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66% Apple Market Share For Sales of High-End PCs 724

Posted by kdawson
from the factory-to-fingers dept.
An anonymous reader lets us know about a recent analysis of retail computer sales numbers that shines a spotlight on Apple's sales growth as the PC market has flattened. In the lucrative >$1,000 PC segment, in the first quarter of 2008, Apple's retail market share was 66%. This includes a 64% market share for laptops and a market share for desktops of 70%. The article attributes the bulk of this success to Apple's stores. Fortune picked up this report and pointed out the somewhat obvious fact that the >$1,000 PC segment is Apple's by default, since Dell, HP, and Lenovo sell the bulk of their machines in the $500-$750 range, and Apple has only one model selling for less than $1,000. As the analyst said, "If you don't give people a choice [in the Apple stores], people will spend more."
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66% Apple Market Share For Sales of High-End PCs

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  • by timmarhy (659436) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @12:55AM (#23471136)
    fanboys GO
    • by SpeedyG5 (762403) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:00AM (#23471170) Homepage
      anti-fanboys post in . . . doh!
      • by TheMidnight (1055796) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @09:03AM (#23474064)
        I like Macs, but didn't anyone else think, "Gee, all Macs except one cost over $1000. How could Apple have *any* growth in the sub-$1000 market?" Captain Obvious, to the rescue!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Aardpig (622459)
      Launch all Safaris! For Great Justice!
    • by Erris (531066) * on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:02AM (#23471182) Homepage Journal

      It's funny to watch Windows Fanboys write about Mac. Somehow, they always loop the discussion around to their favorite software. Check out this exchange from the fine Apple Watch article:

      "iMacs are growing and the Windows desktop ain't. No matter how you look at it, Apple is outperforming Windows." [Stephen, CEO of NDP]

      A statement like that raises the question: Is Windows Vista the problem? The operating system has met with a cool reception, even with Microsoft claiming 140 million licenses have been shipped. "I don't believe that Vista's to blame," Stephen responded. "The vast majority of consumers don't care [about the installed operating system]."

      Really? For about a year now, studies have shown that everyone knows about Vista but no one wants it. It's poor performance has convinced all but the most self loathing of people that Windows is not going anywhere. But finally, Apple is now using almost exactly the same hardware - How can anyone not see that the only remaining difference is software that does not suck?

      You have to wonder if any of these people have ever used anything but Windows for more than a week in the last ten years.

      • by gnutoo (1154137) *

        Very funny, you flipped a troll conversation about Apple fanboys into a Windows fanboy send up. It is as if the entire energy and malice of the GP was turned onto the GP by a subtle shift in balance.

  • by Totenglocke (1291680) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @12:58AM (#23471154)
    is exactly why I don't own an Apple. I'd love to have a Macbook Pro, but I just can't justify paying that much for yet another computer. I really think Apple would increase their market share of all systems if they lowered their prices or at least had models that started at lower prices.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by arbiter1 (1204146)
      that is reason apple biggest sellers are 1000+$ machines, anything under that you can't really do anything with.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CastrTroy (595695)
        Most people don't really do much with their computers anyway. Read a couple emails, browse a couple webpages. Write up a couple documents. Maybe some personal finance. Most people don't do HiDef video editing, or even run games. I know I don't. I'm perfectly happy with the speed of my $500 laptop running Mandriva (Vista is another story). Most people don't need, or even want a $1000 machine. It's the same reason the Shuffle and the Nano sell so much better than the 160 GB iPod or the iPod Touch. You
        • by MightyYar (622222) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @11:15AM (#23476030)
          Their goal isn't to maximize marketshare in all markets - their goal is to maximize profits. In the iPod line, they need to sell low-end stuff to keep the music store viable, and their low-end stuff still fetches pretty decent margins because of the brand name.

          Macs, on the other hand, are a different market. The best they could hope for in the low-end is to become a prettier Dell. I'm a Dell stockholder, and I wish they'd abandon that market to repair their brand name. Dell doesn't have to be cool like Apple, but they need to get the word "crap" disassociated with their name.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:19AM (#23471286)
      You know, just the other day, I was looking at a Dell laptop running Ubuntu. I decided to compare it to the current MacBook. After upgrading the Dell to match Apple's stock options, the Dell was $100 more expensive (and still had a slower C2D processor and less disk space).

