How else would a Mac mommy be able to spend the morning standing in line in front of the neighborhood Apple Store to pay homage to Steve Jobs’ vision? And, leave a small contribution in exchange for the latest iPhone?
Apple has this iPhone sales thing down to a science. Remember the good old days when you’d wait for an hour at the cell phone company store just to get a new phone activated? Anyway, there’s an inherent problem with buying the latest and greatest at the Apple Store.
Shopping Nirvana Has A Price
My latest iPhone came to be following a few hours standing in line with my Apple-loving brethren and sisters, shooting the breeze, and talking about how the iPhone 5 will bring peace to the Middle East.
Those hours in line culminated in a purchase process which did not last 10 minutes.
Before I knew it, I was out the door, bag and iPhone 5 in hand. I was so excited to get back home to my children and to see if the in-laws survived, that I forgot to shop around.
Shop around? Yes, that came later in the day. I needed an extra cable for the car (Apple did a switch-a-roo and brought a new cable standard into the world) so headed back to the Apple Store.
Again, Apple’s sales methodology was so efficient that it was mere minutes from the time I found the cable on the wall rack and the Apple associate said my receipt would be emailed.
On the way out, I stopped to browse the new MacBook Pro with Retina display. Uh oh. Bad, Alex. Big mistake. As much as the iPhone 5 is truly digital eye candy (I hesitate to call it iCandy), so is the new MacBook Pro.
You know the story. Your Mac at home looks so old and dilapidated beside the new iPhone. There’s only one way to correct that universal imbalance. Buy a new Mac.
So, iPhone 5 safely tucked away in my bag, I devoted the next half hour in front of the MacBook Pro with Retina display to price out my dream Mac.
My first, run through the Apple Store debt calculator brought me to a new MacBook Pro with the fastest Intel Inside CPU, the most RAM (16GB), and the largest SSD storage (768GB).
The price? $3,749.
That price did not include a display (what’s better than the Retina display?), a SuperDrive (that’s so 1999), or Apple Care.
Matching a new MacBook Pro with Retina display to my iPhone will make me complete as a woman (obviously, I’d already forgotten about the three little girls playing with iPads in the back of the store– my offspring).
Common sense took over. So, I searched for the smallest MacBook Air that I could trick out, and pimp up.
The 11-inch, 64GB MacBook Air starts life at $999, but it’s anemic when compared to my Macs at home, so it, too, needed to try to increase my credit card balance.
Here’s why Apple is the most profitable and valuable company on planet earth. The diminutive MacBook Air, the tiny-screened 11-inch model, tricked out with the fastest CPU, the most RAM (8GB), and the largest SSD storage (512GB) weighs in at $2,149.
That’s almost exactly what I will pay for my iPhone 5 between now and October 2014 when my AT&T contract ends.
True, that’s not comparing Apples to apples. The iPhone’s price includes a couple of years of enduring dropped calls, limited bandwidth, and with the full knowledge that AT&T executives get bonuses based on the number of customers they can gouge in a year.
Then again, my iPhone costs about the same as the 46-inch Samsung television which graces the family room wall. An 11-inch MacBook Air is much smaller and costs three times what Samsung charges for what they consider a Smart TV.
Don’t get me wrong. Browsing through the Apple Store is an experience. An experience with mixed emotions. Frustration and lust. Frustration that my credit card company actually gives me a limit on my expenditures, and lust that comes while looking at Apple’s latest and greatest.