I bought an Apple Thunderbolt display and a new MacBook Pro a few weeks ago. Since the laptop is my primary development machine, I opted for the i7 processor expecting a noticeable increase in speed. I was in for an unpleasant surprise.
My old machine sporting Intel Core 2 Duo ran Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6). I hadn’t felt the need to upgrade to Lion, especially after the news of problems with the OS. My new laptop came with Lion installed, so I really didn’t even have the option of running the older operating system. Sure there were times (especially when it got overheated) when it started freezing up, but for the most part there were no problems.
Frankly, I was very disappointed with the speed of the new MacBook Pro – toggling between applications, hell, even opening a new tab in Chrome caused the computer freeze for several seconds. It got progressively worse, and at the end I thought I had teleported back to the old Windows 95 days. It was getting to a point where something had to be done.
So when your Mac starts slowing down, as most users know, upgrading RAM is the easiest step to take. And what’s the obvious first step? Probably Apple Store. I was floored when I saw the price for the upgrade from 4 to 8Gbs, it had to be one of the most outrageously priced products ever. Gordon Gekko once said that “Greed is good,” but I think Apple took it to a whole new level; Seriously, Apple?
Having spent $1,400 on a laptop with insufficient RAM, I definitely was not going to fork over another $400 to make it run better. I looked around and ended up getting the memory from Amazon to the tune of $48 bucks. Thanks to Amazon Prime, I had it the next day and installed it in about 10 minutes thanks to the awesome and detailed instructions on how to upgrade the memory yourself on apple.com.
If the upgrade retails at $40, Apple should be able to ship the computer with 8Gb with a minimum effect on the price. So why don’t they? Some might say it’s a smart and calculated business move by Apple; Most users will end up making the upgrade – and will do it at their own expense. This combined with the assumption that a large part of Apple users won’t even consider looking elsewhere and make Apple store their first (and probably only) stop in the process of upgrading the memory. Cha-ching!
This overpriced upgrade will undoubtedly make Apple a lot of money, but I think they do it at the risk of pissing off many customers. Especially those who end up looking around and finding it else where for about 1/10th of the price (and blog about it).
I guess it’s only normal that Lion is much, much hungrier for memory than Snow Leopard is. The same trend is found also in nature; according to Wikipedia, Lions usually eat about twice as much as Snow Leopards do.
Note to Apple: Pack a little more meat in the lunchbox when you sent it out to your customers. I think you’ll keep your cubs happier in the long run.