      On one hand, Dell's plain model would suit most people fine. On the other, you get more for your money with a Mac. And ultimately, it works for the consumer's benefit. Macs depreciate much more slowly than Dells, meaning they can get a kick ass fast machine for less than even the cheapie Dell, if they trade in.
    • by Merusdraconis (730732) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:04AM (#23471606) Homepage
      But then they would lose their luxury lustre. The Apple brand is built around the idea that it's a luxury good that only trendy people use - the elaborate Apple stores with the people who fix your computer so you don't have to, the industrial design that looks better than the standard Dell, and the high-end specs and price. Apple makes its money because it can afford, through ruthless and effective positioning, to call itself a luxury good, and price accordingly.

      Prada doesn't make cheap sunnies for the punters. Apple doesn't make cheap laptops for the punters. If either tried, they'd ruin their luxury reputation and they wouldn't be able to afford to put all that effort into making a nice-looking product.
      • by bytesex (112972) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:13AM (#23472362) Homepage
        The Burberry brand has been ruined in the UK by 'chavs' (that's what they call white trailer trash (minus the trailers) in the UK) all of a sudden discovering it. Even though the price of it hasn't changed (expensive stuff), the people will just buy it, no matter what. The moral of the story: no matter how hard you try to be a luxury brand, you have to always be prepared to be catapulted to where you don't want to be because of the market's whims. In that light, it helps if you have more sticks in the fire.
        • by ronanbear (924575) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @05:09AM (#23472648)
          To be fair, chavs didn't just discover it. Burberry was carelessly selling to them and lapping up the extra sales and profits until they realised the damage that the -synonymous with chavs- Burberry print baseball caps were doing to their image.

          It was nothing to do with chavs suddenly starting wearing the same Burberry jackets that everyone was familiar with; instead, Burberry bizarrely brought out a range of clothes that only chavs would wear.

          Your example is one that perfectly points out the dangers that Apple would face if they went toe-to-toe with Dell for $500 laptops and grey boxes.
      • by Jellybob (597204) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @05:21AM (#23472702) Journal
        I'm not sure they actually are trying to target themselves as a "luxury" good.

        It appears that you consider a computer that works from the moment you turn it on and real people enjoy using, a luxury, but I think that it's just how things should be.

        the elaborate Apple stores with the people who fix your computer so you don't have to


        That's called customer service. If I bought almost any other product, and it broke, I'd expect the person who sold it to me to get it fixed.

        Apple doesn't make cheap laptops for the punters.


        If you actually spec up an equivalent Dell, you'll find that it usually comes out slightly more expensive then the Apple machine. Just because Dell will sell you a $300 piece of crap doesn't mean they're selling you something better as well.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by CastrTroy (595695)
        But they have brought down their iPod line so that everyone could afford it. You can get an iPod for as cheap as $49. And even get a real iPod with the full interface that plays video and everything, for just $150. They haven't ruined their reputation by offering low end models. What they've actually done is make their high end models look all the more appealing. While still giving those with no desire to spend $350 on an MP3 player the ability to buy one of their products. I really believe they need to
      • by stewbacca (1033764) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @09:03AM (#23474072)

        The Apple brand is built around the idea that it's a luxury good that only trendy people use
        Wrong, wrong.....soooooo wrong. That's your hang-up buddy. The rest of us are just enjoying well made gear for our hard earned cash.

        - the elaborate Apple stores with the people who fix your computer so you don't have to, the industrial design that looks better than the standard Dell, and the high-end specs and price.
        This a bad thing? This sounds like something I'd be more than willing to spend $100 LESS for (see previous posts about equally spec'd Dells).

        I think you are confusing "luxury" with "no cost cutting". I for one I'm glad there are a few companies out there who design with quality in mind first.

        Then again, what value is my post, being the trendy guy and all (seriously, it's pretty hard to be trendy at age 38 and for 20 years of using Apple products..when does this 'trendy' novelty wear off?)

    • by Moraelin (679338) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @03:06AM (#23471998) Journal
      Personally I think the claim is mis-leading anyway. The category is narrowly defined as not only over 1000, but also bought retail. So it's crafted to exclude all the expensive workstations and servers bought by corporations, since they don't usually just drive a truck to WalMart to buy them retail.

      It's a bit like saying that Joe is the world leader in selling over-$1000 cats by Ebay and air mail. Sure, he only sold one on Ebay, but he's the only guy who sedated the cat and sent it by air mail. The rest of the people bought their cats face to face, or had them delivered by courier in a few cases. Narrow it down to Ebay and air mail, and, bam, Joe has 100% of that market.

