Apple Computer, one of my favorite companies but by no means, infallible, quietly lowered the price of memory upgrades for the new Mac Mini. It didn’t make much sense to me that you get a Mac Mini for $499.00 and it only comes with 256MB of RAM (not enough to really run OSX well) and then it cost you another $475.00 to get a 1GB RAM upgrade from them.
They also made the computer very hard to open (although I have seen one open) so it makes it near impossible for consumers to get RAM elsewhere for less money and put it in themselves. It’s not a violation of the warranty to open the case to put the RAM in. They don’t go that far. However, if you crack the case or something while opening it, you warranty is voided and tough luck for you. That doesn’t seem like a good way to treat customers.
I question the wisdom of touting the new, less-expensive Mac Mini and then forcing people to shell out almost the cost of the computer again for enough RAM to make it work like it should. For a modern OS like OSX, 256MB just isn’t enough to get the job done. It’s enough to boot the computer and run a program or two but for people who want to get any real work done, and not see the spinning beach ball all the time, more RAM is a must. If 256MB is enough, why have a RAM expansion slot at all?
Now, at least, its more affordable. Having dropped $100.00. Although, at $375.00, I would not get it for any reason from Apple. In fact, I never do and encourage others not to as well. Not when I can get the same thing from a place like Crucial Technology for only $226.00. It’s the same spec and most likely comes from the same manufacturer as the Apple brand anyway so why pay more?
Obviously, Apple felt like they were charging too much for the RAM upgrade and has acted accordingly. I applaud this step. I only wish I didn’t still have a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t like it when one of my favorite companies looks like they are trying to take advantage of their customers. I know that Apple is a business and it needs to make money. It is also a business that thrives on word of mouth and a high level of devotion from its core group of users (myself included).
People who use the Macintosh are not stupid. So please Apple, don’t treat them like they are.