Neill you were probably just trolling but I'll bite:
Ah, the old gun to the head argument.
1) The problem is most people are ignorant. They do not realise that they are getting locked in to the walled garden. Does the sales staff in John Lewis explain the long term consequences of storing and buying all your media in iTunes before they flog you an iMac? Of course not.
Actually most people realize if they buy Adobe Photoshop for Windows, they cannot run it on a Mac if they choose to replace their Windows machine with a Mac at some point in the future. Most people realize their 8-track collection won't play on their CD player. Most people who purchase vinyl today realize they need a record player and an amp with inputs that support the RIAA curve. And most people have no problem with the walled garden. The problem is because they don't see it negatively like you do, they don't call it a walled garden (at most they call it an ecosystem, or the Apple Store) so you then assume they don't understand. Truth is they do understand and have no problem with it and that's what bothers you. They know Angry Birds purchased on their iPhone won't work on an Android phone if they choose to change platforms in the future. I think all people know about, and don't mind, the walled garden.
2) Apple often changes the rules AFTER you've bought your shiny iWhatever. Usually very cynically after they've sold a couple of million of whatever it is (changing the rules on how you are allowed to buy epublications 6 months after launching the iPad, for example). So whilst they don't hold a gun to your head when you purchase your shiny gadget, they sure as hell do later on.
True they have changed the rules, although it's almost always benefitted the user. Free upgrades to uncompressed/higher quality audio. Increasing the number of computers and idevices that movies and software can be installed on. Etc. Hey, they don't even remote wipe things from my iPhone when they remove them from the app store unlike competitors. I still have MAME running on my iPhone and no, it's not jailbroken. It was available on the app store for about 10 hours and yes, I still have my copy and can install it on additional/new idevices.
>>(I'd love a new Maserati, but around here I can get rental property for that.)
The inevitable meaningless Apple car analogy in the same post as well. Well done sir!
Niche market, hand built sports cars are not a comparable product. You could, like most people, with a bit of saving buy an iPad. That is what Apple is relying on. Exotic sports cars are beyond the reach of anyone but the super rich and Maserati sure as hell aren't making 47.4% on each car.
Considering Maserati's volume they better make considerably more than 47.4% margins on each car or else they will go out of business!
What does Apple think it is going to do with all this money? What's the big plan? It can't simply be about share price surely. If it is, then it's even more cynically greedy than I thought. Fleecing your customers to make more billions you don't really need simply so you can say you're #1 is plain wrong. It's just egotistical.
Yeah, we'll hear the old "it's their legal duty to their shareholders to make money" etc, but 47.4% is taking the piss no matter what excuses are made by the loyal. You can be a healthy profitable company without screwing your customer base and you wouldn't be reading thousands of posts like this all over the place. I know I'd sleep better at night if I was the boss.
I guess it's just as well they have 47.4% mark up, if these things were cheaper then it would be game over for everyone else. I wonder why Apple aren't choosing to go down that route? Discuss :)
Ack! you were a troll. Well I'll say if anyone ever does come up with a product that can compete with Apple, they can lower their margins and compete on price if they so chose. It makes sense to charge a premium when you are the only game in town. No need to race to the bottom. We all see where that got Dell.
I think your issue is that you value things differently than I do. When I need a product (or tool, really, which is what a phone, computer, tablet are), I look for what meets my needs and then see how much it costs and figure the cheapest I can get it is a fair price even if the company is making 48% margins. Let's look at something other than electronics and exotic cars. I'm currently in the market for a chainsaw with an 18" bar. Now at Amazon I can see I can get into a Poulan 18" chainsaw for about $150 USD. Unfortunately in that price range they are getting bad ratings. I've had problems starting chainsaws (and really many different types of 2-stroke engines) in the past and I do not want to deal with any sort of difficulty getting the thing started or keeping it idling without stalling. That's part of my criteria/requirements. Which has me now looking at a Stihl MS 250 C-BE which costs $350 USD which you cannot order from Amazon and have to purchase from a local dealer. To me, that's more than I want to pay, however, if it's the least expensive chainsaw that meets my requirements, then that's what I'll get. I'm sure by some logic of yours you would argue that's too much to spend on a chainsaw and Stihl is charging margins that are too high to support their dealer network. I would argue if it costs $350 to get what I wanted, then it must be a fair price, even if it's more than I want to pay.