The cost of being an Apple fan can add up
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Inc's Macintosh computer, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on Friday, has attracted many fans who have gone on to buy lots of other devices from the company.
Over a few decades, the cumulative price tag of new iPods, iPhones and other Apple products can get very big, as some aficionados can attest.
Dick Demenus, co-founder of New York-based technology consulting company Tekserve, which started as an Apple repair shop in 1987.
First Mac: The original, bought upon release in 1984 at a Macy's store for $2,500.
Demenus spent an additional $400 for a floppy drive and $600 for a memory upgrade, purchases he now regrets because the Mac would be more valuable as a collectible in its original state.
The big list: Apple products became his livelihood so quickly that the list is not that long. His only additional personal purchase was around 1986, for a Mac XL for $3,500. The company discontinued this rebranded version of Steve Jobs' failed Lisa computer three months later.
Total: $7,000 for out-of-pocket costs.
Michael Rose, veteran editor at The Unofficial Apple Weblog (tuaw.com)
First Mac: A Mac IIsi for $2,780, with a student discount. "It was ridiculously expensive," Rose says. "I don't think I bought another Mac for myself for quite a while."
The big list: Employers have provided most of his desktops and laptops, but he has purchased a few, including a MacBook Air for his wife. Rose also bought a Newton ($600), several iPads, a selection of iPods and several iPhones.
Total: Between $10,000 and $20,000
Laurie Duncan, owner of MacSamurai Consulting and founder of a fan site for owners of the short-lived Power Mac G4 Cube (cubeowner.com)
First Mac: A used Mac Classic in 1991, from the classified section of a free paper, for $1,200, plus $1,100 to max out the memory. "It had considerably less memory than a phone has today," Duncan says.
The big list: Duncan switched to a Mac Portable next. She then bought a series of PowerBooks, probably about a dozen over time.
Now Duncan upgrades constantly and says she has averaged about $6,000 a year for the past decade. And yes, she knows that adds up to more than $60,000. "I had 12 iPods at one point."
Her obsession with the G4 Cube, which Apple quickly discontinued, turned into a business that offers consulting services, custom cases, components and repairs. "It's a great machine," she says. "Was it Apple's best mistake? Worst mistake? I don't know."
Total: At least $75,000
Josh Fruhlinger, technology writer and editor, currently head of digital at TMZ.com
First Mac: He bought an Apple IIe with bar mitzvah money instead of going to Israel. "It was $2,500 used," he says. "New, they were $5,000 or $6,000."
The big list: Fruhlinger moved on to a Mac SE, which he bought for about $2,000, with an additional hard drive for $600. Then he found a discontinued PowerBook 100 for under $1,000. Next was a black PowerBook G3 for about $2,000.
From there, he bought an aluminum PowerBook G3, which he used for years, and then he moved to MacBook Pros. Fruhlinger owned every iteration of the iPhone since the first one, paying a $300 upgrade price each time. He also purchased two Time Capsule backup devices ($300 each) and two Airport Express wireless stations ($100 each).
Fruhlinger also owned various iPods, and still uses a first-generation 60 gigabyte one in his car to power his stereo.
Total: About $15,000
Christian Brady, dean of Pennsylvania State University's Schreyer Honors College and a vintage Apple collector
First Mac: A Mac SE from 1989 or 1990. "I still have it my office, and it still works," Brady says.
The big list: Brady switched to a PowerBook 140 for graduate school and spent $3,500 - an entire summer's salary - on it. He bought many others throughout the years, mostly with academic discounts or through university salvage programs.
Brady has more than a dozen old models in his office, most of which still run. He has also bought two iMacs, a Power Mac, a MacBook Air, an iPad, an iPad mini, three iPhones, two Apple TVs, two wireless base stations and numerous music players.
Total: At least $15,000
Mark Alvar Peck, founder and curator of the Apple Museum (theapplemuseum.org),
a private collection in the Boston area not open to the public
First Mac: Old ones. "I began collecting vintage Apple products, literature and other memorabilia in 2004 at age 14," Peck says. Most of the items came free, but he did invest in a Lisa and an original Macintosh for about $3,000 combined.
The big list: Now 23 and a professional photographer, Peck has bought six high-end laptops and four iPhones. His hardware collection has more than 200 items.
Total: $18,500 on new Apple products, about $5,000 on collectibles.
(Editing by Lauren Young and Lisa Von Ahn)
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