How do apple stay in business?

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Woegjiub
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How do apple stay in business?

Postby Woegjiub » Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:28 am UTC

Consider this computer:
CPU: $400 (i7 920)
GPU: $300 (4890 or 275)
RAM: $400 (16GB 1066)
MoBo:$200 (Asus)
PSU: $200 (1KW)
CASE:$100 (Antec 200)
HDD: $400 (4x1TB)
DVD: $150 (BluRay)
Monitors: $400 (2x24")
Keyboard: $030 (normal)
Mouse: $020 (normal)
OSX? $100
TOT: $2700

The equivalent mac? $13500!
A superior Dell? $4500!
These are identical. How do they get away with a $11000 surcharge?
And paying NINE GRAND for an inferior computer?
It still costs nine grand after taking into account an osx purchase.

I don't want people to argue over brands or operating systems - so don't.


What I want to know is why anyone would pay the extra money - why would you pay three times the amount for the same thing?
How do they stay in business with these enormous markups?

stinch
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby stinch » Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:54 pm UTC

Are you trolling or do you really believe a $13,500 computer is a hot seller for apple?

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby cycoden » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:19 pm UTC

Its price discrimination (also see: Windows Vista Ultimate).

At certain price points, Apple are reasonable value - two years ago, when I was looking for a DX10 compatible laptop, Apple were the cheapest (not many laptops had DX10 compatible cards back then though).

After their entry level price points (which I concede aren't as good value as they used to be), their markup for additional RAM etc is horrendous (I was somewhat annoyed to discover that its unbranded RAM, and no more reliable than RAM from anywhere else). Some people (like me) buy third party RAM etc and install it themselves, other people have sufficient money that they simply don't care about the cost, and Apple is happy to take their money. I agree it is irritating, although at least its kind of fun to try and configure a $60,000 xserve :P
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby lulzfish » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:35 pm UTC

They stay in business by selling iPods and Macbooks which are slightly less overpriced than the Mac Pros.

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Woegjiub » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:39 pm UTC

stinch wrote:Are you trolling or do you really believe a $13,500 computer is a hot seller for apple?

I'm not trolling at all.
I was merely thinking.... Sell it for half of what they're charging and they'll still have a huge profit margin, as well as far more purchases for that particular product.
Edit: Why was this moved to religious wars? I expressed no view for or against apple, I merely suggested that such a massive markup is a terrible business strategy.

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby cerbie » Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:05 pm UTC

Well, you are lowballing by nearly $1500, there. Good 24" S-IPS displays for $200? Sorry, try $550-800 (the lowest I could find was HP's LP2575 that was guaranteed to be S-IPS--Dell likes to send S-IPS to reviewers, then randomize what actual customers get).

But, even that only brings it to around $4000, at which point they are about even, and you could probably make a Dell + separate monitor setup for $1-.15K more, and still be categorically superior in hardware terms.

But, wait, some people use professional software that locks them into OS X, and they need all those cores! Apple doesn't need to compete on price, then.
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Berengal » Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:59 pm UTC

I don't really know how you got the $13500 figure for that machine; when I checked the apple store I got a 2xquad-core nehalems @ 3GHz, 32GB RAM, 4xNVidia 140 GPUs, 2x 24" monitors, fiber interface, RAID card and lots of other stuff for that price.
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby stinch » Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:29 pm UTC

Woegjiub wrote:I was merely thinking.... Sell it for half of what they're charging and they'll still have a huge profit margin, as well as far more purchases for that particular product.


If they cut the upgrade costs in half they would just lose out on the cheaper models with small upgrades where all the sales are. Doubling the number of upgrades would be very hard if the bulk of their customers will only pay for 0 to 2 upgrades no matter what. How cheap would they have to make a raid card and disks before customers that don't need them start buying them?

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby stephentyrone » Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:20 pm UTC

Woegjiub wrote:I merely suggested that such a massive markup is a terrible business strategy.


Disclaimer: I work for Apple, though I have nothing to do with pricing; I work on the guts of the OS.

Forgive me if I don't give you much credibility when you suggest that Apple's business strategy is "terrible", since Apple has 30-something billion dollars in cash. If you really need to ask how a company that moves millions of units with an operating margin of over 30% stays in business, then you're missing something very fundamental.
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Woegjiub » Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:04 pm UTC

These are Australian Dollars, people.
And I just bought 2 24" monitors for $190, so they are available for that price.

So... they have decent prices at the low end, but at the high end they charge disgusting amounts, and rely on vendor lock-in?
Sounds kinda nasty...

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby stephentyrone » Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:48 pm UTC

Woegjiub wrote:So... they have decent prices at the low end, but at the high end they charge disgusting amounts, and rely on vendor lock-in? Sounds kinda nasty...


No, it's more like "offer a product that people want at a price they're willing to pay for it". If they want something cheaper, fine. If they want a mac, fine. If they want to build a high-end machine from parts, fine. If they don't need a computer at all, fine. No one forces you to buy a mac/dell/whatever. If the computer is worth it to you, buy it. If it isn't, don't. Clearly, some people judge it to be worth their money to buy a mac. Equally clearly, it doesn't seem worth it to you. Shrug.

