It costs you more to not have Retina Display – Asymmetrically Dominated Alternative

See also: Pricing different MacBook Versions

How much would it cost customers to just pick Retina Display option with the new MacBook Pros?  Answering that question is confounded by the different CPU clock speed for 15″ versions.

It is however easier to answer a converse of the question – How much would it save you not to have the Retina Display?

Save? How about, it would cost you $300 more not to have the option?

Let us normalize on 2.6GHz processor, 8GB RAM, and 500 GB SSD and do the price comparison of 15″ and 15″ Retina and compare:

So if you insist on getting 500GB SSD on your 15″, 2.6GHz MacBook Pro but are absolutely against getting Retina Display you pay $300 more.  I guess it is the decoy option. Apple does not expect anyone to configure a 15″ 2.6GHz with 50GB SSD.

The pricing also points to how Apple sees the value distribution between SSD, screen size and screen resolution.

You can see the value perception differences from the  price jumps as you move along the options:

  1. In the Y-axis, going from ATA to SSD results in $900 price increase.
  2. In the X-axis, going from 13″ ATA to 15″ ATA, results in $800 price increase.
  3. In the X-axis, going from 13″ SSD to 15″-Retina SSD (screen size bump plus better resolution costs only $500.  (Let us ignore the decoy middle option.)
  4. Moving along the main diagonal from bottom left to top right, the price difference is $1400, the sum of $900 and $500.
  5. In the short diagonal from 15″ ATA to 15″-Retina SSD, the price goes up by $600 (for SSD + Retina Display).

So SSD alone seem to garner greater value in the minds of customers. Coming in close second is screen size, from 13″ to 15″.

Once a customer chooses 15″ screen, their value from SSD or Retina goes down significantly. This you can see from point-5 above. An SSD-Retina bundle costs only $600 more.

These two numbers and the price of the decoy options lead me to say that Retina Display alone has lowest possible perceived value in the minds of customers, even tending to $0. But is presence helps to pull the ASP of MacBook pros from $1799 to $2199.

That is Apple’s pricing, done right.

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