      Better invest in Joe. In fact, this year he found two stray kittens in his backyard, and plans to sell them both on Ebay by air mail. That's 100% year-on-year growth, baby. At this rate, in 20 year, Joe will ship over 1 million cats yearly. As a savvy investor, you don't want to miss _that_ boat.

      In other words, it's just a PR masturbation exercise.
      • by servognome (738846) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @03:44AM (#23472200)

        Personally I think the claim is mis-leading anyway. The category is narrowly defined as not only over 1000, but also bought retail. So it's crafted to exclude all the expensive workstations and servers bought by corporations, since they don't usually just drive a truck to WalMart to buy them retail.
        I think that's a good way to define high end computers sold to average consumers. You intentionally want to exclude corporations if you are looking at the consumer purchases.
        • by Moraelin (679338) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:34AM (#23472492) Journal
          Yes, but the intersection is still mis-leading. Percentage of retail _or_ percentage of over-1000 computers could say something. (If you do understand that you are talking about a particular niche, not about the company's overall profitability or market share.) But the intersection is just a narrowly crafted niche, for PR masturbation reasons.

          It's like saying that Moraelin's Fairies won the most games played on a rainy Tuesday under artificial lighting. They have a whole two games won under those conditions, while everyone else has at best one win that's on a rainy day _and_ tuesday _and_ played at night. It's trivia, at best. It doesn't make it the best team in any actual category that matters, it just crafts an artificial niche to make my team look good.

          And probably more importantly, a tell-tale sign of a PR masturbation exercise, is that even that niche doesn't really support the conclusion they try to feed you. ""If you don't give people a choice [in the Apple stores], people will spend more."" Really? Exactly which part of that percentage supports that conclusion? Did they compare before and after a price hike, or what? Did Apple try to have cheap computers too, and people were going for those instead?

          But even that wouldn't be visible, if you only look at the over-1000 segment. You need an entirely different sample to make that point.

          No, it's very likely just a PR exercise masquerading as news.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Hal_Porter (817932)
        Mod parent up. Insightful and this makes me laugh for some reason -

        It's a bit like saying that Joe is the world leader in selling over-$1000 cats by Ebay and air mail. Sure, he only sold one on Ebay, but he's the only guy who sedated the cat and sent it by air mail. The rest of the people bought their cats face to face, or had them delivered by courier in a few cases. Narrow it down to Ebay and air mail, and, bam, Joe has 100% of that market.

        Maybe I've spent too much time looking at code, but it makes me think

        typedef enum
        CAT_DELIVERY_METHOD_FACE_TO_FACE=0,
        CAT_DELIVERY_METHOD_COURIER,
        CAT_DELIVERY_METHOD_AIRMAIL_SEDATED, /* (Added for PROJECT_JOE) */

        CAT_DELIVERY_MAX_LEGAL_US=1000, /* Later ones only used outside US */
        CAT_DELIVERY_GPS_GUIDED_SHOCK_COLLAR,

        CAT_DELIVERY_MAX_NON_LETHAL=2000, /* Past here, Cat is food, not pet */
        CAT_DELIVERY_AIRMAIL_FREEZE_DRIED,

        } CAT_DELIVERY_METHODS;

      • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @09:47AM (#23474618)
        Personally I think the claim is mis-leading anyway. The category is narrowly defined as not only over 1000, but also bought retail. So it's crafted to exclude all the expensive workstations and servers bought by corporations, since they don't usually just drive a truck to WalMart to buy them retail.

        Further... and I realize this is purely anecdotal:

        100% of the people I know with Macs bought them retail in an Apple store.

        0% of the people I know who have bought non-Mac PCs in the last 5+ years bought them retail. They bought them from a place like Dell online, built them from parts, had someone else build them from parts, etc.

        Obviously Best Buy is selling uncustomized non-Mac machines to someone retail or they wouldn't still be doing it, but I don't know the people who are buying them.

        Possibly, this says something about the appeal of the Apple store as a retail venue vs. as an online order venue. It's hard to say.
    • Free Apple! (Score:3, Informative)

      by CarpetShark (865376)

      is exactly why I don't own an Apple. I'd love to have a Macbook Pro, but I just can't justify paying that much for yet another computer.

