AP: Time to think different, Apple Mac beats Dell on price, software compatibility, and more

“For years, Macintosh computers have been praised for their cool looks and elegant simplicity while being knocked for often carrying a hefty price premium over Windows-based machines sold by Dell Inc. and others. It’s time to think different – again,” Robert Weston reports for The Associated Press.

“The recently released Mac Pro maintains the Apple shine in design, usability and software but also does something unexpected: It turns the old Mac versus Windows PC price equation on its head,” Weston reports. “A low-end Mac Pro will cost you $2,124 compared with $3,071 for a nearly identically configured Dell Precision Workstation 490. The Mac is about $947 cheaper – and the gap widens when you start piling on options such as more memory, faster processors and bigger hard drives.”

Macs are “also capable of running Windows if you’ve got a copy of the Microsoft Corp. operating system and supporting software from Apple or others,” Weston reports.

Weston reports, “The Mac Pro workstation is not only competitively priced, it’s fast, too… And the latest Macs are cool, literally. In fact, they run so much cooler that Apple was able to remove about half the fans used on the older machines. It frees up room for more features and makes for a considerably quieter system. The Mac Pro also is expandable. It comes with two optical drive bays, four PCI Express expansion slots and four hard drive bays. The computer also can handle up to 16 gigabytes of system memory.”

“Once again, Apple has produced a computer that really shines. With its ability to run Windows software too, it’s an attractive system for any Mac or Windows-based business or high end consumer who needs a powerful machine at a competitive price,” Weston reports. “The difference in price – and that it was in Apple’s favor – was so surprising that I contacted Dell to confirm that I had not made a mistake in configuring its workstation.”

Weston reports, “Dell spokesman Marco Pena suggested that the numbers might be closer after configuring the Mac to include a three-year warranty similar to the Dell offering. ‘But I think we’re still going to end up a little higher than the Mac,’ he said. ‘The results were a bit surprising to me too,’ he said. ‘But it is what it is.'”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ken” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Thurrott pits Apple Mac Pro vs. similarly configured Dell, figures out the Mac is less expensive – August 18, 2006
Thurrott: Apple Mac Pro ‘at least competitive and often cheaper’ than similarly configured Dell – August 17, 2006
Dell cannot compete with Apple’s new Mac Pro price or feature set – August 15, 2006
Apple Mac Pro with/ 20” Cinema Display less expensive than Dell Precision 690 sans monitor – August 10, 2006
Bear Stearns: Apple’s new Mac Pro, Xserve pricing well below comparable Dell systems – August 09, 2006
Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006


  1. I’m glad Apple isn’t coming for us, but then Apple is a hardware company first and we at M$ are


    We will give away Vista for free if Apple even dare fscks with us.

    Imagine, the possibliities, the millions of malware we would spawn through free software!


    I LOVE (to take a dump at) THIS COMPANY >>> MICROSOFT

  2. When Leopard comes out, I plan on going to the Apple Store at Northpark Center in Dallas and buying a black MacBook. Then I will stroll on down to the Delldo store(if it is still in business) and browse, daring a saleman to approach, and watching the 2 or 3 other customers who may be considering a pruchase as they ease out of the store and head Apple way.

  3. Sadly, it will take years of this kind of reporting to become common knowledge among ‘the people’ thus influencing their decision making process.

    Gladly, however, Apple isn’t trying to appeal to the masses, just the part of the market that understands what quality, value, and you get what you pay for really means.

  4. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as much a Mac fan as the next guy. But I’m not completely jumping for joy over this news. Yes, it’s great that the Mac Pro is far cheaper than a comparably configured Dell, a fact so indisputable that Dell and Paul Thurrott agree on it.

    But what about the rest of Apple’s line? You can say what you like about “Total Cost of Ownership” until you’re blue in the face, but Joe Average isn’t going to look too far beyond the price sticker on the box. Even in the case of the Mac Pro, the cheapest Dell Precision 690 is a good deal cheaper than the cheapest Mac Pro. With the rest of Apple’s line, the initial price premium is even more dramatic. And the low end of the line is where it matters most. People in the market where the Pro is will look carefully at specs and see that the Mac Pro is obviously cheaper, but the average computer buyer will be looking at MacBooks and Mac minis, which are both more expensive on the shelf than comparable Dells.

    The real killer will be when Apple releases a consumer Mac that is cheaper and better spec’ed than the equivalent Dell/HP/Toshiba/whatever. That is when the masses will sit up and take notice. Right now, people can look at the Mac Pro’s price advantage and go, “So what? I don’t need a machine that powerful, and Apple’s cheaper stuff is still more expensive than Dell’s.”

  5. To follow up what Decrypt3 said:

    You’ll notice that there is no mention of OS X. The article’s main theme is price. On MDN, we talk OS X and its advantages. The mainstream press, writing for the general (Doze) masses, it’s all about price. You make a Mini price competitive with the $299 Dull and then we’ll really have something to talk about.

  6. The person who posted “Delldo store”…. Thanks for the hardy laugh!

    I actually give the Dell PR guy credit. To say “It is what it is” without trying to spin it was a fresh move…

  7. “I’ll be curious to see how many news outlets pick this story up. When it’s bad news about Apple, they all seem to. Good news? We’ll see.”

    Yes, and that includes the BBC, Mac-hating govspeak outfit that it is.

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