = not perfect for anybody (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957452)

Software is probably where they could insert some of the variation you talk about

Shyeah...sif (2)

singingjim1 (1070652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37956998)

Windows 7? CentOS Linux?? I call bullshit on the "hanging with my girlfriend in bed" part. Never happened.

Tablets aren't actually useful, though. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957068)

The whole tablet phenomenon is a fad. It was basically created via media hype, and the willingness of many of Apple's customers to buy just about anything with an Apple logo on it.

Despite millions upon millions being sold, very few people actually use tablets. Once the novelty wears off, it becomes obvious that they aren't practical at all. They take the worst of smart phones, without any of the benefits, and combine it with the worst of netbooks, without any of the benefits. Sure, the tablets look interesting, but after you buy one and try to use it you find that you're better off using your smart phone or your netbook. That's why despite so many being sold, it's extremely rare to see anyone actually using one.

The fact that there's basically no real demand for tablets is exactly why no other company besides Apple has been able to produce a successful competitor. There are many other tablets out there that are technically equivalent or superior to Apple's tablets, but nobody wants to use them, leading to situations like the one with HP where they liquidated their stock an unprofitable prices.

Contrast this to the uptake of useful devices like PCs, laptops, netbooks, PDAs and smart phones. People actually wanted to use these, so we quickly saw many viable devices from many vendors appear. Since the demand was authentic, these devices have had staying power. This just isn't the case with tablets. The tablet fad will likely be over by the summer of 2012, if not completely by early 2013.

Re:Tablets aren't actually useful, though. (4, Insightful)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957388)

For casual computing, and I mean real casual computing (check your e-mail, browse and maybe reading a book/watching movies), tablets are ideal. Even if you coach something, imagine instead of taking all your student files, the planning and even having the ability to take notes on a single device (instead of a file that weights 3x more).

There is a market for tablets, some might even say it is the real personal computer for people that don't like computers (I don't agree with them, but I see the point).

Re:Tablets aren't actually useful, though. (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957404)

Well, I guess now that Ken Olsen has weighed in, the rest of us can go home.

Re:Tablets aren't actually useful, though. (1)

mjeffers (61490) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957474)

The whole tablet phenomenon is a fad.

I actually thing in 20 years we'll look back at the customizable home PC as the fad. The idea that the average person is the one responsible for securing, maintaining and updating a computer was a pain worth dealing with when the benefits of having the tech was offset by the ability to do something new but as technology evolves the pain just isn't worth what you get out of it.

PCs may survive in business where the flexibility they offer can be supported by IT departments but for home use I'm betting that you'll see tablets (or similar appliance-like devices with walled app-stores) take over more and more. It may not be Apple that wins and we'll certainly see a lot of failures between now and then but I think, over the long haul, people will move towards appliance-like computers and away from what we know now as PCs.

Re:Tablets aren't actually useful, though. (1)

jbplou (732414) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957494)

How did you come to this conclusion? I can can goto Starbucks, restaurants, supermarkets, and youth sporting events and very commonly see a tablet somewhere. Generally it is the iPad rarely it is something else, if you want you could say tablets aren't useful, just iPads but that isn't true. You have your head in the sand, tablets are here until somebody thinks of something's better and it isn't a laptop.

Here is a prediction by summer of 2012 if iPad 3 is out the total of all iPads plus kindle Fire will surpass 100 million units sold. Just because , HP, and HTC have been failing to sell tablets does not mean that tablets are failing. There are plenty of computers that failed when they first started moving away from Mainframes as the only computing model. Comodore had several failed models, the Tandy was only mildly successful, Atari made a computer that failed, and other companies at the time made plenty of failure as well. I was only a kid at the time so I can't remember them all and I'm too lazy to research it.

Re:Tablets aren't actually useful, though. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957552)

I keep hearing you people say that you see them "everywhere" but that's just not the case. I travel very frequently to major cities all around the world, and I deal with universities, research labs and corporations. Yet I almost NEVER see people using tablets, and I keep my eye out for them!

It doesn't matter whether I'm in San Francisco, New York, Paris, Frankfurt, London, Tokyo, Brisbane, Moscow, Toronto, Bangkok, Cape Town, Stockholm, Rome, or Rio. I see and deal with many thousands of people each year. I eat at thousands of cafes and restaurants each year. I take hundreds of flights and train rides. But during the past year, I can only think of six times when I've seen somebody using a tablet, and three of those users were in a university lecture where everybody else was using notebooks and netbooks. Meanwhile, I couldn't even begin to count the number of times I've seen people using smartphones or notebooks.