Can I ask what kind of panel your 24" monitors have, what kind of backlight they have, what the power draw is, and what the resolution is?
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby phlip » Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:49 pm UTC

Woegjiub wrote:Edit: Why was this moved to religious wars? I expressed no view for or against apple, I merely suggested that such a massive markup is a terrible business strategy.

Because, for one, it has absolutely nothing to do with CS, which is where you posted it.

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby cerbie » Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:52 pm UTC

OK, AUD. You don't have a location, so using $, we kind of figure USD.
Woegjiub wrote:These are Australian Dollars, people.
And I just bought 2 24" monitors for $190, so they are available for that price.
Two IPS 24" monitors? ~550 USD is the cheapest I could find any one of them for. A 24" TN or *VA (usually MVA) is not comparable. A good TN will have better looking text than a good *IPS or *VA. A good IPS will make you weep when looking at anything else.
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Requia » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:24 am UTC

Apple has a team psychologists who do research on what aspects of products and marketing increase sales, willingness to pay high prices, and customer loyalty.

I'm not joking, my college advisor recommends applying to Apple as a research assistant for people who don't get into grad school.

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby OOPMan » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:20 am UTC

Apple's massive markup is part of their image.

Apple push themselves as they Veryon of the computer world. Their products are aimed at those with more money/credit than sense and they do very well in this category.

However, when all is said and done their market share is unlikely to ever beat 15% unless that start targeting a more general market.

But, as stephentyrone said, the company is making a lot of profit in it's current niche. Thus, it is unlikely they'll expand much further beyond their ring of wealthy/pseudo-wealthy customers...
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Woegjiub » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:52 am UTC

cerbie wrote:But, wait, some people use professional software that locks them into OS X, and they need all those cores! Apple doesn't need to compete on price, then.

It's called OSX86 :twisted: Even runs on opterons.

stephentyrone wrote:If the computer is worth it to you, buy it. If it isn't, don't. Clearly, some people judge it to be worth their money to buy a mac. Equally clearly, it doesn't seem worth it to you. Shrug.

Can I ask what kind of panel your 24" monitors have, what kind of backlight they have, what the power draw is, and what the resolution is?

I just can't believe people are willing to pay triple the value of a product, I mean I could get a beowulf cluster with linux up and running for cheaper than that mac, which would be more powerful and capable.

Acer X243HQ. Looks better than the iMacs at uni to me, res is 1920x1080, power is 1W idle, 30W on (I would've preferred 1920x1200, but that was almost double the price).
The cheapest IPS I can find in AUS is just under $500 USD, by the way.

phlip wrote:Because, for one, it has absolutely nothing to do with CS, which is where you posted it.

Oh, sorry. It wont happen again.


I can see how people buy stuff like iPods (I couldn't, they're all too low capacity - even the 160 gig ones), but yeah... I really didn't get why anyone would ever use one of their expensive mac pros, considering there's software for both windows and linux which can do the same, and it costs so much less.

I've heard it said before that offering osx unbundled like MS offers windows would be a bad thing for apple, but do you think it really would be?
I mean, snow leopard is CHEAP.
They could easily increase their market share like that, why don't they?

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby ash.gti » Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:53 pm UTC

They are hardware manufactures primarily. They just choose to write really nice software to go with the hardware.

Offering OS X unbundled would defeat the purpose of having specifically design software to go with their hardware, and probably be more work than its worth for them in the long run. Why not just convince people to buy their hardware instead? Its what they make most their money doing so they push that, buy our hardware and you have access to our software. Not a bad business strategy all things considered.

Plus, since its only tied to the hardware they make you don't have to worry about driver issues or any other compatibility issues, which I find great. I have a McaBook Pro (1 year old) and a MacBook (2 years old) and they both run Snow Leopard fine and do more than enough computing for me, I consider them well worth the investment even with the 'mac tax'.

Oh, and in the Mac Pro, the big desktop one, you can upgrade a lot of its components like you can with any other desktop pretty easily. The base system is all you need to buy from Apple, and you can get all the other parts from someone else for a lot less. The other mac's generally have laptop grade hardware in them (like the iMac and Mac Mini, plus the actual laptops) so they aren't really easy to upgrade considering how tightly integrated all those parts are, but there is no reason your ram everyday laptop ram or desktop ram wont work in a Mac, same with graphics cards, hard drives, etc. Just like other places like Dell or HP if you bought a desktop you'd be able to replace some parts, all of those parts are replaceable on the Mac Pro.

There was a company once that made 'mac compatible hardware' with generic desktop parts but I think they got sued and went bankrupt.
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:04 pm UTC

Woegjiub wrote:
cerbie wrote:But, wait, some people use professional software that locks them into OS X, and they need all those cores! Apple doesn't need to compete on price, then.

It's called OSX86 :twisted: Even runs on opterons.

That's fine for home users on their own machines, but businesses really want the tech support they get for both the machine and the software, as well as hassle-free updates.

