How Will Apple Handle a Recession?

by James R. Stoup Dec 09, 2008

The price of both laptops and desktops has steadily fallen these last few years for every computer maker except Apple. And while this hasn't hurt them yet, now that we are in a recession, things may begin to change. I've written about Apple's premium price before and I'm just as annoyed now as I was then.

I've thought about this for a while and I finally came to the realization about what bothers me most about Apple's inflated prices. I've come to think about computers as commodities while Apple still treats computers as luxuries. Take the new construction method in Apple's laptops. How much do you think it cost to add that improvement? It seems like Apple needed a way to justify selling $2,000 laptops and that was all they could come up with. 

This isn't to say that the all aluminum block construction isn't cool, it is, however it is a luxury that we don't really need. It's neat, but I would rather them used the old case and knocked a couple hundred off the price. I would love to buy a new MacBook Pro, however I can't justify spending $2,000 on a laptop.

Any laptop.


I just can't convince myself that that much money would be well spent in that way, regardless of how awesome Apple makes that machine. There is nothing they could do to it to make me spend that kind of money. 

And as this recession worsens I expect that they are going to see a serious decline in sales amongst their high end products. There are going to be plenty of people who would readily admit that Apple has the superior product, but would still buy Microsoft Vista on a Dell because the Dell is $1,500 cheaper. It is really hard to justify that kind of expenditure when you are trying to tighten your belt. 

Quite against my expectations I have found myself moving to Linux. Oh I still love Macs, I really do. And I will definitely buy them again in the future if I ever find myself with several thousand dollars I don't know what to do with. But for the moment, I'm finding that I'm content to use a 15" Dell laptop with Fedora 10. Is it the same experience as OS X? Not hardly.

But it didn't cost me $2,000 either.

What about you? Do you find yourself second-guessing paying the so-called Apple tax?


  • I doubt that Apple is going to change just because some people can’t or won’t pony up the bucks to acquire a Mac. I would suggest purchasing used or refurbished models, which can save some serious money.
    If that’s still too much for you to handle, stick to Linux and move on.

    LorD1776 had this to say on Dec 09, 2008 Posts: 19
  • My brother came to the the same conclusion In the market for a new laptop he wanted to switch to an Apple but once he realized that for the price of a Mac he could purchase a new Windows notebook and desktop machine he simply couldn’t justify the cost.

    TheOldMan had this to say on Dec 09, 2008 Posts: 5
  • “What about you? Do you find yourself second-guessing paying the so-called Apple tax?”

    24 hours a day.  More so now that my iMac is on the fritz.  Last year I paid $800 to replace a mother board that in ANY other PC would cost a max of $200.  There’s no other word for that but ass-poundin’-rape.

    What sucks is that I’d love to go to a competitor, except that there are no competitors running OS X.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Dec 10, 2008 Posts: 2220
  • It is what it is, you will be able to afford it or you won’t. In a recession or any other time being fiscally responsible really has nothing to do with Apple’s price point, it’s relative to your situation. Apple has their own responsibilities and I expect they they will continue to charge what the market allows. As long as they are selling machines I doubt you will see any significant change. I am disqualifying an adjustment based on the economy, like the recession, it won’t last. It’s hard to make an argument and expect any real change when they continue to post such strong numbers.

    Aside from that, James, I hear ya bro. For me is is purely value vs. cost or value that offsets the extra cost anyway. Outside of work I don’t do anything that I could do any better on a mac, so I don’t. I own several mac products, none of which I use. I can use anything and I can fix my own problems, the average user can’t or won’t and there is where I find the value. My wife and daughters are not going to search for patches and/or drivers to make something work right. They don’t stay in the loop with the latest virus, adware, and malware etc.. Even running protection, they won’t remember to keep the subscription updated. They won’t research a work around or roll backs. They are the average user. So I can take care of that myself, and I have in the past. Sometimes arguing or blaming, generally not being patient enough or I can spend an extra 500 bucks and rarely have any of those problems. On top of that add in the integrated iapps, they love and use all the time. Something else I didn’t have to go out buy , install, make work and teach them how to use. For me, well worth the extra cost.

    Wundryn II had this to say on Dec 10, 2008 Posts: 11
  • We started home schooling my 11 year old son and we decided to get him a laptop computer. We could have bought him a Windows computer for half the price of the Macbook. Since the Macbook is replacing the 2001 gum drop iMac that he was using up until last month, I decided that when he goes to college six years from now he might still be able to use his Macbook. How many eight year old Windows laptops are still useful? My wife is now using the old 2001 iMac to surf the web and use E-mail. I might even spend some money on E-bay and upgrade to a copy of Tiger.

    Flyboybob had this to say on Dec 10, 2008 Posts: 33
  • I’d love to see a suite of Unix tools that would allow users to run most Linux programs on our Macs.  It shouldn’t be hard to finish this job.

    Howard Brazee had this to say on Dec 11, 2008 Posts: 54
  • Page 1 of 1 pages
You need log in, or register, in order to comment