Mac Statistics

Voice Card  -  Volume 18  -  Paul Card Number 8  -  Sat, Jan 26, 1991 11:05 AM

[It's too bad that Suzanne isn't around to enjoy this one...]

Article 4666 of comp.sys.mac.misc:
From: hecht@unx.sas.com (Mike Hecht)
Subject: Swami predicts mac prices
Date: 24 Oct 90 23:30:58 GMT
Organization: SAS Institute Inc.

Now that Apple has stabilized their product line and brought some order to their pricing structure, I've gotten curious as to how they set their prices. So, armed with my trusty stat package, JMP, I set about trying to derive a formula.

I created a data table containing information about each mac model. My table has the price, RAM, hard disk size, processor, clock speed, whether an FPU or an MMU is included, number of ADB ports, number of nuBus slots, whether sound input and stereo output is available, and whether the machine has a processor direct slot, an external drive connector, built-in video, a cache slot, or a built-inmonitor. I left out things that were common to all the macs (like FDHD floppy drives). I also left out the Macintosh LC, since it is not yet in full production and I don't have an "official" price for it.

I created a model predicting the price from all the other factors and came up with the following formula:

  1. Apple credits you 2564.30
  2. Apple charges 166.58 per MB of RAM
  3. Apple charges 11.91 per MB of Hard Disk
  4. Processors are cheap. If you have a 68000, it's free. If you have a 68030, Apple pays *you* 2619.31
  5. Clock speed is expensive, however. Apple charges 300.32 per Mhz.
  6. FPU's & MMU's cost nothing (ie: they're not significant in the model).
  7. ADB ports are a shocker -- they cost 1713.02 per port!
  8. NuBus slots however, give you a credit of 454.85 per slot.
  9. Sound input is free (gee, why isn't it on my IIfx?).
  10. Stereo output costs you 790.36, but if you don't have it Apple *credits* you by the same amount.
  11. The rest of the factors are all free.
This gives me the following predicted prices (numbers are MB RAM-MB Disk):

Model Retail
Mac Classic 1-0 999.00 927.50
Mac Classic 2-40 1499.00 1570.50
Mac SE/30 1-40 4369.00 4480.92
Mac SE/30 4-80 5569.00 5457.08
Mac Portable 1-0 4799.00 4910.79
Mac Portable 1-40 5499.00 5387.21
Mac IIsi 2-40 3769.00 3680.92
Mac IIsi 5-80 4569.00 4657.08
Mac IIci 4-0 5969.00 5842.59
Mac IIci 4-80 6669.00 6795.41
Mac IIfx 4-0 8969.00 8982.84
Mac IIfx 4-80 9869.00 9935.67
Mac IIfx 4-160 10969.00 10888.49

Not too shabby a correlation.

OK. So now that I have a formula, what's the most powerful Mac that Apple could make at the lowest cost?

Well, it would have to have an '030, which includes the MMU. Since FPU's are free, we'll take one. Let's give it 5 MB of RAM and no hard disk (we'll buy a 3rd party one). Let's run the clock speed at 20 Mhz. We ought to have at least one ADB port even though its a money-pit. However, we could more than pay for the ADB port by adding six nuBus slots. We'll take sound input (it's free) but no stereo output. A processor direct slot, an external drive connector, built-in video, a cache slot, and a built-in monitor are all free, so let's take them all.

I fed in my requirements into JMP and it spit out a predicted price for the "Dream Mac": -150.73!! Apple owes me money!

So, Apple, if you're listening, please send me the requested machine and a cashier's check for the above amount. I urge other readers to do the same.

(please insert about 10,000 smiley-faces at this point)

Aren't statistics wonderful?

Michael Hecht
SAS Institute Inc.
Cary, NC USA
Internet: hecht@unx.sas.com
AppleLink: SAS.HECHT