If You Thought the iPad Was Bad: the Real Cost of New Apple Products Since 1976

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The perfect storm of hype — and strong presale figures — leading up to Apple’s release of the iPad on April 3rd have led many who see the iPad as as  to hypothesize that there’s probably a price drop coming for the non-fanboys.

But even if you don’t relish the prospect of paying $500 for a 16-gig, juiced-up iPhone with just Wi-Fi (more if you decide to go upmarket): consider the mighty Newton MessagePad OMP, with its 640KB RAM and a price tag approximating $1,048 in today’s dollars, or the original Apple Lisa, which would have cost $21,744.85 with inflation taken into account — more than a new 2010 Volkswagen Beetle Coupe.

Full-sized infographic after the jump:

The infographic below was put together by VoucherCodes.co.uk, a British coupon site, and is an example of the kind of informative, non-shouty web marketing that we don’t mind: The goal here doesn’t seem to be to sell an iPad, but to teach you a little history.

As with other “over the decades” price comparisons, it’s worth pointing out that the CPI Inflation Calculator is not exactly a magic turnkey for price conversion: Like apparel and other consumer sectors, technology has its own internal inflation numbers that don’t jibe with the economy’s as a whole, and it’s arguable that tech’s are the toughest to calculate at all, as it’s hard to compare the value of something that has never before existed with its past, imperfect analogues. Still, it’s worth checking out:

( via ChartPorn)

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