Mix: Mac sales, Norway, The Fader, CoverScout | iLounge News


Mix: Mac sales, Norway, The Fader, CoverScout

Forbes’ Rachel Rosmarin says the iPod has done little to boost Apple’s Mac sales. “As impressive as the iPod has been for Apple, its success has yet to transfer to the company’s PC line, which remains a high-profile also-ran. In the last quarter, Apple’s U.S. market share dropped to 3.5% from 3.6% in the same period last year.”

The Consumer Council of Norway has won a preliminary ruling that could force Apple to change its iTunes terms of service (TOS) in the country. The group filed a complaint with the Consumer Ombudsman earlier this year.

The Fader’s “Summer Music Issue” is now available for free download from the iTunes Music Store. The magazine said the issue is the first full magazine posted on iTunes.

CoverScout is a new Mac application that helps users find and apply album covers to an iTunes music library. CoverScout searches for appropriate covers using Google, Amazon, the iTunes Music Store library or any other website.

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I wonder if this news about Mac sales will get them think about lowering their prices?  I don’t know the answer to this, but why are Mac prices generally higher than PC prices?  Style and design?

Posted by Johnson on June 7, 2006 at 5:46 PM (CDT)


“I don’t know the answer to this, but why are Mac prices generally higher than PC prices?  Style and design?”

Superb software/hardware integration and design, incredible suite of bundled software, the best desktop OS in the world.

Posted by The Raven on June 7, 2006 at 7:04 PM (CDT)


Mac prices are higher primarily because of two factors:

1. Apple charges pretty much the highest profit margin on hardware anywhere in the industry. This must arguably be done because they’re in both the software and hardware business and, while I’d say their software is by far their best line, they give most of it away for free to entice you into buying their hardware.

2. Because Apple is a numerically insignificant player in the computer market AND still continues to use some proprietary parts (e.g. their very own Intel chips even though any normal one would have done) they simply don’t get the sort of scale economics bonuses as a Dell.

Posted by Code Monkey on June 7, 2006 at 7:09 PM (CDT)


“I don’t know the answer to this, but why are Mac prices generally higher than PC prices?  Style and design?”

How about they’re not. Macs are high-end machines selling a midrange market. I promise you that if you compare any mac to a PC with the exact same specs, the Macs price will be around the same (or lower). Now factor in that the Mac’s “Superb software/hardware integration and design, incredible suite of bundled software, the best desktop OS in the world” and you’ve got yourself a very well priced machine.


Posted by matt on June 7, 2006 at 7:37 PM (CDT)


CoverScout looks amazing.  Too bad it’s Mac only.

Posted by Galley on June 7, 2006 at 9:14 PM (CDT)


“How about they’re not.”

Except they are. There’s as much as $1000 difference between an equivalent PC and Mac, and if you think there isn’t, you’re engaged in some sort of mental gymnastics and mathematical fudging worthy of Jobs’ reality distortion field. It’s one of the primary reasons I switched from Macs to PCs.

For instance, there’s a deal right now that I can get a Dell E510 2.8GHz Pentium D 820 Dual Core with 1GB DDR2 SDRAM, an 80GB SATA HD, CD-RW/DVD, 128MB ATI Radeon X300 + 20” LCD Monitor for $731.40 *shipped*.

The lowest ended iMac comes with a slower processor (2.1 GHz), 1/2 the RAM, smaller display and is $1299 before shipping. The only things it has over this low end dell is a better video card, larger HD, and a DVD burner, and those things are NOT worth $500 more, not to mention that you’re going to have to drop more memory in the iMac before it will even function at its peak.

They are not bad computers, and OSX is as good of an OS as XP (neither wins for being “best”, I can write a small book on what’s wrong with both of them from a usability p.o.v.), but they are most definitely priced higher.

Posted by Code Monkey on June 7, 2006 at 9:20 PM (CDT)


Code Monkey, you forgot to factor in software. Macs certainly come with a plethora of software, although I cannot say the same is true with PCs, since most of the time they come with bloatware. The only program(s) I have ever used that came with a PC was Microsoft Office/Corel WordPerfect.

Posted by Nobody on June 7, 2006 at 10:04 PM (CDT)


Oh, btw Larry, the CoverScout link was messed up. For some reason, the URL for this page was tacked onto the beginning of the CoverScout URL.

Posted by Nobody on June 7, 2006 at 10:07 PM (CDT)


“Code Monkey, you forgot to factor in software.”

No, I didn’t. It isn’t really worth a dime in my book. Software is better off obtained on your own instead of shoved down your throat every single time you buy a computer.

Fine, the iLife bundle seemed cute when you bought your first Mac, how about your 3rd? Is it still worth paying hundreds of dollars more when if you were simply allowed to upgrade your hardware you could just install it for free?

