The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
Salon: Resale Value Makes Macs Cheaper to Own than PCs

Salon: Resale Value Makes Macs Cheaper to Own than PCs

by , 5:20 PM EST, November 7th, 2007

Mac resale values make them cheaper to own than PCs, according to Salon columnist Farhad Manjoo. In comparing resale values on eBay for a variety of used Macs and PCs, Mr. Manjoo found that Macs consistently had a far higher resale value than equivalent PCs, and that this equates to the true cost of ownership for computers, making Macs cheaper to own.

Mac users have long made the argument that Apple's higher retail pricing includes more features, more and better software, or even that it is simply the cost of having the Mac experience. Mr. Manjoo argues that these points are trumped by simply looking at the purchase price minus the price you get back once you sell your Mac in the future.

To illustrate the point, he compared an HP Pavilion Media Center A1640n, a computer available in November of 2006 for US$699, to that of the top-of-the-line Mac mini, which was available at the same time for $799. Both computers had similar specs, though the Mac mini had a slower processor, less RAM, and a smaller hard drive.

"A good way to gauge the current market value of a computer," he wrote, "is to check how much buyers have been willing to pay for similar models in auctions recently completed on eBay. Doing so for the HP shows prices ranging from $236 to $257 -- let's say a rough average of $250. Sales of the Mac Mini, meanwhile, go from about $445 to $550. Let's assume you can unload yours for $500."

"If you used your HP for a year and then sold it," he argued, "you would have spent $449 to own it -- that is, your purchase price of $699 minus your sale price of $250. The Mac Mini, for the same year, would have set you back far less: $799 minus $500, or just $299."

He further noted that the very idea of selling an old PC is foreign to many PC users for the very fact that they have so little resale value. Many Mac users, on the other hand, regularly sell or hand down their Macs, as they have a much longer useful life.

Recent Headlines - Updated November 23rd

Sat,10:30 AM
iPhoneography 101: Essential iPhone Camera Apps
Fri,6:57 PM
Apple Makes ‘Things for iPad’ Free for a Week
6:47 PM
Judge Approves Apple iBooks $450 Million Antitrust Settlement
5:54 PM
100 AA and 52 AAA Duracell Batteries for $59.99 [Extended]
5:18 PM
Use a PDF to See How Big Apple Watches Really Are
4:45 PM
Why Every Estimate for Apple Watch Sales in 2015 is Completely Wrong
4:30 PM
‘Kingdom Rush Origins’ Tower Defender Released for iPhone and iPad
1:42 PM
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-11-21
11:53 AM
Google Agrees to Settlement in Rockstar Patent Infringement Fight
9:44 AM
Apple Blocks Outdated Flash Players Over Security Issues [Update]
9:00 AM
iOS 8: Using “Send Last Location”
Thu,8:05 PM
SwiftKey Adds Languages in iOS Without App Store Updates
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!