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I see people downvoting this comment, but...it's kind of true.

The "kind of" part is this: Apple arguably built its culture first around the extremely hacker-friendly Apple II, then around the original Macintosh -- which was certainly expensive, but was very specifically pitched as "the computer for the rest of us." That segment is one that they're ironically a bit wobbly on right now. (The MacBook Air and the iMac are close.)

But: the Mac got adopted by the high end graphic design and print layout industry, and Apple started making higher end machines specifically targeted to that market like the Mac IIfx -- which was a $9K machine at its introduction in 1990, and that is not adjusted for inflation. As far as I can tell, that was their high water mark in pricing, but they've regularly had "flagship" models breaking the $4K mark at introduction, e.g., the Power Macintosh 9500. The sub-$3K flagship era of the Power Mac G5 and original Mac Pros is something of an anomaly. (Which isn't to say that I wouldn't like to see a headless Mac with internal expansion slots that starts at $1999.)




The sub-$3K flagship era of the Power Mac G5 and original Mac Pros is something of an anomaly.

Apple actually was able to maintain this pricing for entry-level Power Macs and Mac Pros from 1999 (I haven't checked earlier prices) through the 2013 Mac Pro model. Here is a list of prices I compiled:

  Blue and White Power Mac G3 (January 1999) -- $1,599 ($2,453 in 2019 dollars)
  Graphite Power Mac G4 (December 1999) -- $1,599 ($2,453 in 2019 dollars)
  2001 Power Mac G4 (January 2001) -- $1,699 ($2,453)
  2001 Quicksilver Power Mac G4 (July 2001) -- $1,699 ($2,453)
  2002 Mirrored Drive Door Power Mac G4 (August 2002) -- $1,699 ($2,413)
  2003 Power Mac G5 (August 2003) -- $1,999 ($2,776), reduced to $1,799 ($2,499) in November 2003
  2006 Mac Pro (August 2006) -- $2,199 ($2,787)
  2010 Mac Pro (July 2010) -- $2,499 ($2,929)
  2013 Mac Pro (December 2013) -- $2,999 ($3,289.83 in 2019 dollars, but you can still purchase an entry-level 2013 Mac Pro today from Apple for $2,999 in 2019 dollars).


interesting! Looked up some old datapoints on wikipedia

Apple Lisa 1983 $9,995 ($25,143 in 2018 dollars)

Apple Macintosh 128k 1/24/84 $2,495 ($6,000 in 2018 dollars)

Macintosh II 3/2/87 $5,498 ($12,125 in 2018)

Next Cube 9/18/90 $10,000 ($19,177 in 2018 dollars)


Flagship Mac Pro 2019 is likely to cost more than $50k. That's much more than $9k at 1990.


The prices I gave were the starting prices in 1990, so I think it's reasonable to compare them to the starting prices in 2019.




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