Apple Prices Have Gone up a Lot

Hey guys,

Was looking at a Macbook Air for my wife and notice that the same 13 inch Macbook Air bought for $1199 in January last year is now going for $1549.

That's nearly a 30% increase in 18 months. Even with currency fluctuations taken into account that just seems a bit much don't you agree?

Poll Options

  • 206
    Yes. They are going the screw you any chance they get.
  • 3
    No. It's Apple. They can do what they want.
  • 133
    Buy it or don't. Stop wasting our time.

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  • +16

    There are also a lot of other expensive brands out there. Ever seen the price tag of a unconfigured base model Dell Latitude 7000 series laptop? It's just as expensive, if not more expensive.. It makes a Macbook Air look cheap by comparison…but to it's merit, Latitudes are built better as they're business-grade devices as well as being highly customisable / repairable. So it's probably not an apples to apples comparison.

    The Surface Pro has also seen a major price increase going from gen 3-4.

    Here's the respective prices at release:

    SP3 128GB Core i5 = $1200 AUD
    SP4 128GB Core i5 = $1500 AUD

    Have the prices gone up a lot for Apple? Yes. Have the prices of technology gone up a lot in general? Also yes. It's not just Apple you're seeing, it's pretty much everyone.

    • +6

      The Dell Latitude line of tops are more for corporate buyers who buy in bulk, so they get a good price. When Dell have an oversupply or they just want to get rid a particular configuration they usually put the latitudes on sale for 40% off.

      You're correct. The Latitudes are built better, have a milspec rating and usually use premium materials such as carbon-fibre, which costs a lot more than Apple's aluminium, which can be bought for a very cheap price.

      • +6

        While the price of aluminium is cheap transforming a block of aluminium to a laptop chassis is not. MacBooks are milled, which is why they're "unibody", whereas most other brands consist of multiple pieces, etc. I think when they switched to unibody they bought immense numbers of CNC hardware, which is most often used for small production or prototyping.

        Not really saying that end users need a unibody design, but they look and feel nice. Whether it's worth paying for is up to the end user. I can tell you that resale value on Apple products trumps most other brands, so that's a benefit.

        • +8

          CNC machine work is easy and not expensive. The machine may cost anywhere between $100,000 - a few million, but it's a small expense in the grand scale of things. Apple don't manufacture their bodies anyway. It's probably done in China. Just program the coordinates in something like Cimco and you're on your way. Rinse and repeat. Just replace the drill bits.
          Machining something like a laptop is also extremely simple compared to things things used in the car industry or in medical devices.

          Source: I work with CNC machines when I need to. Mainly the ones from DMG Mori Seiki Co.

      • +2

        The Latitudes are built better, have a milspec rating and usually use premium materials such as carbon-fibre

        This is incorrect, carbon fibre is only used on the touch models of that particular model of Latitude.

        • -1

          oh ok. That's the one I have.

  • +24

    Well, that might not be as obvious at it looks at the first sight.

    In January 2015 AUD was 0.78 when you purchased Macbook Air that was originally released in May 2014 when AUD was ~0.93. For some reason Apple did not change the local price in 2014-2015 and kept it at 1199 AUD for all time until the newer model was released in April 2015 with the new price of 1399 AUD. That's when AUD was ~0.79. After that they have actually changed the local price to 1549 AUD after another currency rate fluctuation (I guess when AUD dropped to 0.7).

    So, in other words, yes, that's more about currency fluctuations rather than trying to rip you off (although that certainly is included). You actually got yourself a bargain in January 2015 by purchasing it for 1199 when AUD was already lower than Apple calculated for that price.


    • -12

      For some reason Apple did not change the local price in 2014-2015 and kept it at 1199 AUD for all time … So, in other words, yes, that's more about currency fluctuations

      I don't understand why you point out that the price is not changing with currency exchange rate changes and then explain that yes, it's due to currency exchange rates.

      Also if you don't believe Apple will charge what the market will bear aka "trying to rip you off" then I'm not sure you what the phrase means ;)

      • +6

        The current price is high because of the exchange rate.

        The price OP paid for his Macbook was lower than it should have been because Apple did not re-price it on time when the rate changed. That's where the feeling about the too extreme price increase comes from.

        • -10

          The current price is high because of the exchange rate.

          Is it though and where is the evidence for this?

          I mean you are talking about a company that has very large margins, that i think we can agree on, so instead of changing the price they could have elected to take less profit instead.

