The Apple Tax

6 04 2009

It’s a major topic PC users use to bash Macs, and comparing Macs to PCs it seems to be true.


Now that Apple has started to make more headway into the Microsoft dominated market, the flamewars have become more intense. As we know Apple has already made several distasteful commercials attacking Microsoft and Vista, now Microsoft is stepping up to the plate, and hitting where it hurts: the Price.

Microsoft was quite respectable for not degrading themselves to mudslinging until this point, but they undeniably know that attacking the price of Mac products is the most effective way to boost sales. The Apple Tax has become notorious, especially for PC users who try to stop others from switching to Mac. In almost any situation, if you compare Mac and PC hardware, there always seems to be a gap in pricing even when they are almost identical computers.

Continued after the break…

Lets look at the MacBook Pro and the HP HDX16t series:

MacBook Pro 15″ screen $2074.00


HP HDX16t 16″ screen $1677.99


That is a $396 difference in price. Both computers have the an internal webcam, 64-bit operating systems, the same 512mb 9600M graphics card, and their batteries last about the same amount of time. The MBP has 2GBs of DDR3 ram, which has a similar price to 4GBs of DDR2 ram that the HP has. Admittedly the MacBook Pro does have a second graphics card which the HP doesn’t, but the HP comes with a slightly faster processor, larger screen and a Blu-ray disc drive. The Blu-ray drive alone would be a couple hundred dollar difference if it was even offered on the MBP.

There are tons of different excuses for why Macs cost more. Many would argue that Apple has a better interface and operating system, or the Mac design is better, but these are subjective ideas. These aren’t the reasons that Apple has offered as to way their products cost more. Apple could easily design a cheap computer based on the same principals that Dell, Hewlett Packard, and ASUS use, and have computers for a closer price, but they choose not to. There are a ton of different things you can point out about either computer, but no matter how you argue this, it ends up that there is a price gap (no matter how big or small) between the Mac and PC.

As it stands, as long as a person can look at the technical specifications between a Mac and PC, and see that for comparable hardware the PC costs a lot less, people will be scared away from buying Apple. It convinces people that when you buy a Mac product, you are paying a tax for the logo. Apple needs more consumers to survive in the Microsoft-saturated market if they want to stay alive. To do that, Apple needs to drop their prices on their computers, or else they may be brought back to near-extinction again.



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