As a computer geek since a young age, I’ve spent literally hundreds of thousands if not millions of yen over the years on computer equipment. I’ve spent the majority of my life dealing with Windows based Intel-PCs, from brand name pre-built laptops and tablets to custom built servers for myself; and more recently a lot of Apple Mac stuff. Anyone, even non-geeks, will know how quickly computer equipment depreciates over the course of just one year – that Windows computer you bought for ¥200,000 yen last year can’t even be bought new this year it’s so out of date, and if you try to sell it second hand you’ll likely to get less than ¥20,000 for it if you’re lucky – but then that’s the cost of cutting edge computing, we understand that. But the curious thing is, Apple computers don’t depreciate / devalue at the same rate of Windows PCs. Any of your standard windows PCs are going to be worth about 10-15% of the purchase price after 2 years; while Apple computers have historically still been valued at 35-50%, a huge difference in rate of depreciation.
Yes. I suspect the main reason is a superior design – my Macbook Pro is now 3 years old, but it still runs fast due to less clutter over time than a Windows machine, and frankly it still looks damn nice. I paid ¥220,000 for it at the time, and a quick check on yahoo auctions shows the same model, used, selling for between ¥100,000 – ¥150,000. That’s after 3 years! For comparison, we recently tried to get rid of my fiance’s NEC laptop (built in TV, fantastic speakers, but just a little slow for my tastes and unneeded in our house) – ¥150,000 at the time, again about 3 years ago, but now selling for ¥20,000 on auctions! Shocking! It was probably an ugly computer at the time she bought it too, but can’t blame her for having a lack of style choice I guess. (I do blame her though)
The fact is that Macs depreciate slower than Windows PCs (regardless of the brand), so when the time comes to upgrade you’re going to have lost less of your investment if you purchased a Mac.
There’s also a product cycle guide for Apple products over at Mac Rumors – it gives you advice on whether to buy a Mac based on how into the product cycle it currently is, and how likely it is to be updated soon.
Disclaimer: I guess you could call me a Mac fanboy. I was a bona-fide Apple bashing Windows fan-boy until about 5 years ago, but then Apple released this little thing called OsX and it blew my mind away. Just saying. I’ve played with every OS out there from Irix to Windows Tablet Edition (bet you didn’t know either of those even existed), and Mac OsX is the best.