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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has frequently commented on the so-called "Apple Tax," which is what is referred to as the premium people pay to buy Apple products. On Thursday, at the McGraw-Hill Companies' 2009 Media Summit 2009 in New York, Ballmer told people just what exactly that premium gets a consumer.

NPD noted that Apple retail sales fell 16% in February, with NPD analyst Steve Baker asserting that the higher prices associated with Apple products are hurting sales in these recessionary times.

It should be noted that these are retail sales (thus including Apple retail stores), but do not include data from direct sales.

So what does Ballmer say the "Apple Tax" gets you? He said:
"Apple gained about one point, but now I think the tide has really turned back the other direction. The economy is helpful. Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be."
Well, that's a bit of hyperbole there. Obviously, you could create a Windows box with pretty much the same hardware as a Mac, but to say that the only difference is the logo is a bit too much.

There's no doubt the higher prices are hurting Apple, though, and that same NPD report stated that, helped by netbooks, Windows PC sales rose 22% in the same period.

Super Dave

Apple's TV commercials trashed Vista for a while and now it's payback time, IMO. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind!


I can't say its good or bad to me personally -- I guess like Dave says, what goes around comes around.

PERHAPS!! This type of news and publicity will lower apple tax for us eh? I have been achin' to get a macbook...

Super Dave

Just take a look at ol' Stevo up there...clenched fists and all. We need to see him with that skinny little MAC guy from the TV commercials. Steve would first bend him over his knee and spank him until he begged for mercy. Then Steve would BREAK HIM IN HALF! Yeah, that would be classic.


Nothing like a good old 'tax' to raise some extra funds [:P]

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Actually, Steve would just throw a chair across the room and start screaming f-bombs like a fifth grader, because that's what great CEO's do:

That guy's a neurotic mess, and his word should be taken as such. (But, I suppose it takes one to know one :p).  Remember, this is the guy who laughed at the iPhone.

It's funny that the article uses the wording "Apple Tax". I'm sure Steve Ballmer never used that wording, because it's a reference to the "Microsoft Tax" - one of the corrupt practices MS was found to be using in their antitrust case.