The Apple Discount

We’ve all heard of the Apple Tax, the premium you have to pay to get a Mac. Presumably for the nice design and for the brand itself. There are have been many smart analyses that argue back and forth about whether or not there really is an Apple Tax. But I think the iPad makes it pretty clear that there isn’t an Apple Tax. Instead I put forth that there is an Apple Discount.

Brian Chen at Wired wrote an excellent article titled, “Why Nobody Can Match the iPad’s Price:”

That’s what it all boils down to: ecosystems and control. Competitors are struggling to match the $500 price point because they aren’t as fully integrated as Apple, in terms of retail strategy, a digital content market, hardware and software engineering — everything.

When Apple introduced the iPad in 2010 the general expectation was that it would be priced between $699 and $999. I don’t think many, if at all, expected the revolutionary tablet and netbook killer from Apple to start at $499. And to this day no other major brand has been able to match the kind of performance you get on an iPad with that price. One thing that works like clockwork is the drop in cost of high-tech components, in the long run. And it has been almost a year, yet there is no iPad-like tablet with an iPad-like price from anyone available for purchase anywhere. An Apple Tax? That’s nonsense. What we’ve got here is a major Apple Discount.