Apple Mac vs. Windows: The Apple Premium Is Gone

At least for now, Mac prices are competitive for well-equipped consumer PCs

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Apple iMacs

The Mac premium has disappeared for now, at least among well-equipped consumer PCs, as Apple today revamped its desktop PC offerings. Apple has even undercut the Windows market for large-screen, all-in-one computers that stuff themselves into an LCD monitor.

Apple now offers an iMac with all its components in a 24-inch monitor at $1,500. That's less than the list price on major-maker Windows versions. Dell, for example, sells a 24-inch all-in-one for $1,600, as does Sony.

The Sony version can be found at some online outlets for $1,500 or a little less. But we'll likely see discounts on the new Macs at Web retailers. While the Dell computer has a better multi-tasking chip than Apple's, that sort of nuance is lost on most consumers.

Other models in the Apple lineup carry prices comparable to Windows competitors, if not arguably cheaper tags when accounting for everything included.

Apple's lineup had become considerably more expensive than Windows competitors. From experience, that's likely to happen again as Apple's competitors more frequently revamp their lineups with less-expensive components.

And today's announcements hardly amount to bargain pricing that some analysts said was needed for Apple to maintain market share. The company's computers continue to emphasize higher-end hardware.

But for now, they're not demanding a premium price for that premium Apple experience.