The evidence for tablet use just isn't there. It isn't there in the Americas. It isn't there in Europe. It isn't there in Asia. It isn't there in Africa. It isn't there in Australia. Maybe it is in the Antarctic, but I've never been there. Regardless, all of the actual evidence points to nobody using tablets. Nobody at all!

Re:Tablets aren't actually useful, though. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957586)

I see about 3 every morning in Chicago, on the train (not the L). Go to Singapore and ride the subway and you'll be in for a surprise.

Re:Tablets aren't actually useful, though. (5, Insightful)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957518)

Wow, rarely has there been a post that I disagree with more.

Right now, the tablet market is iPad and people who have them, mostly love them. The iPad is wreaking havoc on the low end PC market and they are still selling more iPads quarter after quarter. Apple is rumored to be dumping part of their desktop line up. There's no indication that the tablet line up is going anywhere.

after you buy one and try to use it you find that you're better off using your smart phone or your netbook

If this were true, I think you would be seeing a resurgence in netbook sales. The reality is that sales are way down and are stagnant. I think a lot of Slashdotters are really out of touch with how normal people use computers.

There are many other tablets out there that are technically equivalent or superior to Apple's tablets, but nobody wants to use them

Technically equivalent or superior? You must be measuring by clock cycle or memory size. I don't know of any tablet that even comes close to the iPad in areas that matter like build quality, battery life, and software. Apple has figured out that saying no to a feature is a bolder move than adding yet another switch or option and their product is subjectively better for it.

Contrast this to the uptake of useful devices like PCs, laptops, netbooks, PDAs and smart phones. People actually wanted to use these ... these devices have had staying power

How's that PDA working for you? Netbook sales are way down from their peak and not recovering. And who wants to use their PC? That's their work machine. The iPad is their play machine.

Talk to people who compete in the low end PC market. The iPad has them terrified. It's a huge part of what spurred Apotheker to conclude that the PC business is dead. And have you seen Windows 8? That has me thinking that Microsoft is also turning away from the desktop market. It almost seems like they are splitting Windows into server and tablet versions.

Re:Tablets aren't actually useful, though. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957640)

I think a lot of Slashdotters are really out of touch with how normal people use computers.

Wait just a minute. Normal people use computers? Well, crap.

Re:Tablets aren't actually useful, though. (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957614)

Sure, the tablets look interesting, but after you buy one and try to use it you find that you're better off using your smart phone or your netbook.

And which tablet did you buy, that you speak with such authority? Given the smack talk elsewhere in your post it obviously wasn't an iPad.

The fact that there's basically no real demand for tablets is exactly why no other company besides Apple has been able to produce a successful competitor.

The Occam's razor answer is that no other company besides Apple produces a good tablet. Your apparent dissatisfaction with the non-iPad tablet you bought only underlines that.

The tablet fad will likely be over by the summer of 2012, if not completely by early 2013.

Oh really? And how long did you give the iPod fad and the iPhone fad? How wrong were you?

Re:True for tablets, not computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957262)

Seriously dude, if you're in bed with your girlfriend don't you have better things to do?

Oh wait...forgot where I was for a minute.

Re:True for tablets, not computers (3, Funny)

nepka (2501324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957450)

It's not a choose one situation. With one night stand I probably wouldn't take my tablet in bed (because I'd be quite drunk too), but after sex I'm just not that tired usually. To be honest, sometimes it gets really irritating when my girlfriend tries to jerk me off while I just want to play one more turn of Civilization.

Re:True for tablets, not computers (1)

sqldr (838964) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957310)

find a laptop with a WUXGA screen... which isn't a macbook pro..

Re:True for tablets, not computers (1)

Kharny (239931) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957634)

Find me a laptop that has a big enough screen where that actually matters, at all?

Re:True for tablets, not computers (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957338)

Its being on the bleeding edge. Sure computers chips are for the most part commodity priced now, but if you set out to build a machine ONLY with the most bleeding edge parts, like say the absolute most powerful chips made? You'll find that savings goes poof because you are on the bleeding edge.

This is where Apple has the advantage in the tablet market that they simply don't have in the PC market. you look at the Mac lineup and frankly i can't think of a time the Mac has been "bleeding edge' with regards to their chips, but Apple has been pretty damned close to absolute bleeding edge when it has come to their ARM offerings. you look at what the competitors are offering and as you say many are just horrible, because at least IMHO from playing with the things ARM seems to drop off the scale from nice to usable to shite on a crusty roll REAL quick. A 400MHz x86 can still be used for document creation and even very light office work, a 400MHz ARM? That is a truly horrible experience.

