Resale To Plunge?

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LTong's picture
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I'm seeing lots of rumor sites stirring about a possible "Sub-$500" Mac. My first impression was, awesome, I can sell my 4 year old PowerMac and get a newer faster machine for cheap. My second impression, however, was a little less enthusiastic. If Apple releases a brand new computer for 500 bucks, how hard of a hit are our used ebay Macs gonna take? I know old Apples have a history of good resale value, but could this upset that trend? Anyone else have thoughts on what this could do to the used Mac seller community?

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Logan Tong

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I so hope that the sub 500 do

I so hope that the sub 500 dollar mac is real and that it hurts resale values. I so want to buy a cheap older g4 for 200 dollars instead of the 400 that it commands now.

If the sub 500 dollar imac is real, it will most likely hurt the resale value of all older macs (even towers). I think taht someone would rather buy a 500 new 1.25 ghz imac rather than a more expandable 733 quicksilver at around the same price.

I just can't wait and I am praying that the rumors are true. The mac resale market needs to be hit like this finally.

Anything to make macs more affordable and LESS elitist!!! Thats the one thing i hate about the mac community, the "eliteist" attitude that is held by many.

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BOOYEAH! Now I can ditch t

BOOYEAH!

Now I can ditch the 90s and step into the 21st century. Maybe I'll stop watching Seinfeld reruns too.

Barjack's picture
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Apple would not sell a 500.00

Apple would not sell a 500.00 new system without making sure it did not touch even the used G4/G5 market. This "headless iMac" of rumors and myth may very well come to pass, but it will be comparably barebones as a Performa 630, with only proprietary upgrade slots, if any. This unit will be sold to those who would rather use their computer as an appliance to connect their "digital life" devices to. Such a person would purchase this unit only to use in tandem with the internet, a camera, and an iPod, not to produce the next 3D motion cinema masterpiece.

Even the Blue and White G3 is still useful today, and will hold high resale valuye with an upgraded CPU and a gig of RAM, both cheap and easy to find. People will continue to buy used Macs at good prices because used macs still have AGP, PCI, 5.25" expandable drive bays, and room for multiple IDE hard drives. I'm a long-standing eBay seller and addict, and have noticed the PowerMacs decreasing in value on a normal and logical scale. In January, a bottom-end 350 MHZ G4 Yikes! sold for 350.00, while they can be had not for 275.00... not a huge leap there. Blue G3 systems are down under the 100's now from their standing average of 175.00 for a 350 mhz system in the spring. Beige G3's plummited in value, but that's because OSX Panther does not really support them, even when using "XPostFacto". 233-333 iMacs and 300 iBooks are cheaper because again, OSX has no video support for these older systems and with no major upgrade path, neither will do very will with iLife, especially not GarageBand or iDVD.

There's something for everyone, and if Apple introduces a headless iMac, it will be more like a Geo Metro than a Chevy Cavalier, so low on the chain they had to invent a new company name for the car so as not to taint the Chevy brand. I'm not trying to insult this possibly-false new Mac, just trying to explain that it shouldn't impact the used market much at all.

Hopefully it won't be as crappy as the Performa 6x00 series. Anyone remember those?

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I disagree. If this headless

I disagree. If this headless mac does come to pass, people will look at it in the vein of "why spend 500 for a used older mac when i can get a new mac for the same price that has firewire expandability.".

Thats the main thing I think that is going to hurt old mac resales. The headless mac can use firewire and then isn't going to be a hamstrung POS that has no upgrade path.

Until this new mac comes to pass, there have been NO new macs since the g3 came out that has ever been under 500 dollars. A blue and white with upgrades is only valuable because of the upgrades, the headless imac will make people who would normally try to get a newish mac that has a fast g3 or a g4 consider the headless mac. Currntly the only game in town for cheap fast g3 or g4 macs are the older b/w etc but since they are the only game in town, it drives the price of them up since they are the lowest end models that can reliably use os x.3 and up. However you throw in the wildcard of the headless mac, and bam, you now have an alternative that was never there.

That alternative is now cheap enough to be almost considered a commodity and that is why i think its going to kill the overly high resale market for older fast g3/g4 systems. It boils down to "why should I pay 400 for a sawtooth/quicksilver/600mhz imac when i can have a nice shiny new with-warranty 1.25ghz imac."

Think about it, unless you have a niche need (graphics artist/video production/etc) for an absolute need for a tower, there is no reason why you should pay for a used tower when you can get double the speed for the same or a little more in price.

Now think about this: If apple were to spinoff a whole new subsidery that makes these cheap imacs and that makes them prioperity (say they have to use a speical verison of os x and aren't 100 percent compatible with all other macs), that might prevent the new imac from cutting into the sales of the new stuff. Kinda of like how Casio introduced the BE-300 handheld which was sort of a pocketpc but was different/priorperity enough to make it not fully compatible so its cheap low price didn't cut into the regular line of stuff or the resale value of older stuff.

