No upgraded macs in the US?

I ordered a Macbook Air configured with 8GB of memory up from the stock 4GB. It shipped after two days and the tracking shows it somewhere in port city of Shanghai, China.

It's somewhere out there.

It’s somewhere out there.

Interesting how Apple does not keep upgraded macs ready to ship stateside. Sure most people walk into a store and buy the stock build with an Intel i5 processor and 4GB of memory, but with just Intel i7 and 8GB memory upgrade options, there are only 4 possible configurations of base model of each screen size of Macbook Air.

2 × 2 = 4

Intel i5 Intel i7
4GB RAM i5 & 4GB i7 & 4GB
8GB RAM i5 & 8GB i7 & 8GB

With over 4 million macs being sold each quarter, we’ll conservatively estimate that 1 million Macbook Airs are sold a quarter. In a period of roughly 90 days, that over 11,000 Macbook Airs a day. Now that Apple isn’t gouging as much for memory and processor upgrades, even more people want to upgrade a Macbook Air with a better processor and more memory. The memory being soldered into the motherboard helps as well — it sure helped me.

Since I couldn’t find Intel’s wholesale value for the Haswell chips, I looked at online prices for an approximation of Haswell CPU prices. The step up to the Intel i7 nets Apple about $50.
Gauging from OWC’s available memory upgrades, Apple earns $50 on the memory upgrade.

If you consider the SSD upgrade, the 256GB SSD provides about $100 in profile and the 512GB SSD provides $50. There are 3 × 2 × 2 = 12 configurations per screen size considering the SSD configuration options. With 11 and 13 inch together, thats about 24 possible combos.

I’m surprised that Apple doesn’t keep a few thousand upgraded Macbook Air models waiting in the hangars to ship off to buyers in the US when there is plenty of demand. Maybe there is reason for this, but I don’t see it here.

My mid 2007 macbook wasn’t really keeping up with the iOS SDK so well. It only ran OS X Lion. You know something is wrong when you extract the iOS 7 SDK from the pre-release disk image in order to build for the latest iOS.

You know something is also wrong when you need to run two versions of Xcode to maintain compatibility, but that is a post for another day.

Anson Liu