If you’re a Mac user, you’ve heard the comment; “I’d like to own a Mac, but they’re too expensive.” Just this weekend, I got into a computer conversation with a Toys ‘r’ Us employee (do I look so geeky that electronics department reps feel they can approach me with computer questions?) regarding system requirements for a PC game. The conversation led to all the hassles he faced when upgrading computers, so I told him about the ease of this process on the Mac (answer a couple questions, attach FireWire cable, wait). He admitted then, he would’ve rather purchased an iMac, but felt they’re just too expensive.
Are they, though, when you get down to it? Sure, the up front cost looks like more, but how does that play out over a year? Two? Three? How about resale value? Support? Maintenance?
According to Charles Moore over at Applelinks, the Mac, over time, is the clear winner.
I’m not conceding a millimetre of ground on the “Macs are more expensive” gotterdammerung. There are many ways to parse “expensive” and the contrary than up-front capital outlay, and even there a Mac today is demonstrably not necessarily more expensive than an equivalently (hardware) equipped PC, but the real value arbiter is TCO – total cost of ownership, and in that context the Mac is the big winner hands-down.
For example, I’m typing this screed on an 8 1/2 year old PowerBook Pismo running what was Apple’s latest Mac OS version less than a year ago, and enjoying excellent performance. Try running Vista (which was the current Windows version when OS 10.4.11 was released) a PC laptop built in early 2000.
Charles goes on list a few more examples, then offers links to numerous articles on the subject from both sides of the fence. If you’re looking for fair analysis on the subject (and why the “Macs are more expensive” argument is painfully shortsighted), check it out.