          If, that is, it is even a factor: nothing in any Apple hardware product is made in Australia so I'm not even clear as to why you think the Australian to US currency exchange rate is a significant factor here.

        • +1

          @Diji1: Companies don't change their price according to exchange rate 24/7 because there is a cost associated with changing price (called menu cost, literally coined from costs associated with restaurants printing out new menu). Apple (and other companies) probably inflates the price beyond the exchange rate changes (at the time they release price), because of risks associated with exchange rate.

          If they underestimate the possible negative changes, they would forgo profit loss for certain period of time. Why would they forgo profit loss for certain amount of time instead of letting their price fluctuate with the exchange rate? Because it costs them to change price.

          Also if Australian dollar is 20% worse than before, it means same amount of Australian dollar equates to 80% of the original value in USD. As far as I know, Apple sets price in USD and so worsened USD-AUD exchange rate would mean they'd have to increase the price to compensate (to get same amount of USD). What you've said, how Apple do not produce anything in Australia, is probably one of the reasons why the price fluctuates more (If USD becomes more expensive in AUD terms, if you produce in Australia, that'd mean your cost price in USD would decrease as well).

          Of course, I am no way saying that companies are not a profit seeking agent. I believe that every single companies out there are bastards who act accordingly to their agenda which more than often is profit (and I personally think there is nothing too much wrong with that). That said, the price change does have some foundations other than they want more profit.

        • +2

          @Diji1: I'm not sure you understand how international trade works. Apple makes a product they want to sell for US$1000. They then price the product in local markets in order to meet that price point. The origin of the product does not matter. Local prices then get changed periodically in response to fluctuations in the exchange rate.

          so instead of changing the price they could have elected to take less profit instead.

          WTF are you smoking. Why should apple elect to take less profit because of changes in currency exchange rates which are out of their control.

    • Pretty much this. You can't expect companies to absorb costs of currency exchange. This can be seen accross the board in other industries.

      • It has nothing to do with expectations or rights or whether a non-human entity should behave one way or another according to a moral code.

        They will charge what they believe the market will bear.

        • +2

          Apple's retail prices change alongside their app prices. I develop apps and get an email whenever a change is made in a specific region due to a currency change, so yes, they base their app prices off currency changes. The thing is that they also change their hardware prices with their app prices, so you can easily link hardware and software price fluctuations to currency value fluctuations.

      • When the AUDUSD exchange rate was at 1.08 were we getting an 8% discount versus our US counterparts?


  • Has the 21.5 inch imac gone up by 30% as well?

    • +1

      Over the last year or so the prices have been going up.

      What drives the changes are exchange rates and the spec (This is because are many models of each Macbook or Macbook Pro, not just the ones you see and configure now vs the same looking one you saw and configured last year). For my Macbook Pro, there has been numerous upgrades over several years that would (in any other brand) bring a new model number, look and marketing strategy. If I replaced this top-of-the-line model today with a mid-range one, it would be almost twice as fast and use half the power. It'd be lighter, the battery would last almost 3x longer and it would have more memory, better software and some additional features too.

      They keep improving them, but because they look the same, we think the price is silly. But few buy a Mac on price, it's more about data security, how much you love/live with/or are prepared to put up with Windows for one reason or another, vs. how how much you can spend.

      I value well-implemented, supported hardware with minimal bugs as well as decent support and have never looked back using Apple's hardware. The software is at least well-written and supported for lot longer than most. Together with industry-leading hardware quality the value proposition is often good- it just depends what you require. If you think saving a few hundred on a laptop is worth the hassle of having to rely on third-party software, you won't be happy buying an Apple. For people that like to fiddle/fix tools rather than put them to good use, the world Windows will bring endless fun. So long as Apple manages to keep the 'just works' aspect of their gear, people will still buy/re-buy them. If you ask me, this will suffer one day soon, the signs are already there.

        • +6

          Do you seriously not understand this? It's Economics 101.

          Apple is an American company

          If they sell an item for $1000 AUD at a AUD:USD exchange rate of $1:$1, they receive $1000 USD.

          If the rate drops to $1:$0.70, they now receive $700 USD (i.e. a difference of $300)

  • +2

    I don't look very often but when I was in JB the other day I found the prices on all the Apple stuff jaw-dropping. Any desire I had to upgrade any of my devices pretty much evaporated within the space of two minutes.

