Mac updates bring price cuts and rises

Today's announcement of upgrades to Apple's Mac computer range not only brought updated specifications but also price cuts to customers in the US. Consumers in the UK, however, can expect to see prices rise in what can only been seen as a bold move in the current economic climate.

Apple announced that its 24-inch iMac is "priced more affordably than ever before" and will now retail at the same $1,499 price as the current 20-inch model whilst also featuring twice as much memory and storage as the previous generation machine. The 20-inch iMac will now be priced at $1,199 in the US, a price cut of $300. Meanwhile, over in the UK the 20-inch iMac that used to cost £782 now costs £949 according to Rory Cellan-Jones at the BBC News technology blog, meaning a price increase of £167. As well as this, a Mac Mini will now cost you £499 instead of £391 and a quad core Mac Pro will set you back £1899, increased from £1712.

The rationale behind these moves? The new models do have higher specifications than the previous generation, although prices have still been able to drop in the US. The main reason given by Apple appears to be the drop of the UK pound (GPB) against the US dollar (USD). They say that due to it falling 25% in the last six months, they are not able to pass on the price cuts that American customers are receiving. However, as noted by Cellan-Jones, "UK consumers will point out that Mac prices didn't fall when you could get $2 to the pound last summer."

The current economic downturn as already seen Mac sales slow as customers look away from the premium machines to cheaper computers such as netbooks. Whether these American price cuts can persuade more US consumers to buy Macs or whether the British price rises will detract UK buyers remains to be seen, but at a time when sales of computers around the world are expected to largely fall this can only be seen as a courageous act by Apple.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Windows 7 Build 7048 leaks

Next Story

Bright future ahead for Windows 7 and netbooks

40 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

i love apple, i really do, but jesus christ, i feel like an abused wife or something.

their pricing is the entire reason i built my own pc instead of buying a mac pro

Antiprophet said,
i love apple, i really do, but jesus christ, i feel like an abused wife or something.

their pricing is the entire reason i built my own pc instead of buying a mac pro


... are you glad you built your own? (read: Are you happy with your PC?)

We have seen price rises here in Australia but inactuality we are paying less than americans with our currency. Still sucks though.

The 24" iMac may be selling for $1499 USD but on the Canadian Apple site, it's selling for $1799 CDN ($1390 USD).

Apple's UK prices have always been extortionate. I'm surprised they've decided to hike them even more though :|

I was tempted to get a mac with FE discount but it was stretching my budget before and now it's totally out of the question. Shame on you, Apple.

I think it is pretty safe to say that Apple could produce a Mac mini with a 500gig disk and 4gigs of memory for around $499 (and still make a considerable profit). I think a 120gig disk and a single gig of memory is simply embarrassing.

Well it still does not compete with the PCs even with the price cut. I just went to Alienware and Apple site and built a Desktop and a Laptop with the same specs. The Desktop was $550 less with Alienware and the Laptop was about $475 less with Alienware. Even with an overpriced company like Alienware, it still cost less.

surely this is simple:

Apple are a US company. they shouldn't take the hit because of the fact that the pound is weak because the UK economy is heavily invested and weighted toward the financial sector which is in dire straights right now.

Aren't their prices based on exchange rates? If you convert the price of a mac mini into dollars it works out at $794 (as opposed to $799).

So yes, from a PR point of view and from a 'we change the spec but the prices remain the same' point of view, it seems awful; but the reality is obvious.

Unless I'm wrong & I'm happy to be corrected.

This is coming from a UK customer who is of course disgruntled at the price increase, again for obvious reasons.

:)

They will either have to slash prices about 20% or they simply will not sell. The market is basically going to fail in 2009. Sales are going to tank to almost nothing. Apple is in real trouble and frankly, even Microsoft is going to do well if Windows 7 sells (again, due to the various world markets and not quality).

The best way to buy a Mac has never been new from Apple. I think to be slightly more cost effective, either get a refurb from Apple or a new one off of eBay. The prices are still "up there" compared to what other manufacturers are offering, but you don't feel like you're borrowing against your kid's college education anymore (just their car fund now! )

The base ram for the minis is silly. They should come with 4GB standard as cheap as ram is these days.

VRam said,
The base ram for the minis is silly. They should come with 4GB standard as cheap as ram is these days.

Not apple RAM. You will pay $250 for a 1gb memory stick from Apple. Since apple is putting their own EXPENSIVE hardware in their systems, you are paying for it when you buy a Mac

techbeck said,
Not apple RAM. You will pay $250 for a 1gb memory stick from Apple. Since apple is putting their own EXPENSIVE hardware in their systems, you are paying for it when you buy a Mac


Apple does not make ram, my last mini came with Hynix and it's available at many places far far cheaper than Apple charges. But it is a bit tedious to put in if you have never done it before.

