Tuesday, January 06, 2009

There Is No "Apple Tax"

Call it sour grapes, call it a 5 year old "nuh uh" argument - but just yesterday Microsoft was again banging the "Apple Tax" drum - saying that people who buy Macs are basically being ripped off. Here's a snippet from a ComputerWorld article:

Microsoft Corp. yesterday again pushed its claim that consumers pay an "Apple tax" when they buy Mac hardware rather than PCs running the Windows operating system.

In an e-mail to reporters Monday, Microsoft repeated the argument it first made last October, a day before rival Apple Inc. was slated to make a major product announcement. The next day, Apple unveiled new MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks.

Microsoft again pitted Mac prices against similarly configured Windows PCs from the likes of Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. Not surprisingly, Microsoft's comparisons put Apple's hardware at a disadvantage, with the "tax" ranging from 16%, or $100, for the entry-level Mac Mini to 25%, or $300, for the lowest-priced iMac desktop.

Ha! That's really hilarious. Maybe Microsoft needs to look up the meaning of "tax" as defined they way we all think of a tax (from dictionary.com):
a sum of money demanded by a government for its support or for specific facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property, sales, etc.
Ummmm... yeah. The difference is - that in the entire marketplace - people CHOOSE to buy a Mac even though it's more expensive than a notebook (or desktop) with Windows on it. A tax - you have no option of paying (at least I don't). I pay property tax, sales tax, federal income tax, state income tax, gasoline tax, excise tax on my phones, etc. Here's another direct quote from Microsoft:
"Windows PCs are offering the best value on the market," she argued, "while Apple continues to impose high-price premiums on their Mac designs, offering only modest discounts of 5% to 10%."
Ummmm... yeah. PCs are definitely the best value on the market - as far as PRICE goes. How about features, not crashing as much, a unified and TRUE plug-and-play architecture, based on an open source OS, looks sexy and has easy-to-use software basis?

How about: NO. Sure, you can get a cheap computer running Windows - and it's going to be less expensive than buying a Mac. Or let's talk about the other Apple hardware: the iPhone or iPod. Seriously, does anyone here who reads this blog even KNOW anyone with a Zune?

You can make the same argument about the iPhone. Yeah, it's more expensive. Yeah, the AT&T plan is a bit on the "bend over" side - but have you actually USED one? I have. I'll never go back. Why? Because it's pretty, has a nice interface that's easy to use (even my WIFE can upload pictures to Facebook from it!).

I've played with a Blackberry Touch. I've played with the Google Andoid phone. I've played with many other phones with Windows operating systems - almost 100% of them have WAY better features than the iPhone (expandable memory, replaceable battery, cut and paste, removable flash card, 3+ megapixel cameras, built-in turn-by-turn GPS, etc). But, I don't really care. The most important thing for me is that the iPhone just works and it's actually useful for what I need it to do.


So while PCs may be a better value (and have the "cancer" called Vista loaded by default) are cheaper - I think you really do get what you pay for in this case. If all you're looking for is a bargain - then by all means buy a Windows PC. While you're at it, I bet you can also pick up a "fully loaded" 1969 VW Bug pretty cheap as well...

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