Not long ago a friend asked advice on getting a new computer. I said Mac. My friend responded, “Too expensive.” That same week a neighbor decided to switch from a Samsung Galaxy-something to an iPhone and asked which he should buy. I said iPhone X. His response, “Too expensive.” Across the board, tech gadget buyers recognize Apple quality, but are not always willing to fork over the money because “Too expensive.” That’s the meme and while I think the perspective is a bit off the rails, I understand the sentiment.
What’s going on?
While I prefer the latest and greatest from Apple and tend to keep my devices longer than most, I may have forgotten what each of Apple’s main platforms does. Run apps.
An entry-level Mac mini at $499 or an aging MacBook Air at $999 may not compete for my attention the way a new 6-core MacBook Pro or 8-core iMac Pro will, they all run the same software. That’s an important consideration but it works the same way with iPhone and iPad and even Watch.
For example, most of the apps you can run on iPhone X at $1,149 run on an entry-level iPhone SE which starts at $349. Sure, I want more storage, a better camera, the improved and larger display, but apps are apps, and all the basics and a million more apps run on both iPhone SE and iPhone X about the same.
The same disparity in price but not disparity in usability shows up in iPad Pro vs. iPad. The latter starts at a measly $329 for the Wi-Fi model, yet it runs the latest iOS and has Pencil support. That’s exactly the same as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro which can be priced up to $1,279 with maxed out SSD storage, and Wi-Fi + Cellular options.
Those iPads may vary by hundreds of dollars, but they run mostly the same applications.
Watch displays a similar price disparity but not functionality disparity. It takes no effort to spend $749 on a Watch Series 3 with GPS and Cellular which comes with a Stainless Steel Case and a Milanese Loop watchband. Yet Apple Watch Series 1 remains available for $249 and provides most of the same applications, notifications, alerts, and even heart rate and exercise tracking.
All the public noise about Apple products being too expensive often fail to point out what many Apple customers already know. Most of the applications that run on the expensive models also run on the least expensive models.
In this case, a product price disparity is a good thing.