The myth of the overpriced Mac

The recent release of the first Intel-based Macs at MacWorld San Fransisco 2006 has led to the inevitable discussion on Apple’s pricing. I’ve read several blog posts and news articles that bring up that old subject.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that many complain about Apple’s pricing, calling the new Macs overpriced compared to similarly equipped PCs that cannot run Mac OS X. And I am so sick of the constant whining about price, most of it from people who have never owned a Mac.

Yes, you may have to spend a little more money when you buy a Mac. So what? You get what you pay for. Why aren’t people complaining about a BMW or Mercedes being more expensive than a comparable Skoda? They are all cars, they have four wheels, normally with rubber tyres, and they all work on roads, and they all transport you from point A to point B. Why should one cost more than the other? Or what about pens. Why would anybody pay up to hundreds of dollars for a Cross, Parker, or Mont Blanc pen when they could achieve the same thing with a Bic for… what, a dollar?

I can’t speak for all Mac users, but here are two of my reasons for being happy to pay more for a Mac than I would pay for a Wintel PC:

  • Mac OS X. It doesn’t matter if a similarly priced Windows PC is twice as fast as a Mac. It can’t run Mac OS X, so it will be extremely uncomfortable for me to use. I would have to spend every day fighting my primary tool instead of using it.
  • Industrial design. Apple hardware is designed to look good and work well. Just take a look at the robust and elegant design of a PowerMac G5. Beautiful. Solid. Most Wintel PC manufacturers seem to use whatever piece of plastic they can find to stuff their components into. And then they paint it black or beige and finish their non-design by putting a few stickers on it.

Until you show me a Wintel PC that is designed with the same sense of aesthetics, feels just as good in your hands, and can run Mac OS X, I don’t care if a Mac costs a bit more. It’s worth it to me.

Somehow I think that even if Apple were to give away Macs for free, there would still be fanatic Mac-haters complaining that they are “expensive” and “overpriced”.

End of rant. Thanks for reading.

Posted on January 16, 2006 in Mac


  1. I’d go along with that. I don’t understand why this is cropping up now either. Macs have always cost more than the equivalent Wintel box. Where’s the news?

    For people that run OS X as their primary OS, it’s more than worth the extra.

  2. I think the most prominent and frequently overlooked reason why Macs are equal if not better value for money is one of software. Just what applications do you get out of the box with a Windows PC? Anything as complete a collection as iLife? Or all the other useful bits and pieces like iCal and Mail?

    I just recently bought a Mac mini. It cost me £390 (new); less than the CPU in my (now mostly switched off) PC. The only regret I currently have is not getting something faster, as I had no idea I’d use it as much I do, and there are a few things that it could do with a bit more grunt for. But despite the overall slow-ness, the quality of the software shines through, and I’m utterly sold on it.

  3. Absolutely. I’d even buy a Mac if all those design and OSX issues would be satisfied by a third party PC vendor. Why? Support, attitude and deidcation of the company/employees, and you can be quite sure the software is properly supported and optimized for the hardware they sell. They just build have the better product in every aspect. As simple as that.

  4. Let’s also remember:

    3 Informal Hardware Support

    When you buy a Mac, you buy a computer that will be identifiable by Mac users all over the world. Any issues with your machine will be blogged about ad nauseum. Ditto any cool upgrades or tweaks. You know what you’ve got, and there will be a wealth of information available about it.

    4 Casual Sex

    Using a Mac will get you laid. Fact.*

    * (This might be a lie.)

  5. Amen!

    Many of these articles confuse me, since they compare the Mac of choice to a Wintel PC with, roughly, the same specifics, and not counting the design in at all. If one should compare a MacBook Pro to a similar Wintel Laptop, in my opinion it should be one of Sony’s VAIOs, where the top models are at least as “expensive” as a Mac, and nicely designed, but way behind with the specifics.

  6. “It shouldn’t surprise anyone that many complain about Apple’s pricing, calling the new Macs overpriced compared to similarly equipped PCs that cannot run Mac OS X.”

    This should indeed not surprise anyone, but not for the reason you suggest. If the only difference between a new Mac and a “similarly equipped PC” is the OS and the design, and Apple is asking significantly more money for it, one might do well to ask the following questions: why should developing OS X be more expensive than Windows? And why should the design on a MacBook cost more than the design on, for example, a Dell laptop? I mean sure, the Dell doesn’t look as spiffy, but someone was paid to design it.

    It’s my guess that the answer to these questions is “it shouldn’t”. I can’t imagine that developing WinXP or desiging PC laptops is that much cheaper that it justifies the price difference between “similarly equipped” PCs and Macs. The difference (assuming Apple knows what it’s doing production-wise) is due to the fact that Apple knows people will pay a bit extra for a neat design and its OS. Why? Because Mac users like you are out there telling people it’s worth it.

    Personally, I think that if Apple would eliminate this “look and feel” premium, it could sell a lot more Macs. Imagine if a Mac looked better, had a great OS, and was cheaper than comparable PCs. Now that would be cool.

    The reason no one complains about the price of a BMW compared to a similar Skoda, is because there is no such thing. In pure hardware terms, engineering of the engine and quality of the parts etc., I don’t think you can really compare the two cars. But now that Apple has moved to Intel processors, it’s becoming easier and easier to compare a Mac and a PC in terms of hardware.

    Oh, and by the way, I think your whole “Windows sucks, PCs are ugly, and Macs and OS X rule” is just as stale as you think the whole “Macs are expensive” argument is. I’ve used, and seen other people use, both Macs and PCs, and you can spend just as much time “fighting” OS X if you’re not used to it.

    Think about this: in switching to a Mac, why should a Windows user have to pay more for the same hardware, throw away his investment in another OS and relearn how to use a computer? Just because Macs look cooler? Only a true Apple-fundamentalist would answer “yes” to that question.

  7. You can run OS X on a PC/Laptop.

  8. Said by Andy Hume: “Macs have always cost more than the equivalent Wintel box”

    There is no equivalent Wintel box.


  9. I think the last bit is a bit exaggerated… if Apple starts giving away Macs, I’d consider them very inexpensive. I’d take two or three.

    As it is, for an Apple machine to run about $400 more than a comparable PC — it’s ridiculous. I don’t care if they’re a bit prettier or that they run Mac OS X. The fact that only Apple machines run Mac OS X is not a limitation of other machines, it’s an artificial limitation (made very obvious by Apple’s move to Intel) that Apple uses to keep their price point higher. This isn’t “value” — it’s Apple sticking it to its users. (And I say that as someone who owns a 1-year-old iMac, and I’m not a “Mac hater” — though I prefer Linux.)

    The bottom line is that Apple could charge significantly less and still make a profit - and thereby allow even more people to afford a Mac, or perhaps a better Mac.

  10. January 16, 2006 by Barrett

    This link right here says it all for third world countries:

    “When you talk about a Mac around here, there are 2 possibilities: 1 - you’re rich, 2 - you work with it. No, it’s absolutely a remote possibility that you got a Mac just because I think it’s cool here, because a Mac here worth R10,000.00 (local money), while a good PC worth R$3,000.00. But why all that difference when we have Macs starting from U$1,299.00? No, it’s not that easy. Illegal hardware are equals 60% or 70% of personal equipment market, and that is a lot! However, there are no illegal Macs, none, so, no price comparison. The US $ is nowadays about R$ 2.34. Ok, so, as a Mac costs U$ 1,299.00, can we get it for about R$ 4,000.00? NO!!!! Our government taxes 60% and then comes the logistic guys part, and then the shopping guy, even the coffee guy gets some, and then, the Mac is about R$ 10,000.00. By the way, our minimum salary stands for R$ 300.00, about U$ 128.00, extremely different of the U$ 700.00 (I guess). So, try to figure it out.”

    In these situations that 20% price difference becomes astronomical… I would love a Mac, fact is I don’t have the expendable income to get one! I keep peace mealing my PC together.

  11. Grrr, the Skoda comment is rather impolite, at least for me :( You shlould have picked a brand that’s not equivalent to VW level for this comparison. Yes, call me a patriot, but these cars beat many others in a bunch of “car of the year” contests ;) Sorry for this rant.

  12. “The bottom line is that Apple could charge significantly less and still make a profit - and thereby allow even more people to afford a Mac, or perhaps a better Mac.”

    They could, but they won’t. I tend to think that Mac pricing is pretty good. Certainly better now than it was say 5 years ago, when they were very expensive.

    But, let’s not fool ourselves, you pay a premium for a Mac. Question is; are you comfortable with that? If you’re not, don’t buy one. Simple.

    As for cheaper == more sales. That’s a maybe. The risk for Apple is that they reduce their profit margins and need to sell more Macs to make up the shortfall.

  13. If your not comfortable with the price of a house, don’t buy one.

  14. January 16, 2006 by Poor Boy

    “As for cheaper == more sales. That’s a maybe. The risk for Apple is that they reduce their profit margins and need to sell more Macs to make up the shortfall.” Isn’t that what they want to do? Sell more Macs. I would love a Mac (used to be a hater btw) if I could afford one. Even though I think the pricing could be better, I would pay if I had the $.

  15. January 16, 2006 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Small Paul: Nah, that last bit can’t be true ;-).

    Maarten: Well, I would guess that Apple spends more time and money on hardware design than most PC manufacturers do. And Macs don’t just “look” cooler - it’s about design that works.

    Tor: By using a hacked and unsupported copy of OS X for Intel I presume? Interesting though.

    Jan: Sorry about that. I could have used Volvo or Saab as an example instead.

  16. Your first point is valid, to a degree. Your second is an argument for style over substance. Personally, I like style. That’s why I own a Mac. But I’d never pick something because it’s pretty - I pick things because they’re good at what I need them to do. Most people are the same.

    I think the reason people are talking about the Macs being so much more expensive is that people would like OSX (including me) to be usable on conventional hardware. I have several PCs at home - all with kit in I’m not willing to bin, and all with decent spec. I refuse to simply ditch them. I’d like to run OSX on them, but am not going to do that if I’m tied to specific hardware or if that hardware is overpriced.

    I’d run OSX on all my PCs if it was priced reasonably. But you’re talking about hundreds of dollars extra for running an OS on the same kit. OSX is better, yes, but not by that much.

    Last - if people are complaining about the price, don’t whinge about the people complaining. Ask yourself why they are. They’re complaining because - believe it or not - they WANT to run OSX. Why can’t they? Because Mac priced OSX so high, in the same hardware market. And why did they do that? Profit? Not likely (they’d stand to make a lot more through wide-spread adoption). My guess is that they want to maintain an air of exclusivity. They know - for a fact - that Mac users won’t be put off by an inflated price tag.

