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iMac vs. Windows All-in-Ones: Apple Tax or Not?

By Julio Franco ยท 26 replies
Jun 28, 2012
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  1. mosu

    mosu TS Guru Posts: 465   +77

    If the Mac costs 1699, maybe Dell is also 1399 and HP is 1099, so the right price tag for iMac should be written as 1700 $.

    Editor's note: Fair point. Corrected.
  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

  3. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,840   +1,184

    As the ad says..."If you don't have an iphone, you don't have an iphone." People buy Apple for other reasons than a functional computer. In China they spend 2 months of salary on an iPhone for status alone. Siri doesn't even work (yet) in Mandarin.
    Articles like this are interesting and I enjoy reading them, but paying for a brand name is nothing strange. Apple has clearly found the price that is low enough for good sales, but high enough to imply excellent quality.

    (Hey Zero, I don't know how those posting titles are assigned, but I appreciate the irony in yours.)
  4. foreverzero89

    foreverzero89 TS Enthusiast Posts: 217

    I did this comparo in best buy a few weeks ago and I was not surprised by my findings. the 27 inch all in one touch screen apple was any where from 1500 to 1700, while a comparable windows unit(with MORE RAM and HIGHER clock speed) was anywhere from 300 to 500 dollars LESS.

    so is there an apple tax? you betcha. no ifs, ands, or buts about it. F apple and their profit margins.
  5. So the Mac was beaten on specs. hmmm
    That's the cool thing about Apple. The hardware is not THE selling point. The allroud expereience is the selling point.

    I have an iPhone 3Gs 800Mhz downclocked to 600 Mhz. It would be easy to show with the fast CPU but they didn't because other advantages overruled (battery life, stability,...) and allroud experience was and is still far better than the concurrence!
    And my 3gs still turns after 2 years the latest iOS!

    My 2009 MBP still rocks fast on OSX Lion. Same thing, no fans, large multitouch touchpad,...

    What's the point of a V6 without proper control...
  6. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,773   +598

    Its sad that even with the older generation hardware the Apple still comes out to be considerably more expensive, and in this case you are comparing Apples to oranges (Sandy vs Ivy) adding 4GB of RAM cost $100, 2TB HDD another $150. This alone should be enough for people to be deterred from buying, but as Mike already stated, people buy it because its a fashion statement. I just don't like seeing people being taken advantage of, especially those who do not know any better, and that's the Apple way.

    As per the guest with the bad English (Sorry if its not your mother tongue)
    When hardware is no longer the selling point technology will stop advancing, seeing how this is not the case I'm not sure what your trying to say. You say your 3gs turns (on?) after 2 years, not that big of an accomplishment. The lack of control stems from the user, not the device. People who argue that performance isn't everything don't deserve the technology they have, or just don't understand why it was developed in the first place. And apparently the cool thing about Apple is the lack of current hardware, go Apple!
  7. I just replaced 30 3-year old iMacs(Purchased at $1,400 each). With 32 Lenovo All-in-Ones for $800 each(Upgraded to 4Gb of RAM included). Eat dirt, yah bitten apple fans.

    Side note - The 3-year old iMacs cost $900 for a logic board replacement. That repair is more than a brand new All-in-One.

    Bottom Line - Important people use Windows. (y) This country wasn't built by men in suits.
  8. spydercanopus

    spydercanopus TS Evangelist Posts: 846   +102

    The Apple tax will get worse and worse due to them never updating their cpu. It will be a sandy old pos still priced high above the new ones for years.

    And that Vizio machine is sexy. Give it a touchscreen instead of a track pad tho.
  9. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    Unfortunately most Apple users won't admit that they pay for something because its a status symbol. It does make you seem shallow to pay an extra $500 to have a certain logo on it, so they start talking about other things, trying to justify that their computer is made of better components (which its not), or put together better (which its not), or is a better value (which its not).

    Very few of them point to a better user experience, which, while subjective, is pretty much the only leg they can stand on, because ultimately that's all an Apple tax is - you're paying someone to optimize your user experience, which is the one thing that Apple has been able to provide (although even that is starting to slip from what I see).
  10. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    your argument doesn't hold up at all. "if hardware is no longer the selling point technology will stop advancing". how did you think we get here. back in the days the 286, 386, didn't exactly look anywhere appealing. if anything they were just bunch of generic circuit boards slapped together inside a thin white plastic rectangle box. and yet the advancement was exponential. tech advancement and hardware appeal are two separate things.

    how do you think BMW or Mercedes are the most popular status symbol cars out there? the fact that you can find comparable American made cars for 2/3 of the price of a luxury brand debunks your argument.

