Apple memory upgrade costs, How can they justify a 1000% markup?!
25/04/2012

Everyone knows I love Apple, but recently I found their behaviour just plain flabbergasting.

I was looking to upgrade the RAM on my Mac Mini so I looked on the Apple website for the type of RAM I needed and to get a costing. I was staggered to see an 8GB upgrade costing £320. OK, RAM's expensive you might say but I wasn't sure. So I checked around online and that's when I really caught my breath.

Market rates for the same memory from an independent memory specialist was £33, making Apple's memory an astounding 1000% dearer. I purchased my memory from Mr Memory, a reputable retailer with 17 years experience in Mac memory.

What could possibly justify Apple's position. As an exercise I decided to configure a new Mac just incase Apple were not interested in selling RAM upgrades and I was stunned to see the figure was still £240, even if the RAM was fitted straight in the factory! You can't tell me that Apple buys less RAM than a retailer in the UK.

It's difficult to come up with a commercial justification for this, which leaves me with a rather cynical one. Apple is preying on their own target consumer.

Apple loves to target the early adopters, the techno savvy to bolster their marketing messages, but they sell the vast majority of their product now to people with little or no technical knowledge. In many ways that's the beauty of their proposition, hardware and software combined, it just works. However these people are open to influence. I wonder how many Mac purchasers would know they could upgrade RAM themselves? Indeed with this particular machine it's literally a 2 minute job requiring not even a screwdriver.

Is Apple taking advantage of these purchasers to gain margins over 1000%? Are consumers buying upgrades from Apple at these rates because they simply don't know better? These consumers trust the Apple brand to deliver honestly, they know they are paying premium for their products but they certainly wouldn't be comfortable knowing that Apple was charging them over 10 times the market value for a product.

Apple I still love you, but sometimes you make it really hard to do so.

Mike Carter



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