Opinion: Why the upgrade cycle means the ‘Apple tax’ is lower than it seems

Photo: mashable.com

Photo: mashable.com

I’m sure most of us have at some point had Windows- and Android-using friends ask us why we pay the ‘Apple tax’ – the price difference between an Apple product and what they perceive to be an equivalent competitor product.

A large part of the answer, of course, is that the competitor product isn’t equivalent at all. You can’t compare a MacBook with its premium materials, build-quality, high-spec components, screen quality and aesthetics with a low-end Windows laptop with plastic casing, low-spec innards and cheap and cheerful display. No more than you can compare an iPhone with a budget ‘droid. When you do genuine like-for-like comparisons with truly equivalent products, the Apple premium shrinks considerably.

But to get an accurate idea of the effective purchase cost, you also need to take into account both the replacement cycle and resale value …  Read more

Opinion: Will the next Mac mini be a lot more mini than ever before?

mini

When it first launched in 2005, the Mac mini was almost unimaginably small. The original aim of the machine was to convert owners of desktop Windows machines. Because those people already owned monitors, keyboards and other peripherals, selling them just the computer itself would enable them to switch to Mac for far less than the cost of buying an iMac.

The typical Windows desktop box of that era looked like this:

windows

A system unit that measured just 6.5 inches square and only 2-inches thick was an incredible feat of engineering. Today, however, it looks rather less impressive …  Read more

PC Market exodus continues as LG considers quitting, Mac prices & margins leave Apple almost immune

ultrabook

PC manufacturers seem to be dropping like flies at present. Shortly after Sony confirmed it was selling its PC business and Vaio brand, LG is rumored to be planning its own exit from traditional PCs, to focus on smartphones, tablets and ‘convertible’ PCs (touchscreen Windows tablets that flip round into a laptop).

Other manufacturers are witnessing falling sales, prices and profits – with The Guardian calculating that the average profit per PC in the third quarter of 2013 fell to just £14.87 ($24.09). One manufacturer of conventional-format PCs, however, has remained almost immune to the trend: Apple …  Read more

Microsoft names Satya Nadella CEO as Bill Gates demoted from Chairman to ‘Technology Advisor’

Following the announcement last August that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was out the door as soon as the company could find a new captain to lead the ship, the Board finally announced today that it has found its guy: Satya Nadella.

As part of the changes, founder and former CEO Bill Gates has agreed to step down from the Board and into a new role as ‘technology advisor’. Gates says he will step up his time at the company meeting with various groups and helping with future products at the request of Nadella. Read more

Total Apple device sales will equal Windows PCs this year, predicts analyst

total

The total number of Apple devices sold will equal the number of Windows PCs by some point this year, predicts Asymco’s Horace Dediu in an interesting piece of analysis.

The dark shaded area compares all Apple hardware – Mac plus iPad plus iPhone – with Windows PCs, and shows that by last year there were only 1.18 more Windows PCs than Apple devices. It’s of course a somewhat artificial comparison, as Dediu is including iPhones while excluding Windows Phones and tablets, but given the very limited success of Windows mobile devices to date, correcting that wouldn’t change the patterns too much.

What’s particularly interesting here, as John Gruber notes, is that the dramatic reversal kicked in well before the launch of the iPhone. Dediu and Gruber between them put forward a number of theories for this, and of these I think three are likely key …

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Macupdate’s $40 Winter Bundle: 12 apps incl. Anonymizer, Backblaze, Expandrive, much more

From 9to5toys:

(note: 3 other bundles are currently running: Parallels 9 Adobe Photoshop CC $10 extended unti l Dec. 8th and Stack Social)

MacUpdate just launched their Winter Mac app bundle this morning. This bundle contains 10 apps + 2 bonus apps for early buyers. Together, the 12 apps are worth nearly $400 (or about $360 without the 2 bonus titles), but the bundle is priced at just $39.99.

The bundle includes: Read more