updated 11:15 am EDT, Wed October 15, 2008
MacBook prices excessive?
Apple may have a difficult time selling its new MacBooks, say more research firms commenting on the issue. In contrast to UBS and Piper Jaffray, analysts from ThinkPanmure and Endpoint Technologies argue that the discounted $999 MacBook and $2,500 SSD-equipped MacBook Air will not be enough to sell more Macs within a dangerously crippled economy. "Out of all the [companies] who will be under pressure, it will be Apple because the price points are still significantly higher," says ThinkPanmure's Vijay Rakesh.
Prices for other MacBook systems have remained static, and may be in some cases be more expensive in terms of price versus performance. This could easily deter people shopping for Apple gear without a specific purchase in mind, comments Roger Kay of Endpoint. "There will be a lot of people looking at a lot of stuff at the Apple Store, and they'll probably come out with Nanos or Shuffles," he says. "That's what people are going to feel like they're going to afford this year."
The issue may be still more pressing in terms of educational sales, notes Rakesh. While Apple claims to have taken 39 percent of the educational notebook market, beating even the likes of Dell, the company may be in a position to slip. "If you look at the educational side," says Rakesh, "the question is, do public school budgets suffice for next year?" Even with a cheaper MacBook, Rakesh contends that many school districts may prefer Windows notebooks, which are almost universally cheaper than their Mac counterparts -- if they purchase anything.