    the fact of matter is... technology and product appeal are two separate things. you can't paint them with one single brush. lets face it.. if look doesn't sell.... Kim Kardashian wouldn't be around. neither would the boy bands...
  11. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    I believe Adhmuz's reference was in relation to one company (Apple) rather than the technology business as a whole. If this is the case, than history is littered with examples of marques that variously went through the stages of being ubiquitous and popular, to mundane, to extinction...To use your flawed automotive analogy;
    Take the Checker Motors Corporation. The Marathon was/is synonymous with the U.S. taxi industry. A total company intransigence to move from a design ethos doomed the company. From selling 6-8000 vehicles annually, they dropped to less than 400 in 1970, but still retained the same exact design until the companys demise in 1982 (never selling more than a 1000 cars per registration/model year).
    Not really. If you're talking status symbols, where is the American vehicle comparable with the SLR, BMW M5, Mercedes S 63 and 65. I'm not talking about a data sheet- I'm talking about perceived value, attention to detail, and all round performance
    True...unless the two are inextricably linked. If they weren't Apple would be touting it's all new iMac as a Pentium D powerhouse, and AMD / Nvidia would limit graphics updates to a 3+ year cycle based on the pervading graphics enviroment.
    You might also be aware that Apple is not adverse to technology if it suits them. Note the use of Thunderbolt (and the Thunderbolt only Apple Cinema displays). The fact that Apple still push an older technology (Sandy in this case) is more indicative of the thought processes of management. They are only going to market what they think they can get their customer base to buy
  12. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    checker motor... are you serious... that's weak.

    how about Dodge Viper, Shelby GT 500, Camaro ZL1, Cadillac CTS-V, 300 SRT8... the list goes on and on. even most motor critics agree that Cadillac CTS-V has got BMW by its tails.

    people will buy a BMW because it's a BMW... sure their top of line cars are nice, but majority of them are purchased, lets face it, it's because of the name tag. using last year's Top Gear analogy best, people will buy anything with a BMW logo on it. even if that means a logo sits on top of a pile of turd. not to mention they come by the yards... 3yards, 5 yards, or 7 yards. take your pick.
  13. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    Massive oversteer into OT ?

    You introduce a tortured automotive analogy to refute an argument that wasn't made

    Since talking about Apple is about as interesting as watching a herd graze (!), I'll continue with the motorsport ;)
    It's actually a classic example of a company mired in the past. I assumed that anyone quoting a motoring analogy might be familiar with motoring history -erring on the conservative side, I referenced a relatively recent example. Maybe you can Google Marmon, Essex, Packard and Graham-Paige
    For the analogy to work you need to compare apples-to-apples. 2 door sports cars aren't the same class as 4 door sedans. Of the five examples you've (god knows) listed, only one -the CTV-S is directly relevant (so much for "the list goes on and on")- the 300C SRT8 is a very very average car whose only saving grace is the Hemi plant under the hood.
    So, where's this extensive list of U.S. 4 door sedans that are competitive (performance, engineering and interior quality, quality control, ergonomics, design and use of materials) with the CL 63, Audi A6 and BMW M5-for example-at 2/3 the cost ?
    Not sure why you're bringing Merc and BMW into the argument -if anything, BMW and Merc are volume car sales...can you say the same about the Viper, GT 500 and ZL1?
    So, you present opinion as fact, then compare your low hanging fruit "fact" to cherry picked examples from a different class entirely.
    Maybe you should also have noted:
    Which brings us to...
    So that would be why BMW picked up 4 or 8 International Engine of the Year awards this week?...Nice that Ford picked up the big one with their 0.999 litre tho'.
    Whereas with your examples:
    Dodge have sold more Omni's than they ever will Vipers
    Cadillac have sold way more Escalade's than any CTS variant
    Chrysler sell many many more Caliber's than they ever sell SRT8's ( The 300 SRT8 is an overpriced ill-handling dog in any case- this coming from a MOPAR fanatic)
    ...so much for the "pile of turd" hypothesis.
    Shelby - boutique design house pimping out Mustangs. A direct comparison would be Brabus, AMG, AC Schnitzer etc.
    * WTF ?
  14. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    what a classic cup of bull crap. this is a classic case of . oh!.. it's two door not Four door.. Oh!.. it's four door not two door. CL 63 S 63 AMG are all crap. they're 5000lb elephants with a massage chair inside. automotive like all product, is subjective, which brings to the OP"s argument that I will conclude later on. to each individual. if you like the 5000 lb pet elephant sure spend the extra 50 grand on a S63 as oppose to an 2012 SRT 8. and for the record... two door to two door... a Mustang Boss 302 will out perform, outrun, out corner a M3 or C63 anyday for 2/3 of the price. volume sales? are you kidding me? you put an elephant in the room and failed to point it out. you trying to tell me SLR is a volume sale? it probably sells less than half of that of Viper. you're putting words in other's mouth by saying BMW and Merc are volume and comparing that to Viper and ZL1. Viper is the top of the line car in Chrysler's portfolio. the same can be said that Chrysler and Dodge are volume sales... and yet I don't compare that to the SLR sales volume.

    fact to fact:

    M3 VS Mustang 5.0 = 5.0 beats it by more than 30 grand in price. not to mention the same straight line performance ( http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests...ang_gt_vs_2011_bmw_m3_comparison/viewall.html ) both achieved real world testing of 12.8 in quarter (+/- error). the 5.0's lateral G is still better than the M3.