      If you have a recent box, just download and install kalyway or leo4all. Free mac for your PC. Not compatible with all hardware yet, but after swapping my Geforce 8xxx for a 7xxx, and disabling my second cpu core, it runs great. Definitely a step up from windows on the same machine, even WITH the better gfx and another core. But give it some time, and drivers will be out

      • Re:Free Apple! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Arkham (10779) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @08:37AM (#23473796)

        If you have a recent box, just download and install kalyway or leo4all. Free mac for your PC.
        If by "free" you mean illegal, then sure. You can say the same thing about any piece of software, but most people have at least some reservation about stealing.

        When I was in high school, and even college, I pirated software. But as an adult with a job, I either buy the software or I don't use it. People can make the case for buying a copy of OS X and then using one of the hacked kernels off the internet to get it to boot on non-Apple hardware, but let's face it -- most people who download these iso images are not doing that -- they're criminals.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by stewbacca (1033764)
        You are assuming that the OS is the only reason the guy wants a MacBook Pro.
    • by Weedlekin (836313) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:31AM (#23472478)
      "I really think Apple would increase their market share of all systems if they lowered their prices or at least had models that started at lower prices."

      Companies aim to maximise profits, not market share. More sales doesn't necessarily mean more profits if those sales are achieved by lowering margins to a point where they need to sell 20 items to make the same as they currently do from one (meaning they _have_ to sell 20x as many, and also cope with 20x the support calls, carry 20x the inventory, etc.) or in the case of a company with a reputation for quality, by cutting corners in ways that result in an inferior product.

      The fact that Apple are making lots and lots of money while others with significantly larger market shares are struggling means that the company obviously isn't being run by idiots who aren't capable of working out the price point for each product that allows them to maximise their profits while maintaining their very high customer satisfaction ratings.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bill Dimm (463823)

        More sales doesn't necessarily mean more profits if those sales are achieved by lowering margins to a point where they need to sell 20 items to make the same as they currently do from one (meaning they _have_ to sell 20x as many, and also cope with 20x the support calls, carry 20x the inventory, etc.) or in the case of a company with a reputation for quality, by cutting corners in ways that result in an inferior product.

        True over the short term, but perhaps not the long term. Market share matters more for computers than for other things. If you have more market share, more people write software for your OS, which increases demand for your computers. Take that far enough, and it becomes difficult for people to buy anyone else's computers even if they want to -- the position Microsoft is in right now. Also, it is possible to target lower price points by reducing features rather than quality.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by samkass (174571)
      "I really think Apple would increase their market share of all systems if they lowered their prices or at least had models that started at lower prices."

      But is "market share of all systems" really that interesting to the industry? If you're a software developer, do you want to sell software to people who bargain-basement shop, or people who are willing to spend more? Apple is a very profitable company, the major third party apps on the platform appear to be profitable, and the community has a huge ecosyst
  • ...will always find someone to tend the fire. Still, I'm sure they sleep better knowing that they're 'Trendy Mac', rather than 'Fat, Sad PC'.

    * What they don't realize, of course, is that PC only got fat because Mac's mother gave him a cookie every time he fucked her.

  • Correction (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JavaBasedOS (1217930)
    "If you don't give people a choice [in the Apple stores], people will take their money somewhere else."

    Honestly, Apples are overpriced for what hardware and software they contain. Sure they may use a stable UNIX based OS, but you can get just that with any respectable Linux OS (Debian, Ubuntu, etc., depending on the person's preference.)
    • Re:Correction (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 75th Trombone (581309) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:09AM (#23471236) Homepage Journal
      But for many people, they are NOT overpriced for the superior apps written for them. Most *n?x apps are by and best for nerds who love to tinker with every option of every program; most Windows apps are just thrown together to make a quick buck.

      But Mac apps, on average, are more thoughtfully designed and crafted than their equivalents on PCs.

      That is the very real difference between Macs and PCs, and that's why some people (including, for the first time, in the very near future, myself) are willing to pay the Apple premium.
    • Re:Correction (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:20AM (#23471300)
      You're joking right? It took me a few months to finally figure out how to get a RAID card in my debian box to work (Had to recompile the kernel with support for that card).

