Newsletter Issue #529: Mac Pricing: It’s a Question of Value

January 17th, 2010

Regardless of whose sales figures you believe, it’s a sure thing that the netbook saved the PC industry in 2009. Without those cheap, shrunken note-books, I’ve little doubt that sales would have been perfectly awful for most of the PC box builders.

Instead, they can return to an alleged PC resurgence, and Windows 7 no doubt helped, despite those perfectly awful TV spots. On the other hand, despite selling larger quantities of product, what about the profits? How much money can a company make on a $300 computer, large, small or otherwise?

You don’t have to wonder why Apple won’t enter that sandbox, and it’s all about quality and profitability. One thing is certain about cheap gear, and that’s the lack of durability. This stuff may work fine on Day One, but will you still receive satisfactory performance after six months, or a year or two?

As most of you know, actually fixing one of these things once the warranty has expired will generally cost more than the machine is worth. They are disposable, but I suppose you could say the same thing about an iPod or even an iPhone, although most of the problems for both can be repaired if you’re willing to spend a third to half the cost of buying a replacement.

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