Apple 'real cost' comparison shows inflation beaten mercilessly
See just how much we owe China
A look at how much old Apple products would cost if they were released today doesn't quite show what it hopes to - that the iPad is very good value - but it does provide an interesting insight into the economics of technology.
Online deal site Vouchers.co.uk has run a table showing key Apple launches of the past 30-odd years, what the retail price of those products were then and what they would be now, thanks to the effects of inflation.
So, the 1983 'Macintosh prototype', the Apple Lisa, which launched at $9995 would now cost $21,745. The $6500 Macintosh Portable, from 1989, was priced at $6500 back then, but would carry a $11,356 price tag now.
Move on through time and the impact of inflation plays less of a part. The first iPod, for example, was launched in October 2001 for $399, which amounts to $498 now. You can see the full table here.
But that's the problem: an iPod doesn't cost the best part of $500. Moore's Law - roughly stated, every 18 months, computer components halve in price - and the rise of cheap Chinese manufacturing has driven prices down, despite upward inflationary pressures.
A day doesn't pass when Reg Hardware staffers don't give thanks to the People's Republic for the beneficence of cheap electronics it has bestowed upon us Westerners.
There's no way an Apple portable - or a laptop from any other manufacturer, for that matter - would cost almost $11,500 now, let alone the $6500 Apple was charging in 1989. Apple's priciest portable - the 17in MacBook Pro - costs $2499. Its cheapest is $999.
I know I'm being thick but
your observations on the comparisons seem off the point - aren't we being asked to see what those obsolete products cost in today's money, and then revel at the opportunity of buying the technological marvels of today which are x times more powerful at 1/y times the cost of the examples from the past. We've never had it so good.
I never tire of telling people the first hard drive I bought was £100 for 10Mb. A bargain at the time, which could store all the software in the known universe for the operating system it ran under. Goodness knows what it would be in today's money.
Makes the 2Tb drive I just bought for £70 seem quite a bargain, though in 10 years time that in turn will seem an extortionate price.
And yes, as you so correctly but rather pointlessly observe, no one would give you a pee for a 10Mb drive now. This is now, that was then.
Thinking about it, I paid £100 for a 1Mb ram board to put in my XT, too. Blimey what a rip off.
My Definition, in depth
Event at high end, assuming blu-ray, a 20" screen, core i7, 6GB RAM, 1TB drive, blu ray and a HD5770 gaming graphics card, you're only looking at about 900 quid for a Pc and monitor, and that from 10 minutes' work on ebuyer. As you bought a mac and a laptop at that, you obviously don't need the graphics to be too great, so knock another 100 off that, maybe 130 iif you can manage with onboard graphics. The graphics card means your PSU requirements go down so that's another 20 quid or so we can ditch, and you only got 4GB RAM with your mac, so at least another 50 there.
If you're going to buy Apple, it will cost you about a thousand pounds. If you buy anything else, it really shouldn't.
By a substantial margin if you're paying a thousand pounds -= that might be what Apple charge, but a self-build PC including a monitor can be at low as £300 including monitor, with maybe 600 for a decent ames machine. I wouldn't dream of paying a thousand for a PC for home use.
Massively overpriced then, massively overpriced now.
I need to put in a title.
Real cost: $270, according to these folks:
Think about it. iPad = Netbook - keyboard + touchscreen flattened out a bit. Swap the hard drive for a bit of flash, swap the cheap Atom for a cheaper, less powerful, less power-hungry ARM, swap the MS OS for an Apple one and voilà! iPad. People were "amazed" at $499 as the price. I'm amazed they're asking that much for it.
They also mention the 3G has an even greater profit margin, as the radio bits only cost $16.
Quite a bit of room to pay development expenses and make a bit of profit, I would think.
(Also room for the competition-crushing price drop we'll probably see when the other tablet makers launch their newest devices at current-competitive prices. (Although maybe not, Apple doesn't like to charge less than it has to.)