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Analysts accuse new MacBooks of excessive pricing

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. carlmuck

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPhone won't sell either.

    These blowhards spend all their time telling Apple how to run their business, and are invariably wrong. But they still keep their jobs. Kind of like being a TV weatherman, personable, but can't really achieve what they are paid to do.

  1. bp2k7

    Joined: Dec 1969


    For once i agree

    I actually agree with the analysts for once when it comes to Apple. I'm very disappointed with the updates yesterday, and price is one of those reasons. I mean, they just bumped the price of the low end MacBook by $200. And no, I'm not counting the discounted $999 model, because it's just a discounted old model.

    That being said, I'm sure Apple will still sell a ton, and I might even buy one though I'm not really compelled to at this point. But dang, you can get a lot of hardware on the PC side for a lot less money. Maybe I'll buy one of those and hack it to run MacOS...

    Comment buried. Show
  1. jhawk95

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Yeah, break the law.

    Why don't you go buy a new TV too and then get an old cable box and hack it to run all the FREE tv you want and see how long it takes your cable company to throw your A$$ in jail.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just because...

    Just because reality did not match their fantasy ($800 notebook).

    The manufacturing of the new case is very expensive and wasteful, so the higher cost is justified, but then the cheap labor saved (on 40% part reduction and assembly time) makes it a wash.

    I believe the analysts are just as wrong as their $800 prediction.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Here We Go Again

    Each time the Apple rumor mill starts spinning, there's always talk about low pricing, and every time, Apple's products are either the same price as the models replaced of fall well short of the rumored price point. The really amazing thing is the shock and awe this seems to generate every single time, how many times does it have to happen before "we" get it?

    I'm personally very impressed with the new offering: no bezel around the palm-rest body area looks really sharp, and I like what they did with the graphics option. The rethinking on the trackpad design and added gestures are all pluses. Sure, the rest of the notebook is more or less just updates, but what were you expecting, a 20 inch notebook weighting 1-oz with one month battery life all at the affordable price of $500? Come on.

  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple doesn't...

    1) produce cut-rate, bargain-basement, quantity over quality hardware like most PeeCee manufacturers.
    2) sell product at its retail price to volume-purchasing educational customers.
    3) fail to put a price on cutting-edge manufacturing processes or top flight operating systems.
    4) apparently understand that Blu-Ray expected in premium equipment such as theirs.
    5) get that Firewire is a must (due to DV) ... even in sub-pro grade laptops such as the Macbook.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You get what you pay for.

    When comparing a cheap PC laptop to a MacBook one cannot ignore the software that does come with the MacBook. OS X and iLife are great for education. When a school district buys PC Laptops they will have to pay for licensing antivirus software every year.

    I think everyone would like to see an inexpensive Apple notebook, but we'd also like to see a BMW the price of a Kia. You get what you pay for.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Like it or not

    Apple is selling their hardware and software product for a price they want to sell it for.

    If the price is too high, get a peecee and install Linux on it. When Apple's sales slip, they might drop the price to the rock bottom. The idea that your product price should be the lowest possible price to just get by, is dopey.

    Clearly, they have a product and business model that works. What would be the benefit of changing that?

  1. otto

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Priced for what you get

    I currently own an older 15" macbook pro and was not going to consider upgrading. However with the features of the 13" macbook, I think I will consider it as a viable alternative (If I can get past the lack of firewire port). Which to me means that their comment on MacBook sales not cannibalizing sales of the 15" MacBook Pro may not be correct. Having said this, I still believe you get a lot for your money with the 15" product...not to mention the cool factor.

    I am a bit disappointed in the $999 entry level macbook. It too should have been refreshed in the unibody case. However for educational purposes it is more than adequate.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: get what you pay for

    but we'd also like to see a BMW the price of a Kia. You get what you pay for.

    Right, but for most people, they look at the Kia and go "Hey, it'll get me from point a to point b, gas will be cheaper, maintenance will be cheaper, and, all in all, I'll save more money than if I got the BMW. I guess all I'm missing is the status symbol feel of driving a BMW..."

    So, really, stop with the car analogies. They DO NOT WORK for computers, and never have.

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