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Yesterday, Apple announced significant price drops on many of its consumer products including the iPhone and Mac Air. This is an unusual move by Apple since it carefully controls its pricing--so much so that rarely, if ever, do its products go "on sale." So what's up with this big price drop? Is Apple out to "get" Linux?

Is Apple feeling the pressure of competition from Google's Android, Netbooks, Windows 7 or something else?

Personally, I think that Apple lowered its prices to better compete with an ever-expanding PC market, so the answer is really: All of the above. I think that Apple is feeling pressure from consumers to produce a Netbook, to get their pricing more in line with their competition and to become more of a marketing machine. Lowering their prices won't hurt their bottom line due to the coming upsurge in sales from it and they'll enjoy a larger user base that their high prices kept them from penetrating.

I don't own an i-anything for that single reason. I think that Apple stuff is good, reliable and easy to use but they are out of my budget.

So, to answer my question, "Are Apple's price drops aimed at Linux?" Not specifically, but it will have the effect of hurting further Linux uptake by Bill and Sally Consumer. It will also produce some head-scratching when decision-makers look forward to replacing existing hardware and software.

Do you think that the price drops will change your decision to purchase Apple products? How do you think the price drops will affect Linux?

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Last Post by r_a_trip
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I don't think Apple is out to get Linux or anybody else for that matter. Apple is trying to keep up with the market.

The days that Apple carried that etherial magic of being truly different, with their promise of "It just works!", are rapidly coming to an end. When they used exotic hardware, they produced these machines that only a handful of people truly knew through and through, so there could be that smidge of truth in their claims.

Today, Apple is just one hardware manufacturer amongst the many. They sell x86 laptops and desktops. They produce halfway decent software. They make music players and mobile phones.

The biggest problem Apple has on the computing side is their use of non-exotic, off-the-shelf and run-of-the-mill parts. Although Apple is still top notch in industrial design when it comes to computing, their machines can be compared oranges to oranges with the competition. Before Apple went x86, "we from the Cult of Intel" couldn't really compare PPC 970 to Intel Pentium III. PPC just might be that magic chip, that makes computing an exceptional joy.

These days an Intel Core 2 Duo is an Intel Core 2 Duo. An Ati is an Ati and an NVIDIA is an NVIDIA. When a comparable hardware line-up is put next to each other, and Apple is twice as pricy on average, people just conclude that Apple makes very expensive casings. Since most of us just chuck our boxen under the desk, looks aren't that important...

The magic of "It just works!" and the mysticism of Mac OS X are slowly waning too, thanks in large part to the OSX86 community. Apple's UNIX isn't that magic OS that is engineered so well that it survives anything you throw at it. As it turns out OS X only runs well and hassle free on the measily amount of hardware that Apple pre-selected. In that respect OS X is a lot less impressive than other OSes, including Windows, which run on super computers and the neighbors kitchensink.

When it comes to consumer gadgets, Apple is very successful with the iPod. For some strange reason, every other music player manufacturer is trying to produce an "iPod killer", which seems to be code for bland knock-off product. Here Apple is king, with no competitor close to overtaking. On the iPhone front, Apple isn't so lucky. The other phone manufacturers are not trying to produce an "iPhone killer". They actually do their own thing and come up with amazing devices. Here Apple is just one of the many, like they are in the PC department.

Trying to be a premium manufacturer, when every other Joe, Dick and Harry is very close to matching your offerings, is hard. Apple could do two things, ridiculously crank up the hardware specs and make their gadgets exotic again (and unreachable for the many) or bite the bullet and price their hardware more realistically, considering they don't offer that much difference to their competitors.

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