Little black Mac

I’ve written frequently about how the consumer PC market is splitting into two markets: cheap commodity boxes and fashionable consumer goods. The starkest evidence yet came today when Apple introduced its new MacBook consumer laptops. In addition to the usual white cases, Apple is also offering a version in black. The white model will cost you $1299, while the black goes for $1499. The only difference in specs between the two is that the black model has an 80GB hard drive whereas the white has a 60GB. However, you can upgrade the white’s drive to 80GB for $50.

That means that Apple is charging you a $150 premium just to get your laptop in black instead of white. Color even me amazed.

2 thoughts on “Little black Mac

  1. Tim Volpe

    Other examples of the split – Dell’s recent acquisition of Alienware and implementing their style into the Dell product line. Also, Ferrari laptops – read an article in Autoweek on Michael Schumaker, and one of the phots shows him meeting with a couple Ferrari representatives in his team trailer. There were 2 laptops on the table they were sitting around. Both were red and black and had the Ferrari logo on the lid. Manufacturers make these PC’s a little more powerful, but design is what sells them. They are a significantly smaller portion of the market than those commoditized PC’s.

  2. Scott Wilson

    It’s no surprise at all when you realize that Apple is much more a design company than a technology company these days. I don’t think this is a bad thing–well-designed technology is eminently more useable than what comes off the desks of most strict engineers. But this is no more crazy than selling good looking watches or jewelry for more than bad looking watches or jewelry. People have always been prepared to pay more for style and the real surprise is that it’s taken this long for the PC market to catch on.

    Although, that also begs the question, is IT really becoming the commodity that you’ve argued it is, Nick? Perhaps the same effect can be found in software as hardware (although I personally haven’t seen any indication of that yet).

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