I’m ready for a new Mac and the new Mac mini looks like a good deal. The value is great. But for just a few hundred more, I get… I want a new iPod nano for the gym. But for just $50 more, I get…
See the problem? Apple’s product pricing is perfect. For Apple. Not for me.
I noticed this when I saw the pricing structure for Apple’s new Intel-based Mac mini. Instead of $499 for the low end Mac mini, it’s now $599.
Then, I looked at the specifications and did a comparison with the older PowerPC Mac mini. The new Mac mini looks like a good value even at $100 more.
It’s a faster chip, faster system bus speed, faster memory, faster ethernet, more USB ports, probably better graphics, more Level 2 cache, larger hard drive, Airport Extreme and Bluetooth built in, plus the new Apple Remote for Front Row.
So, $100 more gets me much more. That’s a greater value, right? So I thought.
Then I looked at the specs of the Mac mini with Intel’s Core Duo chips. Hmmmm.
It’s even faster than the low end model but is only $200 more, comes with a larger hard drive, and has the SuperDrive.
See? $200 more gets me even more value.
Of course, I need the larger hard drive, so that’s $125 more, and I want at least one gigabyte of RAM and that’s another $100.
Suddenly, that old $499 Mac mini is being compared to a modestly tricked out Mac mini at $1,024.
Apple’s $78 keyboard and Mighty Mouse brings that to $1,102 and I still don’t have a display.
Wait a minute. What’s the price tag on a 17-inch iMac? That’s only $1,299 and comes with the keyboard and mouse and remote and better graphics and more speed and the display. For $197 more.
The iMac is an even better value than the Mac mini.
I have an aging iPod that doesn’t do photos or videos so I’m in the market for an upgrade. Plus, once baby arrives I plan to hit the gym regularly to remove what baby brought. More of me.
The iPod nano would be perfect. The new iPod nano with one gigabyte of memory is only $149. But that only holds 240 songs. I need more songs.
The two gigabyte iPod nano is just $50 more at $199 and holds twice as many songs.
That’s a better value, except that the four gigabyte iPod nano for just $249 holds four times the music for only $100 more than the low end model.
Wait. That won’t do. A measely $50 more gets the iPod with video so I can watch photos and movies and really, really, show off my baby to family and friends.
It’s barely twice the price of the skimpy little iPod nano that won’t hold squat. Apple’s high end iPod with video is the real value, right?
See what I mean. Apple’s pricing for the new Mac mini is perfect. Ditto for the iPod line.
The new Mac mini is only $100 more but comes with value and extras that are clearly worth $500 more, making $599 sound like I’m actually saving money by upgrading to a new machine.
Just for grins, I did a check of a low end Gateway PC. The base price is less than the Mac mini and includes a display. But I’m a long time Mac user so I read the fine print.
By the time I added what I know I needed to a Gateway PC to make it even close in features, it cost more than a tricked out Mac mini. Worse, it still ran Windows.
Have you tried shopping for a portable music player that’s not an iPod? Some are actually a little less than an iPod, but most don’t work on Macs, and don’t work well on Windows.
And for just a few dollars more, you can get an iPod and not have the music conversion hassles.
Apple’s new Mac mini, new iMac, and the entire iPod line are perfectly priced for buyer migration; migrate up the feature list and ka ching, ka ching, ka ching. The profit meter spikes again. For Apple.
I’d like to be upset but I can’t. Why? Because I’m getting so much value!