    You’ve not addressed why it’s expensive, just why you think it’s ok that it’s expensive. OSX is worth more - nobody talking about this issue that I’ve seen has said any different - but the gap is much larger than it should be, and that’s what people are complaining about.

  17. Yeah, it’s gonna be released sometime, a 100% working OS X. I’ll bet it would be available this year.

  18. January 17, 2006 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Dave: My second argument is not about pretty design. It’s about stylish and solid design done right. Pretty design that doesn’t also work will not attract me.

  19. January 17, 2006 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Dave: Oh, I forgot to address your point about the people complaining. What you are saying is probably true to some extent, but in general the people I hear talking about “expensive Macs” are hardcore Windows fans. That’s all in my experience, and your opinion may be different :-).

  20. What about linux?

  21. I’ve never been a Mac zealot; for years I worked on a PC refusing to believe that the style advantages Mac had over PCs was totally worth the extra dough.

    Then, my PC blew up, and I bought a cheap used iBook with 10.1 installed. I was instantly hooked.

    Why? I found that if I started cursing at my computer, it wasn’t the computer’s fault this time. No crashes, no hangs, everything was much more intuitive, software was cheap and easy to find (and worked), the design was inspiring… in short, I actually started enjoying working on my computer.

    So now, one Powerbook, two OSX upgrades, one Cinema Display, and three iPods later, I consider myself a convert. Is the extra premium worth it? To me, yes.

    In a sense, it’s no different than the car analogy. Some people who only care about getting to the grocery store and back spend $1200 on a junker that’ll do the job. People who drive around a lot will be prone to spend a little more money on something comfortable and reliable.

    And sure, some people will spend more money just for the cachet. Who among you now doesn’t own at least one piece of designer clothing, or bought the name brand item rather than the identical generic?

  22. BTW Roger, I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, and although I appreciate the in-depth articles and accessibility crusade, it’s good to see you let loose once in awhile. :)

  23. What do you have against Skodas? ;-)

  24. I couldn’t agree more!

    last year i decided to switch to Mac and i haven’t regret it (i’m sure i never will) and in the process of decision making, i calculated the price of pc with similar components of (now old model) iMac G5.

    funny, but pc with all the software (OS, iLife replacements for PC…) even costs few $ more.

    last year i had a pc, now i wouldn’t like not to have my iMac and my Powerbook.

    Best regards

  25. Skoda vs Mercedes - bad analogy :) These days something like a Skoda Octavia VRS is cheaper, better equipped, better built and handles better than the equivalent Merc.

    As for the comment that in pure engineering terms BMW and Skoda are incomparable: that’s just bollocks. BMW just have a bigger marketing budget. A Skoda is basically a VW with a different body and trim (not that simple, I know). So the Octavia (Golf/Leon/A3) is comparable to a 1 series, and so on up from there.

  26. I gladly pay extra for the fit and finish of a Mac, something I feel Apple excells in, both in the hardware and software arenas. That’s not the only reason I prefer them, though. I think Macs are also worth more due to their sheer endurance.

    I recently replaced my primary mac - an old G4/400, one of the very first G4 to hit the market - with a G5 Quad. That old G4 was a real workhorse, and gave me 6 and a half years of solid service!

    In my mind, this fact brings 3 things to light:

    • The price of a Mac when broken down over 5 or 6+ years is really not all that expensive.
    • The fact that a Mac can be usable and useful for so long speaks volumes of the quality of both the hardware and software.
    • No PC I have ever seen has had that kind of longevity.
  27. There is no comparison between a Mac and a PC - Macs are just….. better. And before you start, I used PC’s for 10 years before getting a Mac (indirectly - my Wife started a Graphic Design course, so we got a Mac) so I know all about PC’s. Having used Mac’s for two years now, I would Never go back to PC’s. Never

  28. I think the most prominent and frequently overlooked reason why Macs are equal if not better value for money is one of software. Just what applications do you get out of the box with a Windows PC? Anything as complete a collection as iLife? Or all the other useful bits and pieces like iCal and Mail?

    And Microsoft puts in some application like Internet Explorer by default and gets sued to hell. While the argument may be true, it’s still unfair towards Microsoft. Of course the one before XP SP1 with the change application defaults thing actually did make a lot of sense, but even so, check Real versus the Windows Media Player. Has iTunes yet faced something like that? Unfair, yes. But it’s not always Microsoft who is unfair towards others.

    As I see it Microsoft only doesn’t have an alternative for iPhoto and GarageBand, but then there’s Picasa, leaving GarageBand.

    Besides Macs don’t have foobar2000 last time I checked.

  29. I think that what it all comes down to is value for money. You get what you pay for. To an extent I can see the point that they are overpriced (I sometimes agree being but a lowly student ;), but I honestly wouldn’t mind paying the premium to own a Mac.
    That’s if I could afford one.

    Having said that, I am reasonably happy with my IBM Thinkpad. The screen quality is fantastic; speed is superb (until I start mixing music anyway) and it feels really nice to use. IBM are the only brand I can think of who compare to Apple (at least in terms of usable notebooks).
    I may have to run winXP but thanks to Kol’s visual themes it at least looks like a Mac ;)

  30. My G4/400 I bought around this time in 2000 is still my main Mac (it’s been upgraded since with a Sonnet 1.2GHz and radeon 8500 since then, I’ll give you that). That machine has been on almost 24/7 all this time and has run every version of OSX wihtout flaw. Want to talk expensive equipment? How about value for money? Many’s the time friends of mine have bought a PC instead of an iMac (saving maybe 100-200 euro in the process) and then mailing me a week later if I can convert their Word documents to PDF, resize an image for them, restore their homepage in IE, or drop by their house to remove the viruses/spyware from their PC etc… What irks me the most is that a lot of people think a Mac is way harder to use than a Windows PC and only for “designer types”. IMO, the only reason to get a PC is to game on it. That’s the only thing I use my PC for. (and checking my sites in the crappiest browser on the planet :-) ) Just had to get that of my chest….

  31. I think this whole Mac thing is a conspiracy. People in the brotherhood get the Good Macs. Apparently I always get the Evil Macs.

    The only thing which explains Macheads’ blind faith is that yes, truly, some people are getting a different experience. Because the Macs I’ve used were no better than any PC I’ve used. In fact, the worst computer I’ve ever used was a Mac (high-end G3, back in the day).

    I had to laugh at Apple’s promotional tagline for the new intel Macs - “does the same thing as a PC, only better!”. Which really encapsulates the issue. “It’s just better, just coz, just trust us!” It’s an emotional decision, either way.

  32. January 17, 2006 by Michel

    simply : mac are not simply “os X”

    it’s quality, many little details to ease of use, good performance (not simply the cpu, but for example a complete video card, good battery, nice power-on/sleep FAST , the screen ) and all of that in the same nice and compact package.

    and I could say the same for the IMac (even the piedestal for the screen is solid and perfectly stable. and the size! )

    and what about the powermac G5 ? 16 go de ram if you want (and I need to go beyond 2go or 4go) , 1gb/s ethernet and all others things in One package, no need to worry, to look after some “home made” pc or whatever.

    I simply prefer a mac because it’s a damn good computer.

    and MY choice is only concerning YOU. you have right to buy others computers and have differents needs without be forced to fight me or whatever damn company with a fruit logo.

    about microsoft’s problems with laws USA (and also european countries) has laws against monopolistic policy.

    Microsoft is simply TOO BIG to have the RIGHT to do some petty things.

    Others CAN YES it’s THAT simple !

    for example, many years ago , AT&T was forced to be torn in differents enterprises because it was too big and disastrous for the market

    IBM also got some obligations to stop to be a too much big company with no possibility to challenge. (they were forbidden to enter in specifics market or to ask specifis contracts to suppliers and partners)

    Microsoft when it had too many stuff in windows is REALLY disprupting the market

    when apple put safari, what it changes to the whole international market ? mostly nothing !

    in fact it’s not software the problems, it’s FORMAT and PROTOCOLS. Microsoft controls FORMATS (office one, Windows Media ) and PROTOCOLS (the cifs one for example) and use it’s huge behemot software (windows and office) to force everyone to be dependant of microsoft controlled formats and protocols.

    so, when justice try to forbid microsoft to do something or to force it to pay, it’s NEVER about a little software as IE or wordpad or media player or a microsoft’s one picassa version or “movie maker”, no no no. IT’s about the CONTROL Microsoft has on the industry.

    for example, the drop of opengl in windows vista is a really bad move. it certainly force others company to sue microsoft.

    the windows / xbox market will force games company to only support direct 3D. no more opengl. but opengl is many companies which have invested in it. and whatever linux or os X ? they have not direct3D (and it would need to pay microsoft to have the right to developp a similar compatible stuff, ONLY if microsoft is willing to sell the right..).
    Opengl support in vista is a lot of more important than simply a new software bundled in windows !

    WE are NOT concerned by some news software bundled in operating systems.

    when microsoft put “drivespace” in DOS 6 , it was not simply the new software the problems. Damn UNIX has THOUSANDS of software bundle in them ! no, it was microsoft simply did a binary COPY of the stacker doublespace’s one and force them to stop business. Microsoft was acknowledg guilty of illegal practice towars stacker. in the same time, a new “drivespace” version with new code was released by Microsoft. but stacker was finished.

    it’s not the same than to add a new software ! Microsoft can add 3653 softwares, I perfectly happy with that ! . it depends if thats software will force people to only use them and destroy compatibility. or if that sofware are pure copy as in the stacker’s case.

    Neither Apple, neither Adobe, neither IBM has the influence of microsoft.

    it’s why, laws acknowledge that fact.

    you have to understand microsoft mostly destroyed all opposants in internet navigators , office suite and was going the same with video/audio. Because they controled dos and now windows.

    netscape was dead. Lotus was mostly disbanded (lotus word pro and others stuff, as 1 2 3 )

    now and only now , there are Mozilla and Open office with real chances to be used.

    Quicktime, Real and divx is still in the market , even if WMV/AVC is in ALL computers with windows (and it’s many… a lot of more than quicktime in osx or ogg in linux ) but there are still there. there are so no need to force microsoft to withdraw windows media business.

