Ever wondered why MacBooks always cost so much more than other laptops? Here are some reasons why.
Apple MacBooks typically cost much more than a Dell, Lenovo, HP, or any other laptop. While at first it seems Apple is taking advantage of its brand name, there’s much more to its pricing than meets the eye.
In this article, we’ll explore ten reasons why we think Apple laptops are expensive than other laptops, touching on everything from durability to branding, and more.
1. Apple’s Ecosystem
In tech, an ecosystem loosely refers to a set of individual devices that complement each other to form a bigger, more useful unit.
Take the MacBook and iPad for example. While both are individual devices, if used together, they increase each other’s usability and improve the overall experience.
Apple’s ecosystem is different from other companies because Apple devices typically only connect with other Apple devices, and work really well while doing so.
The more a user dives into the ecosystem (by adding more and more Apple products to the deck), the more rewarding it becomes.
This, and the system’s exclusivity contribute largely to the premium prices for Apple’s laptops because users are willing to pay more for an improved experience and to get gadgets that work with other Apple products they already own.
2. High Quality and Long Life
MacBooks typically outlive other laptops because of their high-quality hardware and software.
The hardware is carefully designed, manufactured, and assembled using materials like aluminum. Add the software (operating systems and other native applications) is optimized to fully take advantage of that hardware because Apple doesn’t need to design for any other devices.
As a result, the end product doesn’t only feel and look good, but is also durable and high-performing.
We all love the amazing relentless finishing on Apple laptops.
Even without the logo, it’s easy to recognize Apple’s signature bezel finishes on some of its products, such as the Mac, Apple Watch, and iPhone.
Furthermore, the components used on Apple laptops are some of the most reliable and premium in the market.
Apple laptops rarely has issues with bugs. It is also rare to need to repair a MacBook.
Apple laptops also do last longer than most.
We probably know of Macs that have lasted for more than 10 years.
Together, Apple’s hardware and software provide users with a highly-tailored, high-quality user experience, compelling them to pay more.
Apple’s technological innovation is another reason why its computers cost more. The recent advent of the M1 CPU chips is a good example.
By replacing Intel’s CPU with Apple’s-own ARM-based silicon, not only did Apple get better performance out of its Macs, but it also revolutionized the CPU industry.
This behavior has placed Apple as a thought leader in Silicon Valley.
To keep leading the tech industry, Apple has to invest heavily into research and development of new technology.
According to Statista, Apple spent $97.37 billion in research and development between 2018 and 2022.
The amount is justifiable by the huge quality of MacBooks and innovation that Apple constantly delivers in its laptops.
Apple also charges so much because it doesn’t sell user data to profit, like many other companies, and it also doesn’t come preloaded with user-tracking software.
Instead of selling user data, Apple charges users more. With growing awareness of advertisers tracking users, Apple is cashing in on the fact that privacy is priceless.
Sign saying privacy please
This doesn’t mean that Apple doesn’t track you at all, however. It does so to improve its own services and products—which kind of makes sense. Without feedback, the company cannot tailor products to suit its users so well.
5. Free Operating Systems, Applications, and Updates
Apple releases one major macOS update a year and dozens of smaller point updates throughout the year. Compare this to Windows’ releases, which come after every few years and often require payment.
Though Microsoft has made the upgrade from older Windows versions to Windows 11 free, you still have tons of in-app purchases that cost a lot, like the Office Suite.
With Windows laptops, you have to buy the Office Suite to get the workspace tools, and their new versions aren’t free either—you have to buy them too. Whereas, with macOS, you get Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for free and get free updates for them as well.
The company has to invest heavily to keep macOS—and more—free. By charging more from the customer, Apple generates this investment.
6. Marketing and Support Costs
Product cost is roughly the combination of direct material costs, direct labor costs, and manufacturing overhead costs.
Here, as you can see, there’s no mention of marketing costs and post-purchase service costs, for example, which a company has to spend to sell their products and retain customers.
The same goes for Apple: as well as production costs, the company spends a lot on marketing and support for MacBooks.
All the Apple Stores, for example, are a way of marketing MacBooks, and they cost a lot.