      Oh and with 2.6.24 they completely changed away things were. Apparently there's IT821X kernel drivers, then there's libata. So magically when upgraded my kernel all my hd* drives are now sd* drives. But wait, with libata (or was it the IT drivers) it didn't support UDMA. So I was stuck transferring at a whopping 3-4 MB/s. Recompile again. Shit, now grub thinks my hda is sdi. Reboot again and change grub menu. Ahh, finally... no wait. I have to put a noraid=1 at the grub so that the drive doesn't enable RAID. A short 8 hours after doing a simple kernel recompile I'm back up and running.

      Don't get my wrong, I love my linux home server. But in no way does even Ubuntu come close to having everything integrated and 'just working'.

      There's a reason my MacBookPro is my main machine, because some days I don't want to tinker with all of that. My grandma finally wants to get online. My parent asked me what I suggested and honestly an old G4 in simple finder with a few applications: iPhoto, Safari, Mail (if that). SSH will be enabled and I'll have an account for fixing most things.
      • Re:Correction (Score:4, Insightful)

        by the_womble (580291) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:00AM (#23471584) Homepage Journal

        My grandma finally wants to get online.

        Your grandma uses RAID?

        Most things that desktop users does work out of the box with Linu. The only common problem is with wireless networking: if you buy a PC with Linux pre-installed (from Sytem76 for example), even that will not be a problem.

        How easy is it to get MacOS working on random PC hardware? Compare like with like and Linux looks pretty good.

  • by TinyManCan (580322) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @12:59AM (#23471164) Homepage
    These numbers don't really represent that much. They are for U.S. Retail sales. Since Apple is very dominant in the (tiny) retail computer sales industry, its not a shocker that they have high market share in a slice of that market.

    If you were to count BTO computers sold over phone or internet in the U.S. Apple's market share would drop. Add the rest of the world and Apple's market share shrinks even more.

    That said, Apple is gaining speed and is only going to be selling more computers for the foreseeable future.

  • spin at it's best. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by timmarhy (659436)
    way to try spin the fact mac's are a rip off into something positive. "zomg apple sells nothing under $1000, and since no one but mac fans are dumb enough to spend that much they rule!"
  • by Artuir (1226648) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:14AM (#23471258)
    See, guys? I TOLD you it'd be the year of OSX on the desktop!!
  • by Rix (54095) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:29AM (#23471368)
    Take a look at a brick and mortar store retail store that sells computers. You probably won't see anything over $1000, because that's not what the market that buys computers there wants.

    People going to Staples or whatever to buy a PC want a cheap office machine, emphasis on cheap, and they want it immediately. People willing to spend more or wait a few days will either order from somewhere like Dell, have a whitebox store assemble one from parts, or just do it themselves.
  • by Toe, The (545098) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:34AM (#23471414)
    OK, I'll take some fanboy bait...

    The bang-for-buck of Apple's hardware plus their software is a little difficult to justify by itself (though it is arguably a better deal than Windows and a lot less setup than linux). But the industrial design should not be overlooked as a value factor.

    Compare a "cheap" consumer-grade MacBook [apple.com] to a similar consumer-grade Dell [dell.com]. The MacBook not only looks svelte and (to some) cool, it also is simply more convenient to deal with. If your computer is something that you use a lot, some of these little details can be very important.

    I really appreciate the way a MacBook is almost completely silent. That it slips into the lid of a briefcase. That its speakers, microphone, and camera are all accessible but almost invisible. That I can click, right-click, scroll, pan, and more without moving my hand from one place. That it stays out of my way while I use it, instead of calling attention to itself: no blinking lights, no flashy logos in my face, no stupid buttons all over: it is just a screen with easy-to-use input devices.
    • by flabbergast (620919) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:38AM (#23471818)
      No flashing logos? On the MacBook I'm using right now there's a giant glowing Apple logo on the back of the screen. I also get the spinning disk quite a bit. =D Or how about when something happens in an application that's out of context and the Dock tells you about...by bouncing the icon until you switch over. I think that counts as a flashing logo. =D

      As for not "moving my hand from one place" try moving between open files in Xcode within the same window pane without using a mouse or the touchpad. Its <option><command><left arrow> or <option><command><right arrow>. I don't mind having to use two modifiers but I do mind having to use two hands. Or how about page-up and page-down? Again, on my MacBook, for aesthetic sake, page up and down were left off. So, I have to use two hands (<fn><arrow up> to page up. Or Home and End. Is it <command><left arrow> or <fn><left arrow>. I've found it depends on the application. Will it take me to the end of the line or the end of the text? And will the cursor come with it? Or Delete. Again, depends on the application.

