Originally Posted by twaddle
The difference between the two companies is in sales and marketing strategies. Apple goes for the high-margin Lexus market. Dell tries to do that too with their XPS brand, but at the same time they offer lots of deals for the bargain shopper. Apple rarely offers that depth of deals and discounts.
And of course, Dell is famous for their configuration options. The XPS M1330 I bought yesterday includes a solid-state disk drive (SSD) and LED backlight -- features I wanted to play with, but not available in most lappies. And Dell makes them options rather than requirements. And I can easily return the thing if I don't like it. I would have no problem buying from Apple if they gave me the same discounts and flexibility.
I think that is a pretty fair assessment.
I'm not sure I'd put that $1099 MacBook in the 'lexus marketing' category though - I am curious what a comparable Dell would go for. I find it pretty tough to navigate that Dell site, unless you already know what you are looking for.
I'm in the situation where I just prefer OSX and iLife to the Windows world (as do CNET and InformationWeek to name two). The compromise I sometimes need to make is when the Apple HW doesn't match my needs. If they do have a HW match for me (like that MacBook for my kids), paying a little extra isn't that big a deal for me, over the life of the computer it may not be too bad. But the lack of HW choices is an issue for me.