Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Why Apple laptops cost more: The power connector.

We went to Fry's Electronics today to look for a new laptop or netbook, as we do every couple of years. I was astonished (as I am every couple of years) at how cheap these things are.

Except for the Apple laptops. Apple laptops cost about $450 more than comparable Windows machines.

I examined every single laptop on display, about 50 of them, to determine what would make an Appple computer worth $450 more than a Windows system. It's not the software (I use both, and other than a pretty spinning ball Apple's got nothing on Windows). It's not the lack of a right mouse button (or even a left mouse button), I'd be willing to pay Apple a little extra to put a right mouse button in.

It's the power connector. Apple can charge an extra $450 because they're the only computer brand that makes a decent power connector. It doesn't flop around. It doesn't break. It's got no moving parts.

Every goddam Windows machine I examined had nearly the same flimsy power connector, one you can feel wiggling around inside, and you just know that after connecting and disconnecting 5 times a day (the national average I just made up) it's mean time to failure is going to be 174 days (a figure I just made up based on experience: on both of our last two Windows laptops, that power connector was the first thing to fail).

Apple can charge an extra $450 because of its power connector.

So here's a billion dollar idea for the some bright Windows brand: make a better power connector, spend an extra 50 cents on it if you have to, then charge a $450 premium. The first manufacturer to do this will bring in an extra $1 billion dollars of pure profit in the first year (plus or minus twenty bucks, if the sales, stocking, manufacturing, legal, and shipping numbers I just made up in my head are correct).

You're welcome.

1 comment:

  1. I truely belive this with all my heart..
    Adding to this. With my mac, the first thing I fell in love with was my charger :D