Posted by Code Monkey on June 7, 2006 at 10:20 PM (CDT)


Code Monkey, the Dell E510 is a good value, but you’re comparing a slim all-in-one design to the standard box. They’re very different beasts. In that case, design is a factor in the price, in addition to features, OS, and bundled software. You’re a smart guy; you probably already knew that. It’s just too much fun baiting each other.

I agree with your other points regarding economies of scale and profit margin. Apple can charge a little more because many of us are willing to pay that premium.

The current Apple has been consistently trying to become more competitive on price though. I think this is a transition in which they’re in the process of trading margin for market share. They’re just doing it slowly and carefully.

It’s different with the iPod, as it’s such a new product for them, started out as a bit of an experiment. They’ve got to be more conservative with the computers lest the bottom falls out and they get caught with their pants down.

Posted by Birru on June 7, 2006 at 11:03 PM (CDT)


I bought a new Mac Mini in April last year.

Guess I shoulda bought a new one in April this year to help them make their numbers….

Posted by Chris on June 7, 2006 at 11:49 PM (CDT)


Magazines in iTunes = PDF support for iPods. . .?

Posted by JoshSpazJosh on June 8, 2006 at 7:46 AM (CDT)


Uh, Apple in this quarter is part way through a difficult hardware transition. I wouldn’t mind betting that in 2-4 quarters from now it could well be a different story. I’ve never bought a mac, but my next machine will be a Mac.

Posted by Countach on June 8, 2006 at 7:47 AM (CDT)


“I’ve never bought a mac, but my next machine will be a Mac.”

It won’t change anything. One of the things the people who either have never owned a Mac or are just in denial is how much Apple treats their customers as a disposable commodity. Their hardware is built around two potential customer bases: the fiercely loyal who would buy a new Mac no matter what and those who are switching or just starting out and think a Mac would be a better choice.

Apple does nothing to keep the huge spectrum of customers that fall between those two extremes. So fine, they’re getting a trickle of new Mac users who see iTunes and the iPod and think to themselves how great a PC built around the same ideas would be. That trickle won’t offset the same flowing out of Mac users to the general PC world any more than it ever has. Here’s what you have to realise: Apple builds computers the same way they build iPods: non upgradable and disposable along with the forced premium “justified” by the bundled software (which you already bought two times before with your first two Macs). I used to be a loyal Mac user, and then I realised that because of Apple’s non-competive and anti-consumer approach that all Macs amount to is training wheels for personal computers. Make your first computer a Mac, get your feet wet, learn how complicated and arcane that smiling white box is underneath the surface in spite of the hype, and buy a PC one or two computers down the road.

Apple has to change their entire corporate philosophy before they’ll ever begin gaining market share, and for that to happen, Jobs has to leave the helm because he’s more hindrance than help.

Posted by Code Monkey on June 8, 2006 at 8:24 AM (CDT)


I am currently swiching to a new Intel iMac. I can run windows if I need to.

With Vista coming out soon, how many people have Vista compatible PCs without having to buy expensive video cards etc??

It would good to see the starts of PC purchases vs Mac in only the Consumer market not including Corporate purchases

Posted by psxp on June 8, 2006 at 9:24 AM (CDT)


Hey Code Monkey,

I too am a current Windows and Mac user. It is actually nice to see someone admit the current OSX (IMO) is a look and use OS. Yeah, Apple tries to get types like me in design to use it poop OS more, but who in their right minds can live on Adobe suite all the time? I often use my Winbox far more often to use Alias, Rhino and 3D Studio Max, as well as various technical drafting programs.(Screw Graphite)
With Windows I also get printer drivers that actually have features too.

So Mac loyalists and noobs, keeping funding Mr.Jobs while he gives you nothing in return.

Posted by Real Reply on June 8, 2006 at 10:00 AM (CDT)


Ok. I didn’t want to this rant. I’ve had a PC for too long. I got a macbook pro because i wanted to change. My pc had so many viruses and all that crap and i don’t know how they have 90% market share with that horrible OS. But i get the macbook, i loved the interface, fast as lightning, best looing laptop out there. BEUTIFUL. Then when it couldnt get any better it runs windows for me. One of the fastest Windows laptops spec for spec in the world. Now the price. Just think how many program you have to buy, all the anti-virus, repairs and you have to by a 2GB RAM computer to match the performance of the Macbook PRo so its the same price. And BTW Steve Jobs is the most innovative people the computer world i really truly hope that one day microsoft will be no more because right now they arent doing anything that is showing that they are serious about making their customers happy

Posted by tanner on June 10, 2006 at 2:16 PM (CDT)

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