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Apple Planning iMac, MacBook Price Cuts?


Apple Planning iMac, MacBook Price Cuts?

If 'sources familiar with the matter' are to be believed, and AppleInsider thinks they are, Apple is planning a price drop on its iMacs and MacBooks. As great as the nVidia-flavoured iMac and Mac mini are, they are still a bit pricey. Justifiably so, it could be argued, but the premium over other, similarly specced PCs is a bit much for some.

The drop is apparently intended to both keep Apple's market share growing, despite the poor economic climate, and also help combat the erosion of the notebook market by cheaper netbooks. As Apple has pointed out repeatedly, it has no intention to create a netbook of its own, claiming such systems offer a sub-standard experience - which is true, but that doesn't mean buyers aren't happy to make those sacrifices.

Clearly Apple is able to make a profit on its products at much lower prices. Its education store in the US is selling 20in iMacs for $999, $200 less than the 'standard' retail equivalent. Clearly Apple is making pretty good margins at retail and, now the earlier adopters have paid their premium, Apple can afford to reduce its per-system profit to reach a broader audience.

Even if price drops do hit, though, I'm sure we can all agree that the MacBook Air will remain overpriced.



May 2, 2009, 2:50 am

If it's more than 50 quid off, I'll lay an egg. Prove - me - wrong - you - misers.


May 2, 2009, 12:58 pm

in practice, what does it take to lay an egg?


May 2, 2009, 1:25 pm

i can't see it happening. their market share is tiny but i don't think that bothers them. they've always been more bothered about their high margins recession or not there do seem to be more than enough people willing to be milked.


May 2, 2009, 2:29 pm

I'd love to see some price cuts, rumour like this has come around before but it would make sense now more than ever. I'd especially like to see cuts on iMacs, since the entry-level iMac shifted from &#163799 to &#163949 (despite the improved specs) the iMac has lost some immediate appeal to certain customers. &#163799 was most oftenn seen as very reasonable by customers considering the system. Though saying that, even if a price cut were to happen, I can't see them returning to the days of a &#163799 iMac anytime soon :(

I'm just waiting on new iPhone's and Snow Leopard now!


May 2, 2009, 6:37 pm

Fear of Windows 7?

Tony Walker

May 2, 2009, 11:24 pm

Hopefully they've not sold anything in the UK since they put the prices up without justification as the prices remained the same in other territories.


May 3, 2009, 12:13 am

Well, I guess Apple significantly cutting their prices xbrumster. If that sounds tautological, that's only because it is.


May 3, 2009, 12:28 pm

the white book is in our store for &#163699. that'll probably reflect the apple price cuts to come soon. their laptops are still hideously expensive.

Alan Downes

May 3, 2009, 3:20 pm

Fear of windows 7? Have you tried the Beta? Hardly earth moving is it?

Willing to be milked? Yup, I am!

Makes me laugh. They could put the prices up by 10-20% (probably more) I'd still never part money with a Windows machine. It's worth it to excise those evenings scatching your head wondering why something that did work yesterday doesn't work today, or why is slowed down to a snail pace.

I for one am happy being 'milked', although a price reduction would be welcome also. Maybe then I'd be tempted to treat the TV to a Mac Mini.

Mike B

May 3, 2009, 4:41 pm

Windows 7 may have an impact but not until it is out for a while to see if it lives up to the hype! The price differential between a PC and a Mac has crept up a little too high in the UK (even though the total cost of ownership is probably a little lower for a Mac).

Apple need to respond otherwise their recent gains may all be lost and that would be a shame.

Time for a cross between an Apple TV and a Mac Mini?


May 3, 2009, 10:18 pm

@Alan - funnily enough, I've been using the Windows 7 beta since January and I PREFER it to Leopard... I can see why the price cuts are coming!


May 3, 2009, 10:36 pm

@Alan Downes

Windows 7 shats all over Leopard IMHO.

Mike B

May 3, 2009, 11:49 pm

Don't get too over enthusiastic about Windows 7! Snow Leopard will be out before Windows 7 hits retail and I think it will raise the bar once again. Given the ongoing security threats to Windows machines over OS X I won't be giving up my Macs just yet!

But it is a warning to Apple not to over-price their excellent products. The integration of applications and ease of use of Apple products still takes some beating. Try restoring a PC after a HDD dies, a lot of hard work, by comparison to Time Machine in OS X where in a few clicks of the mouse you are restored to the condition you were at the moment of HDD failure!


May 4, 2009, 12:06 am


apple loves people like you, you know.


May 4, 2009, 12:44 am

Assuming these rumours are correct how long before they take effect and by how much?



May 4, 2009, 2:43 am

Funnily enough I've been using both Leopard & 7 and I like them equally as much - go on rename me Switzerland :)

For the 90% of Windows users, it's good that Microsoft have finally pulled their finger out, and produced a decent operating system. Of course everything looks pretty good after Vista ;)

Alan Downes

May 4, 2009, 4:38 am

@Steve.... very eloquent and some valid points, however your argument fails to convince me.

@Gordon - I respect your opinion, but having used the beta, I still prefer leopard... plus my trust is somewhat scarred from Vista.

I also heard 7 has an XP mode......and they call it progress?

I guess its down to perceptions. I have been an avid PC user for the previous 13-14 years. Dealing with far too many common PC problems that really shouldn't have existed. Leopard isn't perfect, no OS is. But from My experience, for me, Apple has free'd me from those long stressful evenings of woe sorting out a multitude of unneccesary problems and so...(and I guess this is @ilovethemonkey) I love Apple too; for giving me my evenings back.

