Friday, 28 October 2016

New Apple MacBook Pro 2016 - Tiny Touch Bar Massive Price Tag

So Apple finally updated the MacBook Pro. October 2016

I use the 13" late 2013 model, which cost  £1,168 with Black Friday discount that year. The new model starts at £1749 with the 'Touch Bar'. Of course a lot of potential buyers weren't waiting for a tiny touchable strip above the keys, but a fully touchable screen.

That wasn't the only surprise. Apple removed all the ports too. USB, gone. SD slot, gone. HDMI, gone. Magsafe charging port, gone. In their place 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports - which require a host of adapters to get things done.

Apple profits are down. The iPhone 7 has disappointed, there is no new iPad, and the computers are looking very expensive compared to rival PC machines.

Anyway you can read all about that stuff all over the web. This is a consumer site. So here is my story. 

Last month I bought my first iMac 27" 2TB. I was travelling through London Heathrow Airport and I could purchase at Dixons Travel for £1699 a saving of £150 on the £1849 high street price. Shipping to home was free too. However I didn't unpack it when it arrived. 

I knew Apple was holding a launch at the end of October, and I was concerned they might update the iMac with new processors or graphics chips. If they did I would return my unopened package to a Curry's store in exchange for their 'no questions asked' 30 day returns policy. If the launch was delayed I had up to 60 days to return under the Heathrow Duty Free shopping guarantee to return to the airport (but I would have to pay shipping).

So why didn't I just wait until the launch and buy then? Well I wasn't travelling through Heathrow again, that's why and I wanted to save £150. I also earned £45 in Heathrow points. It also fell just inside the end of my company's tax year. So it was a well timed purchase - I thought.

So I watched the Apple launch live last night, the key executives selling their wares. There was no word on the iMac, so I assumed it was safe to set mine up. But I decided to double check the Apple store when it went back online with the new machines, and for a moment I did a double take.

I didn't recognise any of the iMac prices. They were much higher. So there must have been some upgrades to the spec right? 

I checked my specs line by line against the mid-range 27" iMac. It was less specced than mine. I looked at the model now priced £2,249. It was the same spec as my model.

So just after the glitzy launch of their new MacBook Pros Apple increased the price of their old model iMac's by up to 21% or a whopping £400.

This is how Apple hopes to boost profits. It is the world's most profitable company. In 2015 it earned $36.5 billion profit. But that was a drop - it's first for years. The iPhone is Apple's most profitable line, followed by iTunes and the App store sales. Computers come in at the end of that list. Apple must be hoping the new prices can improve  lagging revenue.

But here is the problem for Apple - and it's customers. On the online forums following the launch their was plenty of criticism  - even from the so called 'Apple Fanboys'. 

The prices are eye-wateringly high, and all the work-horse ports have been removed from the new MacBook Pro. You can't even charge your new iPhone 7 without an adaptor. Close to £2,000 (and above) for a computer is a price point beyond many pockets. 

I doubt I would have bought an iMac at the new price of £2249 to be honest.

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