Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Apple's Recession Pricing

I tried - I really did. I wasn't going to blog about Apple today - but after I put out a "status update" on the social media sites that I wasn't going to blog - I got some Mac-type fans asking me to do so - so... here goes.

First of all - either Apple is unclenching a bit - or their security really sucks - because most of what they announced today was pre-announced by all the gadget sites last week (for a good view of the event today - check out Engadget's coverage).

They did a "refresh" of their entire laptop line - new MacBooks, new MacBook Pros, and a refresh of their 17 inch and 24 inch Cinema displays, and they're really, really proud of a new "unibody" construction process.

YAWN! There was one bright spot - they've replaced all the trackpad with a new, bigger, glass "touchpad" that is gesture-aware. This means that you can now give Apple "the finger" multiple times per day. But seriously, you can use 2, 3 or even 4 fingers to map gestures to common commands. And rather than having buttons to click - the hole trackpad is a button. I'm not sure how that will work with click and drag... but I have to assume they worked it out somehow.

They added a new NVIDIA graphics chip to increase graphics performance "...up to 6 times..." - and they knocked $100 off the low end MacBook.

Yeah, $100.

Everyone was hoping for $200 - to make the thing $899 - but I guess they really, really wanted that extra $100 per unit. It makes sense if you stock fell 40% in two weeks... but really - $100?

To be fair they knocked off $700 from the next-from-the-bottom MacBook - new price $1,299... but the one that people will actually want (with a bigger hard drive and backlit keyboard) is $1,599 - so, in reality, they only did a $200 cut there.

So, it's interesting. They've cut the price points a bit - but in my mind they should have cut them a bit more. If they could have hit the $899 level for the low end MacBook and then priced the next one at $1,199 and the "feature-packed" one at $1,499 - I think people would have just flocked to the stores.

It's only $100 per unit (and I don't know their costs on the thing - but I'm guessing they still have a pretty nice margin) - but the perception by consumers would finally be that Apple "gets it" when it comes to pricing.

As it is, at least they're consistent. They've trimmed a little bit of the price, but if you compare it to other hardware - and the new ultra-cheap "netbooks" - they're still in the elitist, don't-care-if-there's-a-recession, standard Apple pricing mode.

Which is good - if you're Apple.


agiletortoise said...

If I might quote one of my favorite Bloggers, Bob Cusick, "Personally, I'd rather be a good date, than a cheap one." :-)


Bob Cusick said...

Touche! You got me there. Don't get me wrong - I think that $100 is $100. But I think if they did $200 - maybe even just on the bottom tier - they really would have made a lot of waves in the industry - and raised their adoption rate even higher.

Web Analytics