Apple’s not so premium pricing

I perused this whole article (see Is Apple a Rule Breaker?), but when through I knew something was wrong. Right at the front of the article, it said Apple offered premium products at premium prices. Being a recent Mac convert, I remember doing a heck of a lot of comparison shopping before deciding on my new Powerbook, and I couldn’t remember finding a similarly equipped machine at a comparable price. Was or am I missing something?

Well, I did a little more digging, and now I do not think so. While I do agree (after two months with the fine little Apple Powerbook G4 12 incher) that Apple does make premium products, I think the price issue is more one of being highly competitive than otherwise.

Rather than wind up comparing apples and oranges (no pun intended), I did a quick comparison of a couple of desktops, one from Apple and one from Dell. Here were the specs:

– Dual-processor – Apple at 2.7 Ghz with 512mb cache, and Dell at 2.8 Ghz with 1mb cache (the Apple has a bit faster front-side bus, so I call these setups essentially equal)

– 2 Gigabytes of RAM (2 DIMMS)

– 250 Gig hard drives

– Video cards – ATI Radeon 9650 w/ 256mb memory on the Apple; nVidia Quattro 1400 w/ 256mb on the Dell

– Sound cards – Apple standard versus the Dell’s Soundblaster Audigy 2

– Other – both have 16X DVD-RW’s installed, and no monitor

Apple price: $3,449

Dell price: $3,626

Where is the premium pricing here? Even if you add AppleCare to the PowerMac at $249, you are still within a hundred bucks of the Dell, and you don’t have to deal with Windows either.

Note: I did check out some machines similar to my 12 inch 1.5 Ghz, Superdrived Powerbook. With the extra 768mb I have in RAM (versus factory stock), my machine cost me roughly $2,100. A similarly sized Intel machine with Windows usually lacks the DVD-RW in the chassis, and still costs roughly a grand more, although they usually claim speedier processors.

Again, I know by now the Apple is superior hardware – what I am still wondering is where the superior price is.

***UPDATE***

Someone else thinks they are not so expensive either – taking TCO in account…cheaper by half? Hmm.

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