The Right Time to Buy a Mac

I’m a Windows / Linux user. I use x86 PCs since I was 9 years old and my experience with a Mac is almost null. I’ve spent a few hours fiddling with a friend’s iBook, but that’s it, I possess no product built by Apple. I almost bought an iPod, but the PSP was a better choice for what I was looking for. But let’s go back to the main subject: Mac computers.

I was having a nice geek chat with a good friend of mine, with a similar background in what concerns computer experience, and I told him about Macbooks and Mac computers in general and how they could change the market in the near future. He asked me joking “Why a Mac? Macs are for designers and metrosexuals!” I told him about all the advantages of MacOSX over Windows, that Mac OSX it’s based on FreeBSD, yada yada yada, the full works. “Then if it’s so good why don’t you switch to Mac? Ouch! $2000?!” he said, while looking at the Apple Store website. “You can get a powerful laptop for $1000 / $1500 and run all the apps you are used to run on your PC. Plus games!”

But the price is only one of the many turnoffs when you’re thinking about buying a Mac, or any other Apple product for what it matters.

With the newly arrived Macbooks, the prices of the old Macs are dropping but still not near the prices of Intel / AMD laptops. And as for the Macbooks, there’s a pretty good inconsistency concerning the specs. In Portugal, Fnac is announcing they will be selling Macbooks at 1.67 Ghz and 1.83 Ghz costing 2.176€ and 2.711€. If you go to the Apple Store website you get 1.83Ghz and 2Ghz Macbooks for $1.999 and $2.499.

ThinkSecret reports:

Apple announced Tuesday that the first shipments of the MacBook Pro will ship this week and quietly updated the speed of the laptop before the first systems had even arrived in customer hands. The low-end 1.67GHz Core Duo model has been replaced with a 1.83GHz system for the price of $1,999, while the higher end $2,499 model now packs a 2.0GHz Core Duo processor, up from 1.83GHz.

Additionally, a $300 build-to-order option on the high-end system boosts the processor speed to 2.16GHz.

And these are only 15 inch models, how about when the 17 inch models are announced? This isn’t good for users who are thinking about upgrading their Macs, much more for users who are thinking about switching to Mac. Apple only bets in its, lets call it, legion of fans, and since the “Switch” campaign there’s no interest from Apple to lure the PC user to the “dark side”.

Nowadays, Apple is working like Nintendo, releasing each year a new substitution product for the one you have, turning its commercial value almost null and this is happening with computers as well with the iPods. Rumor has it that a new video iPod with a bigger screen and sensible to touch will be available soon, the true Video iPod. I can almost imagine Steve Jobs holding it on his hands and saying “This is the true video iPod! Forget all the other iPods, this one has (insert new features here)!” And the 400€ you spent on your video iPod suddenly seem like the worst spent money in your entire life.

But still, I want a Mac. Why? Because I believe that soon something will change about Windows. People are buying more and more consoles, PC gaming will be dead in the next years if the GPUs prices don’t drop. People won’t continue to spend 500€ in a GPU just to play the latest Doom or Quake iteration, after spending 1000€ or more in a PC when they can buy a console for 300€ or less. Strip a windows PC from the ability to play decent games and the Mac wins, fair and square. Vista won’t change this. Vista’s new features are mostly ripped off from the Mac OSX and other available software and I don’t believe that Microsoft can make a product without security flaws or without being intrusive on my privacy.

So, it’s this the right time to buy a Mac? No. I but still want one.

[tags]Apple, Windows, PC, x86, Intel, Machintosh, Macbook, iPod, Switch[/tags]

5 thoughts on “The Right Time to Buy a Mac”

  1. Nowadays, Apple is working like Nintendo, releasing each year a new substitution product for the one you have, turning its commercial value almost null

    I think you’re being a bit unfair here. The point should be whether a particular product works as advertised or not.

    Just because there’s a newer version that is slightly smaller and lighter, it doesn’t mean that the previous iPod / Nintendo DS / whatever becomes worthless. It’s as good as it was the day you bought it.

    Of course, you can see it in the sense of “if I knew the lighter version was coming in a couple of months, I’d have waited”. But, if you always “wait for the latest fashion”, you won’t ever buy anything. And you should see it in terms of “not having an extra”, not in terms of being harmed by buying the previous version – which you weren’t.

  2. I also agree that the comparison with Nintendo is off-target, as it’s usual for any brand to keep introducing new models/versions of their products. Also, i don’t think Apple’s products loose almost their full commercial value when an updated model is introduced, people keep buying their (supposed) old products. I speak for myself, i bought an used iBook recently and it was a great deal!

    So, as a (very) recent switcher, i would encourage you to buy a Mac, you definitely won’t be disappointed, either with the machine or the OS.

  3. Apples and oranges…

    Yes, you can buy a laptop for $1000, but these are usually built with low-end components or are from no-name brands. Compare throughly any laptop from Apple with any other laptop and you will notice two things:

    – They are similar and in end up costing about the same.
    – They cost a lot less but have stuff like shared video memory, slow 4200rpm disks, big 15″ but low-res screens, no bluetooth (not even an option in most of them) and are huge, bulky and/or plasticky.

    And compare the 12″ iBook (no intel version yet) with any other 12″ laptop.

    Of course there are some great PC deals every now and then, but for the most part Apple is not that expensive. I go through this everytime someone asks me about a new laptop and most of cheap ones are only that: cheap. And with a Mac you get OS X and lots of software.

    But don’t take my word for it. Compare all the specs yourself.

  4. “Nowadays, Apple is working like Nintendo, releasing each year a new substitution product for the one you have, turning its commercial value almost null and this is happening with computers as well with the iPods.”

    LOL! Considering that Dell has rehashed their Latitude range of laptops *3* times since *January 2006*, saying that Apple’s yearly release of a new laptop becomes laughable.

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