As TFA notes this is something Cook really needs to be credited for. the guy took a hell of a big gamble by paying big bucks to lock up his supply chain so he could get pretty damned fast ARM chips at prices the other guys just can't match. ARM just doesn't have a rivalry like Intel VS AMD where both are trying to be the most cutting edge and cranking out chips to beat the band. From what I've seen there are very few places cranking out truly bleeding edge performance ARM chips and a hell of a lot of places putting out shite.

This leaves Apple's competitors with a hell of a lot less choice, so in the end they put out tablets based on shitty chips or they end up higher than Apple. I personally believe though this is only temporary as Nvidia seems to be cooking up some seriously nice Tegra chips, the only question is can they come up with enough capital to crank them things out like Intel does X86.

Re:True for tablets, not computers (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957646)

you look at the Mac lineup and frankly i can't think of a time the Mac has been "bleeding edge' with regards to their chips

I can. The first Intel MacBook Pros launched with new CPU from Intel that no one else had at the time. Fastest laptops in production.

I'm not saying that was necessarily the only time. I don't follow it that closely. But I remember they were the fastest at that point.

Re:True for tablets, not computers (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957424)

For what it's worth, the 13" Macbook Pro is fairly competitive with a Thinkpad X1 when you up the RAM to 8GB and go with an i5 on the Thinkpad.

Screen size/resolution lock? (3, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#37956994)

to take big gambles by locking up supplies of parts for years

I've heard that the reason you see so few 9.5" "ipad size" tablet displays is that Apple bought up the entire stock. This is also why the iPad 2 had the same resolution as the ipad 1, and why the Android tablets are mostly stuck at 7". Can anyone confirm/deny this? Or explain that better. My knowledge of LCD manufacturing plants and capability is minimal, to say the least.

Re:Screen size/resolution lock? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957008)

I can only guess, but I note that it's next to impossible to get a WUXGA laptop other than a Macbook Pro now. Dell used to sell them, but they withdrew that feature - replaced it on their high-end line with a lower resolution screen. I would not be at all surprised if Apple had simply purchased the entire supply of WUXGA panels, given that it's a niche part - only the most expensive laptops ever used them, and it seems plausable that Apple's demand for the 17" macbook pro could be great enough that Dell was forced to replace them with lower-resolution screens.

Re:Screen size/resolution lock? (3, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957018)

There is also the theory that 7" is a better size than 9.5" for this market. Beyond a certain size bigger is certainly better, but I dont think this market is in that zone. People want something that they can hold comfortably in one hand for a long period of time.

Re:Screen size/resolution lock? (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957106)

There is also the theory that 7" is a better size than 9.5" for this market.

Call me cynical but that sounds like a theory borne out of sour grapes to me.

Re:Screen size/resolution lock? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957196)

Actually, I upgraded my 10" Touchpad to a 7" Nook, and I'm much happier with it. The 7" Nook
- fits in a single hand,
- and in my man-purse.
- It's also a lot lighter and easier to hold in bed, while walking...
- and can charge from a PC USB port, without a dedicated charger.
- all the rest feels the same: videos, mail, rss, ereading. I know the 10" is much bigger, but it's not noticeable for those uses.

The screen still allows me to read comics and web page without zooming, though only in scroll-heavy landscape mode. But the 10" Touchpad was not too good with portrait web either, things were awful small.

I'm looking to upgrade to a Galaxy Tab 7.7, maybe. I'm quite happy with the Nook, and hate proprietary ports. But darn those AMOLED screens are nice !

Re:Screen size/resolution lock? (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957242)

Well they certainly arent my sour grapes.

The "mobile" stuff I own are a prepaid flip phone from Motorola, and an iPod Nano 3G. Nothing touch screen and no "smart" devices at all.

But if I were to get one of these mobile devices, I would definitely not be teetering on the "almost too big to be considered mobile" edge like the iPad is.

Re:Screen size/resolution lock? (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957118)

There is also the theory that 7" is a better size than 9.5" for this market.

There was once also the theory that the world was flat. Thankfully, theories often turn out to be wrong.

Re:Screen size/resolution lock? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957120)

That theory is wrong. Sales, etc aside. 7" just doesn't hold enough text for a full UI chrome (it works great on readers mind you) if you don't plan to squint.

Re:Screen size/resolution lock? (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957440)

I really like the 7" tablet size for portability, however, the form factor of the iPad is perfect for usability. A widescreen aspect ratio is nice for watching movies but the aspect ratio of the iPad is better for reading, browsing, and so forth.

Re:Screen size/resolution lock? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957556)

You say that, yet "people" seem to be buying more of the larger size. Is that because they actually _do_ prefer the 9.5" size, or just that Apple got a huge head start?