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Amnesiasoft » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:15 am UTC

ash.gti wrote:They are hardware manufactures primarily. They just choose to write really nice software to go with the hardware.

Actually, I'd say they're primarily a marketing company, their only customer being themselves.

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby ian » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:25 am UTC

Woegjiub wrote:I can see how people buy stuff like iPods (I couldn't, they're all too low capacity - even the 160 gig ones),

You need more than 160gb of music on a regular basis? Can you even get mp3 players with a larger volume?

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby OOPMan » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:32 am UTC

Actually, that's kinda funny. I have a friend who's a photographer. Owns a 22" iMac. Also owns an iPod. He's also a DJ.

BUT

He doesn't use his iPod for music :-) Just uses as a portable HD. In fact, when I asked he didn't even know where the headphones for the iPod were.

Kinda funny :-)
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Dream » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:15 pm UTC

Woegjiub wrote:I really didn't get why anyone would ever use one of their expensive mac pros, considering there's software for both windows and linux which can do the same, and it costs so much less.

Could you please detail your experience with such software packages and computer systems? Like, have you compared Avid to Final Cut Pro in a feature film editing situation? Have you used Cubase with Windows to produce releasable quality music, and compared it to Logic Studio for the same task? Perhaps you've used Ardour in that beowulf cluster you mentioned being able to build, for music production? Could you even have a bash at describing the differences between these packages to a professional user, and the effect those differences might have on their workflow or creativity?

In a similar vein, you might do us the favour of assessing the impact on productivity to a company caused by forcing its creative staff to work with an unfamiliar computer system, or maybe you could just attempt to put a dollar value on ergonomics in computer hardware and software.

By the way, about price: An Apple computer plus a copy of Final Cut or Logic Studio is among the cheapest ways of getting a professional, industry standard creative system that exists. The alternatives Avid and Pro Tools are more expensive, and the other software packages are largely considered inferior (like Adobe Premiere) or far less widely implemented (like Steinberg Nuendo).

Until you can point to some serious experience with these things, I'm going to assume you don't have it, because you are clearly ignorant of the reasons people value them. Between this thread and the Apple Laptops thread, I can only assume you are a completely irrational anti-apple troll.
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Zamfir » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:27 pm UTC

Just for fun, I configured a system like you describe above, expcept with two processors instead of one. This gives you a Mobo with 8 slots, and therefore cheaper RAM to reach 16 GB. It came to about 5200 Euros, or 8800 Aus Dollars. A similar system at Dell, with 12 GB memory and 3 hard disks, but slightly faster processors came to 4700 Euros. Sounds reasonably close to me, to be honest, especially as Apple's monitors might be somewhat better, then their offer was ready in 4 days instead of several weeks.

I am sure you can put something together cheaper yourself, but only if your own time isn't worth money, and you do your own servicing afterwards.

Of course, both at Dell and Apple you could save money by ordering your own RAM, and a lot of people do. They don't care if you do, if the choice is between not making a profit on RAM (because of competitive pricing) and not selling the RAM, they prefer not selling it.

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Woegjiub » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:12 pm UTC

ian wrote:You need more than 160gb of music on a regular basis? Can you even get mp3 players with a larger volume?

Yeah, I rip all my cds to flac and then never open them again. It takes up quite a large amount of space, which is why I use my laptop instead of an mp3 player.
There's only one - the archos 5 (250 gigs), and it's very pricey, as well as being far larger than an ipod.

Dream wrote:
Woegjiub wrote:I really didn't get why anyone would ever use one of their expensive mac pros, considering there's software for both windows and linux which can do the same, and it costs so much less.

Could you please detail your experience with such software packages and computer systems? Like, have you compared Avid to Final Cut Pro in a feature film editing situation? Have you used Cubase with Windows to produce releasable quality music, and compared it to Logic Studio for the same task? Perhaps you've used Ardour in that beowulf cluster you mentioned being able to build, for music production? Could you even have a bash at describing the differences between these packages to a professional user, and the effect those differences might have on their workflow or creativity?

In a similar vein, you might do us the favour of assessing the impact on productivity to a company caused by forcing its creative staff to work with an unfamiliar computer system, or maybe you could just attempt to put a dollar value on ergonomics in computer hardware and software.

By the way, about price: An Apple computer plus a copy of Final Cut or Logic Studio is among the cheapest ways of getting a professional, industry standard creative system that exists. The alternatives Avid and Pro Tools are more expensive, and the other software packages are largely considered inferior (like Adobe Premiere) or far less widely implemented (like Steinberg Nuendo).

Until you can point to some serious experience with these things, I'm going to assume you don't have it, because you are clearly ignorant of the reasons people value them. Between this thread and the Apple Laptops thread, I can only assume you are a completely irrational anti-apple troll.