    M3 VS Mustand boss 302 = not even a comparison. Boss is cheaper and faster by a mile.

    M5 VS CTS-V = equal performance in both straight line and lateral http://www.roadandtrack.com/tests/c...-3a_2013_bmw_m5_vs_2012_cadillac_cts-v_page_4
    CTS-V came out $20 grand less.

    and don't even bring Audi into the picture because that's just pathetic.

    the fact is.. and you can deny this all you want... people will buy whatever makes them feel good. if that means spending $20grand more than what you can get for less, they will spend $20 grand more.

    if I have money to blow I would get a Aston Martin DBs and not a Corvette ZR1, nor NIssan GT-R even tho you get better performance and cheaper price out of the latter two. Because Aston Martin makes you feel like a James Bond as oppose to a red neck, or a video game junkie. same reason why people buy apple. you don't buy apple because it has the latest hardware inside, because it doesn't.

    for the record I have both PC and Mac, and have owned all three American, German, and Asian performance cars. so I am not fooling anyone by siding with one.
  15. Hmm, I only paid $800 for my HP TouchSmart All-In-One... and it has a 25 inch multitouch screen... It was refurbished, but I don't think the retail price was that much more.

    In any case, I only bought it for the multitouch screen, which you can't get from Apple. And now with Windows 8, that investment makes even more sense.
  16. When you compare the iMac i7 to the Dell XPS 27 i7 and add:

    2TB Drive to Both
    2GB Video to Both
    16GB to both
    3 Year Warranty to Both

    You get a difference of $440.00 favoring Dell: $2918 (iMac) vs $2478 (XPS 27).

    As a business you can get an additional 10-15% off of that system which would then make a the difference a tremendous value towards Dell for AIO systems
  17. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    Mmmm. O-o-o-kay.

    How about:
    "Get a Lincoln; it makes you feel like Batman"
    "Get an Oldsmobile; it makes you feel like Jethro"
    Just in case you get tired of "feeling like a James Bond"
    People buy Apple to feel like James Bond ???
    Matchbox or Hotwheels?

    Just to be clear on this, you do realize that virtually your whole posting is based on you not being able to comprehend a simple compound sentence
  18. Why do they still keep comparing spec lists? It doesn't take into account that the panel on the iMac might be superior to what is on the others when it comes to calibration etc. Professional users will also appreciate Firewire (heavily used in audio production) and that they could connect another 2560x1440 display to the iMac whereas the others only support up to 1920x1200 because no display supports higher resolution over HDMI, even if the port on the computer does. Likewise I'd give Apple the edge when it comes to the keyboard and the Magic Trackpad. And there's always OSX, too...

    That said, it's nice to see some competition but if the price is roughly the same, I'd easily still pick the iMac. In fact I'm using one at work right now and it's a great machine.
  19. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +423

    Some of us are getting a bit off topic. Enough please.
  20. foreverzero89 said: (...) the 27 inch all in one touch screen apple (...)

    What?! Did I miss something?
  21. What versions of Windows came with the non-Apple All-in-Ones? How much did that add to the cost?

    Can they be ordered without Windows so I can run Linux instead?
  22. Ok, so now we've covered the hipster alternative notebooks and the grandma space saver PCs. Now do a mid and high en gaming desktop or server computer and thats when the price disparity should show up. Mind you, it is possible to make a much more expensive PC because there are simply more options but you can build an equivalent computer for a good chunk of change less.
  23. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    Pretty much. Apple don't make high end gaming, so the next comparison would be the Mac Pro...which seems very underwhelming. Xeon W3565 (Bloomfield), 6GB of RAM, 1TB storage and a HD 5770 would set you back $2499
    The nearest I could configure a Dell workstation for was $2099 - using the same CPU, 6GB RAM, 1TB, but adding a FirePro V5900 (same basic GPU as the HD 6950 with some shaders shaved off). Start adding some extras to the configuration and the price discrepancy gets larger from there.
    If you're doing a not-strictly-apples-to-apples comparison, Dell's XPS 8500 - Core i7 3770 (50-70% more productivity than the W3565) + 12GB RAM + HD 7770 + 2TB storage would run you $1300 . You could add the max warranty and MS Office Pro 2010 and still not break $2K
  24. MC_MILO

    MC_MILO TS Rookie

    Give me a quote for an iMac without iOS, how much is iOS worth? Several people have pretty well proven that Apple hardware is overpriced for the technology offered...so the extra cost is for the OS.
  25. "ThatGuy"

    "ThatGuy" TS Rookie

    only problem is that the Windows machines also come with an OS so the extra cost can't be for the OS.


    "And my 3gs still turns after 2 years the latest iOS!"
    Hah good one, it might claim to run the new iOS but it won't have 99% of the features of the new OS and if you are unlucky the new OS will screw you over. On another note I dont get why people are raging over the windows phone 7.8update instead of getting windows phone 8 on older phones. Its just like iOS you only get some of the new features. They shouldve just called it windows phone 8 just like iOS.

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