Mike Davidson - RAM Arbitrage

by Paul William Tenny

Apple-aqua-logo.pngThey say that when you start a blog, you should fine a niche and not deviate from it, but they also say you should look at what your competition does, and do something else. Rather than focus on television or film, both of which are extensively covered, I've tried to converge the two into a "media brief" theme over the first three months, though I hope to expand just a little bit as time moves on to other things I know people might be interested in, like Apple ripping people off.

I've never been a fan of Apple because for what seems like eternity, their hardware has cost more while really under performing compared to PC's. Our stuff may not be shiny, it it's fast, always has been, and always will be. That's why Apple finally started putting Intel hardware into their machines, but that hasn't curtailed their propensity to overprice practically everything they sell.

There are a lot of stories to be had where virtually anything you buy from Apple can be had from other manufacturers with better features and a cheaper price. I've been through it with Apple fanatics before over the price and performance of the Macbook Pro, which has a Intel Core 2 Duo processor in it. Mac fans claimed for the equivalent internal hardware, it was cheaper than a Dell, which wasn't true.

I went to Dell's site, configured a machine with identical hardware (or nearly identical in the case where certain options weren't available such as on-board graphics, in which case something as just as costly if not more expensive was chosen to be as far as possible) and found a Dell laptop with identical hardware to the Macbook Pro was between $500-$700 less. Turns out the Mac fans picked a Dell laptop on the high-end and then picked the same internal hardware instead of looking for another notebook that had the same hardware regardless of what family it was in.

So it wasn't much of a surprise when Mike Davidson, CEO of Newsvine, a community/social news and commentary website I used to frequent before mediapundit.net began sucking up all of my time, ordered a shiny new Apple notebook and was horrified at the memory price gouging:

In other words, to max out my MacBook’s RAM, Apple charges me $850, while if I go through my trusty RAM comparison shopping site DealRam, I am pointed to NewEgg, which ships me the same amount of RAM for $120. As a point of comparison, Dell charges $465 for an extra 4GB… still outrageous, but not a 700% markup!

This is typical of how Apple operates - they make something everybody else makes, slap an Apple sticker on it, double the price, and their fans just eat it up like they invented it. MP3 players, Apple's primary source of income since their desktop and notebook sales are small compared to other retailers and much more expensive - not even third to the party. Diamond Multimedia invented those and took the brunt of the initial lawsuits from the RIAA. They don't offer the largest models, the cheapest models, the models with the most features, or any combination thereof.

They simply got to the online music store market first and companies that do that tend either to fall apart (remember 3DFX anybody?) or they become entrenched and redefine the word monopoly (hello Microsoft.) I don't speak for Mike on this but my feelings on Apple have been crystal clear for a while now, and this kind of crap does little to change my mind that Apple is anything other than an anti-consumer, greedy, opportunistic parasite with really pretty GUIs.
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