I said it can do the same. I know people are used to different things, and I know that by "the same", one has to have a rather broad definition, and it involves a heap of stuffing around (see: gimp vs photoshop), but the same END RESULT can be achieved.
And I was referring to FOSS apps by the way - Linux with cinelerra is far cheaper than a mac with final cut. (and yes, I realise final cut is easier and has shortcuts for doing things, but my point is that it's POSSIBLE - cinelerra on linux has been used in hollywood productions, and linux farms have replaced mac farms for CG)

I'm not trying to troll.
I just hate how apple exploits and price-gouges so damn much.
That and I'm forced to use their ugly, sluggish crap in web design at uni. First thing I do is boot into the archaic redhat server and use vim instead of dreamweaver.
I hate that stupid beachball so much.

Zamfir wrote:Just for fun, I configured a system like you describe above, expcept with two processors instead of one. This gives you a Mobo with 8 slots, and therefore cheaper RAM to reach 16 GB. It came to about 5200 Euros, or 8800 Aus Dollars. A similar system at Dell, with 12 GB memory and 3 hard disks, but slightly faster processors came to 4700 Euros. Sounds reasonably close to me, to be honest, especially as Apple's monitors might be somewhat better, then their offer was ready in 4 days instead of several weeks.

I am sure you can put something together cheaper yourself, but only if your own time isn't worth money, and you do your own servicing afterwards.

Of course, both at Dell and Apple you could save money by ordering your own RAM, and a lot of people do. They don't care if you do, if the choice is between not making a profit on RAM (because of competitive pricing) and not selling the RAM, they prefer not selling it.

The hard drives seem to be the main place apple are overcharging - $600 for 1tb is three times retail, and 3xwhat dell's charging.
You've proven your point though, It's possible to competitively configure them, as long as one only buys the mobo, cpu and standard stock components.

I really like the super powerful graphics cards dell offers with the precision T7500 though, they put the consumer cards for the mac to shame.
The dell appears to be better for any price point, unless one requires osx.... rage.

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Zamfir » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:43 pm UTC

Woegjiub, you are underestimating how expensive people are, compared to software, let alone hardware. Look at it this way: take a normal wage for a skilled computer user. Add taxes, benefits etc. Add the cost of an office space. The cost of support, IT and otherwise. Mangement of this person. Training. Etc etc. That adds up to a lot of money.

If a particular computer with a particular piece of software will make that person 10% more efficient than the competing offer, than what is that worth to the company? Even thinking about ways to save a few hundred dollars would just be stupid, and spending a few thousand is still easily worth it.


EDIT I put in 4 disks in the Apple, but the T7500 would only take 3, so it was an advantage for the Apple. But yeah, Apple overcharges for options. There are two good reasons for that, from a marketing POV: people who need only one of the upgrades are often willing to overpay a few hundred dollars if that saves them the hassle of doing it themselves, so that's easy money for Apple. People who are not willing to pay extra can still buy their RAM and disks elsewhere, so you don't lose their business for the main machine. Selling disks and RAM at market price is a cut-throat business, and neither Apple nor Dell is interested in competing with low-margin online component shops.
Also, keep in mind that the really extreme options, like maxing out your RAM, are not there to be bought, but to make the other options look cheaper in comparison. Few people buy a 32GB Mac Pro directly from Apple, but it does make the 16 GB version look better.
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Woegjiub » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:48 pm UTC

I guess I'm just used to doing things myself, because pre-assembled things are inferior to what I can make.

Also, archos 7, 320gb hdd, linux os *drools*
http://www.archos.com/products/imt/arch ... bd&lang=en

But yeah, that's very true. Things like triplication of the hdd price etc just kinda jump out at me as ridiculous, but I do have a tendency of thinking "I'll do it myself, everyone else is incompetent", and I realise this wouldn't be applicable in a business environment.
Maybe I should stop thinking about apple, they make me so angry. Only microsoft used to be able to do that, I tried to like apple but I just can't.

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:09 pm UTC

Woegjiub wrote:
ian wrote:You need more than 160gb of music on a regular basis? Can you even get mp3 players with a larger volume?

Yeah, I rip all my cds to flac and then never open them again. It takes up quite a large amount of space, which is why I use my laptop instead of an mp3 player.
There's only one - the archos 5 (250 gigs), and it's very pricey, as well as being far larger than an ipod.

That is actually kind of a dumb reason when 160 GB will give you enough music such that you won't hear a song repeated for, what, a couple weeks of constant play? There's far, far better reasons to not want an iPod specifically (such as the fact that they don't play FLAC).

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby ian » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:37 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Woegjiub, you are underestimating how expensive people are, compared to software, let alone hardware. Look at it this way: take a normal wage for a skilled computer user. Add taxes, benefits etc. Add the cost of an office space. The cost of support, IT and otherwise. Mangement of this person. Training. Etc etc. That adds up to a lot of money.

If a particular computer with a particular piece of software will make that person 10% more efficient than the competing offer, than what is that worth to the company? Even thinking about ways to save a few hundred dollars would just be stupid, and spending a few thousand is still easily worth it.

Likewise a lot of/most individuals with high end macs are using them to make money, so the cost is not such a big deal.

