Sat. Dec 14th, 2019

The 21 most expensive products Apple has ever sold (AAPL)


The 21 most expensive products Apple has ever sold (AAPL)

  • People are still getting used to the fact that Apple’s high-end iPhones now cost more than $1,000, but back when Apple first started selling its computers, the company was regularly pricing its products in the thousands.
  • The most expensive products Apple has ever sold include not only some of its oldest desktop computers, but also some newer desktops, laptops, and wearables.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Even though Apple has launched more affordable products in recent years, like the $700 iPhone 11 and $329 iPad, the company still a reputation for selling premium, high-end products.

The $1,000 iPhone 11 Pro may seem expensive, especially considering new data shows that most people aren’t willing to spend that much money on a new smartphone. But Apple’s history is filled with products that are priced much higher than its new top-of-the-line smartphones.

We took a look back on some of the most expensive products that Apple has ever offered. 

Nick Vega contributed to an earlier version of this report. 

SEE ALSO: The first iPhone changed the world forever — see how Apple’s iconic smartphone evolved over the past decade

21. Apple III (1981) — $3,815

The Apple III provided an update to the company’s lucrative Apple II line of computers. The Apple III was advertised as twice as fast as and having twice the memory of its predecessor.

The Apple III went for $3,815 with the monitor included. This line of computers was discontinued in 1984, after just four years, with only 65,000 units sold in total.

20. Macintosh XL (1984) — $3,995

The Macintosh XL was actually first named the Lisa 2/10, because it borrowed much of the technologies from the Lisa computer. But when it went to market, the Mac XL was branded as the “first high-end Macintosh.”

The Macintosh XL was made available as a free upgrade to owners of the first-generation Lisa, but those who didn’t own a Lisa model paid up to $3,995 for the Macintosh XL. 

19. Macintosh SE/30 (1989) — $4,900

The SE/30 was the second generation of Mac’s compact computers, providing a smaller version of the Mac IIx, but with more power. With a hard drive, the SE/30 cost $4,900.

It was discontinued in October 1990.

18. Pro Display XDR — $4,999

Apple’s Pro Display for its new Mac Pro measures 32 inches and boasts a 6016 x 3384 Retina 6K display. The screen is more than 40% larger than that of Apple’s Retina 5K display, and the company claims its polarizer technology should deliver accurate colors even when viewing the display off-axis. 

17. Macintosh IIcx (1989) — $5,369

This Mac IIcx was a successor to the Mac IIx model, except the IIcx was smaller than the previous model. The IIcx had a modular design so the Mac could be more easily manufactured and put together, which Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée demonstrated by assembling one live on stage.

Purchasing the Mac IIcx cost users $5,369.

16. Macintosh II (1987) — $5,498

The Mac II was actually the first Apple computer with a modular design, and was the first in a line of modular design versions to come. It was also the first Mac with color, which could be added using a graphics card.

Though the version running a floppy disk system was lower in price at $3,898, the Mac II with a 40 MB hard drive cost $5,498.

15. PowerBook G3 (1997) — $5,699

Nicknamed “Kanga,” this portable computer helped to launch several generations of G3s to come (like the Wallstreet and Pismo models).

It was only on the market for six months before it was replaced by its more powerful successors. 

14. Macintosh Quadra 700 (1991) — $5,700

The Quadra 700 is the first Apple computer to be housed in a tower-like, vertical-situated case. Before, Apple’s computers adhered to a form where the computer would be positioned as a base for the monitor to stand on.

The new-and-improved desktop model cost $5,700 when it was first sold.

13. Macbook Pro 16-inch (2019) — $6,099

Apple’s new MacBook Pro comes with a larger 16-inch screen, improved speakers and faster performance. It starts at $2,400, but if you opt for the most expensive model that comes with an 8-core processor, 64GB of memory, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M graphics with 8GB of memory, and eight terabytes of storage, you’ll end up paying $6,099.

12. PowerBook 3400c (1997) — $6,500

At the time of release, the PowerBook 3400c was advertised as the world’s “fastest notebook computer.” Its speed was comparable to some of the desktop Mac computers at the time, which was a rarity.

The PowerBook 3400c went for $6,500 fully loaded.

11. Apple LaserWriter (1985) — $6,995

The draw of the Apple LaserWriter was that it could be shared by over a dozen Macintosh computers. This ability made the $7,000 price tag — nearly $16,000 today — a bit easier to swallow for businesses that ran on Macintosh. 

The LaserWriter was one of the very first laser printers available on the mass-market, and it helped usher in the desktop publishing revolution. 