What is certainly true (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957142)

What is a certainty is that Apple does volume buying at a scale nobody else can or is willing to match. It is a huge gamble for Apple. They got a lot of money but it is still a publicly traded company so if they screw up they can loose their value really quickly.

You said it yourself, the iPad2 is very conspicious in the its screen usage. Maybe they bought a little bit to many? Remember HP and the dump of its tablet? That wasn't just done to upset the market. Grinding up old stock is costly in itself. If say an iPad3 were to fail, how much obsolete stock would Apple have to get rid off?

All that has to happen is some chinese factory to open up and sell either better tech for the same price of the same tech for less and Apples strategy is shot.

Apple is also making a LOT of enemies. MS did the same once and those who thought that in business their is no room for hard feelings and rancor were ignoring moves by old MS rivals that didn't benefit the rivals as much as screw MS over.

And right now, with Apple fighting the other tablet makers that are also its suppliers Apple is feeding the hand it is scratching at the same time. Samsungs lawyers are paid by component purchases by Apple... how odd is that?

Apple is riding a wave of success but other companies have done it before them and crashed horribly. Will Apple have the same fate? Hard to say but seeing Apple giving up its old mainstays in the high end, they sure are playing a high risk game on a very narrow playing field. Samsung won't go bust if it can't make tablets and phones anymore, they got a lot of different products. Apple on the other hand would be dead in the water if something were to happen to their iLine of products. Unlikely... but then, did anyone really for see the fall of Amiga, Commodore? IBM PC's? Or indeed, Apple PC's? Once they were a major player and then dwindled. And it is unlikely Steve Jobs will return a 2nd time to save the company.

Re:What is certainly true (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957554)

Apple, unlike Intel, doesn't compete with its customers. Nor does it compete with its suppliers. They'd be really stupid to source from Samsung, although the latter does have very competitive pricing. But as I described above, Apple could easily have very good supply lines from TSMC and any other fab it thought good for the job. The enemies Apple is making are its competitors, who'd be their enemies anyway. They're not making enemies out of IBM, they're not making enemies out of Micron or other such companies. And while they're not on good terms w/ Google, thankfully, they're not dependent on them for anything - not even search services.

Also, unlike the past failures alluded to above, Apple so far has none of the disadvantages that it had in the 90s, and despite so many Android clones, its model has been to occupy the upper niche, which has been expanding, given how affordable the iPad is. Unlike with PCs where they lost marketshare because of the closed model, this time, the Androids are ready for them right at the start, but despite that, Apple is holding their own. And given what they are based on, they can even enter server territory in some future date w/ Xeon, should they so choose. Not to mention everything they can charge for cloud services.

Re:What is certainly true (2)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957618)

They'd be really stupid to source from Samsung,

Really? [ibtimes.com]

Garbage (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957004)

Samsung make most of the parts for Apple, they're hardly going to restrict supply to their own lines.

can these posts be proofread, please? (4, Interesting)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957074)

as a non-native speaker, I find it painful to read "it's" instead of "its" in almost every /. post ...

Re:can these posts be proofread, please? (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957134)

It's even more amusing when the correct form was used two lines higher in the summary.

Re:can these posts be proofread, please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957160)

I blame Apple. This damn iPad auto corrects "its" to "it's" on me all the time. It's almost as if it doesn't have "its" in its dictionary!

Re:can these posts be proofread, please? (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957240)

As a native speaker, I also find the inappropriate usage of its/it's painful.

They're/their/there and your/you're are also sources of unreasoning rage.

The affect vs effect issue was apparently enough to make someone make an entire domain [affectvseffect.org] about it.

Language is a funny thing. "Funny" as in, you have to laugh, or it'll make you cry.

Re:can these posts be proofread, please? (2)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957306)

Language is a funny thing. "Funny" as in, you have to laugh, or it'll make you cry.

I am a firm believer in the theory that spelling/grammar skills of readers are more strongly influenced by such casually read texts than one would think. The "it's" vs. "its" problem is a real epidemic, especially among people with IT background/interests (coincidence?). So we have to fight it aggressively, even though it gets boring to post 'it's "its", not "it's"' every time this happens.

Re:can these posts be proofread, please? (1, Flamebait)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957470)

Or just go with the flow, and get used to it.

Re:can these posts be proofread, please? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957592)

The affect vs effect issue was apparently enough to make someone make an entire domain [affectvseffect.org] about it.

Sadly that site gets it very wrong. It claims that "affect" is a verb whereas "effect" is a noun. In reality, there is also a noun "affect", mostly used in psychology (love/hate, joy/sorrow, wonder/desire are affects), and there is also the verb "effect" with the meaning "cause something to happen".

Example: The good news effected an affect of joy.

