Well of course there’s an Apple Tax!

CNet Interviewed Brad Brooks, and in that interview he says that Mac buyers pay an “Apple Tax”


Apple owners have long known about the Apple Tax, we joke about, nothing new Brad! He seems to think we (Apple product owners) think that Apple really pays 500 dollars to build each 16gb iPhone, and 2500 dollars for each Mac Pro. We don’t!

You’re not going to get things like Microsoft Outlook, you’re not going to get the games that you’re used to playing. There’s a technology tax–Apple still doesn’t have HDMI, doesn’t have Blu-ray offerings, doesn’t have e-SATA external disk drives that work at twice the speed of FireWire. And so you’ve got all of these things that are truly taxes.

We don’t want Outlook Brad, It’s a crappy app. He seems to attribute a lack of choice, to being a lack of choice in M$ apps. That’s hardly the case. Aside of a good SQL Server client, there’s nothing I miss from my PC days. Entourage is as crappy as outlook, so nothing there. Mail.app suffices, but hello, Gmail with IMAP anyone? Why have a landlocked desktop mail client? Sure it’d be nice to have blue ray options, but mmm not a deal breaker. I mean when I travel I’ve got iTouch, iPhone, and iTunes to watch video in, why waste Battery spinning a drive to watch a movie? e-SATA? what for? THere’s plenty of Firewire and USB options, why have one more? One more port to get gunk in it, one more thing to buy to keep up with the ever changing PC landscape.

Brooks: You know, I think it’s a good point. I think the question is, though, do customers really know what they’re getting into? I don’t personally believe that customers really know that a copy of Parallels is going to cost them $80, or that when they really look at what they’re going to have to pay in terms of another $200 for a (full boxed copy of Windows), that they’re going to pay for another $149 for MobileMe to put on there, Internet services, which they can basically get all the same functionality when they have Windows and Windows Live working together.

Brooks also thinks consumers are stupid. I’m not sure what Windows Live is, but Mobile Me is optional and a vast majority don’t use it. I do, because I have three macs and want my data all in one place. There’s cheaper options, but Mobile Me is baked in so the integration is nice.

Those who need VMware or Parallels, etc need Windowz for work for the most part, so the casual Mac owner, won’t ever pay that “Tax”. Every Mac buyer doesn’t buy a copy of VMware or Parallels, most are looking to leave Windows behind and not look back.

A funny statement:

Just the fact that we’re having this long of a conversation about Apple, it seems to reflect a shift in Microsoft’s thinking that Apple is more of a threat on the PC side. I mean, how do you guys view Apple in terms of a competitive threat on the desktop?
Brooks: The conversations that we’re having really started back around our partner conference in early July. And I came out and said, right there onstage in front of tens of thousands of partners, “we’re drawing a line in the sand.”

A line that many are running as fast as they can right up to, stepping over, and never looking back.

I won’t keep posting tidbits, of M$ non sense, read the entire article.  I want to get back to my point. Yes there’s an Apple Tax. I paid it when I bought my Macbook Pro, that is now three years old and not likely to be replaced any time soon. Where as my wife’s Inspiron is in dire need of either a re install from all the Crapware (wait, crapware on a PC? No way according to Brad, oh wait, she’s XP), or just a new machine. My iPod Photo, still running, the Apple Tax I paid nearly 7 years ago, well earned in my opintion. I wonder if a Zune will last that long…?

However to insinuate there’s no Windows Tax is just plain silly. Sure it’s not paid on the hardware Windows runs on, that’d be the Dell Tax. It’s paid in time lost rebooting, waiting for outlook to load, waiting for the wireless network to figure itself out and get working, waiting for the newest 20+ software updates to download. It’s also paid in having to run Anti Virus software, having to re install the OS every 6 months to a year just to get some performance. For Vista users, it’s my understanding (thanks to Tom) that it’s paid in waiting for it to reboot after you put it to sleep or changed wireless networks.

There’s a Windows Tax, to be sure, to say otherwise is plain disengenuous. Brad is no doubt your typical mud slinging marketing wonk, but really, CNN why waste time even talking to him? Especially when it’s clear he thinks the reason Apple is doing so well is that consumers are stupid and un aware of the choices they’re making. Brad, I hate to break it to you, but we know, and we’re ok with it.

And it is not a question of whether they are satisfied or dissatisfied with the experience, it’s a question of whether they really know what they’re getting into when they choose to embark upon that path.

To close another funny. Brad might not be the best person for interviews since even Ina picked up on it.

Is there risk in the way you guys are doing this that some of the messaging sounds like “you, the consumer, just don’t get it?”
Brooks: That’s far from the message that I want to deliver.

Bummer Brad, that’s the message you did deliver.

By John Wilker

I'm a science fiction writer and conference organizer. In 2017 I published my first book, 'Space Rogues', a fun Sci-Fi adventure with a fun cast of characters. I'm also the co-founder of 360|Conferences, a conference and event logistics consulting company.

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