    Itunes ? but Itunes does not kill the market there are THOUSANDS of mp3 players , from sony, philips, sanyo and others, in all countries there 30 or 40 differents internet musics shops. in France I can count 3 of memory (virgin, alapage, fnac) and I forget some littles one and phone companies

    Apple is not preventing others companies to exist with itunes. Itunes can not force industrials to only use AAC (in fact, all the others players are using Windows media audio, somes are using ogg , mostly all is also using mp3 )

    but tell me a REAL commercial alternative similar to Microsoft Office ? hu ? there are NONE.

    tell me a real commercial similar alternative to Microsoft windows ? (beos ? nextstep ? os/2 ? all was failure, there was not possible to have the devices compatibility of windows, it was not possible to convince editors to forget windows for 10s , because ALL PC was sold with DOS / WINDOWS from SCRATCH)

    (linux is “new” and play with totally differents rules, it’s not simply “commercial” or controlled by one company you can force to bankrout or buy. Linux is an argument to defend Microsoft. thanks to linux, maybe microsoft will not be a monopoly anymore) so justice will let microsoft alone)

    if Itunes destroys all the others products, force all industry to only support apple “blessed” format (and royalty, licence and all fees…), yes, judges will strike to apple. it’s not the case for now. (I should remind AAC and even the quicktime MPEG 4 H264 are MPEG format, a whole industry joint venture. aac is even mostly controlled by dolby apple is only one member of that. )

    There are REASONS ! Judges, laws, governments is not simply tired of microsoft or others. hint : there are not. they simply apply laws.

    Similars stuff is NOT NEW. YOU have to read about IBM and AT&T histories !

    Heck ! maybe tomorrow it”s ADOBE who will be in problems because the macromedia-adobe fusion and the importance of photoshop on artists. for now, the fusion was accepted. everything is fine.

    About Apple, if you want to look after “faults” of Apple, you should enquire of the proeminent use of .MAC subscribing in Ilife’06. it’s a lot of more “peculiar”’ than itunes success.

    Of course I’m not a student. I worked on windows development and after on unix/linux/windows/osx system administration. I simply know for more 20 years the industry. I’m not surprised by Microsoft or Apple or others companies.

  33. January 17, 2006 by Indra

    LOL.. “so what” “i don’t care”.. and yet here is a blog post. so what if other people say macs are expensive. you shouldn’t care. you’re not a mac salesman are you? you’re not their parents. let them buy what they want. cheaper PCs!

  34. Thanks Roger, I’ve been waiting for ages for you to launch this thread. hehehe…

  35. “LOL.. “so what” “i don’t care”.. and yet here is a blog post. so what if other people say macs are expensive. you shouldn’t care. you’re not a mac salesman are you? you’re not their parents. let them buy what they want. cheaper PCs!”


  36. January 17, 2006 by hcsteve

    And Microsoft puts in some application like Internet Explorer by default and gets sued to hell. While the argument may be true, it’s still unfair towards Microsoft.

    There’s one important difference between Safari on OS X and IE on Windows - you can easily uninstall Safari. Not only could you not get rid of IE, but you HAVE to keep it around to access things like Windows Update. Microsoft almost forces you to use their browser; Apple simply provides theirs with their OS. In the first version of OS X I bought (10.3 I believe), Safari wasn’t even the default browser - it was IE!

  37. DO you want to caress it or get some real work done? PC all the way.

  38. January 17, 2006 by grumpY!

    just more mac cultism. industrial design? who cares, i stick the thing under the desk out of sight. software? i used osx and ubuntu daily as desktops and frankly they about on par. this isn’t a knock or glorification of either, just simply an assessment. free software included with os? who cares? even windows users can obtain open source code for practically anything they need. its wise for apple to move on to music devices, because desktop os_s have become a complete commodity.

  39. January 17, 2006 by Happy Camper

    Don’t forget about all of the software that comes witha Mac these days. With a Mac you can capture you video, edit it, burn to DVD and watch it. Windows won’t even let you watch a DVD without a third party plug-in installed. How about the entire i series of software? Oh, lets not forget the beautiful 30” monitor… ohhhhh

  40. January 17, 2006 by Dean Peet

    The big reason that Apple will never cut its design premium is that would remove the social distinction that an Apple purchaser receives when he or she buys a Mac. As it stands now, its a sign a good taste, artistic inclination, socio-economic standing, etc. Should Apple begin to compete on a level price playing field, some if not most of that allure would be removed from the brand, reducing its value and status from what is perhaps a small but important part of the community.

  41. For a Mercedes, you get the recognition - everybody appreciates a brand-name car. But what’s the name Apple’s got to offer? Whiteness. It may look good - as many cars might, but as far as recognition is concerned, it’s not a Mercedes. Go up to anyone on the street and ask them if they think Mac sucks or not, the answer is most likely yes. More than half of consumers consider an Apple product (other than the iPod now) lame. It’s uncomparable to a Mercedes. But of course if you actually paid for an expensive computer, you would most likely say good things about it. And for the ones, as you said, who haven’t purchased a Mac and think Macs are expensive, then it is because that they think Macs are expensive and chose not to purchase a Mac.

    I’m not saying Macs suck. I use Mac sometimes, but for all the reasons that people complain about its price, they are valid.

  42. January 17, 2006 by adadm

    It is a fact mac’s are expensive. Aesthetics doesn’t matter if they are not useful to the PC performance, and you can have a pleasing PC case if you want. In my house we have Powerbooks and Desktop PC’s(custom built) and I enjoy both. But I still thought the Powerbook was a lot of money.

  43. January 17, 2006 by Hagar

    Of course no Merc/BMW owner complains about their car when owners of comparable Skoda’s do. They’re not the butt of all the crap car jokes and they spent too much money to want to have to admit that they really didn’t get anything more for it.

    The only advantage to the mac (aside from a nice OS I’ll admit) is that the OS is tied to the hardware and therefor inherently more stable.

    The fact of the matter remains, Macs are expensive pieces of kit that providing you have the requisit braincells to do the same thing in windoze you could save yourself a shitload of money. Not to mention an absolute fortune when it comes to replacing that oh so poorly designed power supply that just died/got killed by the cat/was just too damn pathetic to stand up to the strain of actually being used.

    Apple are a bunch of fancy pants rip off merchants. They make gorgeous hardware and great software, but they’ve got to cut their prices before I’ll give in.

    Oh and for the last guy who wrote… yeah… and how much for that 30” monitor? It’s not like I can’t buy one from dell for half the price!

  44. January 17, 2006 by Hagar

    Just to add to the above and to ensure you don’t take me for a windows slave…

    I’m a linux user. Love it to bits.

    I like OS X, though it’s not without being damn annoying sometimes.

  45. January 17, 2006 by adamjh

    Is it worth it to pay more for a mac? Yes, if you have enough money. Is it worth it to pay more for a BMW? Yes, if you have enough money. Too bad most of us don’t have extra money. So for now if you ask why I don’t have a Mac, I’ll say “because it’s too expensive for me”. And then I’ll drive off in my Honda Civic.

  46. Windows is good if you like to maintain things all the time. The time you spend trying to find all the free applications that you’d consider an equivalent to iLife, you could get a second job. I’d rather spend time using the computer instead of maintaining it. After using an Apple, I would never use anything else.

  47. No matter the costs, I’ll be a Mac user forever as long as PC’s with Windows run as shitty as they do now. A 2 years old Mac with OSX is still nicer to work with than a brand new A-spec PC with Windows on it. Sure the mac will be slower but at least it works. It just works.

    They look cool too but my sole reason for being a mac user is the fact that I want a computer that works. Without giving me ANY crap for a couple of years until I replace it. The only brand that delivers this: Apple. It went like this with my G4 Digital Audio, the Powerbook G4 I got after that and I’m sure it’s gonna be like this with the dual G5 I have now for 6 months or so.

  48. This kind of turned into a pro-windows rant. I didn’t mean it to be. So skip it if you want, but here’s my opinion:

    I wonder if people realize how rediculous it sounds when they say “I use such and such because it has the things that I need ‘right out of the box’”. It just tells people that you don’t care about getting the right tool for the job; you’ll just use whatever’s put in front of you. It’s like saying “I use a fork to eat my soup because that way, I don’t have to go looking for a spoon”

    I’ll give you that Apple as a good industrial design team. The problem is that they’re not upgradable and hardly customizable. Oh, and for what you get, yes they are expensive. Have you seen the Shuttle XPCs? Good engineering, good design, and fully upgradable/customizable. All for a lot cheaper than a mac.

    Windows 95,98, and ME sucked. But ever since Windows 2000 (and before that, NT) MS has had a good OS. Apple had 9 Major releases and a billion point releases and still they had to go to unix to find anything close to stable. And though I think OSX has potential, it doesn’t handle errors/timeouts as well as windows, and overall I find it less responsive in everyday use.

    One button mice stink. Two button mice where you can’t right click without lifting up your other finger also stink.

    Oh, and now that apple has switched to x86 (actually in inferior instruction set compared to PPC, although the core duo is certainly better performing than the G5), it is Apple has locked down OSX so it only runs on their machines. Why would they let it run better on machines that cost less? Then everybody would buy those, except those that care about style being paramount. If an accord performed the same or better than a ferrari, which would you buy?

  49. January 17, 2006 by Chasemar

    I have a Mac mini, cheapest computer Apple makes (ok, so it’s the SuperDrive). It has WORSE specs than my old Dell did…. 1.42GHZ vs. 1.8; slower Drive speed; smaller and slower hard drive; none of the legacy ports, 85W powersupply compared to a 200W; tied on RAM; and no keyboard/mouse (bah, already had ‘em)… This little comp regularly outperforms that big tank. I have had 3 full crashes where a reboot was needed. All were as a result of Microsoft’s Virtual PC, which I uninstalled and never needed since; I have had it now for then same period of time, and the Dell crashed 20+ times, once where I had to run Linux following a complete SNAFU installing XP SP2.

    It regularly does intensive DV work (well, for me) that I could A) never do on my Dell and B) never could afford the software to perorm on my Dell. It does things with graphics my equivalent PC card was stuggling to keep at above 3 FPS. It took the things I loved about SuSE (“Open” standards, beautiful desktop environment, rock-like stability) and mixed them with the things I liked about Windows (easy software install, no need to access command line).

    I have bought only one peice of software I felt I needed: iWork, and that was simply for Keynote 2. NeoOffice filled all my other needs. Everything I have needed in the Mac world has an excellent, free program out there. Compare to the thousands of crap titles out there for PC, many of which you pay for.

    Did I pay a premium? Yes. Do I regret it? Not a chance in Hell. To steal a classic line, “It just works.”

  50. January 17, 2006 by William

    I have problems with your article. Your analogy with cars is possibly the most idiotic statement I’ve ever heard, especially now with Macs having intel processors.

    When you buy an expensive car you get better parts too. People don’t just buy BMWs because they look pretty, well most people don’t, but because they are better in numerous ways. They’re built better, with better equipment, and a lot more effort than a cheap car.

    The innards of a mac systems versus a windows system grows increasingly small. The key advantage that mac machines offer is better industrial design. It’s exactly what apple is good at - polishing things up and putting them in a nice package. I’m not trying to say Apple does nothing else, but it’s what they’re best at.

    Yes you get the Mac OS, yes it is nice, but that should be dictated in the cost of the operating system itself and not the cost of the system. And while I understand clearly that you get Mac OS with the system if you go out to purchase the OS, it’s less than Windows.

