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Putting the Mac Pro’s Price into Historical Context | 512 Pixels

When Apple announced the new Mac Pro last week, one of the things that got the most attention was its price tag: the base configuration will cost $5,999. The question is whether it’s an outlandish price for what is far and away the most powerful Mac ever sold. The fact is that Apple has definitely charged that much in the past for its hardware.

The graph above shows the base prices for 60 different Apple hardware lines, and how those values compare over time accounting for inflation. Of course, these computers didn’t actually become more valuable over time, except for collectors items, but this visualization allows for comparison of how much of an impact any given model had on consumers’ wallets. 22 of the models shown cost more than a Mac Pro when adjusted to 2019 dollars, and several of them cost more than $6,000 when they were launched.

Apple I and II – a bargain!
Apple launched their first computer in 1976 for the devilishly competitive price of $666.66. Adjusted to 2019 dollars, that doesn’t crack $3,000. On the other hand, you did have to supply your own case, monitor, keyboard, and cassette decks for data storage. The original Apple II came closest to Mac Pro prices, at over $5,000 in 2019 dollars. In the mid and late 80s, the Apple II line was an absolute bargain compared to Apple’s new product line: the Macintosh.

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Putting the Mac Pro’s Price into Historical Context – 512 Pixels.

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