It’s a discussion that comes up a lot. I’ve even joked about it in my book, The Blank Screen (UK edition, US edition). Every time it happens, it’s started by someone who dislikes Apple and they always say:
Macs are overpriced
And I or probably anyone who likes Apple, tells a tale something like mine:
My previous Mac lasted me seven years. I still use it for some jobs. Over that same period, X or Y replaced their PCs three times. Tell me what’s the better value.
I’m not sure which disappoints me more: the ease with which I come out with all this stuff or the ease with which people say Macs are overpriced. It’s the word overpriced: if they’d said expensive or just straight out that they cost more than PCs, I’d be nodding along with them. Well, there’s the stuff about MacBook Air knockoffs, how they still aren’t cheaper. But generally, Macs are more expensive than PCs.
It’s just that word overpriced.
That really disappoints me.
You can get a word processor for free now. So people call ones that cost £6.99 overpriced. They mean it costs more, they think it’s expensive – seriously? £6.99 for something you’ll earn your living using? – but they say overpriced. The word is used because it sounds better than calling the cheaper one cheaper. It implies a professional judgement: all things have been considered and that one is overpriced.
Anyone who disagrees has been consumed by the cult of Apple whereas you, the one making this overpriced judgement, are the sole voice of sanity.
Macs are cheaper than PCs therefore Macs are overpriced
Shoes are cheaper than cars therefore cars are overpriced
Hey, they both get you where you’re going, don’t they? But you look at that second one, you think I’m a smartarse, and you know shoes can’t do the same job as a car. That’s actually what I think when I look at the first line: PCs can’t do the same job as a Mac. You can disagree and there is every chance you will, but it doesn’t matter: that’s how I see it when I’m spending the money. All that matters is what you, specifically you, need. You’re thinking money matters too and it surely does, but:
If you love PCs and Windows, you have oodles of choice and you’re going to get a very cheap computer. I can’t see a single thing wrong with that.
If you don’t love PCs and Windows, why would you buy one? When you don’t like them, then the sole reason is price and I can see only wrong things with that. You’re choosing, you are electing to buy a computer you know you won’t like. That’s not a saving over a Mac, it is a waste of money. It’s one of the worst wastes, I think, because you then have to live with it every day you’re working.
I’m sure I’ll buy another Mac some day but when I do, I will be pricing it against what I need it for and what it will do for me. I won’t be comparing it to a PC.
I do thoroughly believe that you need to get the computer that works best for you and if that’s a PC, that’s a PC. I think I’m in a fortunate position that I’ve worked extensively with both so I know what works for me.
Buy a Mac, buy a PC, it’s completely up to you. But can we skip the bollocks about overpriced vs cheap and just get back to work?