      Yes, no stupid buttons on a MacBook (or Apple keyboard) Instead, Apple decided to appropriate the functions keys. Who needs those right? I do: Parallels or VMWare is worthless without re-assigning all the Expose and Spaces keys. <Command><F12> here I come!

      Also, on my 4 year old eMachines I can click, right click, scroll and middle click without having to move my hand off the trackpad either. And, there are trackpads out there that pan too. Sure, it doesn't do it with two fingers like the Mac trackpad, but at least I get two real buttons which can then simulate a third (for true Unix goodness)

      Look, my primary machine is my MacBook and I love it. Further, I do Visualization research on a Quad core Mac pro. But OS X and Apple are not the end all be all of of good design. I love the MacBook keyboard but guess what? Showed up on the Vaio first. And the matte grey finish for the hand rests? Mine are kind of scummy and discolored. I've had a bunch of Dell laptops (D610, D620, Inspiron 3200, 700m) and I've never had the hand rests of them go all scummy. And don't get me started on the Dock...

      P.S. I think the m1330 is actually a pretty nice piece of kit. Its designed well and its got discrete graphics and can be had for cheaper than a MacBook if you wait for a sale (which happen about every other day).
  • by gsgriffin (1195771) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:44AM (#23471484)
    Uh, this is nothing exciting. How many PC's have you bought in a store. Not many. This is retail outlets. Dell sells three times as many computers and tons more over $1000 direct from them to you without the overhead cost of a store filled with cool glass displays and backlighting. The apple stores are designed to be more like a nightclub. They want people to come in and fall in love with the piece of hardware and its smooth round corners. You spend the extra money so you can make love to it. Post the stats on all computer sales and see Apple still with a very small bite of the global sales. Don't get too excited Macaddicts.
  • Note to commenters (Score:5, Insightful)

    by catdevnull (531283) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:03AM (#23471598)
    Just a friendly note to all other commenters posting in this and any other thread:

    Don't be a jackass. Seriously, If you have an opinion, express it thoughtfully but avoid assigning labels to those with different opinions.

    For example:
    "Apple fanboys are so stupid--they'll pay too much money for a computer they can't upgrade or build for themselves."

    This is how an immature person makes an argument. I know I'm asking a lot here on slashdot, but it would be great to see the above opinion expressed in the following way:

    "I'm not sure it's wise to spend one's money on a computer that can't be upgraded or one that can't be assembled from parts you pick for yourself. For me, the convenience tax and premium prices for Apple hardware are way too high to be justified."

    Macintosh users should note that taking the former flamebait only reinforces the baiting behavior. You paid a pretty penny for the computer you're using to respond so try to use more than just the "CFCKYUO" keys in your response. As much as you might try, it's futile to explain the subjective nature of the "Mac experience" to the kind of person who types flamebait anyways.

    Just say no to flamebait.
  • by HeavyDevelopment (1117531) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:12AM (#23471664)
    I mean seriously. If you can't drop a grand on a computer and you are "professional" then I think you might need to think about another profession. All these people whining about computers that cost more that $1000. I don't get it. A photographer can easily spend $10K on a good digital camera set up and not blink an eye. Ask any carpenter how much they have spent on their tools, 10K is a drop in the bucket. But so many /.ers get their panties in a wad about spending anything more than $500. This is so stupid. Why not get something that works. As a long time windows user that made the switch, OSX simply works better. I still have to use windows at work and I have reboot 2 or 3 times a day. Although I do have to admit that Macs run windows better than any Dell, HP, or whatever I've had. So in short if you are a professional and you are still messing around with low end crap....all I have to say is you get what you pay for. And if you consider this flamebait or a fanboi masturbation exercise then so be it....I know what works.
  • by NtroP (649992) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:57AM (#23471942)

    When I moved out on my own I started buying tools to help me keep my apartment and eventually my house repaired. I started out picking up the first tool I saw that was cheap and did the job. $10 hammer, $5 multi-screwdriver set, 200-piece no-name, all-in-one socket sets for $20.00, etc. They did the job. After all, you can turn a screw with a cheap screwdriver just like an expensive one.