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby stephentyrone » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:37 pm UTC

Woegjiub wrote:I realise final cut is easier and has shortcuts for doing things, but my point is that it's POSSIBLE


Possible is neither here nor there. A good post-production studio is billing how many tens of thousands of dollars for a project? Even if using Final Cut Pro is only 10% more efficient for an engineer who's used to it (and the figure is probably a lot higher than that), the most tricked-out mac you can buy will pay for itself in a few weeks. Just like professional photographers have camera bodies and lenses worth tens of thousands of dollars even though the "same result is possible" with a $200 point-and-shoot. The time that having the best tool for them saves is worth far, far more than the cost of that tool.

That and I'm forced to use their ugly, sluggish crap in web design at uni. First thing I do is boot into the archaic redhat server and use vim instead of dreamweaver.


Because you totally can't run vim on OS X, right? It's a POSIX system, vim runs just fine. Dreamweaver being sluggish/whatever has nothing to do with anything.

The dell appears to be better for any price point, unless one requires osx.... rage.


What you don't seem to get is that for people who know how to use OS X and happen to like it, the time/hassle they save over the lifetime of the computer is worth far more than the 30%/whatever markup the paid for it.
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Berengal » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:06 pm UTC

Now I'm idly wondering how much it would cost to make an equivalent open source alternative to FCP. If all post-production studios pooled their money and retained a software-shop to continually develop a free alternative, would they save money? New employees would also have more experience using it, most likely, since it's freely available.

I mean, this is already happening with e.g. the Linux kernel.
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby ash.gti » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:08 pm UTC

stephentyrone wrote:What you don't seem to get is that for people who know how to use OS X and happen to like it, the time/hassle they save over the lifetime of the computer is worth far more than the 30%/whatever markup the paid for it.


Is exactly the reason I am willing to pay for a MacBook Pro, despite the fact I could build a desktop that's "better" for less. And the quality of their laptops, IMO, is superior than the other laptop makers.
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Woegjiub » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:11 pm UTC

stephentyrone wrote:
Woegjiub wrote:I realise final cut is easier and has shortcuts for doing things, but my point is that it's POSSIBLE


Possible is neither here nor there. A good post-production studio is billing how many tens of thousands of dollars for a project? Even if using Final Cut Pro is only 10% more efficient for an engineer who's used to it (and the figure is probably a lot higher than that), the most tricked-out mac you can buy will pay for itself in a few weeks. Just like professional photographers have camera bodies and lenses worth tens of thousands of dollars even though the "same result is possible" with a $200 point-and-shoot. The time that having the best tool for them saves is worth far, far more than the cost of that tool.

You've made your point, but aren't most apps cross-platform?
I mean, windows seems to be the only platform with applications that only work on it - else there would be something like wine for running mac stuff, no?
stephentyrone wrote:
That and I'm forced to use their ugly, sluggish crap in web design at uni. First thing I do is boot into the archaic redhat server and use vim instead of dreamweaver.


Because you totally can't run vim on OS X, right? It's a POSIX system, vim runs just fine. Dreamweaver being sluggish/whatever has nothing to do with anything.


I wasn't talking about dreamweaver being sluggish, it's OSX that is slow.
I mean, I've checked out the stats on the apple pcs at school, and they're slightly better than my home pc, yet all the applications lag, even firefox.... I don't know why, but it chews through resources something horrid.
The damn beachball... >:z
stephentyrone wrote:
Zamfir wrote:The dell appears to be better for any price point, unless one requires osx.... rage.


What you don't seem to get is that for people who know how to use OS X and happen to like it, the time/hassle they save over the lifetime of the computer is worth far more than the 30%/whatever markup the paid for it.


but... they don't get irritated that apple won't let them build their own stuff for cheaper, and install osx on it? amazing...
Last edited by Woegjiub on Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:19 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Woegjiub » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:18 pm UTC

Berengal wrote:Now I'm idly wondering how much it would cost to make an equivalent open source alternative to FCP. If all post-production studios pooled their money and retained a software-shop to continually develop a free alternative, would they save money? New employees would also have more experience using it, most likely, since it's freely available.

I mean, this is already happening with e.g. the Linux kernel.


Would something that takes all of the features from cinelerra, blender, etc. be almost comparable?
Because with all of that code pre-written, things would be easier than from scratch.

It's a very interesting idea, like you pointed out about it happening with the linux kernel... everyone's using linux in their devices now, and companies like IBM and google sponsor and use it... I thought cinelerra already had corporate sponsors though?

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby ash.gti » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:59 pm UTC

Woegjiub wrote:You've made your point, but aren't most apps cross-platform?
I mean, windows seems to be the only platform with applications that only work on it - else there would be something like wine for running mac stuff, no?


OS X apps use the Cocoa libraries (mostly, some still use Carbon though) which are not cross platform. They are Objective-C based too, which there isn't a cross platform runtime of the ObjC 2.0 runtime, that I am aware of. I think the GNU ObjC runtime supports some of its features, but not all of them.

