Bear Stearns: Apple’s new Mac Pro, Xserve pricing well below comparable Dell systems

“Bear Stearns analysts Andy Neff, Bill Hand and Ted Chung sent a note to clients on Apple Computer’s (AAPL) new product announcements yesterday,” Seeking Alpha reports.

Key points from the note:
• Some investors came away disappointed given the lack of any surprises (i.e., “one more thing”), we believe that the compelling pricing of AAPL’s new Mac Pro and Xserve was overlooked. Contrary to the popular belief that AAPL’s Macs are premium priced and above its major Wintel competitors, our analysis indicates that AAPL’s pricing of its new professional systems are well below comparable systems from DELL.
• Priced at $2,499, AAPL’s Mac Pro is 28% less than the comparable system from DELL (Precision Workstation 690) which is priced at $3,471 (see detailed comparison in full article).
• Priced at $2,999 for the base model, AAPL’s Xserve is 10% less than the comparable system from DELL (PowerEdge 1950) which is priced at $3,333… AAPL’s Xserve comes with an unlimited client edition of its [Mac OS X Tiger] operating system, while DELL’s MSFT Server 2003 edition is limited to 5 client seats. (see detailed comparison in full article).

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Comparable Dell? Fact: There is no such thing as a comparable Dell box to any Apple Macintosh. Dell PCs are OS-limited and cannot run Mac OS X and best-in-class Mac-only applications like iMovie HD, iDVD, GarageBand, iPhoto, iChat, Safari, iWeb, and so much more. Why would anyone settle for only being able to run some programs when Apple Macs can run them all?

Related MacDailyNews article:
Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006


  1. Apple Pricing:
    Here’s the problem with Apple pricing. If you look at base systems, such as the MacBook with a “comprable” Dell 14″ laptop (they don’t make 13″), the Mac is actually cheaper in cost. However, if you start customizing it, such as adding a 120 GB hard drive to the MacBook, suddenly you start getting substantial price differentiation. For example, adding such a hard drive to the $1299 MacBook cost $250. Adding the same feature to a Dell Inspiron E1405 Laptop (with a base drive of 80 GB) costs $40. I know that Apple uses better quality and all that jazz, but that is a huge difference in cost, a gap I wish Apple would look into closing down.

  2. news flash – if Apple can make money selling these boxes at these prices, so can Dell.


    Huh? Subsidized by Software and iPod sales, dumbass. Also dell has a massive sales team handling all their sales. Apple uses a profitable retail store but also lets others sell their stuff.

  3. When the first G5 aluminum towers came out, I thought that eventually Apple would need to make a Mac Pro mini. It could have a single dual core Intel chip, and half the hard drive space for half the price. This would kill off the rest of Dell.

    Also I have a xServe mini, which I thought would be utilized not in the office, but as a home theater system and run all of your necessary server apps. The PhotoShop images are old but I posted them to a new Flickr account a couple of months ago.

    Check them out here:

  4. MDM’s take is going in the right direction, but misses the mark IMHO. I think most pro users could care less about iLife apps, so using them as an example make their take irrelevant.

    A better choice of apps would have been Final Cut Studio, Logic Pro, Aperture and Shake. THESE are the mac only “can’t live without” apps that make the mac a slam dunk for a large majority of pro users over ANY Windoze box.

    Sure iLife is great and requires a mac, but who’s going to buy a $2500+ workstation just to be able to run iMovie?

  5. The GPU difference is a minor problem. GF 7300GT has about the same clock & pipes as QFX 3450, but much lower memory bandwidth. However, if you pump the Mac Pro up to the ATI X1900 for $350, it’s still $600 less than the Dell but has more GPU power.

  6. However…

    Apple still has a huge hole in its lineup when it comes to mid-range mini-tower units that make up the vast majority of PCs you see in homes and offices. The non-upgradeable Mini and iMac are insufficient for a lot of needs, and the Mac Pro is over $2K.

  7. With the death of the G5 and its monstrous requirements for climate control, Apple could now build a cut-down tower designed to give dual-core perfomance in a more wallet-friendly, yet still vaguely expandable format.

    Personally, I think such a machine should look something like…

    • Conroe (Core2Duo) powered machine (two cores, but not two way), then again Apple could drive cost & price down even further by using Allendale which has 2MB of L2 cache as opposed to 4MB.
    • Maximum of 8GB of RAM (4 x 2GB, non-ECC, not fully-buffered)
    • 1 x SATA drive bay
    • 1 x 10/100/1000-BaseT Ethernet port (as opposed to the two on the Pro units).
    • 1 x optical drive bay
    • 2 x double-wide capable PCI Express slots, so you can have up to four displays or two displays and a card from Digidesign
    • External bus expansion: 1 x FW800, 2 x FW400 (1 at front, 1 at back), 4 x USB (3 x back, 1 x front)
    • Optical/analog audio in/out

    Such a unit could be very aggressively packaged, in a re-intepretation of the Mac Pro case.

    The SATA drive bay could sit behind the optical drive bay, and the case would immediately lose the volume currently committed to the 4 x drive bays and the second optical device – that’s about 3.5 inches in height gone.

    Another 3.5 – 4.0 inches probably goes by using only one processor and one riser card for RAM, so that’s at least 7 inches disposed of out of just over 20 inches on the Mac Pro.

    The aim should be to bring the system to market for around $1500, or just under £1000.00 in the UK, with the aim of delivering a complete Mac Pro + Cinema Display solution to customers for a price of around $2200.00 or a premium of around $500 over a 20″ iMac. I think this is about right considering the flexibility that having an expandable Mac mini-tower would give you, plus the extra I/O ports and the more powerful processor.

  8. Spark >

    I can’t tell whether that’s a troll question or not, so the reply I’m going to give is going to be a little controversial.

    Your problem is the problem that’s faced by any developer who commits to a proprietary technology thats tied to an abusive monopolist who only wishes to recognise their own homogeneous monoculture.

    Whether this was your choice or some else’s, the simple fact of the matter is there was a screw-up because someone failed to take into account that nothing lasts forever, kingdoms rise and fall, and today’s technology leader is tomorrow’s laggard.

    Anyhoo, you might want to go and check the Mono Project for your .NET on Mac needs, there is an open project for ASP under Apache, and I can’t believe that once you’ve gone through that you couldn’t replace SQL Server as a persistent data store with MySQL.

    Then again, you might just want to look at WebObjects and find out how you could port your projects onto a more inclusive web application development environment.

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