    Needless to say, I've had many versions of each over time. I can't count the times I've had my phillips-head screwdriver turn into a rounded-out, useless waste of money at the first recalcitrant screw. It always happens at the worst time too. After expressing my frustrations with my dad one time (in language that probably shocked him) He looked at me and simply said "Why don't you buy decent tools?" My response was "Have you seen how much they cost?!" He responded "How many times have you re-bought that screwdriver?". I had to admit that I'd probably spent twice the cost of a "pro" screwdriver over the years on cheap ones and cursed them every time.

    Over time I started applying this lesson to other things in my life. I found that every time I took the cheap option "to make due" I was disappointed and invariably wound up replacing it much sooner than I should have. I found that I actually saved money and aggravation by buying quality the first time. I traded in my cheap POS for a used Mercedes. I threw out my Walmart tennis-shoes for a pair of quality walking shoes. I passed up the $3.00 T-shirts and invested in quality brands. The list goes on...

    I've had the extreme pleasure of driving my Mercedes every day for the last 10 years. It's as good as the day I bought it and when I go to sell it I'll have paid less for it year-over-year, than I ever did on the myriad el-cheap-O's I used to drive. Where I used to replace my shoes every year, or so, I have had my current pair of shoes going on 4 years and have experienced more comfort than I had imagined possible in a shoe up till that point. And my T-shirts? They used to fade and grow thin after a few washes and I'd donate them or throw them out and have to re-buy them. Today, I still have T-shirts that look almost new that I've worn regularly for 7 years. I still have one I wore to my brother's wedding rehearsal 9 years ago.

    All this is a very long way of saying that, amortized over time, buying quality is often cheaper (and almost always more pleasurable) than buying the first thing you can afford.

    Now, I've built my share of PC's. I enjoy picking through catalogues and eBay auctions and getting the best bang for my buck. But, those are my hobby machines. My TrixBox. My MythTV. My fun stuff. My main system is (currently) a Dual G5 Power Mac that I bought refurb'ed shortly after they came out. Even then, it cost me more than $1,000, but I've had it almost 5 years now and It's still doing it's job well. My neighbor just gave me his 3rd Dell in 5 years (a trade for re-installing Windows so many times). He's spent way more on all those systems than I did on my one and has had no end to his aggravation. I sit down at my system (that I've never had to re-install) and get my work done. Would I like to get a cool new 8-way Intel system? Sure. No doubt. But I don't *need* it yet, and I haven't saved up for it yet. It's budgeted for this fall - yay! :-D

    Some people can get by just fine with the cheapest piece of crap Dell or Walmart sells. It looks like crap, it's loaded with useless crap, it's made with the cheapest parts that can be had, it's "settling" for the lowest common denominator. Like the cheap screwdriver, it can get the job done, but you wind up fighting it every step of the way. Their entire experience with computers is based on that. They are used to it. They expect it. It's sad.

    There is something special that you experience the first time you pick up a professional tool. The hammer feels more balanced. The screwdriver turns the screws with surprisingly little effo

    • Same point, more succinct:

      "There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey."
      John Ruskin (1819 - 1900), (attributed)

      Damn true, and I concur with your post 100%.

  • by Upaut (670171) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @07:06AM (#23473246) Homepage Journal
    In that Apple actually pays computer scientists, engineers, etc. a decent wage. And they are run by managers that actually give a damn about the job that their team does.

    So we get things that actually work better out of the box, and mature well over time. Hell, each apple product I have bought has lasted me 4+ years. And then I only "upgrade" because I can afford to upgrade the storage of the laptops myself, increase the RAM significantly, and a fresh install, and give it to a member of my family. Who are shocked that the finest computer in their house was not the dell running vista, but the four-year-old mac... Gaining new Apple users, and when they will buy a new computer in a few years, they might decide to go with the brand that has lasting value.

    Seriously, if you want to pay less, then you devalue their employees. Make 'em more like Microsoft minions, expendable and not working together at any point. Sure you get the product eventually... And its cheaper.... But customers will most spend the rest of that products life complaining about it.

    And no, I am not bashing the "free" concept of Linux, because Linux is a passion. One might spend a few days working out a glitch they encountered and submitting the fix. Then they feel great about accomplishing something no one else has done, and might go on to mend other things, or add other features. By keeping it a hobby that all are free to contribute to, people contribute for free.... And if we added up all those man hours on our favorite distro in a given year, it would be a fortune to pay.
  • Self-built? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Godji (957148) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @07:07AM (#23473248) Homepage
    Didn't RTFA, but does that figure take into account the possibly large number of users who never bought a computer, but built one from parts?
  • by qazwart (261667) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @08:12AM (#23473596) Homepage
    Here's what has been pointed out so far:

    * Apple has such a big market share for the $1000+ market because most PC are cheaper.
    * True, but if you deck out a regular PC to match Apple's specs, it'll be around the same price.