    The main issue with Macs in my opinion is that they only offer premium systems. To have your cheapest option be $2000 is nuts, and they are charging a lot there. Premium systems are where most pc manufacuters make their money - it’s where they can markup the most.

    Yes I’m aware of the Mac Mini, but that cuts corners in order to offer a $500 system. There is a limit to the HDD available, the ram available, the graphics card isn’t good by any means, there’s only two usb ports and no line in. If any of those options aren’t acceptable you take an automatic jump to $1200.

    So there is no myth here. Macs are overpriced and there really isn’t a justification for it. It’s not the OS and industrial design doesn’t eat up that much money, at least it shouldn’t. Apple charges more because they can, because people will buy them regardless. They’ve created a market where they can ask anything they want within reason because people will blindly follow them, it’s a love they have for all things sleek and sexy and white that abstracts as much of the “personal confuser” aspect from a pc as is possible.

    Before someone calls me a hater - I plan on buying a mac as my next computer. It is overpriced but I’ll have money to blow and the sleek and sexy and white aspects appeal to me. Doesn’t mean I won’t grumble about paying the premium.

  51. January 17, 2006 by Chasemar

    One more thing: The PC ran with all stock parts save a 2nd Combo drive.

  52. I had the misfortune of the first mac I regularly used being a G3. Hearing the mac zealots at the time go on about how great it was, and seeing the actual product at work, has made me distrust all the praise thrown at these machines.

    However, as of late I have been interested at giving mac another try, but as someone else stated, in a 3rd world country the cost really is prohibitive.

    I can put together a PC here for much the same price as you’d pay in Europe or the US (taking current exchange rates into account), yet for some reason macs are always at least 50% more expensive. So not only are they more expensive than a PC, they are more expensive than what you pay over there in Europe.

    I use Windows XP and Ubuntu, and have no problems using either. My machines are in ugly boxes and collect dust under my desk where I cannot see them.

    And to keep with the original analogy. I have a decent job, and I can afford a BMW or Merc, yet I choose to own a cheap car that does the job of getting me from A to B, as well as a motorbike, and still having cash left over. I could afford to buy a mac, I choose to buy 3 PCs instead.

  53. January 17, 2006 by Dutchkid

    Having worked with both Apple and Windows computers, I honestly can’t say there’s a big difference between them. OS 9 was terrible (just like Win 98), but these days I think both Win XP and OS X work quite well. You call using Windows ‘fighting your machine’; I think that’s mostly a matter of (lack of) experience. I never feel that way.

    Currently I’m working with a pc, I’m surrounded by people using Macs in my workplace, but I don’t feel like switching. To me the OS’s are really quite similar and I don’t care if my computer is well designed - it’s underneath my desk, almost perfectly hidden.

    I guess in the end it’s all a matter of personal preference. What really bothers me about many Apple users is the way they act as if they are somehow superior, cleverer and more design savy beings, simply because they own this computer. I’m not saying you are like that - but I’ve met quite a few of them. Please, it’s only a machine, and the difference isn’t that big.

  54. January 17, 2006 by David

    You ever hear a pc user who’s constantly talking about his computer and how much he/she loves to use it?

    How bout all the Mac users who love their computers and tell all their friends to go out and get one?

    I hear the latter much more often. I hear the first once in a blue moon and only from big time computer nerds.

    All these windoze people in here are people who enjoy windoze because they are programmers/computer nerds who know the innards of windoze and can control problems which encounter. 98% of the people I know who are pc users are not programmers/computer nerds. They complain constantly of crashes and freezes or they can’t find something or get something to work or whatnot. Point is you shouldnt have to be a computer nerd to have your pc/windoze box working well.

    With a Mac everything just works and works well. There’s no argument against it - end of story.

  55. January 17, 2006 by DutchKid

    David - I’m a windows user and I never encounter problems. I’m not a nerd and I certainly know nothing about the innards of windows. The problems simply aren’t there.
    On the other hand, just last week I met with a client who was using 2 Powerbooks at the same time; because both were a little bit broken and couldn’t perform certain tasks.
    The thing is: for most pc users the computer is simply a tool - for most Apple users it’s a religion.

  56. January 17, 2006 by Daniele

    I can’t see what the big deal is : he or she who thinks that the price of a Mac isn’t justified, shouldn’t buy one. Period.

    Now, pushing it a little, one could argue that discussing how Macs are expensive/evil incarnate/gadgets/whatever, while swearing never to buy one, is waste of time, hence of money…

  57. January 17, 2006 by Andrew Massey

    Surely as web designers, and I guess most of us here are, it shouldn’t matter what tools we’re using but the quality of our final product: as far as I know that isn’t dependent on our machine or operating system.

    Saying that though, I do wonder how much the Mac would be if it weren’t being subsidised by the iPod/Nano (now there’s some industrial design ;)).

    I must say that the only reason (historically cough) I’ve chosen the PC over the Mac is the availablity of my favoured genre of games (sims and strategy). With the switch to an Intel processor will we see this change I wonder?

  58. I love reading Windows users response to an item like this. It provides them with a public forum to display their ignorance about Macs. There is nothing funnier than people parading their ignorant and ill-informed bias for all to see. Keep it up, you people just make me laugh!

  59. Eh? There’s another operating system out there? Consider my paradigms rocked …

  60. I’d love a Mac. However, I can’t afford to buy one at the moment. I can’t afford to replace my work PCs either, but given that they cope with everything I throw at them, I don’t really see the need to.

    Since the vast majority of my clients use Windows, I need a Windows box to test things on. This happens to be my laptop, and hence gets carried everywhere. Since I do most of my development on Linux, I need a Linux box for day to day work (it doubles as my local test server). The only reason I would need a Mac would be to test things, and I can’t justify a box for just testing, especially when the vast majority of visitors to my client’s sites use Windows.

    Now, if I could get a Mac laptop, I’ve been told very good things about them, but my laptop works, and doesn’t need replacing yet, so I can’t. Unless you’ve got any spare, of course… :-)

  61. I think people should just use whatever they want really. I’m happy with my PC and WinXP. If you can test both then pick the best. What annoys me is people that buy them because they look cool, or they’ve been told it’s cool by friends. Just like those people with iPods that wear their white earphones which say ‘please steal my iPod, I can’t hear you so I’m an easy target’. Personally I love my iPod nano but I’m glad I’m not tied to iTunes in order to use it :)

    My machine is functional, I built it myself with the best components I could afford at the time and it’s had it’s internals changed more than I’d care to mention…..just need to save for a dual core processor now :)

  62. I agree with Jan Brasna on the Skoda comment ;) I would love to own a new Octavia or Superb. Check them out.

    More to the point - I’d really like to try Mac one day, but…they are not too affordable ;-)

  63. While people justify the price of a Mac by praising the hardware and exterior design, I think that the Mac OS is the real justifier of the price.

    Stop reading here.

    I even dislike the keyboard and mouse that are enclosed with the Macs (wether it being an i-/PowerBook or desktop counterpart). I’d much rather see Apple release something that looks and feels like an IBM ThinkPad x-series. Mhmmm! :)

  64. … and the desktop counterpart could look something like the SGI Prism :)

  65. Well, I guess I am a little late to this post - and, for the most part - don’t want to read all of the comments. I have seen these arguments time and time again and nothing new seems to pop up.

    Just last night I did a fresh install of Tiger on a G4 tower of mine. Its beautiful from the get go. Everything fits and works together. I looked at the install of Tiger, then looked at my dads PC. I will NEVER use a PC again. As Roger pointed out, I would rather be productive than have to make the machine work for me (which I was constantly doing when I had a PC).

    You want a cheap PC? Thats fine - just as Roger said - you get what you pay for. Just don’t whine and complain when its broken, or virus ridden, or loaded with spyware, or…(check recent security updates for larger list).

    Roger, you make a fine comparison in this post!

  66. January 17, 2006 by Greg Laycock

    So what you’re saying is, Apple has you in the palm of it’s hand :) You’ve succumbed to the coolness of Apple!

    I own several computers, some Macs, some PCs. I grew up using Windows machines (DOS, really), so I’m more comfortable with PCs, but I also like OS X (and OS 8 and 9 too). But I understand why someone might be partial to a particular OS. What I DON’T understand is why someone would buy a computer based on sheer LOOKS alone. It’s a tool, for crying out loud.

  67. Roger:

    I totally agree, but there are well-designed PC boxes, think Alienware ;)

    1. How much do Dell pay Microsoft to licence each copy of Windows? Less than $50 per computer or more?

    2. Dell have no software research and development costs.

    3. They make a small loss on all computer system less than $1000. (It’s in their annual white papers for shareholders.)

    4. Microsoft make as much money from Office for mac than they do from Windows OEM software licences.

  68. January 17, 2006 by Dual G5

    Anyone think the upgrades for Mac OSX were too expensive?

    Is everyone satisfied with technical support/repair?

  69. If I might add these words:

    Would love some great UNIX tutorials when I think of it, MAC OSX is after all a UNIX machine?

    The design of the G5 made a friend-architect I know envious of its design!!

  70. RE: Patrys No offense, but Alienware has NOTHING on the look of Apple’s product. Personally, I would prefer a dell box over the Alienware products.

    RE: Greg Its not all about the looks, its about the performance. Its about the solid core. Its about the elegant OS. Its about NOT having to make the computer WORK to get any work done. It just works. It works together with a great suite of applications. Its about care for the customer - not just the masses. Ill pay the price for apple, because I have MORE than paid the price with the crappy windows products in the past. And, I have also used DOS, OS 8/9, and all new releases of OS X and Windows. It is a preference thing, and I will never go back to MS crap. Its not about apple having anyone in the palm of their hand - its about a GREAT brand with GREAT care for the customer. A side product of that is GREAT customer loyalty. You dont find that on the Microsoft side very often.

    I have had some bad products from Apple, I dont praise them as if they could do no wrong - but it was easy to get my problem resolved.

  71. I agree on the Alienware, but how about that price?

    I think the problem is that is there is no black plastic cheapo version, just the premium version. That is why they cost so much (and really they don’t cost that much) relative to the $1000 Dell. Personally I don’t care, Apple charges what its market will take just the same as everyone else.

    Who cares what people think? Really. If someone thinks its too expensive then they aren’t going to be an Apple user no matter what… and who needs them? Last I checked Apple is making a decent profit on hardware sales.

  72. Jesus, Roger, what are you trying to do? Get over a 100 comments? :-)

    Anyway… Personally I think Macs are overpriced; so what? People buy them for the design, OS X, the whole package etc. Some people say Macs has got the best hardware in the world and no PC manufacturer can top it. Doesn’t sound likely to me, but I won’t delve deeper into that discussion…

    I like PCs, I like Macs. Why make a fight out of it?