Woegjiub wrote:I wasn't talking about dreamweaver being sluggish, it's OSX that is slow.
I mean, I've checked out the stats on the apple pcs at school, and they're slightly better than my home pc, yet all the applications lag, even firefox.... I don't know why, but it chews through resources something horrid.
The damn beachball... >:z


What are they running? Tiger or something? I have a few linux servers for work related stuff but none of them are noticeably faster at things than my MBP. Granted they all have more cores, so rebuilding php from scratch with make -j9 is way faster than my laptop, but it really shouldn't be that big of a difference, unless your school has the computers bogged down with stuff running in the background.
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:12 pm UTC

Woegjiub wrote:
What you don't seem to get is that for people who know how to use OS X and happen to like it, the time/hassle they save over the lifetime of the computer is worth far more than the 30%/whatever markup the paid for it.


but... they don't get irritated that apple won't let them build their own stuff for cheaper, and install osx on it? amazing...

Think of it this way:

I am a production studio. I can a) hire a guy full-time to do nothing but build and service computers running a hacked version of OS X that is never guaranteed to work with anything for, let's say, $50k/year if I'm lucky and then hope Apple doesn't notice and sue me for a portion of everything I've made using unlicensed software or b) pay a relatively small (in the scheme of things) premium per machine that comes warrantied with full technical and customer support from the company that makes them who will come to me and fix or replace anything that breaks and fold the responsibility of dealing with it into the general IT staff.

You seem to be missing the point that outside development studios (and very possibly even those), building their own machines is not something businesses do because it is cheaper in terms of manpower and less of a hassle to pay for a service contract.

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby ian » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:28 pm UTC

Woegjiub wrote:

but... they don't get irritated that apple won't let them build their own stuff for cheaper, and install osx on it? amazing...

a) Who is to say they don't? or more likely b) The vast amount of people don't want to build their own stuff, they want something already built with a warranty and that they know will work.

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Dream » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:45 pm UTC

Woegjiub wrote:I said it can do the same. I know people are used to different things, and I know that by "the same", one has to have a rather broad definition, and it involves a heap of stuffing around (see: gimp vs photoshop), but the same END RESULT can be achieved.
And I was referring to FOSS apps by the way - Linux with cinelerra is far cheaper than a mac with final cut. (and yes, I realise final cut is easier and has shortcuts for doing things, but my point is that it's POSSIBLE - cinelerra on linux has been used in hollywood productions, and linux farms have replaced mac farms for CG)

I'm not trying to troll.
I just hate how apple exploits and price-gouges so damn much.
That and I'm forced to use their ugly, sluggish crap in web design at uni. First thing I do is boot into the archaic redhat server and use vim instead of dreamweaver.
I hate that stupid beachball so much.

OK, so just to be clear on this point: you have no experience with what you're talking about. The end result is immaterial in any comparison if it is the same (even though in most cases it is not, I just don't care enough to get into that now). If the end result is the same, than the real comparison lies in the means by which it is achieved. That is vastly different in all cases, not just in your narrow Apple vs. open source worldview. If the sum total of your experience is being unhappy with Dreamweaver during a college course, you are not speaking from an informed point of view. You don't know anything about the needs or desires of the people you're questioning, and can't seem to conceive that between you and and these several industries full of professionals, you might be the one who is wrong.

Woegjiub wrote:but... they don't get irritated that apple won't let them build their own stuff for cheaper, and install osx on it? amazing...

That supposed "irritation" is the very reason that OSX is so desirable to these people. They can trust it to always work because it is always running on approved, tested hardware. And as others have already mentioned, the savings in custom building computers are false, because you then have to pay someone to build and subsequently maintain them. It's only amazing to you because you refuse to see the situation from anyone's point of view but your own.
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby cerbie » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:43 am UTC

Woegjiub wrote:
cerbie wrote:But, wait, some people use professional software that locks them into OS X, and they need all those cores! Apple doesn't need to compete on price, then.

It's called OSX86 :twisted: Even runs on opterons.
People can pirate Windows, too. Most businesses (including the self-employed) tend to not like that idea, too much.

The cheapest IPS I can find in AUS is just under $500 USD, by the way.
By how much? Was it close to $200? How did it compare in terms of firmware and backlighting?

That and I'm forced to use their ugly, sluggish crap in web design at uni.
(...) I hate that stupid beachball so much.
Ah, here we are. You have a bias against them based on that experience, which is probably not typical of users who actually buy a Mac for themselves.

Schools have a habit of buying large amounts of computers with whatever costs something to upgrade not there. So you'd be more likely to have single-core, more likely to need more RAM, more likely to have a worse video chip (not sure about how that or CPUs worked in the hemisphere iMacs, though), etc.. It's no different at places that use Windows. FI, my college had 3.4GHz P4s with too little RAM (256 or 512, I forget) and big HDDs for the time, running XP and a bunch of background apps eating it all up. Smaller HDDs, more RAM, and a wimpier CPU would have done much better, but I'm sure they got a deal (or had a crappy contract) on those they bought, and that's what mattered.