    • +1

      They tend to last me 3 times longer than any brand running Windows I have ever had though without deteriorating in speed much as they get older, in my experience

      • +1

        My everyday laptop is a 2008 Macbook Unibody. Runs flawlessly, but I did upgrade to SSD and more ram, which made it like a new computer again. I'm holding out for a new one, but the new stuff is all soldered in, so future upgrades are going to be non existent and thus I assume shorten the lifespan.

  • +15

    I'm not an Apple fan boy, or a hater. I fall somewhere in the middle. I think they mostly make great products which tend to last a long time and hold their value. I own 2 iPhones, an iPad Mini and have owned many iPods over the years. Almost all have been great and most are still usable today.

    But I also have noticed prices seeming to creep up, while manufacturing techniques and parts which would suggest the opposite should be the case. The move towards a more streamlined and "all in one" approach such as removal of disc drives, directly soldering parts the board (RAM etc), not allowing parts to be upgraded and offering a small number of specific configurations, would suggest the process would be more cost effective. Which it probably is. But it seems that cost saving is not being passed on the the consumer (not that it has to be, any company is in the business of making money) but these cost cutting methods seem to be touted as features or benifits to the consumer. And we seem to be buying into it.

    I was in the market for a small entry level Mac (Mac Mini) a few years ago but waited for an update. The update came, the specs effectly went down (no longer a quad-core i7 was available, only dual-core i5), no longer could the user upgrade the RAM and the price went up strangely. I read most industry views say that this was a move to push consumers into the iMac's. I then noticed typically the only iMac that is configurable to even upgrade the CPU from i5 to i7 is the most expensive one to begin with, and it all just pushed me away. I ended up buying a new PC for half the cost. Sure I'd still love to get a Mac, but they keep doing strange things. The developed a special low profile keyboard that "mimics" a normal one for the new Macbook. Great. But then they replace all the desktop keyboards to this new design. Why? Why do I need or want a laptop keyboard on my desktop? They almost had me and essentially got greedy and pushed me away. 5 Years later I'm still a PC user. Maybe the day will come when the feature set matches the asking price but that's still not now.

    • +2

      Apple have always been the type of company to flaunt their products as 'here it is, if you like it, buy it', and never really known for customization after purchase.

      That's why they aim their products towards a particular market, people that just want a quality device that looks nice and is reliable.

      I don't think it's fair for you to say that the specs you expected in their new MacBooks are not right or worth the money, most people that buy Apple products just want a device that works and not have to worry about upgrading the RAM later on down the track, besides, 8GB inbuilt RAM is pretty standard these days, especially for slim laptops where space-saving and minimilistic style is the key feature.

      • Couldn't have said it any better.

  • Apple's strategy is to give you a closed ecosystem, supporting hardware made specifically for Apple from companies such as Foxcon, Samsung and TSMC, a premium metal tax on an Aluminium alloy which costs peanuts to manufacture and reasonably good quality controlled hardware.

    They convince their customers that the money they are paying for their technology is worth it and make it look aesthetically pleasing. They also have a lot of the females of the world in their back pocket, so the demand is there.

    • +9

      I agree. They are less an IT company and more a marketing company imo. Apple fanbois will argue until they are blue in the face that their products are superior but ask them the specs and they don't have a clue. The Ads told me it was better, it was more expensive and my 5 year old can operate it, so it must be superior…

      • What the non-fanboi fails to grasp is that Apple is successful by providing a certain subset of customers an experience that makes them feel special - they actually feel more like individuals.

        The experience is exclusive and you cannot get it anywhere else.

        • +4

          The experience is exclusive and you cannot get it anywhere else.

          I dunno man. The hackintosh community is getting pretty large.

        • +8

          "Apple is successful by providing a certain subset of customers an experience that makes them feel special"

          For the coin apple charge for the "stroking" I could pay a hot chick to do it and have a drink at the same time.

        • @Davros: Excellent, I can think of various things i could do as well for the same amount of money.

      • +8

        Most of the people I know that use Macs are actually IT workers that are frequently working with *nix machines. Personally I moved to Mac for my laptops after being a long time Linux user, when I realised OSX / Mac had everything I wanted with a better UI and none of the hardware / driver issues. I still build my own desktops, and run a rack with old servers for my lab.. But I've yet to find a laptop I'd rather use than my MBP.

