Apple Claims PC Is As Expensive As Mac

Apple Claims PC Is As Expensive As Mac

Microsoft's latest advertisement shows an average computer user, Jane, who wants to buy a 17' laptop. The commercial follows her as she discovers that Mac laptops are too expensive for her budget, then heads to Best Buy where she finds a PC that meets her specifications for $699.

The ad ends with Jane jumping in joy, but -understandably- Apple and its supporters are not as happy.

Business Week's Arik Hesseldahl, along with an Apple spokesperson responded to the aforementioned ad by claiming that PC users don't understand quality and economics, and that they are picking inferior machines. "Yes, $699 beats the $2,800 you'd pay for a Mac with a 17-in. screen. But when it comes to PCs, there's still a great deal more to buy," he wrote.

The first thing a PC user will need to buy, according to Hesseldahl, is a decent Antivirus software. "After the trial runs out you'll pay Symantec $50 a year to protect your PC (and up to two others in your home) from all the nasty viruses, worms, and other malware lurking on the Internet. That's $150 over the three years Lauren is likely to hold on to her PC. No need for antivirus on the Mac."

It is worth noting that Apple has been recommending the use of antivirus software with Macs for almost half a year now. A note on Apple's official support website reads: Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult."

"Next," Hesseldahl added, "let's say something goes wrong on the computer once the warranty expires and that it requires the intervention of a third party. Geek Squad will charge you $129 just for a diagnosis. A diagnosis from the Genius Bar in Apple's retail stores? Free."

After that Hesseldahl tried to calculate the cost of getting a multimedia suite similar to Mac's iLife. For some reason, he expected that, in addition to Muvee Reveal($80), and CyberLink DVD Suite($104) , the average PC user needs Adobe's Photoshop Elements, including a membership in Plus ($140), Sonic Solutions' Roxio Creator 2009, which combines video-editing and DVD-creating tools ($100)and Cubase Sequel ($100).

"Add it all up and it's not hard to imagine Lauren's $699 computer costing something closer to $1,500," he concluded.

"But that doesn't include harder-to-quantify shortcomings. The HP's battery lasts only 2.5 hours on a charge, compared with eight hours for the 17-in. MacBook Pro, which also happens to be 1.2 lb. lighter and boasts substantially better screen resolution: 1,920 pixels wide by 1,440 high, vs. 1,440 by 900 for the HP."