    If it’s only about the software, then, in my humble opinion, I find it very plausible that people will indeed be able to run OS X on a PC; for instance, Engadget has more about that in OS X 10.4.3 dual-booted on a Thinkpad

  73. RE: Robert

    I agree with your comments, it does come down to a preference thing.

    Something to note about your link to the engadget article, this was with 10.4.3, NOT 10.4.4 which is what was released last week at the keynote. So far, there are no instances of 10.4.4 running on any PCs. The 10.4.3 was a beta.

    This is alot of comments, thats for sure! ha

  74. January 17, 2006 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Obviously I failed to make one thing clear in this post and in my comments (or people aren’t reading): when I say design, I don’t mean “pretty”. I mean well-designed. There is much more to design than how something looks, you know. I generally favour substance over style any day of the week.

    What I’m saying is that some people, including myself, find a polished product (in this case computer hardware plus an operating system) worth paying extra for. Others don’t.

    I don’t care about the software bundles either. The only iApp I actually use is iTunes, and I don’t even use that a lot.

    What I love is having the power of Unix under a polished hood. To me as a web developer it gives me the best of two worlds.

    I don’t get the “but it’s just a tool” argument. Let’s say you’re a carpenter and need to buy a hammer. There are several options available. You’ve tried them all, and after hammering away for a day or so they all give you blisters. Except one that feels really nice in your hand. The downside is that it is slightly more expensive than the others. But you use it every day, so why should you not spend some extra to get a tool that you can work comfortably with?

    If you want to use Windows, use Windows. If you prefer Linux, use Linux. I want the tool that is most comfortable for me to use and enables me to be more productive than with the alternatives, so I use a Mac even though it will cost me a few billable hours more than the alternatives. Considering I will use a new Mac for maybe four years before I need to replace it, the extra cost is so tiny that complaining about it seems quite silly.

  75. January 17, 2006 by DaveMo

    Being as I’m at work doing this at my break and don’t have time to review all the responses, so I apologize if my answer duplicates someone else’s.

    As a Mac owner/user from the first Mac Plus in the mid-Eighties, I’ve heard and participated in this argument way too many times.

    One question usually puts the other side out of the conversation every time:

    “Can you build me an equivalent specification PC box that is as easy to use, interoperable, secure, and dependable as a Mac is right out of the box for less?”

    The usual answer is, “No, but…” followed by something about “command line instructions”, or “knowing what’s going on under the windows”, or “doesn’t work with all Windows or Microsoft programs” or “no games” or “more software for the PC”, etc., most of which is not true any more, particularly the command line argument now that the Mac OS is Unix based. Ultimately they’ll grudgingly admit that a Macintosh out of the box is not really that overpriced after all.

    I have been a PC user by necessity for several years now and I have to admit, I get most of what I need to get done just fine using a PC rather than a Mac, and the main reason I don’t use a newer Mac is the cost involved. But I still own an older Mac. I still love the Mac. I think the Mac is a superior machine in hardware and software. I have a hard time affording to keep up with the advancements in technology anyway whether it’s Mac or PC, but if I could afford it I’d own a new Mac tomorrow.

    What it comes down to in my opinion is these things are tools, they help you get stuff done. If you’re building something, you have a choice of using Phillips, torx, or slotted head screws or Metric or standard size bolts and nuts, or maybe it’s even more like Craftsman vs. Bolt-On tools. But there seems to be this visceral, emotional need to declare one system better than the other that obscures the logic of using the right tool for the job, whatever the cost.

  76. January 17, 2006 by gareth

    i agree with most of what you say but Industrial design! are you joking? the powerbooks may look good but in year of owning one my screen has developed white spots, the power lead sparks (second power lead) the dvd drive has stopped working and i get random shocks every so often.

  77. January 17, 2006 by andrea

    This is about as useful as the “Anyone who uses Dreamweaver is doing it wrong” post not to long ago. You prefer to use a MAC. Congrats.

  78. The argument is not over price — it’s an argument over desire. I don’t complain about the price tag on a BMW because I don’t want one.

  79. As others have said, Macs come with a very nice suite of software apps that are actually usable and robust. Windows machines generally come with scaled down software that is immediately replaced. Factor in the cost of upgrading to usable software, and there isn’t much price difference.

    I use both Macs and Windows machines at work every day. They both have their strengths and weaknesses, but if I had to chose one and only one to use from now on, I’d chose the Mac. OSX is more powerful, more intuitive, and simply better than Windows XP.

  80. January 17, 2006 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    gareth: Any product can have faults. I’ve had some bad luck with that too.

    andrea: Thanks!

  81. January 18, 2006 by Kevin M.

    Love the passion. Well I can say that both PC and MAC have their advantages. The reality is that Apple Design is not that more expensive than say Dell or Intel (though have never figured out why Dell and the like didn’t build pretty/thoughtful stuff). Apple just charges more. Apple has been using off-the-shelf components for years and are not so custom as they were years ago. Also they are not so uber friendly and trouble free. I work in a corp environment and just the other day a MAC had its keyboard mapped to AZERTY who knew. Oh and lets not talk about mixed machine networks and domains.

    But what is interesting to not is that the new MacBook Pros are really not that far off in price and do offer some genuine improvements. I think Apple is really starting to realize that a lower price will attract PC users (hell I want one, though love my Overclocked DIY PC at home which will smoke most machines) and this makes me happy. Because in the end it will benefit everyone.

    So be passionate but dont ‘dis PC users so readily because I can crash a MAC faster than you think. But yeah I want a MACBook Pro dammit.


  82. January 18, 2006 by David

    I think it’s hilarious that (in comment #2) somebody stated that they liked their mac because

    “Just what applications do you get out of the box with a Windows PC? Anything as complete a collection as iLife? Or all the other useful bits and pieces like iCal and Mail?”

    I didn’t know that apple computers had become so well rounded. You have really got to be kidding, a mail program and an organizer?! That’s why you bought an apple? Honestly, I think a lot of people buy apples so that they can be “that guy that owns an apple (even though they aren’t nearly as powerful and aren’t really capable of being customized (for lack of third party support). My roomate had an apple, and it was all right… I just didn’t like it, and all of the software that I could run look like it was programmed at the mattel factory by spongebob.

  83. January 18, 2006 by Knyte

    I think when people refer to Mac’s being over-priced they are refering to the hardware than the OS it is running…. you r article seems to be talking about Mac OS X.

    You need to remember that all the chips come from the same source whether it be a PC or Mac, I’ve worked in the hardware industry starting off doing Mac repairs and on into the world of PC’s. Mac’s although they use the same hardware are in comparison to a PC with the same hardware specification HUGELY OVER PRICED.

    Maybe devoted Mac followers are prepared to give Steve Jobbs all their money and allow his ‘boutique’ computer company to prosper to where it is today, but I’m glad I’m not one who has been ripped off to contribute to his bottom dollar.

  84. January 18, 2006 by Anonymous

    this is the most painful commentary ever

    1-YOU CAN RUN OSX ON A PC if you use the newest build (10.4.3)

    2-Every comparison you made in this article is absolutely irrelevant on the simple basis that PC hardware performs as well as mac hardware…while crap cars don’t perform as well an expensive car and a mont blanc writes much more smoothly than a bic throw away pen

    grow a brain and come back

  85. January 18, 2006 by GunnarD

    Sorry but: The newest build is 10.4.4 and there is no legal version of MacOS X för PC.

  86. January 18, 2006 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Ok, some of these comments are really close to being deleted. It’s interesting that those comments that contain insults and ALL CAPS SHOUTING are also the least insightful and useful.

    You’re all welcome to argue, but keep it nice. And it helps if you read the previous comments first.

  87. You’re bang on the nail with Apple’s pricing policy. Macs are marketed as a more luxury (to consumers) or specialised (to professioanls) commodity hence the price difference. People can complain and perform shlock cost analysis as much as they like, but this phenomenon is present across all industries. The automotive industry you picked is a good example. As could be the fashion industry (designer labels vs high street copies), sportswear (Man Utd top vs no-name top). It’s pretty basic stuff really.

    That said I forked out for my Mac almost purely because of OS X. I love the way it looks, but I could forgoe that just for the OS. Only Apple makes OS X so they can charge what the market will bear.

  88. January 18, 2006 by Daniel Larsson

    I’m now ready to disconnect my pc. If I need to access MS Windows in the future I’ll use remote desktop. The only remaining problem is that there are so many nice macs to choose from. I think I’ll start with an iMac.

    If you absolutely need to keep a pc in your home consider a Hoojum.

  89. I think Maarten and some others are missing the big picture here. Dell for example spends only some cents in R&D compared to Apple. Millions of Dollars go into this and that’s why products just are better and more thought true. Have you ever opened up a Dell or any other PC? Well it is a bloddy mess of cables etc. Now open a up a G5 and notice the difference. That’s only one little part of a larger whole and that’s one of the reason it costs more. Apple thinks and researches stuff before they implement it. I gladly pay a premium if it makes me life easier.

  90. January 18, 2006 by Roger Wen

    It’s interesting how some here focus only on the hardware when comparing prices. One has to consider the software that’s included too. Besides the nice o/s, an out-of-the-box Mac comes w/ iLife plus some other cats and dogs. Since an out-of-the-box PC doesn’t offer these, you’ll need to find equivalents and add their cost onto the price. Don’t forget to add in anti-virus and anti-scumware software with Windoze being a favorite whipping boy of hackers. I think once you add in the price of all the missing s/w, you’ll see a Mac is not as overpriced as you mistakenly believe. Ever want to upgrade your o/s, Word, etc again? Check out the difference in prices. It’s far more expensive to do this on a Windoze computer.

    For those complaining Mac is too expensive, no one is twisting your arm to buy one. There’s plenty of cheap PCs out there for guys like you.

  91. The classic debate.

    I have always been a PC/windows user. As of the Macintels I am switching. Why? Because the hardware/casing for Mac laptops is much better than windows machines? Do I think OSX is better? No. Do I think Windows is better? No. I’m switching and will be using a apple computer because it fits my needs better. The design of the casing suites my portable requirements (light, few breakable edges, etc) And it runs the primary software I use and is focused on running that software.

    And this endless debate on cost, hardware, OS, is just annoying. Windows has its issues, but so does OSX. Nothing is perfect. I personally have nothing but love for both Apple and Microsoft.

  92. January 18, 2006 by Marc Luzietti

    This is stupid. The Mac cult will never see what’s good about PCs (Windows or Linux) or the deficiencies in their own machines. The PC crowd cares little for style or interface.

    I prefer PCs because I like to build my own computers for less than either can sell me, including software. I chose my own parts, my own software, my own case, etc. I’ll take a genuine Luzietti over anything but a high-end, tweaked-out, gaming machine, and I don’t have $5K for one of those so … .

