Why Are MacBooks So Expensive?

There’s no debating that MacBooks are expensive, but why? The overall reason is they are designed and produced by Apple. This is often referred to as Apple Tax. While Apple is the ultimate factor, there are multiple reasons they are able to demand a premium price.

My name is Eric and I have been around computers since the late 1970s. As a software engineer, I am always curious to find answers to technology questions and I also enjoy sharing the information with you along the way.

Keep reading if you would like to find out more about Apple Tax and a list of reasons why Apple is able to charge higher prices for their products, including MacBooks.

Is Apple Tax Really A Tax?

It’s not really a tax, at least not the way you normally think of a tax such as when the government charges you a sales tax. It’s just a joking or sarcastic way of saying Apple is going to charge you more and there is nothing you can do about it. Just like the government.

Top 11 Reasons Why Apple Can Charge More

There are many reasons why Apple can charge a premium for MacBooks. Apple Tax encompasses all of these reasons and it’s what allows the company to continue to be successful as a world technology leader.

1. Demand

It’s economics 101. The more demand there is for a product, the higher the price. There is always a high demand for MacBooks, therefore they sell for a premium price.

2. Popularity

This is also a cause of the first reason. Apple is pop culture and pop culture sells, which in turn creates high demand. The popularity of MacBooks, allows Apple to sell MacBooks for more than the similar products offered by competitors.

3. Reputation

The MacBook and Apple are solid leaders in computing technology. The rich history has created a reputation that is second to none. Any product with this kind of notoriety can demand top dollar.

4. High-End Product

Apple would probably claim this is the number one reason for Apple Tax. Its quality, durability, and reliability provide a product that is well worth the extra cost. High-end products appeal to a wide variety of consumers who are willing to shell out the cash.

5. Simplicity

Apple has always boasted the simplicity of its products and the ability of anyone to learn and use them. This ease of use is built into products such as the MacBook. That simplicity or ease of use increases its value tremendously.

6. Holds Its Value

Like some automobiles, the MacBook holds its value quite well. You’ll pay a lot for a new one, but used ones are also fairly expensive. If you go to a site like eBay, you’ll see used 3-year-old MacBooks selling anywhere from $600 to $1000. Not a bad investment.

Used MacBooks pricing on eBay

7. Security

Another feature Apple often boasts about. Security is important for any system. Sure, MacBooks can be hacked just as any other computer can be, but Apple’s attention to security means the MacBook is less vulnerable to viruses and spyware.

8. Upgrades

If you’re a tech junkie like me, you want the most memory and hard drive space. You want the fastest processor and graphics adapter. MacBooks offer top of the line upgrades and these upgrades will cost you, making them even more expensive.

9. iPhone

You’re probably wondering how the iPhone can impact the cost of a MacBook. This goes back to some of our first items on the list, demand, and popularity. The ability to fully integrate your iPhone and MacBook is an attractive feature that keeps them in demand.

10. Luxury

Many consider MacBooks and Apple products luxury items. A Waterford crystal glass functions the same as a glass bought from Wal-mart, but if you have the money you might want the Waterford crystal. If you can afford it you probably want the MacBook.

11. Loyal Customers

I saved this one for last because it is probably one of the biggest factors when it comes to Apple Tax. Apple and MacBook customers are some of the most loyal around. They will always come back to their Apple products and are willing to pay the price.

Is a MacBook (and Apple Tax) Worth It?

If you take a look at other laptops you will see a distinct difference in prices. A PC laptop with similar features will be significantly less than a MacBook. 

PC laptops also have the advantage of being easier and cheaper to upgrade if you decide you want more computing power down the road.

While this is a nice option, PC laptops lose their value much quicker and at some point, making upgrades to an old antiquated computer no longer makes sense. Better value is found by just purchasing a new one. MacBooks hold their value and have greater longevity.

In the end, you may spend more money with the cheaper competitor models while losing all the wonderful features we have talked about in our list above. This can be a tough choice but for most, it just comes down to which type of system you prefer or have past experience with.

We’re not ready to dredge up the age-old argument of which is better, Mac or PC. For the most part, this comes down to the last item we discussed on our list, loyalty. Mac users will continue to use Macs and PC users will continue to use PCs. 

There is a group, including me, who use both and the price differences are noticeable. Luckily the longevity factor of the MacBook allows me to continue using my older one for most things and I don’t have to worry about shelling out a lot of cash for a new one every couple of years.

Final Words

There’s no doubt the MacBook is a great product. It has a long and storied history and it is one of Apple’s key products. For regular Mac users, the higher prices are probably not a surprise and most of you have accepted and are willing to pay the Apple Tax.

If you are new to Apple products and looking into a new or used MacBook, there is a good chance you will have some sticker shock. Hopefully, this article has helped you to understand why MacBooks cost more and you can now make an informed decision.

Let us know what you think about the cost of Apple products in general. We would love to hear your opinions.

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