Why Are MacBooks So Expensive? (11 Reasons Why)

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Fletcher Crawford

Fletcher Crawford is a 20-year veteran of the electrical engineering field. He has worked on everything from Linux systems to Apple products, and is passionate about technology.

We often associate trendy, minimalistic, and expensive with MacBook computers.

While all the adjectives above are accurate, it leaves people wondering what makes MacBooks so expensive. Here’s what I found!

Why Are MacBooks So Expensive?

MacBooks are expensive because they are designed and produced by Apple, a brand well-known for its pricey product suite. Additionally, the high price of a MacBook can be attributed to high demand, sleek design, and powerful processor. Finally, the components of MacBooks also play a role in the pricing of these laptops.

Keep reading to learn more about the MacBook, from its design to other fine details!

1. MacBooks Are Immensely Popular With Consumers

Apple’s MacBook sales rose 8% in the first quarter of 2022, despite global PC sales going down during the same time frame.

That said, when demand for a particular product is high, the company involved can set its prices higher because consumers will still be willing to purchase the said product.

As you can see, this is the case with the MacBook.

Furthermore, the brand’s reputation plays a role in how much a product is (see below).

2. Apple’s Name

Because Apple is a popular luxury tech brand, its product offerings are known to be on the higher end of the pricing scale.

Overall, people expect to pay well over a thousand dollars for a top-of-the-line iPhone, and it’s no different for the MacBook.

Moreover, there are currently two MacBook models being sold in Apple stores today, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, and both are pricey compared to similar laptops.

3. The MacBook’s Design Makes It Expensive

Aside from the points above, the MacBook’s design is also why it’s so expensive.

For example, the MacBook’s sleek, minimalistic design is the result of collaboration between design experts and engineers.

Naturally, this adds to the price of a MacBook because it takes plenty of research and development hours to develop a product that is up to par with Apple’s standards.

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Moreover, the recent MacBook models also come in a unique color called Space Gray, a colorway that increases a MacBook’s price by up to $800.

Additionally, this colorway is more expensive because of the processing and dyeing required to achieve the deep gunmetal gray color of the laptop’s aluminum body.

Altogether, these design aspects contribute to the MacBook’s high price.

4. MacBooks Come In Various Models & Dimensions

4. MacBooks Come In Various Models & Dimensions

As mentioned earlier, there are two MacBook models available today: the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

However, the MacBook Pro also comes in three different sizes: 13, 14, and 16 inches.

Overall, the MacBook Air is the most affordable, with a base price of $999, while the 13-inch MacBook pro follows with a base price of $1,299.

Furthermore, the larger MacBook Pro models range from $1,999 to $3,499. Therefore, the larger the MacBook, the more expensive it is.

5. MacBooks Come With Powerful New MicroProcessors

In 2020, Apple included the M1 chip into its Mac product range. That said, this M1 chip is used in the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Also, the M1 chip introduced new technology that manages to compress computing power into a single square while needing less energy than other similar microprocessors.

At the time of its introduction, the microprocessor was a new technology designed in-house by Apple, and as such, it made products that used it more expensive.

Further, today’s larger laptops of the MacBook Pro line can have one of two new upgrades of the M1 chip: the M1 Pro and M1 Max.

With that, these carry over the base functions of the M1 chip.

However, these upgraded chips use more cores in the CPU and GPU, which translates into faster and more efficient performance for the MacBook overall.

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Therefore, the chips used in MacBooks are a large part of why they are so expensive.

6. Innovations In Display Improve What We See On-Screen

Aside from the microprocessor, changes have also been made to improve the MacBook’s retina display technology.

XDR, also known as extreme dynamic range, achieves vivid colors and textures using a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio.

That said, this is expensive because it requires manipulating the components of the OLED display, which contributes to MacBooks’ price.

At the same time, ProMotion technology also makes it so that displays are more responsive while consuming less power.

All in all, these two features are innovations in the display, which are costly to develop and make MacBooks more expensive.

7. MacBooks Have Huge Data Storage Capacity

Aside from the new technologies introduced with the microprocessors and display, storage capacity is also configurable on the large MacBook Pro models.

For example, both the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models can be configured to store up to 8TB worth of data.

Also, data storage is among the most expensive components of a device, so having a bigger storage driver results in a more expensive MacBook.

8. Extended Battery Life Contributes To Productivity

Another benefit of Apple using the M1 chip in MacBooks is that it improves computing power without sacrificing the device’s energy consumption.

Depending on the model, a MacBook can run for as long as 21 hours without charging the device.

Of course, battery life is a major consideration when purchasing a new laptop; therefore, Apple can charge a premium for longer battery life.

9. MacBooks Introduce Keyboard & Touch ID Technology

The magic keyboard being used in MacBooks mimics the feel of mechanical keyboards, which are pretty popular today.

Additionally, Touch ID is a feature on the MacBook that ensures secure logins and purchases on the MacBook.

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That said, these are expensive features owing to the Touch ID integration and ergonomic design of the keyboard, which affect the price of MacBooks.

10. Apple’s Commitment To The Environment

Apart from the features above, Apple has committed to becoming more environmentally friendly.

For example, MacBooks use 100% recycled metals for the aluminum enclosure; Apple has also taken steps to ensure that the materials it uses produce fewer carbon emissions.

So, since Apple has been making steps towards carbon neutrality in every phase of a product’s life cycle, it means sourcing materials and equipment that can bring its plans to fruition.

Therefore, this spills over into MacBook pricing.

11. Higher Duties & Taxes Regionally

Depending on where you live, MacBooks can be more expensive than the ranges I mentioned above.

That said, this variation is brought about by shipping items across the globe, which may incur import taxes that bring up the price of the MacBook.

At the same time, governments may choose to impose other regional taxes that further impact the hefty price tag on the MacBook.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why MacBook chargers are so expensive, why Apple monitors are so expensive, and why laptops are so expensive.

Conclusion

There are many reasons why MacBooks are expensive, and these mainly have to do with the branding and features of the MacBook.

Additionally, there is a demand for MacBooks globally, and trends show that demand will continue to increase year by year.

Therefore, it’s a given that MacBooks are as expensive as they are.

Author

  • Fletcher Crawford is a 15-year veteran of the electrical engineering field. He has worked on everything from Linux systems to Apple products, and is passionate about technology.

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