This is a biggie.
This looks like a huge change in thinking at Apple. The new 13-inch MacBook Pro was launched just one month ago. What changed? I can only imagine some contentious discussions in the board room on this new price point.
There can only be three reasons for this increase in price:
- first, there truly is a shortage of RAM, driving up the price
- if so, the wholesale price of RAM is trivial, well less than the upgrade price Apple is charging, and Apple is taking advantage of this;
- if so, the wholesale price of RAM is significant, necessitating the increase in the new retail price by Apple
- second, there is a demand/supply problem for the MacBook Pro and to either temper demand, or take advantage of the demand, Apple raises the price;
- third, pure profit motive for many reasons.
- reason #1: it's hard to believe Apple missed that just one month earlier;
- reason #2: Apple has never been accused of being worried about unit shortages; in fact, Apple is often accused of generating artificial shortage;
A little background:
- the entry level of memory (RAM) is 8 GB
- the upgrade is 16 GB of memory (RAM)
- a month after the MacBook Pro was released Apple doubled the upgrade price of 8 GB to 16GB
- the "doubling," takes the price from an additional $100 to an additional $200 if one chooses to upgrade
- if $100 was "not trivial" for the basic MacBook Pro, $200 for the upgrade is definitely "not trivial."
- it takes the base model from $1299 to $1499; and the $1499 model to $1699.
- it's my impression that 90% of folks whose choice is between the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro, the Air is more than adequate
- for this 90% of users, the price increase noted today is not an issue
- only the very "high end" users need a MacBook Pro rather than the Air
- "high end" users will not settle for entry-level-8-GB RAM
- "high end" users, able to afford the MacBook Pro, can easily afford the "upgrade" price (although they might be a bit miffed)
- long-term Apple customers know they are paying "up" for the Apple cachet,
- many folks suggest Apple is not particularly concerned about charges of "price gouging" or their "luxury tax"
When I put everything together, I lean toward those who feel Apple raised the price almost purely for reasons of profit. The fact that the price was changed so quickly after introduction of the model -- again, one month -- suggests it has to do with the global economy more than an increase in the wholesale price of storage.Back to choice:
- my MacBook Air has 4 GB of memory and 128 GB of storage. The 4 GB of memory seems "adequate," but the base model MacBook Air has 8 GB which is good news
- without question, the 128 GB of storage I have is not nearly enough and I'm not a heavy user of storage. The good news? The entry level MacBook Air comes with 256 GB of storage. One can double the storage to 512 GB for an additional $200
Bottom, bottom line:
- 90% of Apple laptop users don't need the MacBook Pro; the MacBook Air is more than enough;
- the MacBook Air comes in only one size, 13-inch, which eliminates the size-dimension problem;
- entry level 8 GB is adequate; although I could be easily convinced otherwise;
- entry level of 256 GB is more than adequate;
- having said that, whether to upgrade either memory (8 GB) or storage (256 GB) is a toss-up; both upgrades cost $200;
- for me, I would upgrade the memory, from 8 GB to 16 GB; one can easily buy external storage, including the "cloud"
- others may prefer upgrading the storage, from 256 GB to 512 GB for the same amount;
- upgrading both for $400 significantly increases the price of this entry level Air which is $999;
- high school senior heading off to college on limited budget: the entry-level MacBook Air; no upgrades needed; and definitely not the MacBook Pro unless one has much experience with the MacBook Air and knows their own needs;