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).