Gambling (5, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957076)

People who view Apple's decisions as "big gambles" simply are not giving Apple the credit they deserve. Quite frankly, Apple hasn't gambled in quite a while - they are making very smart, very well thought out decisions and they are executing those decisions with skill and refinement. That isn't a gamble.

Regardless of what you think of Apple - love 'em or hate 'em - it's simply inaccurate to describe their moves as "big gambles". They are making bold business decisions.

Now, admittedly, that doesn't sound impressive but it actually is - too few companies are able to come up with a well thought out plan and to boldly follow it, sadly...

Re:Gambling (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957246)

On the other hand, every time Steve Jobs has left Apple, they've tanked until he came back... and this time, they can beg and plead all they want and he won't be able to take the helm again.

Re:Gambling (1)

sqldr (838964) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957282)

it's not really gambling when you've got 89 billion to spare. I'm sure any company would like to enter into similar antitrust practices if they had 89 billion.

So they have a reasonably priced product... (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957084)

Apple isn't leveraging anything. They are competing and setting the price where appropriate for the market, and as high as they possibly can.

- In the mobile phone market where users switch brands as they please with disposable products that last maybe 1-2 years under contract they price quite aggressively. The iPhone really is a good deal. It also needs to be. With a large number of other smart phones on the market that also present excellent value the iPhone no longer has the unique benefits it did when it was first introduced. There is competition now.
- Tablets are still expensive. The iPad is not discounted aggressively, quite the opposite. They are making a fair bit of money on each device sold. Their competitors think that Apple has set the price for the device, but so far haven't come to the table with a competitor that is anywhere near as good, yet most are priced just as high. I eagerly await a day when another manufacturer releases an iPad competitor that's either similar to it with Android, or that is worse but priced accordingly. The new Galaxy tab may have been it but I won't know at this point.

Which only leaves laptops.
- Macbook Pro, 2.4GHz i5, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Intel HD3000 graphics, 13" screen, $1399AU. ($200 more than the US even though our dollar is worth more).
- Dell Inspiron 15R, 2.4GHz i5, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, Nvidia Geforce GT252M, 15.6" screen $700AU

And I'm sorry but $240 for an upgrade of an additional 4GB of RAM? Sorry but those are prices I expected maybe 3 years ago.

Apple is still ludicrously overpriced in most of the products it sells.

Re:So they have a reasonably priced product... (3, Informative)

curmi (205804) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957236)

Not sure that is a fair comparison given that Dell laptop is reported to have poor build quality, poor battery life (some people report 2 hours), a poor quality screen, and I'm not even sure Dell sell it anymore. Also, the Apple laptop in question has Thunderbolt, backlit keyboard, firewire 800, 7 hour battery, solid aluminium (not plastic) and magsafe power connector. Not to mention a better operating system. It is clearly a better designed and engineered machine than the Dell.

You'll always find laptops that are cheaper than Apple. But you get what you pay for.

Re:So they have a reasonably priced product... (2)

lazybeam (162300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957276)

Interestingly the Dell 13" version of your example is the same price, with lesser specs (notably, i3).

But AFAIK the Inspiron is Dell's "cheap" brand. Apple don't do cheap. So you might be better off comparing with Alienware or Latitude. Both of which cost more than a similar spec MBP.

Apple (and most companies) do rip off us Aussies, but remember that in the USA prices are advertised without tax, so you have to add 10% GST. Still higher, but not the full $200. One thing that really annoys me is they charge us more money to "service us", but don't make changes to actually service us, like spelling in the autocorrect. When the iPad first came out it was actually cheaper here than in the States!

IPad's competitors are about the same price (2)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957324)

Only recently have they started getting cheaper, but not by much. Those that are noticeably cheaper are also of noticeably worse quality.

Re:So they have a reasonably priced product... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957414)

If you look at higher end models, with typically better build quality and finish, you see these cost differences versus cheaply made laptops, even if you exclude Apple. My experience is that if you look at higher end systems, Apple tends to be in the middle as far as price goes. You can find high end laptops for less, but there also quite a lot of them that cost way more (especially from Dell, HP and Sony).

I want antiglare on my laptop. You move into business class systems with most of the PC vendors, and pay dearly for it. I found that most antiglare PC options were more expensive than Apple. But as with everything, it depends on *your* needs, so choice is a good thing.

It works much with the same with TVs. Sure, you can buy a 40" 1080p TV made by a generic brand instead of a more expensive Samsung TV, but that does not mean the quality is the same.

