Why Apple Products Are Expensive

Value Vs Price Posted by erwinkarim on 10:49 PM, January 3, 2021 Last updated on 10:59 PM, January 3, 2021 Filed in: apple, ecosystem,

It is a fine assumption that Apple is selling the same products and services as everyone else so most people would not understand the “Apple Tax” that was impose on their product. This is has a silver lining of the truth, but the whole truth is much more than that. Just like why people buy expensive tools when there are cheaper alternatives, there’s reason why people buy Apple’s “expensive” products.

Material and Build quality

iphone 12 pro
iPhone 12 Pro. All steel, all glass, high quality component and build quality. Some might think it is expensive, but competitors has the same pricing strategy as Apple.

Most of Apple competitors use cheap plastics and low grade metal for the chassis on their laptops and desktop. Contrast that with Apple extensive use of Aluminum on their laptops and desktop. Because of this, the laptops for example does not flex and have this high end field.

For the iPhone, glass and metal is use for material to give this high end feel. Their competitors also use glass and metal and guess what? Their competitors priced at the same level as Apple. Take Samsung S20, just like the iPhone 12 Pro, both are priced at $999.

Perceived High Price

iMac pro
The iMac Pro might seen as expensive at $6,000. But when factor in the 5k display, the 10-core workstation-class Xeon processor, the 32 GB ECC RAM, the 1TB PCI-e SSD storage, the all-aluminum chassis, it’s similiary priced as the HP Z1 G2 workstation.

While at a glance, Apple products does look very expensive and premium, but when considering the build of material and built quality, Apple products are mostly price competitive.

Take example for the Apple default laptop, the MacBook Air, which priced at $999. Trying to find a 13″ retina display laptop (4K screen) with around 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, you will find they are similarly priced.

Another consideration is the Apple workstation which is the Mac Pro which starts around $5,000. Yes, it is out of reach of many consumers, but in the world of workstation vendors, Apple pricing is competitive.

There are a few items that is far more expensive than the competition like the Appe TV, the Retina Display XDR, RAM upgrades and the Airpods Max, but as I said before, most of the products in Apple line up are competitive instead of expensive.

Apple Ecosystem, the Value proposition

apple devices on a table
Apple ecosystem enables all these devices to talk with each other. Having global clipboard, using your phone to unlock your watch which then unlocks your mac.

Apple product is just an appendage to the Apple Ecosystem, series of services and features that make Apple products works great with other Apple products. In this case, the whole is indeed more than the sum of the products. Convience features like using your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac, family plan and using your iPhone to scan documents and take a quick picture is how Apple is giving more value than the competition is able to.

While there is 3rd party apps to gives some functionality of Apple built in software like iMessage, FaceTime, FaceTime Audio and handoff, the fact that you’ll get all that features right out of the box is a feature in it self. While some may criticized Apple walled-garden approach with the Apple Ecosystem, it is undeniable the value that ecosystem brings to the table.


“We don’t ship junk”

While Apple product does look expansive, Apple is selling value which brings back more than the price tag it commands. While some competitors might able to run corners to reduce the cost, the full value of Apple products is quite competitive as a whole. I end by paraphrasing what Steve Jobs said when asked about the high price of Apple product: “We just don’t ship junk”.


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