Analyst: Mac vs. PC Price Gap Closer Than Most Think

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster on Tuesday released a report in which he took a look at Mac and PC pricing, concluding that Mac desktops and laptops are 13% and 10% more, on average, than comparable PCs. Thatis less than the 20-30% premium he believes most customers and investors see in the price comparisons.

Taking the cost of adding Windows XP Home Edition into account, a Boot Camp-capable Mac desktop or laptop is 22% or 16% more expensive, on average, but the analyst noted that many PC manufacturers offer Windows re-install discs for free or for a nominal fee. "We believe this will make the move to a Boot Camp-enabled Mac more feasible for many potential buyers," he wrote.

The analyst also included a pair of tables, shown below. He compared Appleis 20-inch Intel iMac and 17-inch MacBook Pro against similar offerings from Dell and HP. One of the four competing desktops was more expensive, while one of the three competing laptops was pricier. However, none of them include software comparable to Appleis iLife suite, and the iMac and MacBook Pro also come with built-in iSight, AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth, features that are build-to-order options on many PCs.

Mr. Munster concluded by noting that Apple will be holding an event in New York City this Thursday, in advance of a new retail store opening the next day, but he doesnit expect the company to unveil any new products during it.

He retained his US$99 price target on Appleis stock, with an "Outperform" rating. At 3:23 PM EST on Tuesday, the companyis shares were selling for $65.13, down 3.92% for the day.

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