Still, though, that’s a really expensive printer. 


10. Macintosh Portable (1989) — $7,300

In September 1989, Apple unveiled its first “portable” computer. I put “portable” in quotes because although the computer wasn’t connected to the wall by a cord, it still weighed a back-breaking 16 pounds — not unlike schlepping around an enormous bowling ball.

For the privilege of being able to lug around this machine, the company asked only that you write them a check for $7,300 — about $14,300 today. 


9. Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (1997) — $7,499

The Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh — or TAM, as those in the know called it — was a truly unique piece of technology. It was released in March 1997, but despite not fitting into any Apple product line, it was the prehistoric ancestor of the modern-day iMac, with all the components held in a slim body behind the screen. 

What set it apart from the pack was that it was significantly more expensive than any other Apple offering at the time. The TAM could be had for $7,500, which would be about $11,200 today. 

However, in a little less than a year, the price got slashed to $1,995 to clear stock. When the TAM was finally sold out, it was discontinued. 

8. Macintosh IIci (1989) — $8,800

The Mac IIci came after the IIcx, providing more power and RAM to the desktop computer. The design was also a bit sleeker than its predecessor.

With a 40MB hard drive, the IIci cost $8,800 when it went on the market in 1989.

7. Macintosh IIx (1988) — $9,369

The IIx came out in 1988 as an update to the original Macintosh II, meaning that this computer powered a color display as well. At the time of its release, Apple lauded the IIx as a computer that would “reinforce our position in key business and higher education markets.”

With a 80MB hard drive, this computer was sold at $9,369.

6. Mac Pro (2013) — $9,599

If you were to max out Apple’s high-end workstation computer from 2013, it would have cost you a whopping $9,599 the year it launched, as Macworld pointed out. That configuration would include a 12-core processor with 64GB of memory.

5. Apple Lisa (1983) — $9,995

If you saw Aaron Sorkin’s 2015 biopic “Steve Jobs,” you’ll likely remember the Apple LISA. Jobs, played by Michael Fassbender, spends most of the movie saying the computer wasn’t named after his daughter Lisa, until he finally admits it was. 

What the movie doesn’t spend too much time on is the fact that the LISA cost a whopping $9,995 in 1985. For those keeping score at home, that means the LISA would cost just over $24,000 today, after inflation.  

For that price, buyers in 1985 were getting a true technical pioneer — the LISA was the first mouse-operated computer to have a graphical user interface system. 

4. Macintosh IIfx (1990) — $12,000

By the time the IIfx was released in 1990, Apple had been making computers for 14 years and had sold 15 different models before this one. Apple marketed the computer as an ultra-fast system that could make an impact in the “workplace market,” but the IIfx lagged behind other PC computers in existence at the time.

Its intention to a be computer for the workplace led Apple to price the IIfx at $9,780, running upwards to $12,000.

3. iMac Pro (2017) — $13,199

Apple’s most expensive computer is aimed at those who need crazy amounts of computing power — such as audio and video editors, and software developers.

The iMac Pro with its default configurations is already impressive, and costs $4,999. But maxing out the computer’s upgraded features will put the iMac Pro at $13,199.

2. Apple Watch Edition (2015) — $17,000

The Apple Watch hit stores in 2015 with the somewhat-reasonable price of $349 for the baseline model. Watch collectors, however, are not usually known for paying somewhat-reasonable prices for things. You see, a nice watch is as much a statement piece as it is a time-telling device. 

Apple was more than happy to scratch that itch for collectors, announcing a version of the Apple Watch, called “Edition.” The price started at $10,000 for a watch with rose gold casing, and went as high as $17,000 for one that came with an 18-karat yellow or rose gold case and clasps. 

It soon became apparent to Apple that most people — other than Beyonce — had no interest in a smartwatch that cost as much as a car. By the time the Apple Watch Series 2 rolled around, the Apple Watch Edition was given a ceramic casing, was being marketed as a fitness device rather than a style piece, and topped out at $1,300. Apple discontinued the Edition altogether last fall. 

1. Mac Pro (2019) — $5,999 to $52,000

The newest version of Apple’s Mac Pro is a powerhouse of a computer that starts at roughly $6,000, but goes all the way up to $52,000 if you max it out with the highest specifications. That top-of-the-line model includes a beefy 28-core Intel Xeon processor, 1.5 terabytes of memory, two Radeon Pro Vega II Duo graphics processing units, and four terabytes of storage.  As is the case with its predecessor, the Mac Pro is designed for professionals in need of a computer than can manage very heavy workflows, like film editors and video game developers, rather than the average person.