I'm having trouble (-1, Flamebait)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957086)

Reconciling

'They're not cheap, but I don't think they're viewed as high-priced anymore,

with

$82 billion in cash and marketable securities

Truly you have to be an Appletard to feel sorry for these poor fellows who have to operate on razor thin margins to make all that money. Face it - Apple is a shining example of everything that is WRONG with modern American corporations. They COULD make their products in the US, but it would be slightly more expensive, so they outsourced manufacturing to Souzhou, China. All the US gets to see is minimum wage retail mall jobs, while Apple gets extremely cheap manufacturing labor, relaxes environmental controls and of course tax breaks. But people line up for days for these products when marginally incremental versions come out. Truly this is a sign of credit and access to money being way, way too easy.

No, they couldn't build it in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957186)

Look at the report to the President on Ensuring American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing. (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast-advanced-manufacturing-june2011.pdf)
Laptops, semiconductor memory device, flat panel displays, and lithium-ion batteries are all technologies that America has lost the capability to manufacture. Apple could not manufacture their products in the US anymore.

Re:No, they couldn't build it in the US (4, Informative)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957284)

Look at the report to the President on Ensuring American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing. (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast-advanced-manufacturing-june2011.pdf [whitehouse.gov] )
Laptops, semiconductor memory device, flat panel displays, and lithium-ion batteries are all technologies that America has lost the capability to manufacture. Apple could not manufacture their products in the US anymore.

Reposted to help get this AC's point out where people who ignore ACs will see it, and also to add an anchor tag to the "linked" document, so those of us who hate seeing URLs without links can just click the darn thing.

Re:No, they couldn't build it in the US (1)

Sabriel (134364) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957508)

Of course, if US corps hadn't systematically off-shored and mis-managed so much of the US economy, the US could still have that capability... bit of a vicious circle there....

Re:No, they couldn't build it in the US (1, Insightful)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957588)

They only off-shored because it was cheaper, and it was cheaper because American workers were not competitive enough.

Re:I'm having trouble (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957256)

China is complaining that it is not getting a fair share of the profits/prices. It claims more than 90% of the profits and 60% of the expenses happen outside China. Design jobs, liability insurance, warehousing, IP protection, software creation etc happen outside China. Only the brute manufacturing happens in India and China. (Surprised to learn Foxconn factory in my hometown in India is making the glass for all iPhones).

It actually strengthens your argument, "Apple could do more manufacturing in USA and still not have a huge impact on the cost of the product or bottom line". It probably will have more reliable protection of key technologies if made where trade secrets and manufacturing IP could be protected. But still it chooses to make it China.

Re:I'm having trouble (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957590)

China is complaining that it is not getting a fair share of the profits/prices. It claims more than 90% of the profits and 60% of the expenses happen outside China. Design jobs, liability insurance, warehousing, IP protection, software creation etc happen outside China. Only the brute manufacturing happens in India and China. (Surprised to learn Foxconn factory in my hometown in India is making the glass for all iPhones).

It actually strengthens your argument, "Apple could do more manufacturing in USA and still not have a huge impact on the cost of the product or bottom line". It probably will have more reliable protection of key technologies if made where trade secrets and manufacturing IP could be protected. But still it chooses to make it China.

They manufacture there because labor costs are much cheaper and they have none of the other costs associated with manufacturing in the US (payroll taxes, environmental laws, etc) that add to the costs. bringing that manufacturing here would add a lot to the costs - resulting in either a significant hit to the bottom line or much higher prices.

China is whining because they realize that they need to get more of the higher value work if they way to continue to grow their economy. At some point, someone else will be cheaper - either less developed parts of China or other 3rd world countries. They saw what Korea and Japan did as China took away manufacturing and they realize they must do the same.

Apple's playing it right - do the low profit work, that is easily transplanted as need, elsewhere where it's cheap and do the real money work at home.

Re:I'm having trouble (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957264)

But people line up for days for these products when marginally incremental versions come out. Truly this is a sign of credit and access to money being way, way too easy.

Actually, it's my opinion that this is a sign of the late Steve Jobs being one helluva salesman.

Re:I'm having trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957280)

No doubt. Apple's hefty margin on products is the exact reflection of why they are over-priced. Why do they manufacture outside the US? For many reasons, but one is that they earn more for their shareholders. It doesn't matter what you or I think, media and spin will make Apple always a darling. Until its reign ends one day.

Re:I'm having trouble (1, Insightful)

sqldr (838964) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957304)

It scares me. One thing going through my head is if the microsoft secureboot lookout thing happens, rather than paying the microsoft tax to get a linux laptop, I fear I may one day have to pay the apple tax, which is a lot more and I've been saying apple are worse than microsoft since itunes.

Re:I'm having trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957308)

Given Samsung sells their similar products at the same price in the USA as Apple, is everyone buying their products also an "Appletard"?

