Look at Apple’s AirPods. For $169, they’re priced about in the middle of premium wireless earbuds and may have the highest satisfaction rating of any Apple product. While iPhone and iPad remain premium products and are priced accordingly, Apple’s newest Mac might be a trend of the future. Competitive prices. Here’s an example.
What Price Beastly?
Apple says iMac Pro won’t ship until near the end of 2017 but this beastly machine isn’t likely to harm Mac sales at all. 80-percent of all Macs sold these days are notebooks; MacBook Air, MacBook, MacBook Pro. The rest are divvied up between Mac mini, end-of-life Mac Pro, and the various iMac models. The closest competition to the iMac Pro is a fully loaded iMac with quad-core Intel i7 inside, 64GB of RAM, 2TB SSD storage, and a not-so-beefy graphics card.
The 27-inch iMac with 4.2GHz Core i7, 64GB of RAM, 2TB of SSD storage comes in at just under $5,300. That’s beefy, right? Not so fast. Apple says the iMac Pro will be, well, beefier yet similarly priced at $4,999.
What you get in the entry-level iMac Pro is an 8-core Xeon CPU, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB SSD storage and a Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics processor with 8GB of HBM2 memory that isn’t even available to buy anywhere. Yet.
What if you wanted to build a Windows 10 PC with similar specifications as Apple touts in the iMac Pro? You can’t do an actual Apple to apple’s comparison of components, but Adrian Kingsley-Hughes tried and still couldn’t match the iMac Pro’s entry-level price tag.
- Intel Xeon E5-2620 V4 2.1GHz 8-core – $420
- Asus X99-E-10G WS motherboard – $650
- Kingston ValueRAM 32G 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR4 2133 (PC4 17000) – $300
- Samsung 960 EVO M.2 1TB SSD storage – $450
- EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB GDDR5X graphics card – $780
- EVGA SuperNOVA 1200 P2 220-P2-1200-X1 80+ PLATINUM 1200W power supply – $330
- NZXT H440 STEEL Mid Tower Case (big and ugly) – $120
- Dell UP2715K 27-inch Widescreen 5K $2,000 (many others available for less, though)
- Noctua NH-D9DX i4 3U 92mm CPU cooler – $55
- Asus ThunderboltEX3 add-on card – $80
- Apple keyboard and mouse (but not space gray) – $200
- Windows 10 – $199
The grand total for all the unassembled components tops $5,500. Yes, you might find similar components elsewhere for a little less, but the price comparison should tell us something. Apple is building a powerful Mac beast with a very competitive price. And Apple will put it together for you.
You could save over $1,000 by moving to a lesser display. I have a Dell 4k display and it still pales in comparison to the iMac’s 5k Retina display. The Dell display and NZXT black case just don’t look as cool as the space gray iMac Pro, but that’s a separate issue.
Even if you could somehow jury rig the list above to create a Hackintosh running macOS Sierra, it just wouldn’t be a real Mac, and would still price out about the same as the iMac Pro.
If this is the new Apple– competitive pricing everywhere– then the future looks good. Let’s see how it goes with iPhone 8 later this year. That’s Apple’s cash cow and while competition is intense, Apple owns the entire premium revenue and profitshare space.