Re: overcharging: every company does that. Last time I checked out a dell, the specific one I was looking at has HDDs a little more than three times the cost of Newegg. RAM often gets that, and faster CPUs are often much more expensive for very little difference. 'Tis the way of things. Apple has lower market share, so overcharge a little more. Well, just like Dell, HP, et al, all you have to do is get a base model, then buy your own extras, and everything works out. If you can't do that, you just have to choose your budget and which evils to pay.
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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby Woegjiub » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:19 am UTC

ash.gti wrote:OS X apps use the Cocoa libraries (mostly, some still use Carbon though) which are not cross platform. They are Objective-C based too, which there isn't a cross platform runtime of the ObjC 2.0 runtime, that I am aware of. I think the GNU ObjC runtime supports some of its features, but not all of them.


I had meant most companies would develop their apps to be cross-platform (firefox, adobe, etc...), but thanks for letting me know that, how does it compare to win32 stuff?
ash.gti wrote:What are they running? Tiger or something? I have a few linux servers for work related stuff but none of them are noticeably faster at things than my MBP. Granted they all have more cores, so rebuilding php from scratch with make -j9 is way faster than my laptop, but it really shouldn't be that big of a difference, unless your school has the computers bogged down with stuff running in the background.


It's a major university, so it's all updated to the latest version of leopard (not SL yet), and my comparison is between the 2008 aluminium imac and my home pc with kubuntu.
I can't see how they'd be bogging the computers down with background processes, because the polycarbonate 2006 imacs wunning XP actually run quickly - they do EVERYTHING faster than the superior aluminium imacs running osx.
This seriously makes no sense, so the only conclusion left was that osx hogs more resources, and is therefore rubbish.

Zamfir wrote:EDIT I put in 4 disks in the Apple, but the T7500 would only take 3, so it was an advantage for the Apple. But yeah, Apple overcharges for options. There are two good reasons for that, from a marketing POV: people who need only one of the upgrades are often willing to overpay a few hundred dollars if that saves them the hassle of doing it themselves, so that's easy money for Apple. People who are not willing to pay extra can still buy their RAM and disks elsewhere, so you don't lose their business for the main machine. Selling disks and RAM at market price is a cut-throat business, and neither Apple nor Dell is interested in competing with low-margin online component shops.
Also, keep in mind that the really extreme options, like maxing out your RAM, are not there to be bought, but to make the other options look cheaper in comparison. Few people buy a 32GB Mac Pro directly from Apple, but it does make the 16 GB version look better.


The t7500 offers 1.5tb drives at cheaper than the 1tb drives from the mac pro though..... 4.5>4 :p

Ah, so again it's about obfuscation?

Endless Mike wrote:That is actually kind of a dumb reason when 160 GB will give you enough music such that you won't hear a song repeated for, what, a couple weeks of constant play? There's far, far better reasons to not want an iPod specifically (such as the fact that they don't play FLAC).

It will with rockbox. Custom firmware fixes all its flaws apart from capacity (maybe hardware too, but I've never owned one so I don't know how accurate the battery complaints are).

Endless Mike wrote:Think of it this way:

I am a production studio. I can a) hire a guy full-time to do nothing but build and service computers running a hacked version of OS X that is never guaranteed to work with anything for, let's say, $50k/year if I'm lucky and then hope Apple doesn't notice and sue me for a portion of everything I've made using unlicensed software or b) pay a relatively small (in the scheme of things) premium per machine that comes warrantied with full technical and customer support from the company that makes them who will come to me and fix or replace anything that breaks and fold the responsibility of dealing with it into the general IT staff.

You seem to be missing the point that outside development studios (and very possibly even those), building their own machines is not something businesses do because it is cheaper in terms of manpower and less of a hassle to pay for a service contract.


or c) buy windows / GNU/linux / unix with support.

So, which businesses need OSX? Really need it?
Graphics design? Photoshop is the leading app, and runs on windows.
Web design? Same, but with dreamweaver.
Modelling? 3DSMax and maya run on both windows and linux.
Video design? possibly, but final cut pro isn't the be all and end all, adobe premiere, cinelerra, avid etc all exist and I've done some googling since my last reply - it's all preference for the interface, FCP has no extra features the others don't.
Audio production? protools works on windows.
Obviously servers should be running linux, so it's not there either.

All in all, apple is still the inferior choice.

Dream wrote:OK, so just to be clear on this point: you have no experience with what you're talking about. The end result is immaterial in any comparison if it is the same (even though in most cases it is not, I just don't care enough to get into that now). If the end result is the same, than the real comparison lies in the means by which it is achieved. That is vastly different in all cases, not just in your narrow Apple vs. open source worldview. If the sum total of your experience is being unhappy with Dreamweaver during a college course, you are not speaking from an informed point of view. You don't know anything about the needs or desires of the people you're questioning, and can't seem to conceive that between you and and these several industries full of professionals, you might be the one who is wrong.


Not no experience, just not that much. And it's not all about apple vs FOSS, because there's the microsoft option as well.
And I couldn't care less about dreamweaver, I was unhappy with the ugly, slow pile of crap which is OSX.
The original computer is quite similar to what I'm buying at the moment, and out of curiosity (see if I could get a pc booting osx, win7, kubuntu, freebsd and solaris), I'd decided to check the price difference.
Eleven grand is heaps, and this was intended to be a HOME COMPUTER - which it is, a professional computer which needs to render etc should have something better than a mere HD4870.