In fact, most high end smart phones cost the same from the major US carriers ($199 with 2 year contract). Is everyone that pays that price an "Appletard" as well?

And of course, only people who use Apple products line up for a new model when it comes out. No one does the same when Samsung releases a new Galaxy phone. Oh wait.

If I read your point further, you are saying that Apple should be forced to build their phones in the US. Then they would cost much more. Given the amount of uninformed complaining about their prices on phones and tablets that happens already, can you even imagine the endless crying we would see then?

Keep in mind the sending of jobs to China to build things is not confined to America. Other countries have the same issue (even some of the Japanese companies have to outsource to China to compete now). I am not a big fan of it either, but consumers have chosen to pay less for products in general and as such have driven the model. You can find some interesting articles on this if you google around, specifically about how Dell slowly turned over pieces of their operations overseas and how it has damaged then and also how Amazon had to go overseas to build the Kindle Fire at the price point they wanted.

Re:I'm having trouble (4, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957492)

Samsung doesn't have a religious following, nor people camping out in tents to buy products on release day AFAIK. Of course you are going to sell your product near (but slightly under) the major competitor's price, that's only common sense. Why throw away the chance at extra profit? Of course what would be really cool is a 3rd company coming along and selling a similar product for half. That would blow both of them out of the water, and force a price war - like happened in the PC market. I remember the $5000 PC. The price is now 20% of what it used to be, despite inflation.

If I read your point further, you are saying that Apple should be forced to build their phones in the US.

I never said they should be forced to do anything. I said they probably could make them in the US. What gets me is that most consumers think they are "buying American" when they buy Apple, when in actual fact there is not much here in America apart from some offices in Cupertino and pimply teenagers at Apple stores. What I don't get is that Japan - with incredibly high labor costs and costs of living - manages to continue to be a manufacturer. As does Germany. Yet the US seems to be completely incapable of doing this. At one point buy the damned robots and upgrade your plants, you know?

Re:I'm having trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957600)

When you buy Apple you bring companies where bad employees are 'suicided' on town closer to home.

Re:I'm having trouble (0)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957620)

Don't worry they have all signed contracts prohibiting them from committing suicide so everything is ok now.

Antitrust? (1)

superdude72 (322167) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957248)

This business of locking up the supply of parts ought to pique the interest of antitrust regulators (if any still exist.)

Re:Antitrust? (1)

jbplou (732414) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957540)

It would be hard to creat an anti-trust case when there are many other large companies bringing similar products to the table that consumers could buy.

computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957320)

I can get a laptop that can easily do whatever it's mac counterpart can plus it's at least half the price. If you are willing to make your own desktop you can get better performance at less than half the price.

Apple is only sort of a Computer company (1)

qualityassurancedept (2469696) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957364)

I mean, they make like a billion dollars a month on iTunes... so it's not really accurate to focus on their computer business and act like they are somehow so much better than everyone else in they way they manufacture things. Sure Microsoft did an awful job with the Zune, so this makes Apple look like genuises... but Dell commands a far larger share of business workstation desktops and nobody on earth is out shopping for an Apple Server and every teenager in the world seems to own a playstation or an xbox. There are lots of categories where apple hasn't been successful/competitive AT ALL even though they have product to offer. Apple is at the crest of a wave but the iPod/iPhone/iPad is not going to be the must-have christmas item forever. Apple is a computer company that ended up designing and selling electronics as prestige fashion accessories because who on earth is going to buy their teenage daughter a walkman or make their wife walk town around texting on a blackberry anymore. Apple hit it out of the park with the iPad because everyone has been looking for a way for the last 30 years to sell more computers to women and women buy them.

Re:Apple is only sort of a Computer company (2)

theVarangian (1948970) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957488)

...nobody on earth is out shopping for an Apple Server...

You'd be surprised...

Apple is at the crest of a wave but the iPod/iPhone/iPad is not going to be the must-have christmas item forever.

I've been hearing people say that for ten years.

Apple hit it out of the park with the iPad because everyone has been looking for a way for the last 30 years to sell more computers to women and women buy them.

For the last 30 years people have been loading a Microsoft PC operating system whose UI was designed for a mouse and keyboard onto tablets and then wondering why hardly anybody wants to use it. Apple hit it out of the park with the iPad because they designed a handy tablet that came with a proper tablet UI.

Re:Apple is only sort of a Computer company (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957628)

I mean, they make like a billion dollars a month on iTunes...