    You're all missing something rather significant. Apple makes very competitive machines, but they don't make all those low or no margin PCs that other manufactures make to boost sales and act as a loss leader for their more expensive models.

    And, because of that Apple is doing quite well. Thank you very much. Apple could greatly increase their market share if they started selling low cost PCs. But, if Apple started doing that, they'd be lowering their profit margins. And, that would make the Apple stores unprofitable. Apple would be forced to close the Apple stores and cut back on customer service in general. That would make Apple just another Dell or HP.

    Compare an Apple store to a typical PC retailer. There are dozens of Macs all running, and they're all connected to the Internet. iPhones and iPods are everywhere. Sales people don't chase you away if you're just browsing. Heck, browsing is highly encouraged. And, salespeople actually know something about the product. Apple service is highly rated by almost all consumer surveys.

    In other words, Apple sells PCs that they can actually make a pretty profit on, and then use that profit to build an image that encourages people to spend the extra dough for an Apple PC. All this makes Apple (get ready for this...) more profitable than any other computer or electronics company - ever. Back in 1998, I bought $1000 of Apple when Steve Jobs took over. I thought I was clever when I sold it after a few months for about $5000. Well, if I was still holding on to that stock today, it would be worth over $1,500,000. Duh! Over the past decade Apple's stock has outperformed Google.

    Whether or not you are a Drinker-of-the Koolade or an Apple Basher, you have to look at Apple as a way to be highly profitable in a commodity business. You don't need a MacBook to appreciate this aspect of the business. Anyone who is interested in running a company should pay attention to Apple's playbook. Apple caters to the higher end of the market, but unlike companies like Bose and Mercedes, which also have a similar strategy, Apple's products are not prime luxury goods that only a few can consider buying. A more significant number is that Apple has broken the 10% mark of market share and is the third largest manufacture of PCs. And, that's pretty hard to bash.
  • by theolein (316044) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @05:10PM (#23482542) Journal
    The title of this post is sensationalistic, but it should be obvious to even the biggest luddite that the biggest problem that Dell, Lenovo, HP, sony and even Asus have is Microsoft.

    That sounds like the start of another classic Microsoft bashing session, but it's not. The problem that all these companies have is not poor quality hardware, or lack of features, or even ugly hardware (although anyone who has ever opened a Mac tower must realise the extreme amount of thought and work that went into designing the case and the insides). Rather the problem is that all of those companies are dependent on a company that has its own agenda and treats all of its partners as if to only tolerate them, not as if they were valuable in any real way to Microsoft.

    If one of the big hardware makers had the wisdom and the courage to buy up a significant stake in a popular Linux distribution, be it Ubuntu or Suse/Novell, they would be, in the long term in a very favourable position.

    Firstly, consumers don't really care about the OS. They like OSX because Apple pays such an enormous amount of attention right down to the single pixel corners of windows, but the basically just want to surf, chat, work, email, play games etc.

    Apple has been able to leverage its control of both the hardware and the software to deliver a good user experience, and crucually, a stable one with all the tools (and more) that a average consumer needs to use their computer.

    If, say Sony, which puts a lot of effort into the design of their machines, were to say, buy Suse, or simply start up their own Kubuntu based distribution (the KDE 4.1 desktop is nothing short of amazing), and most importantly build up a developer team to start making beautiful but simple to use applications, they would
    a) have the control over what went into the distro nd what not, b) an enormous amount of developer talent worldwide to base their efforts on
    c) crucially, control of their own destiny.

    If Sony were then to preload enough, simple and good apps into the computers, and keep it open enough to encourage others to develop for it,they could very well take Apple on in their own space. And it would grow.

    The sad thing is that none of these companies is able to find the courage or has the vision to build up a long term effort like that,that might very well mean losses over the short term, and possibly even a break with Microsoft.

    None of them will do that. Hell, even Microsoft could do it, if they started their own computer brand. they would lose all their hardware partners within a year, but their hardware in the form of Keyboards, mice and Xbox has not been too bad.

    Ok, back to my beer, now.

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"

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