        • +1

          seen the dell xps 13 developer edition? amazing laptop, I prefer carbon fibre over cold aluminium and no windows. Doesn't get much better than that imo.

        • +2


          I haven't tried the 13, but I actually own an XPS 12 as my other laptop. They're great machines, but I'd still take the MBP every time. It's the combination of the hardware and OSX that I want. I completely understand other peoples points of view, this is just what works for me.

    • +3

      Yes it cost far too much, but Apple do have the best OS at present if you don't play games or need specific software.

      • -5


        • @GameChanger:

          According to you. Your blanket statements mean nothing.

      • Lol. Laughable.

      • +2

        couldn't have been far from the truth :P

      • +1

        If you don't play games then you could get a linux distro, and get basically all the functionality of OS X for free.

        • +3

          steam on linux is great

      • I suppose it's horses for courses.

        I bought the wife a MBP not too long ago - she has Applitis. I had a few plays around with it and utterly hated it. To me, Windows is far more intuitive (obviously it's because it's all I use at home and work), whereas I found OS quite clunky, awkward and absolutely awful. Felt like driving in handcuffs.

    • +4

      What you do end up with though is a really, really well optimized OS because it was literally built for the hardware it's running on. You also get great after-sales support because it's a one-stop shop.

      • +1

        You seem to be implying that other operating systems are not literally built for the hardware they run on as though drivers are not a thing that are heavily optimised by a lot of different hardware vendors.

        Apple is not one of those vendors, they use the same drivers that everyone else is using that someone else wrote when they put the hardware they also did not make into the cases they sell.

      • +1

        Takes 14sec to turn my pc on and start using it. Everything loads super snappy and I have no issues whatsoever.

        Ms office works a breeze, lightroom, capture one, media player classic, all load super quick. I've added extra storage options, another monitor, mechanical keyboard, and a ridiculously powerful graphicss card. If I add a 4k monitor, I'm still ahead on cost vs the highest spec imac.

        My wife has a macbook pro, and a mac air 2011. The cost to replace the battery on each of these is astronomical.

        The macbook pro also lags like crazy because surprise surprise the hard drive is slowly on its way out.

  • Yeah same boat as OP. Wanted a MacBook but prices seem exorbitant compared to an year ago. I thought prices usually go down with time. But Apple knows general public is willing to shell out more for their products.

  • +3

    If you're after a quality windows laptop, there are lots of good latitudes on the Dell Outlet.

    I purchased a refurbished core i7 6600U, 16 GB DDR4 RAM, 512 GB SSD, 1080p screen, latitude 14 7000 for $1100

    • Do Dell still make the E6xxx series with a full powered mobile CPU? Or am I stuck with ULV for my next purchase?

      • Look for a Dell 14 5000 series or Dell Precision workstation if you want quad core mobile CPUs.

  • +4

    Multinationals sometimes speculate a currency's value and peg it to their primary for a 12 month period for ease of accounting. If the company's primary is USD and they believe the AUD will be weaker by the end of the 12 month period they will inflate prices to compensate. It's a double edged sword but generally the company wins out.

    Not sure if Apple adopt this practice but it might help to explain price differences.

    Operational Hedging …

  • +12

    And here I was, thinking that Royal Gala, Pink Lady and Fuji were affordable at the moment. Oh well, wrong thread.

  • -2

    The price hike may well have something to do with Warren Buffet taking a $1 billion stake in Apple. And he is probably aware that he can ramp up their business model of price gouging loyal fanbois. Now he can be like a poker machine that's harvesting money from pensioners.

    • What are you saying inherentchoice? Are you implying a fool and his money are soon parted?

      • I guess I just mean that Apple knows it has a loyal customer base and they would realise that these loyal customers are willing to part with even more money.

        I'm not saying apple customers are fools, although according to this comic there are fanbois that may be willing to sell their soul for the latest Apple plastic:

        Sometimes loyalty is deserved. But in this world change is always certain, so it would be unwise to have a closed mind to other possiblities.

        • +2

          Apple have such a strong following because the products work flawlessly and have a long life span.

          I have a 2012 Macbook Air that is working perfectly, whereas my $2000 laptop of the same age absolutely sucks.

          I never understood Apple fans, but since converting I really enjoyed the products. Of course I still recommend windows for a desktop, but for laptops + phones Apple is still ahead by a large margin.

        • @kywst: You don't become a successful company by offering products that bring 0 value to the consumer.

