Apple’s pricing issue

Apple’s recent pricing and product range decisions reveal a lack of strategic consistency. Just a few examples of new products with overblown prices:

  • MacBook Pro 15″ Retina: $2.199
  • MacBook Pro 13″ Retina: $1.699
  • iPad mini: $329
  • iPod touch: $299

The retina MacBook 13″ is delivered with a yesterday’s 128Gb of SSD. An upgrade to 256Gb is $300 (I just bought a 256Gb SSD for my old MacBook for $160). Short-term bottom line chasing / consumer milking may satisfy investor interests, but will not help with a long-term strategy.

While Apple products deserve a decent premium, the prices above show a departure from the strategy that was in place before 2012. Apple should be reminded that its huge success was helped with remarkably competitive pricing of the first white MacBook and iPad.

The skewed pricing seems to be a byproduct of an inconsistent product line. You can get a 13″ MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13″ and a MacBook Pro Retina 13″, each of which, of course, needs its own price range.

To resolve the issue, I would suggest the following actions and price tags:

  • Drop the current line of non-retina MacBooks as displays become available.
  • Drop the HardDrive in laptops.
  • SSDs start with 128Gb in 10″ Air and 256Gb in all 13″ models.
  • MacBook Pro 15″ Retina: $1.799
  • MacBook Pro 13″ Retina: $1.299
  • iPad mini: $279
  • iPod touch: $199

While the pricing above might seem too aggressive, Apple should not forget the ecosystem advantage it can maintain with a fast growing user base.

The only viable strategy for continuing success is new product innovation: Apple TV, Apple Radio, Apple Car, Apple House, Apple Coffee Maker. With product differentiation and current pricing in place, Apple is bound to find itself in the 1995 situation with growing competition and some really good alternatives for customers.

About Grischa Ekart

I am a DevOps consultant writing about Docker, Kubernetes, AWS, IT, strategy, management, mobility, business cases, apps, consumer electronics and MBA education. Talk to me on Twitter: @gekart.
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