    Also, five button mouse rulez!

  93. January 18, 2006 by Brian

    In my opinion the best scenario would be to buy an Intel-based iMac, remove that OSX user-interface stuff and fire up Gentoo (or even keep the Apple BSD-based Darwin OS) and install either KDE or the lighting-fast, but poorly named XFCE windows manager.

  94. Its not so much overpriced, but more along the lines of your BMW example: its just far to expensive and out of my reach.

    I don’t have that money to spen on a new PC let alone a Mac.

  95. January 19, 2006 by David

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  96. Mac or PC, overpriced or not. No surprise that the price matters if one ain’t got the money.

    Personally I found it more problematic to get hold of a Mac than to pay for it, and the price was only a third of what I paid for a really powerful PC that I bought just before the Mac entered my workspace. The PC carries the heavy load 24/7 (literally), and the Mac does its job when needed.

    The design up front doesn’t make a difference either way, but I do like the silent running of the Mac and I think it’s a slightly more reliable machine. A bit slow compared to a power-PC, but that’s reflected in the price of the two machines.

    I think I got what I paid for, and it doesn’t matter to me if I’m regarded as a Mac-user or a PC-user. 4 PC’s and 1 Mac is a nice mix - for now.

  97. January 19, 2006 by Dave C.

    While this doesn’t necessarily express my own opinion and many of you may have seen this already, its just a bit of humor for those of us that really care less about this topic.

  98. Not that you need any more comments, buuut…

    To your first reason: I’m more comfortable using PCs, so I guess that’s why I…use em. If I got a Mac, it would be in addition to my PC (not that I have nothing against that idea).

    To your second reason: My watch band/face wore away the silver finish on my laptop after resting it in the same place too frequently, uncovering a splodgey burst of white plastic underneath. I don’t understand why they even bothered painting it silver when white would’ve looked cleaner and wouldn’t have been able to wear off.

  99. January 19, 2006 by brian

    saying that the software on a pc is lacking and you need to pay the differnce of a mac or more to get the same amount of software is complete shit. Ever heard of piracy?

  100. January 19, 2006 by Anonymous

    The debate should be about the usability factor and not the financial one. Every OS has his advantages/disadvantages and (are of course different for every person): this very post points out just that. Tom Wright had never used Mac untill he bought a powerbook to enhance his instrumentarium. Check his articles about enhancing usability on a Mac, this should point out that increasing usability is a far more interesting debate and not a financial debate which seems obvious.

    tips: using Firefox on OSX tip about X11

  101. I have used both Mac & PC for work purposes and having spent 3 months using an iMac G4 I decided that while it looks pretty and i didnt have any issues with unstable OS, I actually find i am more productive on PC. I think Apple do lush looking kit but i dont want to do my day-to-day work on one. I am not a geek but i do find my PC is enjoyable to work on. I can also upgrade it when i need to with out spending heaps.

    Different strokes for different blokes!! Why is there a need for us to have a go at each other just because we use different tools for our trade? I like PCs, yes they are probably more unstable but hey, i live with it.

    Enjoy your personal preferences!


  102. TCO - Total Cost of Ownership. That is what I mention to people when they ask me, “Why do you use a Macintosh which clearly costs more than a PC??” I like to get work done. I simply don’t have time to fart around with configuring firewalls, spyware removers, popup blockers, antivirus software, etc. When I want to use a computer, I want the experience to be fulfilling and productive. After having worked for a major PC company for almost eight years, and having to use those boring boxes day in and day out, my conclusion is that PCs are not for me. I have been Macintosh loyal since 1984 and I plan on being Macintosh loyal for as long as they exist. Oh, and if I wanted to sell my 2002 dual 1GHz MDD “Quadnostril” G4 Powermac right now (which I think I paid $2,400 for new back in 2002) I could get up to $900 for it on eBay — compare that to the $100 or so your “top-of-the-line-in-2002” PC is now worth.

    -he who stacks pork

  103. January 20, 2006 by jonscot

    Ladies & gents,

    Back to a point of the original idea;

    (( imac 233 original version - running the latest OS available. This modest computer has given me ZERO unplanned downtime ( Zed - 0 - Nada ) in over 7 years. ))

    Libretto, Compaq, IBM and Dell PCs of medium level specs … ( certainly not white box pricing ) … retired to nieces, nephews, charity and garage sales.

    All these good tools have done their jobs, yet only the Mac ( purchased at list price for a LOT of money ) remains chugging along for a huge MTBF.

    I work for a living, and Mac HW tools fit my long-term budgeting expectations vs. DOS-centric forklift architectures.

    Elegant design attributes are an art form, and regardless of the opinion of the unwashed masses, Apple, along with a few other NONwindows groups have created a few alternatieve HW / SW platforms worth investing in. This is the softest “appliance” system that I have ever experienced.

  104. January 20, 2006 by Anonymous

    The links did not work (sorry for the double posting) Check his articles about enhancing usability on a Mac, this should point out that increasing usability is a far more interesting debate and not a financial debate which seems obvious.

  105. January 20, 2006 by Anonymous

    Mac OS X. It doesn’t matter if a similarly priced Windows PC is twice as fast as a Mac. It can’t run Mac OS X, so it will be extremely uncomfortable for me to use. I would have to spend every day fighting my primary tool instead of using it.

    In the future when Intel processors will be installed in the new Macs, will this not increase the processor speed?

  106. Roger: “What I love is having the power of Unix under a polished hood. To me as a web developer it gives me the best of two worlds.”

    That’s one of the main reasons I’m using OSX86, its *nix and is actually usable by a person. And to the Linux diehards, Unbuntu/Debian/etc are a far cry away from being a usable platform, they’re only usable (in my eyes) for servers. Now if I actually start using OSX for more than just bash with a sexier interface, I might buy one of the Intel powerbooks or whatever they’re calling them these days.

  107. When I have bought my first Mac (iBook) I compared the price to other notebooks. But I could not find those with comparable hardware being cheaper. Another reason to buy Apple hardware was that I knew, it is more reliable.

    Other computers, I can compare the price are my low power consumptions desktops: That one with Epia mainboard was only a bit cheaper but has had no DVD/CD and was assemled by me. The mac mini was ready to use, needs a bit less power, is really silent and about 2-4 times as fast with Linux.

    Not to forget that both of them are Linux compatible. But I like OS X on my notebooks very much.

    Years ago I have had two Olivetti notebooks. These have been very reliable, too. But shit happens: The later models have been much worse.

    What counts: - reliability - total cost of ownership (including power costs) - usability (OS X is really good designed and quick to learn) - if run with unix/linux: known/documented hardware

    Bad with Apple in my point of view: The total break with PPC architecture now. They’d keep the G4, I think.

    Using something different from Unix/Linux ist not an option for me - too slow and buggy.

  108. January 21, 2006 by chris

    The best close of the macs are pricey argument I have had was with my PC advocate. He is an IT professional, so not just your average joe user. He said he would run os x when he could run it on his cheapo Dell. Not only were the machines slow and over priced, but the parts were expensive, and you had to find a certified apple repair shop to maintain them. As far as he was concerned the just were stylishly overpriced items, he wants utility and common sense. “Hmmmm”, I responded. “So, kind of like your G35, then. Poor gas mileage, expensive parts, certified repair shops…” That was when the light went on and the bird flipped up…


  109. The real question I ask is what’s so special about Macintosh OS X? It has a UNIX core, okay. So does my primary OS (Ubuntu). It’s fast, okay. So is my primary OS. It has lots of available applications. Okay, …

    I could go on. I’d just like a reasonable explanation why Macintosh OS X is soooo fantastic as people claim it to be. Yes, I’ve tried it. No, I didn’t like it over Ubuntu.

  110. Macs are expensive.

    I don’t think there is an argument to say they aren’t; what Roger has said though is that they’re not overpriced. There is a big difference.
    I am confused (Roger) though by your 2 points you can buy an Apple (G4 I think may be G5) cloned case from Novatech, brushed steel with 4 Handles for ~£50 which would then solve the aesthetics issue and of course there other v.nice Pc’s too that are as aesthetic as Apples alhough you may pay more, just because they’re are cheap pc’s that are shoddily made / ugly doesn’t mean you can’t buy nice / well made ones (even Dell can manage fairly solid build quality mostly). The fact that you can’t run OSX on them is down to Apple not the Pc’s? Does this mean that were Apple to release OSX as installable on a Pc you would buy one provided it were a “Quality” one? Should we not petition Apple?

  111. January 22, 2006 by Skettios

    Bah! Thanks Roger Johansson for your non-argument. You’re saying Macs are more expensive because they are prettier and can run OS X. That does nothing to explain:

    1. Why they cost more.

    2. Why we should pay more for them.

    You also neglect to mention that a lot of software won’t run on them, that a lot of apple software is very expensive, and that they are slow slow slow.

    “Here’s the keys to your new BMW Mr. Johansson, remember you can only drive on certain roads, and keep it under 30, but enjoy it’s shiny ‘industrial design’”.

  112. January 23, 2006 by Steve Bollenbaugh

    … You also neglect to mention that a lot of software won’t run on them, that a lot of apple software is very expensive, and that they are slow slow slow.

    “Here’s the keys to your new BMW Mr. Johansson, remember you can only drive on certain roads, and keep it under 30, but enjoy it’s shiny ‘industrial design’”. …

    Its very rare when I can’t find a Mac equivalent to Windows software and in some cases its better. At times it may be a little more expensive depending on the company, but its not that common and its not a factor that would make me change platforms. One of the things that I’ve noticed working in both the Mac and the Windows world is that the general average quality of Windows software is somewhat lower and its more likely to be less efficient. (I’m not talking so much about the major applications.) (Micro$oft has yet to prove it can competently design a browser - witness IE6.) That’s one of the reasons why I switched from Windows to Mac for my home computer and later managed to finagle getting a Mac at work for some aspects of my job. (Until recently over 80% of my time used to be spent on Windows.)

    I’m not sure about Mr. Johansson’s BMW but mine lets me travel better roads to get to the same places quickly and more efficiently with less aggravation and, in the long run, less expensively. (I don’t think Mr, Skettios has really ever driven a BMW ; ))

  113. January 23, 2006 by Skettios

    I never claimed to have driven a BMW, Steve. I drive a motorcycle because it’s fast, cheap, and a lot of fun. If it breaks down I can usually fix it myself.

    But back to the point, I have no idea what this means:

    ” … is that the general average quality of Windows software is somewhat lower and its more likely to be less efficient. (I’m not talking so much about the major applications.)”

    So not the major applications? What exactly sort of kinda are you talking about?

