Apple’s Mac Pro has always been a bit of an outlier among the company’s products. Although the “Apple Tax” is real for certain items like its expensive memory and storage upgrades and $999 monitor stand, the Pro was always super pricey, especially with add-ons. For example, it costs $1,200 to add a 4TB SSD, even though those cost about $350. It’s like Apple set prices at launch and never changed them. Now it turns out those add-ons aren’t going to be worth much when Apple launches the new Mac Pro later this year. According to Apple’s online listing for trade-in values, the most you can get for a Mac Pro is barely four figures. That’s even if you spent over $50,000 on it, according to popular TechTuber MKBHD, aka Marques Brownlee.
This week one of MKBHD’s writers/researchers decided to see how much he could get for one of the studio’s Mac Pros via Apple trade-in. Brownlee has stated before that his well-funded operation uses totally maxed-out Mac Pros for post-production, as they shoot everything with ultra-high-resolution Red cameras. He wrote on Twitter, “Just tried pricing out our $52,199 Mac Pro’s at the office for trade-in, which you can still buy from Apple, $52,199.”
Attached to the tweet was a message from Apple congratulating him on his upcoming bounty of $970:
His boss then tweeted it to his own 6 million followers, with his researcher asking, “What else has dropped 50x in value in 3 years…besides crypto?” One tweeter joked that $1,250 is the computer’s actual cost; Apple is just employing a 50x markup on its price.
Regardless, it’s a shocking revelation that Apple has capped the price on its flagship computer at such a low price. We’re assuming Apple is just going off the base price, which is $5,999. The Mac Pro went on sale four years ago. Therefore, we can see Apple determining that is an appropriate level of depreciation over time. You have to enter your computer’s serial number to get the quote from Apple. Because of that requirement, we couldn’t verify the Mac Pro pricing ourselves. However, it says right there on Apple’s website the most you can get for a Mac Pro is $1,250.
What’s interesting is you can buy a fully-loaded Mac Pro refurbished from Apple. It comes complete with the top-level 28-core Xeon CPU, dual Radeon Vega GPUs with HBM, 1.5TB of memory, and a 4TB SSD for $37,939. Since it’s refurbished, we wonder what Apple paid to whoever sold it to them.
Some of the other prices are equally insulting. Your humble author typed in the serial for his $1,600 MacBook Air bought a little more than a year ago. Apple politely offered me almost the maximum amount: $450. That’s also some pretty surprising depreciation in a short while, even though it’s like-new still. Also to anyone reading this who might be concerned about a Mac user writing about PCs on this site, I also have a hand-built gaming PC as well.
People with Mac Pros are in for a tough year if Apple finally updates it with Apple silicon as expected. With trade-in being a non-starter, they’ll have to dump them on eBay. In that venue, they’d be lucky to get $10k for such a machine. However, one could argue the only entities spending that much on computers can afford it. That could be a valid point to consider. Still, it’s shocking Apple can’t give some of their most affluent customers a better deal when it’s time to upgrade.