On the same day I read about Apple’s new sales records I read about a $179 10-inch Windows 8.1 tablet heading to Walmart. New Windows-based notebooks sell for less than $249, and smaller Windows-based tablets are as low as $119.
Apple is doomed, right?
Bottom Feeder Value
Here’s the problem. Despite the newest entry level Mac mini being somewhat cheap with the hardware configuration (and priced at $499 without keyboard, mouse, or display), Windows PC manufacturers cannot make their products cheap enough to sell.
Windows, like Android OS on smartphones and tablets, has become synonymous with cheap, low value, nearly throw-away products.
Who in their right mind would spend money on Microsoft’s Surface Pro at about $1,000 when they can get a Windows-based notebook or tablet for less than $250, or $200 respectively?
Samsung has experienced a similar situation with its high end Galaxy and Note line of smartphones and phablets. Samsung sells cheap smartphones and tablets, and users associate the lower prices with Samsung– not the higher prices which are more akin to Apple’s premium line.
The end result is that PC makers– and Samsung– sell lots of very cheap products with little to no profit margin. How can PC makers get devices priced so low? They skimp on the parts. The Toshiba Nextbook, which sells for $179, comes with an Intel Atom quad-core CPU, but only a single GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage.
It may run Windows, but it won’t run much else; either as a tablet or as a notebook with an attachable keyboard. There’s a reason that Apple’s Mac line, with much higher average prices, sell in ever greater numbers. Quality. Too many PC customers have buyer’s remorse after living with a puny plastic PC wannabe.
Sure, I would love to pay only $179 for a Mac iPad OS X iOS hybrid device, but it won’t happen. Ever. Meanwhile, PC makers who hitched their wagon to Microsoft’s star attractions, Windows and Office, find themselves struggling to survive while Apple prospers.