ianonavy, on 04 July 2012 - 04:03 AM, said:
If it's nothing overly amazing, then surely other PC manufacturers would be able to replicate them for an even lower cost?
They'd get sued.
Apple has a cult following, and their followers aren't exactly strapped for cash (or are, but really don't care about putting their children through college or being able to eat three meals a day). That's how they can afford the development. They overcharge, make a huge profit, and throw it into development again so they'll be able to overcharge even more.
Any company can do that, but not every company has a cult following. Apple could design an electronic toilet that has a touch screen and Siri, label it iShit, iShat, or iCrap, and make millions because people would blindly throw their money away (who doesn't want to hear that sexy voice confirming an appointment being made for their proctologist as they painfully excrete waste?).
It's insane (and brilliant). They take ideas that other people had years ago, repackage them into something a little more modern, and sell it for $$$ while their customers go on and on and on and on and on about how original Apple is.
Oh, and don't be ignorant. Apple could still be making record profits if they dropped their prices by quite a bit (just look at where and how they assemble everything -- they could move all the factories here, to the US, and still
be making a handsome profit).