Apple-a-Day said,
Apple does not make ram, my last mini came with Hynix and it's available at many places far far cheaper than Apple charges. But it is a bit tedious to put in if you have never done it before.

You know what I mean. The RAM you buy from the Apple store. The mini may use normal RAM, but the Mac Pro towers you are charged $250 for a 1gb stick from the apple store. I know cuz I ordered several for our Mac Pros. The only reason I did was to keep all the memory consistent and the same.

And yes I know you can order cheaper RAM for the PROs elsewhere...but at the time I did not know that. And like me, lots others do not know this and so they are being screwed over by Apple since they think they need to buy their stuff from them.

techbeck said,
You know what I mean. The RAM you buy from the Apple store. The mini may use normal RAM, but the Mac Pro towers you are charged $250 for a 1gb stick from the apple store. I know cuz I ordered several for our Mac Pros. The only reason I did was to keep all the memory consistent and the same.

And yes I know you can order cheaper RAM for the PROs elsewhere...but at the time I did not know that. And like me, lots others do not know this and so they are being screwed over by Apple since they think they need to buy their stuff from them.


Yeah, but you know the Mac Pro uses ECC RAM (FB-DIMM) but it does not justify the price.

Was ready to eBay my current iMac and bump myself up to something more current so I could get a better GPU. But the iMac I want will (with education discount) cost me £1,300+. Assuming I get £600-£700 for my iMac I'd still need to find another £650+ - on the old pricing scheme, assuming upgrades were done like for like, I was only expecting to have to find another £200. No iMac is worth that kind of money. No way.

I'm gutted - thanks a lot Apple. I'm literally going to go price up some home build PC parts now to see what I could get vs what my iMac is worth. So disappointed I can barely believe it. I'm used to defending Apple on here but quite frankly there is no defending them on these prices - they're shocking.

So I wonder if the Apple computer prices are more comparable with Windows PC's now.

I still think that this "price cut" in the US won't help their sales that much. As the article said, people are looking for cheaper computers. Apple might have increased the value of their computers some, but people might not want to fork out that much. They might opt for the netbooks like the article said.

Steeley said,
Windows 7 around the corner + this move by Apple = potential switchers staying put.

You are right. I wanted to get a mac mini when a new one comes out. But now, I will wait for Windows 7 and get me a new pc then.

I was ready to buy myself a Time Capsule until they raised the price by £30.

Not a smart move in the current economic climate, Apple.

Yea, nice plan Apple. Lower prices and then hike them up on some other product. Think people wouldnt notice this?

The current economic downturn as already seen Mac sales slow as customers look away from the premium machines to cheaper computers such as netbooks.

That quote alone should of told Apple to lower prices. The money is going away from Apple and people are choosing cheaper alternatives. If Apple wants to make good sales during these economic times, then they need to to adjust their prices. If they keep up what they are doing, I see Apple being bumped from ehe #3 spot for computer sales in the US.

And courageous act by Apple my ass. Sounds like the sales department got a hold of the company crack pipe.

same thing for Canada prices went up (yet we didn't get any discounts when our dollar was on par with the USD)

Actually we did. Almost all of the prices were within $100 (or at parity on software). I'm assuming that was for extra shipping, but this is bull****.

Have you seen the exchange rate lately by any chance?

$2499.00 USD to CAD (xe.com) is $3,198.00 as opposed to the $2,899 Apple is charging Canadian shoppers for the Mac Pro.

We can't really complain can we?

I noticed the ipod prices started going up as well in the UK. When the pound hit bottom a couple of months ago, the GBP/EUR change was such that an 32gb ipod touch in the UK would be around 80 euro cheaper than in the rest of europe. Then the GBP price-tag went up to make up for it, at least partly.

Newer specs shouldn't automatically mean higher prices. How long has the Mac Mini been without a price increase? In all that time they would have been getting cheaper and cheaper to make. In Australia the exchange rate nearly hit par with the US currency and we never saw prices drop, and all the time Apple was skimming the profits off the top.

I'm sorry, but this has just made me very annoyed. I was going to switch, but I just can't justify the now increased Australian price to the Mac Mini to $A1049.

Yeah you're not the only one annoyed with the Australian pricing. I was planning to upgrade to a new iMac this year but the price increases hardly make it seem worth it.

A rather bad move by Apple in this economic climate.