    Which brings me back to my main point. No one here has made an argument yet. Here’s mine…

    my PC is cheaper, is easier to fix, has more developers, more programs, more options and is more compatible with everything else. Even Apple develops for my PC.

    Maybe Mr. Bollenbaugh ought to stop being such a snob, and save his money, you might even have some fun along the way.

  114. January 23, 2006 by jennhi

    When my computer started locking up, due to the hardware on the motherboard deteriorating after several years of hard work running XP and Mandrake Linux, I got a brand new motherboard and installed it myself. The cost to me was under $350. A few months later, the hard drive crashed and I got another one, and installed it myself. The cost was under $100. I installed Ubuntu Linux on this one and kept going on that, with no cost to me.

    It was, in essence, getting a new computer. The case is the same and I didn’t need a new monitor. The computer now runs incredibly fast and I didn’t have to pay for a new OS. Now, every time you buy a new computer, you pay for all new parts, all new casing, and the licensing fee for an OS (even if you’ve owned a license for that OS before). I’ve avoided all of that in a way that to me is more convenient than having to remove an OS from a new computer manually and requesting a refund for it.

    Honest question here: can you do this with a Mac? From what I’m reading, you really can’t replace parts of a Mac piecemeal if you don’t want to shell out the additional hundreds.

  115. macs are notoriously expensive. i have been a long time mac user (i made the switch in 1999) and i have yet to go back. my imac, and now my ibook have been the most dependible computers i have ever owned and i’ve had my share of high quality pcs before that i recall constantly having difficulities with. with my hp laptop the fan broke, the screen cracked, it was virus prone, like i said a slew of problems. on the otherhand i did not have a single problem with my imac OR my ibook EVER! i owned both for three years respectively without any problems whatsoever (i usually buy a new computer every 3 years, so i’m currently in the market). i more than got my moneys worth, and i of course enjoy the aesthetic of apple computers. i am very excited for the new MAC PRO Books however, I really can’t justify the cost right now, but I am more than willing to work this cost into my budget, because I know from previous experience with macs that it will be worth every penny! my only bitch fest with apple is that they aren’t offering an upgrade price for their new software (ilife ‘06—after upgrading every year for my macs paying the $80 just gets annoying and old! but I honestly didn’t expect for them to change their ways when apple loyalists like me will buy the products regardless of the price point. bottom line: who cares when you’re getting your $$s worth!??!!!

  116. Macs/PCs is the service versus access argument: i.e., some people like to pay to not have to think about things; some people mistrust anything that requires doing so.

    Personally, I have to agree with the penultimate comments above. My Thinkpad died after 3 years, and I’ve just bought a top of the line new one for $1000 ($700 for the first one). I had a Mac that died after three years too — $2000, plus at least $1000 in repair costs while I owned it, and it would cost me another $2000 to get a new one. That’s $1700 versus $5000 any way you swing it — for the same thing.

    Sure, my friends love their Macs. But affordable Macs are teeny, slow, and all of my friends had to buy the extended warranty or shell out $$$ to the “genius bar” because you can’t buy the parts on eBay or fix it yourself. Also, the white — like a white couch — doesn’t age all that well.

    Re: the software issue. It’s not 1987; you don’t have to be a genius to go to Sourceforge to get the free, legal software you want for your PC (did someone seriously tout Mac’s singular ability to make a PDF up there? Ummm….). When my hardware broke, my boyfriend bought me new screens on eBay, downloaded the specs, and installed them. Can you do that on your Mac? The fonts alone crashed the damn thing.

    That said, I DO enjoy my pretty little Mac at work, and OSX is fine. But it’s the private chef of operating systems. Really delish, but I like to know what’s in the food.

  117. January 23, 2006 by Andreas

    I made the switch a year ago after being a rabid PC advocate. I made the same arguments to my brother about cheeper, I can work on it myself, I can customize it, and so on and so forth. The thing that makes my Mac so valuble to me is it Just Works. I can finally take Nike’s advice when I work on the computer and “Just Do It.” I was always fiddling and tweaking my PC to keep it running right. I had to maintain a suite of software to keep it from being infected with viruses and spyware. Not that I don’t enjoy that sort of thing, I enjoy doing sysadmin duties on my LAMP server, but at the end of the tweaking my LAMP server pretty much runs automatically, with few problems. Like my Mac. I can’t count how many times I had to do system restoration on my PC, and do the “format and install tango” on it. I have yet to crak open my system disks for my Mac. Yeah, I did buy Apple Care for my Mac, and I know others that have too. Those that have used it have had good things to say about the service from Mac, when the hardware problem persists they get a replacement. One such person had a single processor 1.6 G5 desktop replaced with a 2.7 dual processor due to logic board, and other hardware issues. Sounds like good service to me. Oh, and adding a second drive couldn’t have been easier than on my Mac G5, slide in place, plug in the cables, boot and format. Life is good.

    Yes, I still use my Athlon box with Win XP, but it rarely gets turned on these days. Only when checking cross platform compatability of websites, and to run a reseach program that is PC only.

    Hey, question to the other Mac users. Am I the only one that spends a lot of time in Terminal? My first PC was a MS Dos 5.0 system, and it feels good to be in the command line. Still learning BASH shell scripting. :)

  118. January 24, 2006 by Steve

    “I never claimed to have driven a BMW, Steve. I drive a motorcycle because it’s fast, cheap, and a lot of fun. If it breaks down I can usually fix it myself.”

    Literally, haven’t either. I was just continuing the metaphor that you used so please go back and re-read my comment in that light.

    “But back to the point, I have no idea what this means: ” … is that the general average quality of Windows software is somewhat lower and its more likely to be less efficient. (I’m not talking so much about the major applications.)”” So not the major applications? What exactly sort of kinda are you talking about?”

    I could ask the same of you in your previous post but since only highly generalizations were made I continued along the same lines. I went from a Windows organization, to a Mac organization, and now back to a Windows organization. In trying to come up with Windows equivalents to some of the applications I had previously used (information management, personal back-up software, utilities, etc. — I already major applications such MS Office, Macromedia Studio, ColdFusion MX, Adobe CS2, and some others) a number of observations struck me while looking through VersionTracker: Windows users seemed less involved in commenting on and rating applications (less demanding??? … also consider how many are still using IE6!), Windows applications were generally less consistent in following good interface guidelines, and generally underperformed in terms of features and price compared to their Mac counterparts especially in the area personal information management. This somewhat reinforced what I was seeing with major applications such as Dreamweaver where I much prefer the fluidity in working between applications that the Mac version gives me as compared to the Windows version. The Windows version of Canvas X has a few more features that the Mac version but again, I prefer the Mac version because of how it allows me to work. On occasion a Mac version of software may cost a little than its Windows version, but in my experience that has been very rare. This is just my experience and that of some others that I’ve talked but I’m not going to categorize the whole Windows software world according to this small sampling and, admittedly, some of my personal preferences — my “observation” earlier was an oblique somewhat sarcastic counterpoint, to your own generalizations. (mea culpa for falling into that…)

    “Which brings me back to my main point. No one here has made an argument yet. Here’s mine… …My PC is cheaper, is easier to fix, has more developers, more programs, and more options and is more compatible with everything else. Even Apple develops for my PC.”

    “Maybe Mr. Bollenbaugh ought to stop being such a snob [see first comment above], and save his money [in the long run I do], you might even have some fun along the way [see below].”

    Well, from my experience you don’t have much of an argument as stated. Being able to transfer some of my work to a Mac at work (and using a Mac at home) has deprived me of nothing significant in software or options for software development, web design, web application development, online business, etc. and, in fact, has made my work more efficient. “More developers and more programs” also means “more junk,” as I heard one Windows user lament, and with all that is being produced in both worlds this doesn’t generally translate into a significant advantage unless one is doing specialized work. (But then there are also Mac-only specialized applications in communities such as education, engineering and science.) I also don’t have to waste my time fixing my Mac and it’s very easy to maintain. (Where I work, it’s the Windows people who always have to go get their PCs fixed, mine included, rarely the Mac people.) The only compatibility problems that I’ve had were where IT developers were not particularly proficient, not with the ones who really knew what they were doing. Compatibility has been an irritant at times but not a significant issue. Changing jobs and going back into a Windows environment was like going 7 years backwards — it feels like slogging through mud compared to using my Mac..

    When I was working in the Mac group the scientists and engineers envied our Macs, as did many of the people in the IT department. Unfortunately, our parent command dictated Windows-only with rare exceptions. When I went to Eglin AFB many of the analysts and contractors there wanted to “steal” the Mac that I brought with me.

    The bottom line for me is that while the initial purchase cost of a Mac may be higher, it’s reduced support cost, ease of maintenance, work efficiency, and even user experience/less aggravation, more than compensates. Mac are expensive for me too but I’ll make the initialsacrifice for the long term benefits. Until Mr. Gates & Co. can put the thought and effort into what I feel is a better OS I wouldn’t even consider trading my old G4/500Mhz machine at home for something like the 2GHz Dell I use at work. (We’ll see what happens with Windows Vista.)

    I do realize that different people see things differently, process information differently, and have different needs — I have no doubt that at their core, regardless of arguments one way or the other, some people are “Windows people” and that Windows is seriously the right choice for them. The same holds true for Mac people, of course. I also realize that change is one of the things that is most difficult for people to handle and that for some of these there is more of a necessity to “be right” at where they’re at than to consider change. Mr. Skettios, I may be wrong (and if so I apologize) but my interpretation of the tone of your highly generalized comments leads me to believe that you might have a problem with the latter situation. If you’re genuinely interested in answers to your question you can readily do your own research. Pros and cons discussions such as these won’t answer such general questions as you raised since they are often colored by perceptions based on myths, individual needs and preferences, and “protecting ones own flag” (which is why I rarely get involved in these … it was a weak moment due to something else at work) but they will give you some starting points.

    So I’ll end my participation saying that I don’t think that you’ve ever “really driven a BMW.” If you give it a fair chance you might be surprised. You may still prefer your Windows machine for your own reasons but you’ll at least have more understanding and be more knowledgeable.

  119. As a PC user that has Windows XP installed (the unfortunate downfall to cheaper and customizable white boxes) I can assure everyone here that isn’t very familiar with PC’s that most of us who build their computers and the other computer-savvy have little to no problems of any kind of crashing / spyware / “It doesn’t work” (tm) issues.

    If you are computer-savvy, there really isn’t a reason for anybody to argue that you can’t handle the instability of PC’s, because it doesn’t exist. On the other hand, if you’d prefer not to bother with this type of issue to begin with, I guess you could justify spending the money on OS X and a Mac so you don’t have to.

  120. Macs are cheaper because they give you more TIME, which to those who work with computers can is worth a lot.

    What do I mean? Well until a year ago I was a PC user. I built my own PC, i kept windows running well and I generally got on. Running adaware type software, antivirus etc was all par for the course. I haven’t run any adaware in almost a year or scanned my computer once.

