Macbook Air cheaper than anyone else can make one

So Much For The Apple Tax! Laptop Makers Can’t Compete With The MacBook Air For The Price

[Via Cult of Mac]

Remember a time when people still talked about an Apple tax with a straight face? It’s been laughable for years, but with the debut of the iPad, became a self-evident joke: if Apple overprices their hardware, why the heck can’t the competition make an equally specced, sub-$500 tablet?

The disparity between what Apple can make and sell a product for and what the competition can has only grown more pronounced since the debut of the $999 MacBook Air.

It’s such a big disparity that Intel has launched what it calls the UltraBook initiative to help laptop makers release capable MacBook Air competitors… but even with Intel’s help, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that any first-gen UltraBooks will be able to beat the MacBook Air in price.

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Apple’s cash allows them to do thinsg that others can’t – like get large discounts or fabricate its own processors.  It can pass these onto to its customers and still make large profits. Thus it undercuts all its competitors while maintaining profits.

For example, the Intel processor represents half the cost of a PC. Apple does not need the same profit margin to produce its microporcessor. For Intel to have more people build ultras, it wll have to reduce its profit. Not so for Apple.