Macs Merit Their Higher Price Tags
Apple’s software and user-friendly features justify their higher price compared with PCs. Pro or con?
Pro: Quality That Lasts
Do Macs (AAPL) really cost more? It seems that way at first glance when you see the $269 Dell Inspiron compared with the $699 Mac Mini, but if you look closely, you’ll see that the Mac Mini really has the components of a more expensive Dell (DELL). It’s a value proposition.
For low-end PCs, manufacturers achieve their lower prices by using low-quality components—and you need to watch very carefully in order to tell the difference.
The CPU in a budget PC might still have the Intel (INTC) name, but CPUs such as an AMD (AMD), Intel Celeron, or single-core processors will not be as failure-proof or future-proof as their midlevel counterparts.
This ultimately causes you to replace your new computer in a shorter amount of time—and this is why I would never advise anyone to get a low-end PC. You may save a little money up front, but it’s much better to buy a midlevel computer that will last five years than a cheaper one you have to replace in two.
One thing you can always count on with Apple is the highest-quality components. The computer maker doesn’t even try to compete in the low-end market, because it knows its customers will only suffer in the long run.
Furthermore, when it comes to appearance and usability, nothing compares with a Mac. Apple leads the industry in finding ways to increase battery life of its laptops in the thinnest possible form.
A MacBook Pro has a nine-hour battery compared with a Dell’s five hours, and the MacBook Pro is less than half the size—and has leaps and bounds more power than any netbook.
When it comes to software, I won’t even debate the merits of OSX over Windows.
Finally, when you buy a Mac, you don’t even have to choose between operating systems. I primarily use Windows 7 on my MacBook Pro. It’s the best Windows laptop I’ve ever owned.
Con: The World’s Choice
Macs aren’t cheap. They often cost twice as much as the PC alternative. Does that extra cost offer much more than sex appeal?
From a business perspective, PC is the obvious choice. It is clearly the most open platform. We work with companies all over the world and cannot afford to have compatibility issues for documents and programs. It’s quite common for PC users to customize their computer after purchase and optimize it for specific activities. With its universal pieces, this is very useful to do. Doing that for a Mac? Not so easy, and it’ll cost even more.
We develop products for the PC. Why PC and not Mac? Worldwide, the PC has a market share larger than 90 percent. We can’t limit our possible customers to such a small audience. We want our products to be accessible everywhere, including in emerging markets, where we hope to make an immediate impression in growing economies. Emerging and developing markets are always going to be incredibly PC-dominant due to the price point.
On a daily basis, I do about three things on a computer. I surf the Web (I’ll be honest—mostly YouTube videos), use Microsoft (MSFT) Office, and play games. As any gamer knows, the selection of games available for Macs is quite small. Sure, some great games work on Mac, but not nearly the same variety. The same goes for the entire software industry.
Still, I am a fan of Apple and admire the incredible business Mr. Jobs has built on innovation. But my iPhone and iTunes catalog work seamlessly on my PC, so why spend more?