Apple memory upgrade costs, How can they justify a 1000% markup?!

I recently upgraded the RAM on a Mac Mini and what I discovered was absolutely shocking!

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


  • If you buy a Mac Mini - adding the 8Gb memory only costs £144 - at the point of purchase. Perhaps £320 is a disincentive to purchase
    25/04/2012 by DEB
  • Come on Mike, be fair, all those grinning nitwits on the Genius Bar have to be paid for somehow. Now stop complaining and assume the position like a good fanboy.
    25/04/2012 by Nigel
  • Ooooh, reading that was like watching a child find out Santa doesn't exist. Heart broken fan boy, I feel for you :)
    25/04/2012 by Chris Jones
  • Apple just doesn't update their prices. Believe it or not, when DDR3 was released Apples prices were inline with Crucial. Whats even worse is that once at Curry's I was offered a printer cable for £30. I ended up buying one from the post office for 99p. Thats a 3000% markup! Steve
    30/04/2012 by Steve Dunnington
  • Any long-time Mac user knows to avoid buying RAM from Apple. The Mac magazines will recommend Crucial or others and warn new users away from upgrading memory via Apple. Part of me wonders if Apple just want to avoid becoming a memory dealer. As the price fluctuates like stocks and shares it is just a hassle to keep on top of memory trading. It seems as if the attitude is - if you really want it from us then you'll have to pay. They don't discourage third party RAM and I believe the hassle-factor is a big reason why.
    02/06/2012 by Pete
  • anyone daft enough to buy memory from apple are clearly not tech savvy at all!!! most things apple are way over priced, we buy it as it's 'cool' despite it being twice if not three times the price of a windows machine with the same spec. you pay for style at the end of the day and tip of my hat to them, the nailed a market and cleaned up creating one of the wealthiest companies on the planet! muchos respect! too many people out there that want everything for nothing! if every product in the world was cheap, there would be no economic system and the world would collapse, we need expensive products and mark ups for business and economy to survive.
    15/05/2012 by steve

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