It will take alot to sway me back to the dark side. But I respect people's opinions to disagree. Incidentally the Apple UK store is down for 'maintenance'. Exciting. I'll get my wallet ready!

Alan Downes

May 4, 2009, 4:41 am

Incidentally, I have tonight been round to our next door neighbours house because their XP machine would no longer access the internet (it was fine last night). Mac worked fine, network seemed AOK. System Restore to the rescue! Perceptions furthermore strengthened.


May 4, 2009, 4:46 am

Apple has nothing to fear unless a comparable all in one comes out with Windows 7. People care about design more than software, at least that's my inkling.


May 4, 2009, 5:09 am

@Alan - I would like to respect your opinion but blind faith to a single brand means you're not speaking with objectivity or (in the case of what XP Mode is and why it is there) research. Bashing 7 for Vista is also understandable but makes no sense and as for your Apple UK Store watching, it's just another Apple marketing trick. Nothing is ever announced on a Sunday night... bet ya!

Alan Downes

May 4, 2009, 5:31 am

Gordon, you misunderstand me.

My loyalty lies in the Apple product, its design, its ease of use and its reliability, not the brand name.

And if you have tried the alternative and found it lacking.... thats not 'blind faith' in your favoured choice, its an informed decision. Surely?


May 4, 2009, 6:17 am

@Mike B

security is a mute point in my oppinion sure there is more malware for windows but give it while and there will be equally bad things for a Mac especially as their market share increases, as what's the point writing virus' and key loggers for only ~11% of personal computers.

@Alan Downes

doesn't OS X have a power PC mode for compatability?!

also you can't hold a companies past against them, much like people aren't with the palm pre. as you will find out sooner or later brand loyalty to anyone will come round and bite you in the rear, as I suspect this will deffinitely happen with apple.

Hamish Campbell

May 4, 2009, 2:31 pm

@Jay - Whoash, who's getting bitten in the rear? I'll hold past against them for sure,

Lets have a think.

Microsoft sells you XP, you find out it ain't that good. OSX (or equiv) was much better.

So then you buy Vista, turns out it is rubbish. OSX is even better again.

So now you're gonna buy Windows7 ???

Now thats some brand loyalty for suckers.

Brand loyalty should be built on deliverance of quality products. So I can understand how Apple has managed it.....how did Microsoft do it then?

p.s I don't really get that upset by OS issues. I use XP, OSX and Ubuntu and they all work ok, must say that OSX is a real pleasure though.


May 4, 2009, 8:40 pm

ok before we get in to a all out argument of which OS is best, can I just say that it is a very subjective matter as to which OS is best, as where one gets better on another the other has something that is slightly better than the other.

I have used all the OSs and and they all are very good in their own respects, vista is my main OS and I have never had a single problem, crash or complaint about it so I take peoples bad views with a massive pinch of salt, so as you may see at the moment I am leaning toward windows over OS X.

As for the bitten in the rear apple will inevitably do something that will annoy and possibly alienate its consumer base, as to what that will be is hard to say.

"Brand loyalty should be built on deliverance of quality products" - yes and it must be remembered that windows builds just the OS whereas apple you are buying the hardware and software, and as I said, in my eyes, windows did that with vista and now again, so far, with 7, apples products are well built but will always become dated and obsolete because of the 'closed' nature of their products.

It may sound as though I'm a windows lover but to be honnest I couldnt care less, as I will always choose the one that does everything I am looking to do with a computer, what does annoy me is people banging on about one OS with blind faith without weighing up the positives and negatives and coming to an informed conclusion.


May 5, 2009, 1:23 am

I'm not sure I understand that theory Jay, and if I do, I'm not sure that it works out in practice.

The argument is that if you have to build an OS for a closed system then it goes out of date quicker. I actually think that the OS is as outdated and as obsolete, as the company chooses it to be. Apple chooses to bring out new closed systems on a semi-regular basis anyway. So in what way is the release of a new MacBook, so different from one model of a 13" Dell succeeding another?

But I think the crucial point is the most obvious. Apple regularly rolls out gradual iterations of OS X to capitalise on the updated technology they themself have introduced. It's at a much faster pace than Windows' strategy of one major release every few years, that then has to constantly await the next service pack to compensate for its 'openness'.

And lastly, how does the charge of obsolescence actually apply to OS X? It has all the drivers and codecs it needs, and it has a much smaller security burden to deal with, so naturally it has less that actually needs to change to stay operational. It's its very 'closed-ness' that means each iteration of OS X need only focus on extra features and efficiency, and not have its developers' time consumed with the extra security and bux-fix burden that Microsoft has to deal with. That is after all all the trade-off you make for flexibility. And if you think of where OS X is right now compared to how many people have wanted (perhaps needed) to reject Vista and stick with the now 8-year-old XP, I'd be compelled to say Macs are far and away more up to date - particularly since now it can run Windows as well.

You can argue that OS X has been around about as long as XP, but the fact that people draw equivalency between each major Windows release, and each gradual OS X iteration but DO NOT deem it appropriate to draw a parallel between OS X and XP, suggests that the bulk of consumers and critics basically accept it doesn't really need to change that much. Windows 7 may change the game somewhat, but is it really gonna satisfy users for the length of time OS X has?

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