In last two months, Apple made couple of major product releases. And they also announced that they are not going to reveal product sales numbers going forward. There is a serious problem for Apple and I think they are going for short term gains instead of going for long term gains. And Apple is making sure that their presence in Indian market dwindles to non-existent state. Sooner than later, we will start seeing more and more markets moving away from Apple products. I am starting to feel that Apple is the new Sony in electronics. Over priced products that no one buys. Read on to know why!
New iPhones that even the rich will think twice to buy
Apple iPhone XS Max starts at 1,09,900/- iPhone XS start at 99,990/- and goes up to 1,40,000/-. These are online prices and if you go to Apple Store, add another 10k-20k to this price. Apple iPhone XR is priced at 76,900/- for base variant and goes all the way to 91,900/-.
Till last year, new iPhones would cost around 80k at launch. This year, the pricing started at one lac rupees. Till last year, those who wanted to buy a new phone would go with one by shelling out necessary amount. Those who wanted to switch to iPhone but couldnt pay 80k would go with earlier variant. During sale days, a one year old version of iPhone would be available for as low as 45k-50k and that is very good price even for a one year old variant.
One can say that I can go with last year’s model. The problem is that now, even the last year’s model iPhone X costs 80k. That is way too much for a year old version. The iPhone 8 price starts at 58k. From iPhone 6 till iPhone 8, there was not much difference in design of iPhone. And now, that design looks outdated and antique. So, from design point of view, very few prefer phones with ‘fat’ bezels.
In short, Apple has made new iPhones out of reach of nearly every one and old iPhones are antique.
Apple iPad Pro that costs as much as MacBooks
Apple announced new iPad Pro in last week of October. The price of these start at $699. Even if you add a ‘pro’ tag to iPad, it is still a “tablet” and cannot match a device that is used for professional work. The iOS operating system that comes with iPad Pro is severely restricted to an extent that you cannot copy content to/from external drive and you have to rely on a PC to sync data to external drive. This does not run a single desktop class application. You need to buy lot of dongles, a keyboard case, a mouse to use it like a laptop or desktop, well, without any desktop class applications. That increases the cost of iPad Pro to above 1L.
The worst part is that the basic variant that is going to cost north of 70K rupees comes with puny 128GB storage. Apple iPhone XR costs $749 in USA and is priced at Rs81,000/- here in India. Thats conversion rate of 109.35 per dollar. If you want something like 512GB, it costs $1,149 and that would be around 1,25,638 rupees. FOR A TABLET! And if you want LTE too, you end up paying $1,499 and that would be Rs.1,63,909. Thats paying more than what you pay for a MacBook Pro Touchbar variant. Compare that to last year’s iPad Pro that closts less than 50k. The basic variant of new iPad Pro is pricier than the top end variant of last year’s iPad Pro. Apple has taken over pricing to whole new level.
MacBook Air to cost more than MacBook Pro
For those who wanted to get into Apple ecosystem without shelling too much for a MacBook Pro, Air was the perfect laptop. It didn’t cost too much and it was easy to carry around. You can get a 2017 design MacBook Air for 60k (approx). Macbook Airs are one of the most sold Apple products during Indian sale season every year. Thats because the price comes down to 50k something after discounts and offers.
The mid 2017 MacBook Air models start at ₹1,14,900 for 13″ variant and the least priced configuration has a dual core Core i5 Y series chip that is slower than other mobile Core i5 chips, 8GB of RAM that you cannot upgrade, Intel HD graphics etc. Even by Apple standards, that is gross overpricing. The new Air models, announced in last week of October come with better processor, display etc. In USA, the new models start at $1,199/- and last year’s model is priced at $949. That extra 250$ will take price of new models closer to ₹1,50,000 which is way way way too much for such a laptop. That price would make it on-par with way more powerful and feature rich MacBook Pro that has TouchBar and makes it pricier than MacBook Pro without touch bar.
New Mac Mini comes with bloated price tag
I have been using a late-2012 model Mac Mini for couple of years and I paid around 40k for this and as part of offer, I got a 1TB HDD, couple of dongles. Since 2012, Apple made one upgrade, in 2014 and it came with RAM soldered and without a way to upgrade RAM. Now, after almost half a decade, Apple has announced a new Mac Mini but this one is priced at Rs 75,900. That is for a variant that has Core i3 chip, 8GB RAM, weak Intel 630 graphics and puny 128GB SSD. That is way too high price tag for this.
Compare that to what you get with Dell. For slightly more money, you get an All-in-One with a 24″ InfinityEdge display that has extremely thin bezels, 8th gen Core i5, GeForce® GTX1050 with 4GB GDDR5, integrated webcam, 2TB HDD, 8GB RAM, wireless keyboard and mouse. Compare this with the Core i5 Mac Mini with Intel graphics, priced at ₹1,05,900 and you know that you have to pay massive Apple Tax for that logo. In PC world, for 51k, you get slightly inferior All-in-One that has 7th gen core i5, 4GB RAM that can be upgraded, 1TB HDD, 24″ FullHD display, wireless keyboard and mouse etc.
MacOS that is lagging behind Windows 10
I had to switch from iPhone to Android phone when I got to know (last year) that the new iPhones will not be affordable. This reduced my dependency on MacOS a lot as Windows does better sync of my Android phone than MacOS. My 2012 Mac Mini is showing signs of aging. MacOS struggles big time even though I upgraded this one to have 10GB of RAM and an Evo SSD. I ended up installing and using Windows 10 as mainstream OS. Unlike MacOS, Windows 10 breezes through on this old hardware and this has surprised me big time. Apple talks so much about speed and it is a shame that a Windows 10 OS runs much better and looks better when run on a 2012 Mac mini, than the MacOS Mojave. take a look at this video that shows the difference between MacOS and Windows 10.
Why is Apple doing this?
Steve Jobs’s Apple always had the right balance and it had products that would pull outsiders into the ecosystem. The experience used to start with the iPod that would cost less than 20k. Those who got iPod would then go and get an iPhone and eventually get a MacBook. Innovation at Apple peaked between 1998 and 2010. Apple had products with every one in mind and competing products were no match to Apple Product. Be it iPod or iPhone or iPad or Macs, Apple was untouchable. His demise flipped innovation switch down couple of notches.
Tim Cook’s Apple only has one thing in mind. Making ‘more’ money! There was a time, not long ago, when Apple products would be above every thing else on performance, looks and were priced just right. But now, Apple products fell behind in design, speed. As more and more are moving away from Apple Ecosystem, Tim Cook decided to make most out of existing customers by hiking price of current products. This Apple makes you spend atleast 76k rupees to get one current generation product. I paid around 1L to get iPhone, accessories, Mac Mini. Now, I have to pay more than 2L to get these and if I have to get an iPad Pro tablet, I have to pay another 1L. That’s ridiculous amount of money and I would rather opt out.
Back when John Sculley was leading Apple, he made a mess of everything by creating confusing and overpriced lineup of products and it almost killed the company. The current generation of products are taking Apple in same direction that John Sculley took. A overlapping lineup of devices, some of which are un-necessary, all are overpriced. MacBook Air is pricier than MacBook Pro, iPads are pricier than MacBooks, iPhones pricier than laptops and costs as much as iMac All-in-Ones. This is a confusing lineup of products that Apple has setup for 2018-2019. Lets just hope that Tim Cook realizes this sooner.