Apple does it again: New Macbook Pros much cheaper than Dell

“After seeing how well equipped the updated Macbook Pros are I decided to go and compare them to comparable Dell machines. To my pleasant surprise the Macs are substantially cheaper,” Sean Balsiger reports for Newsvine.

“I took a quick look at the Dell store and found the Dell Precision line to be closest to the Macbook Pro line. It is their high-end line of notebooks. I started out with the basic 15.4 inch model and upgraded the Dell to match the standard features [of] the Macbook Pro,” Balsiger reports. “Final Price – Apple: $1,999, Dell: $2,874.”

“This brings us to the comparison of the 17 inch models,” Balsiger reports. “Final Price – Apple: $2,799, Dell: $4,142.”

Balsiger writes, “The myth that Apple computers are more expensive than PCs need to end. They have proven that they are committed to selling well-equipped computers at reasonable prices. Now people just need to take the time to compare the systems and realize that with a Mac they are getting a better computer at a better price with a better operating system, and if they don’t like Mac OS X they are still better off to spend hundreds of dollars less and buy a copy of Windows for their Mac. Is there really a reason to stay on PCs anymore?”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Is there really a reason to stay on PCs anymore?” Well, Sean, we never had a reason for PCs at all, but, since you’re asking: No.

What we said would happen (here, for one of many examples, and as early as June 2005 here) is happening already: the PC box assemblers are feeling the heat, it’s Microsoft’s turn next.

And who on earth is not going to like Mac OS X? Even the most severely Windows-dependent seem able to see the quality difference.

Related articles:
Fortune compares Mac vs. Dell: ‘you’ll get more for your money with Apple’ – September 11, 2006
PC box assemblers like Dell and others wish Apple would license Mac OS X – August 31, 2006
$399 for Windows Vista Ultimate?! (Hint: Get a Mac) – August 29, 2006
AP: Time to think different, Apple Mac beats Dell on price, software compatibility, and more – August 23, 2006
Thurrott pits Apple Mac Pro vs. similarly configured Dell, figures out the Mac is less expensive – August 18, 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
Time Magazine on Apple’s 13-inch MacBook: ‘Dell and HP should be very worried’ – June 07, 2006
Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006
Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ ultimate goal: ‘to take back the computer business from Microsoft’ – June 16, 2005


  1. I wonder if Dell is stuck in the “loss leader” quandry: they have to support their super-cheap-end business (those lovely $299 machines you can never seem to actually buy for that price) by jacking the prices of their high-end machines? If so that would explain why they end up charging so much more for an equivalent machine at the high end.

    Either that or–gasp–Apple is actually better at manufacturing efficicencies than Dell!

  2. I think John is bang in the money. Dell are supporting loss-making garbage with the price of their high end machines. Jobs said long ago that Apple’s manufacturing efficiency was already greater than Dell’s (Fortune article, Feb 2005) and now he’s starting to turn the screw. Dell have nowhere to go.

    This is all one of the most extraordinary pieces of business strategy that we’ve ever witnessed. It’s chess. It’s WWII. It’s like a masterplan was laid down in about 2000 and slowly but insuperably it’s all coming to pass….

    I assume Microsoft is the eventual target (“they just have no taste. And I don’t mean that in a small way…”). That battle could be a bit more bloody…

  3. This is great and all, and I love to see Apple beat others on price in the high-end area… but:

    -Where is Apple’s competition to the 15’4″ Inspirons, etc. They need a 15.4″ MacBook (not pro) with a comparable feature-set.

    I’m currently in the market for a 15.4″ notebook and I look at MBPro for $2000 and then I look at Dell Inspiron 15.4 (specced out to the top) and there’s still about a $500 difference. I know I get OS X, better hardware, etc., but I just can’t justify spending $500 more on something I can get for less.

    What I would like is a MacBook 15″ wide-screen with a stand-alone GPU (for some Windows games) and an expresscard slot. But Apple won’t seem to do this b/c they have the MacBook Pro for that. So then they need to put in more features on the Pro models like include more RAM standard (more than 1GB?) and make more GPU memory standard.

    But I’ll still be waiting out till January to see what we can get.


  4. My sister can’t see the difference. She hates the Mac, loves the Windows platform. I gave her daughter a iMac with Panther installed. My niece loves it, but her mother can’t stand it. (I think my sister has to much education of the wrong kind ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue wink” style=”border:0;” /> )

  5. A friend just bought a new HP notebook to replace his 3 year old HP notebook that crashed on him. He was all excited about some of the features like the DVD drive that can print on the DVD (until he priced the cost of those) as well as a remote control that fits in the express slot. I tried to talk him into a Mac and he was close but the HP was like $800.

    Granted, HP probably made only $15 bucks on this machine but I’d like to see Apple find a way to get into the lower end without sacraficing profitability. The iPod shuffle was able to compete on the low end but that was by removing features and shrinking form factor — that won’t work in the notebook world. I just don’t know anyone that would actually spend $4,100 for a Dell notebook.

  6. I did a comparison yesterday of the MBP, an Alienware and WidowPC. All 17″, all very comparable.

    The Alienware came in at $300 over and the WidowPC came in over a G.

    If you install XP with Bootcamp the MBP still comes in under the Alienware. IF you install Vista WHEN it comes out with the Ultimate package, the MBP is only a hundred over.

  7. Oh, I forgot something. To make comparable machines the Alienware and WidowPC were maxed or nearly maxed on their features available. The MBP had more upgrade options when it came to RAM and HD and etc…

  8. MacSweep…When Leopard comes out…install it in your sister’s daughter’s machine. Show her Time Machine and Spotlight. That ought to be enough. If not…she’s too far gone.

    iSteve…. The problem with lower price points is that they are unsustainable if you want to produce a truly high quality product. You can get a REFURBISHED macbook for an astonishingly low price. Great machines. Look it up.

    utzaki…. No. Not a cheap product. They have a greater manufacturing efficiency and have consequently been able to offer their higher quality products at a lower price. They are NOT the lowest of the low.

    They make a better product, have a better operating system, have more and better bundled software, have better customer support, have a better forward looking development path and a commitment to quality and taste that no other computer company has. Game over.

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