They have iconic infrastructure; they are full of experts; and they provide an excellent way to interact with the products.
Apple spends heavily on these stores to maintain the brand perception.
Some stores are found in some premium cities.
A good example is the floating Apple store in Singapore, which was termed one of Apple’s most ambitious retail projects to date.
Another one is the Apple store in Oudong, Shanghai, China, featured in the architect magazine.
The list of the stores is endless since Apple has more than 500 iconic stores distributed all over the world.
There is Apple Support too, where you can contact technical service agents to troubleshoot problems with your devices and ask the questions you want to.
The cost of the design to construction and frequent maintenance of such premium stores is factored into the consumers of Apple laptops.
You, as the user, pay for these magnificent buildings.
What’s more, Apple is known for releasing some of the most impressive and groundbreaking commercials we’ve ever seen. All of this—and countless other factors—are costs other than the product cost that explain why Apple charges so much for their laptops.
Apple Inc. is a well-known brand.
Whenever we talk about key laptop makers globally, Apple has to pop up somewhere in the conversation.
Apple has placed itself as a key brand in the world today and consumes millions of dollars to maintain its brand.
Even the products consume a lot of manufacturing costs to ensure the brand remains associated with quality products.
Some people also pursue Apple as a premium lifestyle brand.
We cannot have missed meeting a friend or colleague who bought an Apple MacBook just because it has the logo.
They didn’t even put much thought into the functionality or price of the computer.
Add this to the intricate details, premium feel, and perceived value of Apple’s laptops. It’s a luxury lifestyle brand—where owning a MacBook is a symbol of status and a luxury lifestyle.
Users who are in this lifestyle want to retain it, and are happy to pay the price. Those who are not, want this lifestyle and are also ready to pay what Apple demands.
8. High Resale Value
The high resale value of MacBooks is another reason they sell for high prices.
Apple uses the very best materials currently available to make their computers.
As such, MacBooks tend to last a long time.
Because of this, reselling them usually allows MacBook owners to get their money back.
Apple knows this, which is why they don’t mind setting the MacBook prices high.
They know that owners will most likely get their money back later on.
Since MacBooks retain their value and sell for more later, they cost more to purchase first time, too.
9. Customer Loyalty
No matter what reason you put forward, one that never makes Apple rethink its pricing is its loyal fanbase, who are always ready to pay the premium price. There has been a ridiculous increase in Apple’s prices and revenues over the past couple of years, but the MacBook sales and popularity have grown too.
Though all the reasons above contribute to creating this zealous fanbase, perhaps the lifestyle branding stands at the top.
10. Apple Tax
With the brand loyalty Apple receives, they figured out how to turn existing customers into another market base for extra products.
Owning an Apple product such as a MacBook doesn’t end there.
Paying more is a custom of those within the Apple ecosystem.
Sometimes the prices are just bizarre.
This is what we are calling the Apple tax. For example, a 256GB Mac will be sold for $1,299.
A Windows laptop with the same price tag will have better specs.
During an announcement in 2019, Apple revealed a $ 5,000 Mac Pro display and its stand which would be sold for $1,000.
Paying these premium amounts is part of the Apple tax agenda.
Another form of Apple tax is observed with how they handle storage.
When you wish to upgrade your storage, you will have to purchase more storage from Apple.
It also goes without saying that some devices are sold with their storage capabilities being one of the major differentiating factors.
The bigger the storage space available, the more expensive the gadget.
This price becomes higher and reaches extreme heights for the Apple computers.
Compared to other companies’ devices with similar functionalities, Apple’s prices seem to go way overboard.
An additional way in which Apple is expensive is seen in their accessories.
Apple sells premium keyboards for $129 and a premium mouse for $79.
Even with such an awesome design, it seems illogically above items with the same functionality from different companies.
Accessories such as cables are also expensive.
Are MacBooks Still Worth It?
These are the reasons why MacBooks tend to cost more than other computers. The prices may not always be justifiable (like in the case of the $1,000 Apple Pro Stand), but what matters is the products still sell a lot.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have to spend too much to acquire them. For example, you can save money while buying a MacBook by not buying the latest model and by going for a refurbished one. Though the product will not be all-new, the experience will be intact.