Why Mac is cheaper than a PC

By Subraya Mallya - April 2009 | Topics - Technology

Reading the headline you must be thinking either I am smoking something or maybe I got one of those employee discounts from Mac to buy one cheaper than PC. It is neither.  Although I would not mind one of those good employee discounts on a 24″ iMac so I can keep one of my new year resolutions of watching 2009-2010 Superbowl on a Mac.

Now onto the topic itself, how did I conjure up a concept where a Mac is cheaper than PC. Typically when u a buy a car or a house or a software, we always consider the total cost of ownership (My alter ego was quick to point out – for a house? do people do that? if they did, why all the mess with people buying houses beyond their means?).

Moving on…

Going by the prevailing prices a iMac today costs around $500 more than a PC of a comparable configuration.

If we go with that as the metric, I submit to you 4 reasons why a Mac will end up being cheaper than a PC (or a Windoze or Microshaft Windoze as my friend Shankar lovingly calls)

  1. Every time you are hit with a Malware or Virus, you loose on an average an hour of your productivity in reclaiming control of your PC. If you are lucky you immunize your PC and move on. In a worst case scenario you will get hit with reformatting, data loss or even  identity theft. The direct hit to your wallet- $25 per hour assuming you are the cheapest consultant out there. I am disregarding the value of the loss of actual work (at $25/hr you are not expected to do wonders in this world). But over three years, by which time Microsoft will ask you to upgrade, you would have been a victim of  at least 1 of those Virus/Malware attacks per quarter. That is 12 quarters = 12 hours of lost time = $300 dollars.
  2. You need a good virus software (or two) to keep you from loosing sleep. That in itself does not guarantee full protection. Even with a i’ll-get-you-here-or-get-you-there discount from Fry’s it will cost you $15 for a decent virus. For those free loaders out there – AVG used to work fine until they decided to upgrade to version 8.0. Upgrading the anti-virus/anti-spyware each year at the same price over three years you are spending $45 dollars.
  3. On an average each time you run into a blue screen or one of those PC seizures, it is going to cost you a good 15 minutes to get control back and restart or hard-boot the computer. 15 minutes @ 1 episode per month over three years is 9 hours of lost time. 9 hrs @ $25/hr = $225 dollars. If you have been using the PC long enough you know it is more than 9 hours of lost time, over 3 years, due to unknown issues and the PC hemorrhaging. But in keeping with our conservative grading let us go with 9 hours.
  4. This might not be on Microsoft but more on Hardware vendors. The battery on a Windows PC seems to always have less charge life than a Mac. All things being equal, a standard configuration of a PC and the equivalent of a Mac, the battery life is twice as much in my experience. I am sure there are arguments to be made on this. So considering conservatively 1 hr of battery power takes 15 minutes to charge and conservatively considering you charge the PC every 4th day. Across three years you are talking about  68 hours of extra charging. 1 unit of electricity costs you 9 cents. So over 3 years it will cost your $25 dollars more.

Right there, being really nice to the MS PC, we are almost upto $595 dollars and I rest my case.

I know this is not as creative as the funny ads shown on TV and here but I am sure something Apple guys would love to use happily as they continue to gain marketshare.

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