    I turned on my PC the other day to check a site in IE which i was developing locally, it contracted some kind of malware, i wasn’t even browsing the internet.

    OSX also saves time in other ways. I rarely need to reboot my mac, i couldn’t say the same of a PC. It’s easier to find/save files in multiple locations. With programs like quicksilver I can execute any app in about 2 seconds without leaving the keyboard. Generally speaking, it just works.

    It never pops up stupid baloons telling me stuff i don’t want to know, windows never come up on top alerting me to stuff when i’m trying to do anything else. It just works and gets out of my way to let me do what I do.

    So, no going back to windows/pc anytime soon. My overpriced mac has already saved me hundreds in time and a lot of frustration.

  121. January 27, 2006 by Gunnar

    There are 2 reasons I think Macs are not overpriced:

    1. iLife.

    My iMac is strictly for photos, movies, music, surfing the web, paying my bills, and emailing. Period. Yes, you can buy similar programs for a pc (Photoshop Album is sort of like iPhoto, Acid is sort of like Garageband, etc) but that will add an addtional 200-400 dollars to the cost. Of course none of these individually purchased programs would have the polish and refinement of a suite like iLife designed to work together nor would they mesh as well with the OS.

    1. OSX and no real worry of malware or viruses.

    Yes…by the time it ships, Vista will have integrated many the same features that Mac owners have enjoyed in OSX for a year or more, but if XP is any indication of MS’s track record, it will be buggy and it will badger me with endless pop ups to install yet another “critical update”. After a couple of years of wasting Saturday or Sunday afternoons dealing with the ever increasing hassle of maintaining a virus and spyware-free computer, uninstalling and reinstalling corrupt programs that were crashings or not printing, defragmenting harddrives, reinstalling system components and drivers, etc… I had simply had enough. I bought an iMac G5 and have not regretted it once. The extra money I spent for thoughtfully integrated software and hardware is well worth it, even without subtracting the value of ILife from the overall price.

    So after I subtract the 200 dollars for iLife I spent what… maybe 100, 200 dollars max to make my life simpler for the next 3 years I own this computer? That seems quite worth it to me. Like Matt Turner said above, TIME has value.

  122. January 30, 2006 by mac-claimant

    i’m so glad that i got rid of all this ideological bs and to now own a good working fast PC. sorry, but my macs where slow and made nothing but trouble. but i confess: they looked good. :o)

  123. February 9, 2006 by iconoclasm

    My gripe is that I thought the intel-based processors would bring down the cost of mac notebooks considering that they’re cheaper to produce than the ppc’s.

    Apple is like Nike. It’s a brand thing — ie: we’re not comparing a crappier car to a better car. We’re comparing the same 2 cars that simply have different labels.

    That being said, I do want an iBook — but damned if I’m buying a new one. They simply are too expensive for the hardware and performance. I like the case design and keyboards and the size/weight isn’t too bad either.

    But let’s face it — you pay more for a Mac for the “bling” factor. Build any mac new off the website that you want and I could probably almost double the specs sourcing PC parts and installing Linux.

  124. February 11, 2006 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    But let’s face it — you pay more for a Mac for the “bling” factor.

    No, you pay more for the “it works” and usability factors. Well, that’s why I am completely OK with paying more for a Mac (though I’m not so sure I could get a comparable PC cheaper).

  125. February 14, 2006 by mike meisner

    I never could understand why people liked macs so much, and you did NOTHING to explain it. German car’s deserve the esteeem they receive but are mac’s really better because:

    A. They look better (with their shiny aluminum/white colors)

    B. You feel more comfortable using one.

    Not that I don’t like Macs, but c’mon..and now that I’ve seen OS X running on PC’s what’s the point?

  126. March 11, 2006 by fens

    You know you could just buy a PC since the architecture isn’t that unsimilar and use a unix variatant on it. Thus you achive the cheapness as a “Skoda” while still having your quality OS. Eqully Macs lack upgradablity. If you want to up something you can either buy some overprice Apple stuff or throw out the PPC and buy a new one. PC wise it’s pick and match. Lots of choice, which is what consumers want. I like Macs, they look nice, lots of bling, but really I’m happy with “cheaper” computers. Lets face it I could buy a skoda and place a Merc engine in it. Or add leather seats. Then does it have the same class then? That could be debateable.

    Lets leave it at:

  127. March 11, 2006 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    fens: I don’t know where you got the idea that Macs lack upgradability from. If you’re thinking about the iMac you’re partly right, but the PowerMacs are very extendable.

  128. I’m a linux user, but I like Mac OS X sometimes- because Mac OS X is very expensive

  129. Windows and Mac OS X is similar expensive. Is not good. Linux is best

  130. Turns out my 4th point above was right after all:

    Mac = babe magnet

  131. June 27, 2006 by Soup

    I agree with iconoclasm and mac-claimant above. The reason you hear about “overpriced” Macs like you do is because it’s true - it’s not repeated because we’re Mac haters, it’s repeated because it’s dogma. We all know it.

    It is absolutely a brand thing. Watch their commercials, attend a store opening event, hear Steve Jobs pitch it to us, and you know it’s a brand thing. That is why the most rabid Mac fans always bring up how super cool their glass-white aluminum job looks. Well, great and all, I like it too, but my custom lined fluid silver Antec case looks fine too and could smoke your newest Apple offering to a burnt crisp. And it cost less!

    I believe in working from the top down. I custom built my PC for less than a tricked out Mac so I could run the next-gen games at 1600x1200 with all the lights turned on and no slowdown. And guess what? It’s a gorgeous web developing machine, naturally.

    For the gaming/web developer audience, PCs are the natural, clean fit. Windows isn’t that hard to handle if you know what you’re doing. For the web developer audience,’s article on why he switched from Mac to PC is instructive. And for the games only audience, well, Macs are never an option. Not really.

  132. June 27, 2006 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Soup: PCs the natural fit for web developers? Wow, it’s been a long time since I heard that one. Unless you’re one of those unfortunate web devs who are forced to spend their days dragging and dropping controls in Visual Studio there is nothing that beats a Mac for web development. And even then, Virtual PC or more recently Parallels Workstation for Intel Macs make it possible to run that app on your Mac.

    If gaming is your reason for living then yeah, get a custom-built Wintel machine with all the extra gear you need for that. But for a web developer? No way.

    Not sure which Stopdesign article you are referring to. As far as I’m aware, Doug is a Mac user. He did write something about his switch from PC to Mac: SwitchBack.

  133. August 5, 2006 by Sandro

    I purchased reacetly intel cased imac and I want to comment the design. Although it is beautiful as were mentioned many times above here, but it is too much unfunctional. It is done that you will like it when you will see it, but will just hate it when use it. For example the magnicicent might mouse was the worst ever mouse I ever used. it keeps mistaking right and left buttons (because it has beautiful design of one button). Another issue that there are no controls at all on the system (you cannot control volume, or eject CD). This is done to keep it extremely simple and beautiful, but when using it, it is absoloutly uncomfortable to control sound through the horribly slow software buttons, and things will become just a nightmare when you are using a keyboard without these buttons… I like the design, but hate using it…

  134. Dear Rado. U: “Windows and Mac OS X is similar expensive. Is not good. Linux is best” - bat dont is not true!

  135. August 6, 2006 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Sandro: Agreed, Apple’s mice tend to be useless. I always buy a real mouse to replace the one Apple puts in the box. The design of their current mouse makes my wrist hurt when I try using one.

  136. August 18, 2006 by Chris

    Mac’s are expensive, but they do represent good value. However it is worth noting that a starter Windows Laptop is around £400 these days and thats what the £750 MacBook is being compared against. It doesn’t matter to some people what is great about the hardware, it just matters that if they want the cheap entry level laptop that runs OS X and not Windows it costs them another £350. Maybe that gives Apple a higher value, like driving a BMW or Merc, but if they are the only 4 wheeled car in a world of 3 wheelers it still hurts to fork out the money.

  137. Cau rado, ako sa mas? Windows je lepsi? Ha, Linux je na tom lepsie. Ma nieco do seba. To,ze si de facto Adminom systemu

  138. Cau majo, mam sa fajn trochu mi vadi, ze nevies pochopit preco je windows viac pouzivanejsi ako Linux.

  139. February 10, 2007 by maphisto

    Personally, I think a computer’s value is determined by how you use it. I have a $800 Core 2 Duo Dell with a customized XP operating system with MANY third party programs. I enjoyed customizing it so much. The reasons I wouldn’t consider switching to a Mac are: 1. Nothing “fast” enough for what I do (3D modeling programs, Some High FPS Gaming, etc.) for a price in my range (poor college student). 2. The “adjustment” time would be too long. I’ve tried a mac before for a whole day. It was really frustrating not knowing what the shortcuts of the operating system were. I know this is a small hurdle to overcome and not apple’s fault but it is a hurdle nonetheless.

    I want one of you to give me a good reason to buy a mac. I know one of you will try. You’ll give me reasons as to why Macs are better than PCS, or why they are worth the extra premium in the long run. But in the end, you’ll realize that Mac’s are not for everyone. You will see that Mac’s are mostly in a different market then PC’s (Granted they do have some overlap). Maybe I don’t want the “best” chassis design. And no matter how much better than a PC you think a Mac is, you’ll never be able to sell it to me because it’s simply not in my price range.

  140. July 11, 2007 by Josh.C

    I enjoy both platforms a lot. I have a nice home built CHEAP but reliable PC for gaming and 3D work and I also have a nice 17 inch imac which I use for stuff like browsing the net and some productivity apps. I find them both great platforms and have no beef whatsoever with either one (especially when I got my imac for a nice student discount). I both enjoy a lot of XP only features and a lot of Mac only stuff.

    My beef however is with some hardcore mac zealots who think just because they have an Apple product they are more “creative” more “different” more “special” then the ordinary guy. Yeah you guys are “special” alright, as in retarded. Why? Because this is exactly what Apple’s marketing wants you to think and your buying into all of it.

  141. July 20, 2007 by tyler

    ok you want a nice looking pc, go to a place called newegg and buy a nice case and some parts that the same speed as the parts in a mac, they computer will look better and also be alot better. macs are overpriced, dont buy them buy the os and put it on a nice laptop. you will get the nice os you like plus the speed and value of a pc.

  142. August 8, 2007 by xelink

    @ Roger Johansson-

    you claim that he industrial design of the case is one of it’s strong points. Look into lian lia and sivlerstone. MUCH higher quality cases than those used in a Mac.

    OSX while nice in some regards also is less efficient than a lot of other *nix OSes. I’d personally take Solaris over OSX anyday. Just me though.

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