And for that matter, does apple (the company) really have a vested reason to actually care about the resale values of old macs? We know that Steve doens't like people using the same computer for long periods of time, look how he hurt the resale market for beige g3s with 10.3. Once 10.3 came out, you could actually see the price of the beige drop like a rock.

Blah, i'm typing way to much into this.

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I don't like that a super-che

I don't like that a super-cheap Mac would tarnish Apple's upmarket, premium image.

I do like that I could fill my house up with brand-new Macs...

And I also like the fact that G4 towers over here in Aus seem to be hordes cheaper than in the US- 400MHz examples regularly go for around AU$350-400, even in private sales. Not that I'd want one or anything... Must...avoid...spending...money saved for iBook... Tongue

LTong's picture
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Point being... It's great for

Point being... It's great for switchers and new computer buyers, but bad for those of us who've invested 3, 4, 5 times that for our current systems and want to trade up. Again Apple sticks it to there hardcore patrons for market share.

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Logan Tong

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Increasing market share is go

Increasing market share is good business sense for apple. Ask anyone with an MBA if they think that increasing their market share is a good thing for the sake of the company.

Computers are NOT an investment no matter what anyone thinks. They are commodities nowadays. It just so happens that Apple's resale depreciation is slower than any windows compatible computer, but its still there.

If you spend 3-5 times the price of the computer for upgrades to do your job, the increasing depreciation isn't going to directly hurt you, you still have the tools to do your job. And for that matter, i'm assuming that the 3-5 times the price of the computer includes some rather pricy software that has a different depreciation curve than the hardware anyway.

The price of the hardware isn't (shouldn't) effect the resale price of software anyway.

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Apple does not care in the sl

Apple does not care in the slightest about used mac resale prices. They don't get any money from used mac sales. Apple is a business first and formost and it's been quite clear for some time that new mac sales take precidence over all else.

Sure you'd like to to think they'd run the business as you suggested, but it's not a reflection of reality.

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Jon's picture
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Apple has had years of iPod s

Apple has had years of iPod sales to bolster their image in the eyes of PC users. Now, with Apple riding high as the #1 portable HDD based MP3 player vendor, their co-branding with big-name HP on the iPod, and many Apple stores and departments in many cities, they are set to make a consumer splash of a cheap Mac. The power-users will still go for powerful towers, and "the rest of us" might just get a chance to buy a new virus/spyware/legacy free Mac at PC prices. The iMac has already dropped the G4. The eMac is now the low-end system, and it's got that dang CRT that drives up the production/shipping costs. If you make an (e/i)Mac w/o a display, and make a small drop in the price to attract buyers, the margin could still feasibly be 2x higher. Sure, it's a lower-end Mac. BUT, it costs less to make than the eMac, and wouldn't much hurt the G5 iMac sales, and it's not going to do a dang thing to dual-G5 PM sales. The eMac has the AIO going for it, so schools would still have a reason to buy them if it still costs less than the new Mac+monitor.

For Apple, getting into the consumer level market can only help iPod sales. Getting into the market with something that can compete financially with a PC, and mantain the iPod appeal will be one big seller. If Apple markets the new Mac along with iPods in a package deal, they stand a really good chance of getting a good slice of the consumer market.

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Wow. The mini imac 500 dolla

Wow. The mini imac 500 dollar comptuer is real:

http://www.apple.com/macmini/

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Jon's picture
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So far the only main rumor th

So far the only main rumor that was false that I heard about was the price of the iPod shuffle being $149. Apple starts the price at $99. iWorks, Mac mini, iPod shuffle... Maybe that GarageBand thing was false too but I've yet to look it up.

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Actually...

The rumour about the iPod shuffle isn't completely un-true. The 1GB iPod Shuffle is $149, or so I've heard.

As well, Apple has a warning not to eat the iPod shuffle on their site http://www.apple.com/ipodshuffle/ Scroll down to footnote # 2. I think it's because Apple says the iPod shuffle can go anywhere... People who are actually stupid enough to eat an iPod Shuffle should have to buy one for someone who's intelligent enough to take proper care of it! Laughing out loud

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Or in any way unique.
Think about yourself for a minute,
Then you'll find the answer in it:
Everyone's a freak.

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The Mac mini pages also have

The Mac mini pages also have some kinda intersting notes at the bottom. The hands, megaphone and PC are not included with your new Mac mini.

iBook 600,iMac 350 BB,UMAX c500/240,PM7100/66/G3-240,PCC PW120,512k, Plus,SE,SE FDHD,SE/30,IIsi,IIci/040,Q605,Q660/AV,Q700,Q800 PPC,P460,P475,LC 580,P5200 w/ 5500/250 MLB,PB165,PB150,Duo 280,Duo 280c&Dock II,PB 520c
Mac mini fund: $225

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I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine. - Fritz Perls