          I'm not going to convince anyone on here, as most people love specs here. And yes the sample size is small being myself and the people I know who use Apple products.

        • +1

          @GameChanger: So you have no facts, your sample size is statistically insignificant if not invalid and the point you put forward is that a company wouldn't be successful by offering products that bring 0 value to the consumer. So to recap - 1. still no facts 2. your anecdotes come from a small group of people you know 3. What about big tobacco?

          I get you switched to Apple and you're enjoying it. That's great. Blanket claims with an air of authority that have no substance just perpetuate misnomers in the general population. You are dirtying the well mate.

        • @kywst: Looks like you're upset for some reason, I just can't work out why.

          What has tobacco got to do with this discussion.

          Yep you seem upset at Apple's success because you think people are 'sheep'. Sorry to break it to ya, but people are not dumb.

        • @kywst: Prove its BS; thought you only deal in facts? Whilst I haven't substantiated what I have said, you can't disprove it either.

        • +1

          @kywst: I have admitted the flaws in my opinions.

          Looks like you don't like losing an argument.

          Indeed Good day sir.

        • -1


          You sound 50 with no knowledge about computers.

        • +1

          @cDNA: and you sound like someone who doesn't understand business

        • -1

          @GameChanger: you are clearly negging the comments to misdirect from your show of emptiness. At least you have a co conspirator you can hug it out with. It's almost laughable mate. Seriously though, I need to quit when I said I've quit.

        • @kywst: I haven't negged, when I do I state I have. For a person who deals in "facts" you clearly haven't followed your own advice.

          I have neg now just because you wanted one.

        • @kywst: Some advice for you young kywst

          Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

  • +6

    Got fed up with Apple's lock-in, went Linux and have enjoyed my computer again, it really feels like mine.

    • Similar OS. Should feel right at home coming from OSX. You just get to customise your OS however you choose. Hell, you can make it look like OSX if you want. If only others were smart enough to give Linux a real go. Greater adoption results in greater contribution which results in a continually bettered OS.

      • +2

        If only others were smart enough to give Linux a real go.

        Went from Linux to OS X seven years ago. Could not be happier! Experience is a subjective thing…

        • I'm really glad you're happy with OSX. It sounds as though it may be more suited to your needs. Unlike Linux, however, greater adoption doesn't result in greater development. Development is controlled by Apple and is done on their schedule to their agenda. I'm surprised you rate your switch so highly though … after all, they are still incredibly similar operating systems.

        • +3


          Another switcher here.. I use *nix on all my servers, but I've never been particularly impressed by it on my laptops / desktops. I install a different version every now and then to play with again, but I've never seen anything that would make me switch from OSX.

          There's no right or wrong here.. No one is stupid or smart for choosing a different OS. Use what works for you and be happy someone is catering to your particular tastes.

        • @Praeto: OSX and Linux are different varieties of the same fruit. Your use of *nix on servers is expected as approximately 70% of servers run a *nix based OS. Not really relevant to desktop computing though as server images tend to exclude a graphical front end for obvious reasons.

          I never said anyone was smart or stupid for choosing any OS … I just wish that people were smart enough to give it a "real go". A "real go" is not "I couldn't figure out x so I gave up in 5mins". Before you decide to jump at that and say because the OS is convoluted … this could be something that would take an equivalent amount of input to achieve in other operating systems.

        • +1


          Why I love OSX is I don't have to give it a "real go".

          I just unboxed my macbook pro, and within 5 minutes had it fully functional, including all the little things like backups through time-capsule, Photoshop, home printer and office etc.

          I've used Linux (Ubuntu, Redhat, and Debian) before when I was a php dev, and while its awesome for web servers etc it doesn't make a great desktop OS. It just doesn't have the support that windows or apple has. I remember it was the small things like word documents not opening 100% correctly and my printer/scanner combo device not scanning despite trying 10 different driver and different apps.

          Its a bit like using a windows phone, the OS is great but it just doesn't have any support for Apps etc.

      • +1

        Yes but most people want a computer that works.

        They do not want to spend many hours reading and working like a systems administrator in order to carry out tasks that are done in 5 seconds in OSX or Windows.

        Also even if the computer is working you then have the lack of popular software such as games and either no or poor substitutes for popular applications. Looking at you Skype for Linux, what a lovely proggie you are. Not really.

        Also Linux still doesn't render video properly making it unsuitable for professional who work with video or quality nazis.

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