Dream wrote:
Woegjiub wrote:but... they don't get irritated that apple won't let them build their own stuff for cheaper, and install osx on it? amazing...

That supposed "irritation" is the very reason that OSX is so desirable to these people. They can trust it to always work because it is always running on approved, tested hardware. And as others have already mentioned, the savings in custom building computers are false, because you then have to pay someone to build and subsequently maintain them. It's only amazing to you because you refuse to see the situation from anyone's point of view but your own.


Why do you keep assuming it's for a business?
This is the kind of computer a mac user would have to buy if they wanted to game, the laptop components in the iMacs just don't cut it.

cerbie wrote:
Woegjiub wrote:
cerbie wrote:But, wait, some people use professional software that locks them into OS X, and they need all those cores! Apple doesn't need to compete on price, then.

It's called OSX86 :twisted: Even runs on opterons.
People can pirate Windows, too. Most businesses (including the self-employed) tend to not like that idea, too much.

I didn't mean pirating. I meant purchasing an osx licence and then installing on say an amd computer.

cerbie wrote:
The cheapest IPS I can find in AUS is just under $500 USD, by the way.
By how much? Was it close to $200? How did it compare in terms of firmware and backlighting?

Just under 500 meaning around 480. Most of them were AU800 (half of what apple were charging), and were only slightly inferior.

cerbie wrote:
That and I'm forced to use their ugly, sluggish crap in web design at uni.
(...) I hate that stupid beachball so much.
Ah, here we are. You have a bias against them based on that experience, which is probably not typical of users who actually buy a Mac for themselves.

Schools have a habit of buying large amounts of computers with whatever costs something to upgrade not there. So you'd be more likely to have single-core, more likely to need more RAM, more likely to have a worse video chip (...) Smaller HDDs, more RAM, and a wimpier CPU would have done much better, but I'm sure they got a deal (or had a crappy contract) on those they bought, and that's what mattered.

Re: overcharging: every company does that. (...) Apple has lower market share, so overcharge a little more. Well, just like Dell, HP, et al, all you have to do is get a base model, then buy your own extras, and everything works out. If you can't do that, you just have to choose your budget and which evils to pay.

I went into the class thinking "osx looks pretty, it's not windows, it might be as good as linux".
So I went about configuring everything, and.... nope. Seriously, so limited.

2 gigs of 800MHz ram, 24" 1920x1200 display, 2.8GHz C2D, radeon HD2600 (not the limiting factor here, the windows macs in the room next to it are faster at 512MB 667MHz ram, 2GHz C2D, and an X1600)

One would think that with a lower market share, and an alien operating system, apple would want to price competitively.

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Re: How do apple stay in business?

Postby cerbie » Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:47 am UTC

Woegjiub wrote:
cerbie wrote:
Woegjiub wrote:
cerbie wrote:But, wait, some people use professional software that locks them into OS X, and they need all those cores! Apple doesn't need to compete on price, then.

It's called OSX86 :twisted: Even runs on opterons.
People can pirate Windows, too. Most businesses (including the self-employed) tend to not like that idea, too much.

I didn't mean pirating. I meant purchasing an osx licence and then installing on say an amd computer.
Apple only sells OS X for Apple computers. If you took a Dell Windows disc, found a way to install it on a non-Dell, and did so, would that be kosher?

By how much? Was it close to $200? How did it compare in terms of firmware and backlighting?

Just under 500 meaning around 480. Most of them were AU800 (half of what apple were charging), and were only slightly inferior.[/quote]"Only slightly," so you admit they might have had some degree of inferiority? Can you find one you can be guaranteed is as good for significantly less?

I went into the class thinking "osx looks pretty, it's not windows, it might be as good as linux".
So I went about configuring everything, and.... nope. Seriously, so limited.
Why yes, it is. If you prefer *n*xes, it'll be nicer to use than Windows, but I couldn't handle it. Xorg (and other freedesktop.org things) breaking regularly is a small price to pay.

2 gigs of 800MHz ram, 24" 1920x1200 display, 2.8GHz C2D, radeon HD2600 (not the limiting factor here, the windows macs in the room next to it are faster at 512MB 667MHz ram, 2GHz C2D, and an X1600)
Huh, OK. Except for the RAM (8GB and no swap is nice), I wouldn't mind having that. On far lesser hardware (G4, G5, 8000 and 9000 series Radeons), I have not noticed OS X to be all that slow, though, except for the animated-ness.

One would think that with a lower market share, and an alien operating system, apple would want to price competitively.
If they price too low, they don't make enough money. If they compete on the same terms, they get forced to price too low. That's kind of the point. They don't make the same thing you build, and they don't make the same software you use. You can always buy cheaper, but Apple does offer consistent value. They do so largely by not offering what other computer makers do. They are not trying to satisfy most computer users.
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