New Macs: Over-Priced, Underwhelming

The Apple fanboys most likely aren't happy today. The new Mac desktops are essentially more of the same, although more powerful --- and still too expensive. Analysts say that those buying the new Macs will pay a premium of up to 40 percent over equivalent PC hardware. One analyst even called the new lineup "underwhelming."

Computerworld's Eric Lai interviewed several analysts about the new lineup, and they told him, in his words, that "Macs continue to cost between 25 percent and 40 percent more than PC hardware of equivalent specs." Lai's own analysis found the price difference to be between 6 percent and 40 percent on certain models.

The article also noted:

Despite a tottering economy and slowing Mac sales, Apple only cut the entry-level price of its Mac Pro workstation, leaving the prices of Mac Minis and iMacs untouched.

With most PC makers slashing prices or embracing cheaper models such as netbooks, Apple could be dangerously out of step.

Apple's sales have been sagging because of the recession, Greg Keizer noted in a Computerworld article last month, so Apple's move to keep prices high is surprising.

And Ezra Gottheil, an analyst at Technology Business Research Inc., was quoted by Keizer as saying about the lineup in another Computerworld article:

No surprises. This is exactly what you'd expect from Apple, more stuff for the same price. But for anyone expecting them to be a little more price-conscious, it's underwhelming.

In hard economic times, underwhelming isn't what's needed. Apple may well have made its first serious mis-step in a while with the new lineup.

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