I'd like to see a source for that. On the App Store, Apple claims that they have paid out 2.5 billion dollars to developers. Since the cut is 30% / 70%, that would be about one billion attributed to Apple in total since the store has been started. However, when you start taking off things like credit card cost, gift card rebates (when you buy a $50 gift card in a store and use it to buy $50 worth of software or music, Apple doesn't get $50), plus Apple has all the cost of running the store, Apple doesn't make anything near the amount of money that you claim from iTunes.

What a load (0, Flamebait)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957366)

'They're not cheap, but I don't think they're viewed as high-priced anymore,'

What a crock.

I guess the New York Times is looking to boost its ad revenue going into the "important holiday shopping season". I understand how it works, you give Apple a free ad via this article and then Apple buys lots of ads in the next month, including the back page of the prestigious Sunday Magazine. It doesn't make it less nauseating though.

I understand why the New York Times would do it, what with the newspaper business being in hard times, but I don't understand why Slashdot would do it.

Here's a fun game: read the article and count the huge assumptions that are made, starting with this phrase, "within the premium product categories where Apple is most at home".

"Premium". I love that word. Is there any more over-used tag in 2011 consumer culture?

Macs are *not close to the same price (1)

breagerey (758928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957392)

I routinely build high end PC's for about 1/2 the price of comparable Macs - and the machines I build have better components.

Re:Macs are *not close to the same price (1)

jedrek (79264) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957466)

You might build computers comparable to the Mac Pro, but I'm willing to bet you're not building computers comparable to an iMac or Mac Mini. Or are you really building i5 machines the size of 4 CD jewel cases?

Re:Macs are *not close to the same price (1)

theVarangian (1948970) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957520)

I routinely build high end PC's for about 1/2 the price of comparable Macs - and the machines I build have better components.

Name examples and break them down by cost of components.

Re:Macs are *not close to the same price (1)

jbplou (732414) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957558)

I think Macs are priced too high, but to the average consumer their normal choices are Mac which is over priced but comes with a high quality parts and good support or buy Acer, HP, or Dell which will be cheap but probably won't have as long of life span and has questionable support. I'll tell you one thing my wife has a apple laptop and it's battery performance exceeds any Windows laptop I've had for personal or work use. Not just in how long a charge lasts when she first got it but also in the lifespan of the battery. I can remember one laptop where the battery would only hold a twenty minute charge after 6 months, replaced the battery and less than a year later the same thing happened again.

Apple earns by tying customers to their store (0)

guus_deleeuw (599534) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957528)

The most important reason iP(a/o)ds are reasonably priced is because everyone is force to use the apple store where apple earns tons of money. Android device manufacturers don't earn (much) from the Android store. Which is probably related to an other article I just read, that Android devices break down more often then apple or blackberry devices. Android device manufacturers have to cut more corners to earn money.

Still high-priced (1)

Teknophilia (2430630) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957550)

The iSuppli teardown, with parts and manufacturing (but not software), put the cost at ~$330 for the 32 GB iPad. The store price is $600. I get there needs to be a profit, but 100%? That's hardly aggressive pricing (at least with regards to benefiting the consumer).

Re:Still high-priced (1, Funny)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957606)

Not really. If you gear your marketing campaigns towards people who shouldn't even be let near a calculator you better factor in a large safety buffer for future customer service costs.

Mossberg interview leak (4, Funny)

TimHunter (174406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957562)

Here's a leaked excerpt from the next edition of Walt Mossberg's Wall Street Journal column, where he reports on a recent interview with Tim Cook, Apple's newly ascended CEO:

I asked Cook what he thought his biggest challenges were. "Clearly," he replied, "China is our next big challenge. After the U.S. it's our second-largest market. But we're doing well there. We have 6 Apple Stores in China now."

And after China? "Our biggest challenge in the U.S. is the Slashdot market," he said without hesitation. "We haven't executed successfully in that market. But it's a big market, vital to our success, and we're going to aggressively pursue it. I've asked Phil (Phil Schiller, Apples Senior VP of Worldwide Product Marketing) to sit down with John Frazier and figure out a way to get our products onto the ThinkGeek web site."

Cook can't explain why the Slashdot crowd won't buy Apple products. "I don't understand it. OS X is based on Unix. We've been big contributors to the open source movement. But they persist in calling our customers 'Appletards' and 'fanbois.'"

Cook is normally a low-key guy, but the more he thought about all the lost Slashdot sales the more agitated he got. "I want the Slashdot market. I will have it. Once I have the Slashdotters, the world will be mine! MINE I TELL YOU!"

At this point I had to terminate the interview.

Flamebait (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957642)

This whole posting has flamebait written all over it.

Why was this posted?

He might as well go on saying only Vi was included because of its excellent functionality over emacs or something else stupid to invoke a flame war. Cmd Taco would not allow that story to go through

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