Mac user old timers often talk about the dearth of applications on the original Mac, circa 1984. From what I remember of the Apple history books, the original Mac shipped with MacPaint and MacWrite, a handful of so-called Desk Accessories, a clumsy Finder, and not much else. Oh, and a floppy disk drive for storage. One. Singluar. For $2,495.
Today, for less than the same price of an original iMac in 1984, you can get a 15-inch MacBook Pro with a 7th generation Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, a Radeon Pro 555 GPU with 2GB of RAM, and a Retina display. Almost $100 less than an original iMac.
That isn’t exactly Apple’s to apples, either.
A 2018 iMac with a 27-inch Retina display, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and an Intel Core i7 CPU Inside is a whopping $2,899. Barely $400 more than the original iMac with a 9-inch black and white display. An entry-level iMac with a Retina display is less than half that at $1,299 and it runs all the same applications.
That brings me to the basic Mac apps which we tend to take for granted.
From the original MacPaint and MacWrite in 1984, we come to 2018 where Apple includes almost everything a personal computer user would need in the 21st century. Let me go down the list of what you get for less money than what a Mac cost back in the late 20th century.
Photos, iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Mail, Messages, FaceTime, Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Safari, Maps, iTunes, iBooks, App Store, Reminders, Preview, and no, that’s not the entire list.
In the Applications > Utilities folder you’ll find Terminal, Activity Monitor, Console, Disk Utility, Grab, Audio-MIDI, Keychain, and Color Meter, and more. And that’s not all. Other applications, such as Network Utility are hidden but available.
What’s not to like about the basic apps Apple includes on every Mac?
Most of those applications also have iOS counterparts for iPhone and iPad and data can be shared between devices by using iCloud. That’s also built-in, as is the Files app which displays iCloud files– the same ones you see in the Mac’s iCloud Drive app.
To show you how much of a value Apple’s basic apps are compared to the original Mac and the basic apps included in 1984, I tried the Inflation Calculator to see what $2,495 in 1984 dollars would buy in 2018 dollars.
$2,495 in 1984 is the equivalent of $5,979.14 today. If that’s not justification to buy a new iMac Pro with 64GB of RAM I don’t know what is. Or, buy a desktop iMac with a MacBook and an iPhone and still have change left over from 1984 dollars.
Damn. Forget the Apple Tax.
Everyting Apple makes today is a bargain by comparison to the original Mac or original iPhone.