Apple Hardware $ vs £ (Facts and Figures)

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by TMA, May 18, 2003.

  1. TMA macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2003
    I've just done a bit of research regarding Apples pricing structure in England vs. America. This has probably already been done before, but I wanted to satisfy my curiosity. I also wanted to find figures for comparisons that did not include any VAT or Tax, as some folks have mentioned people forget to take this into account. I would encourage people to do the same for other countries, perhaps we could work out if it makes more sense to fly to America just to buy the hardware and bring it back.

    Prices are taken from both Apple stores and EXCLUDE any form of tax. UK to US conversions are based on todays exchange rates and figures have been rounded to the nearest whole numbers. I've probably made a bunch of errors along the way, :) but I think the results are reasonably accurate.

    iPod 10Gb
    US: $299 UK: £212 UK>US: $344
    Difference = $45 % Increase = 15%

    iPod 30Gb
    US: $499 UK: £340 UK>US: $551
    Difference = $52 % Increase = 10%

    Basic iMac (15inch)
    US: $1,299 UK: £850 UK>US: $1,379
    Difference = $80 % Increase = 6%

    "Fast" Powermac G4
    US: $1,499 UK: £978 UK>US: $1,586
    Difference = $87 % Increase = 6%

    "Fastest" Powermac G4
    US: $2,699 UK: £1,786 UK>US: $2,897
    Difference = $198 % Increase = 7%

    23" Cinema HD Display
    US: $1,999 UK: £1,446 UK>US: $2,346
    Difference = $347 % Increase = 17%

    CDROM (cheapest) eMac
    US: $799 UK: £553 UK>US: $897
    Difference = $98 % Increase = 12%

    PowerBook G4 12" Combo Drive
    US: $1,799 UK: £1,191 UK>US: $1,936
    Difference = $137 % Increase = 8%

    Powerbook G4 17" Superdrive
    US: $3,299 UK: £2,211 UK>US: $3,594
    Difference = $295 % Increase = 9%

    CDROM (cheapest) iBook
    US: $999 UK: £680 UK>US: $1,106
    Difference = $107 % Increase = 11%

    For me I think the difference isn't as much as I had been expecting, but still bad news. I am not a business student therefor I could be missing something vital here (please tell me if I am) I don't know where these products are assembled, but I do know that Cork does some (my iMac for example) It doesn't make sense that I could be paying more for something that is made nearer to me! What do other people think is happening and is this a perfectly normal practice?

    Also when you think that the British pay an extra 17.5% for VAT you can see how the prices become horrendous. However this is not Apples fault.

    Please forgive me for whining :) Hope some folks find this useful.
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Yeah, it sucks alright...that's the price a brit has to pay to "think different" :(
  3. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    Are there any import duties? That might explain some of it. I'm amazed though that the price differential varies from 6-17% Wow! that is a lot, you'd think it would be pretty much even across the board.
  4. Latino macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2003
    London, UK
    U also have to take into account...

    Right now, the GBP is quite strong vs the USD.
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles

    Would it be possible for you to hit, for example, Dell on line and see how their US vs UK prices match up to Apples? I'm wondering if this is an Apple-centric price hike, tarifs on US goods or a bit of both.

  6. Datazoid macrumors regular

    May 10, 2002
    Just went to dell, which, by the way, is very difficult to compare models on, options and standard packages are quite different... this was the cheapest model I could come up with that had comparable options:

    Dell Dimension 2350

    2.2 Ghz Celeron
    256MB DDR-RAM
    60 GB IDE Hard Drive
    1 Year On-Site Service
    Dell 17" Monitor
    16X DVD Drive
    3.5" Floppy Drive
    2 Button Mouse
    Stereo Speakers
    Microsoft Windows XP Home
    Microsoft Works Suite

    US $624 UK £550.21 UK>US $894.64 Difference: $269.36 % Difference: 43.4%

    Who's screwing who now?
  7. TMA thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2003
    I don't know anything about import duties, i'm not really up to speed on that sort of thing. However I do think if something like this was happening then wouldn't the price differential % be similar accross the board?

    What I did notice is that Apple UK's prices are rounded to the 99's (£799 for example) when looking at the prices including vat. So it looks like the prices might be higher partly so the numbers look tidy (grr) :(
  8. Datazoid macrumors regular

    May 10, 2002
    Grrr...why doesn't Safari's UNDO work?! I just lost a whole bunch of specs/prices I was going to post because I mistakenly hit the spacebar while it was highlighted (unbeknownst to me). I'm too lazy to retype it all, but what I found so far was that the Dell 20"FP monitor from Dell was 24% ($216, US cost $899.10) higher in the UK, the Dell Axim 300 Mhz was 47% (~$85 more, US Cost $179) higher, and a pretty well equipped Dimension 8300 was a full $1133.91 more (30% higher, US cost $3771)
  9. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    I'm in New Zealand and I've done a few comparisons here. I compared the 2 iMacs and the 3 Power Macs, and found the NZ prices are about 36% higher than the US ones. But I also compared Dell's prices, and found the Dimension 2350 to be 41% more expensive than the US, and the Dimension 8300 is a whopping 87% higher! It's possible that the actual specs of the Dells are completely different despite having the same model numbers, but the Apple machines have the same specs in both countries.
  10. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    Maybe we pay import duties on some of the Taiwanese stuff (portables and ipods?) but my powermac was built in Ireland so wouldn't have any duty on it as Ireland is in the EU. Having said that nearly everything is cheaper in the US and your salaries are generally higher...we get 5 weeks vacation plus national holidays a year though;)

    Those NZ prices are a bit amazing as NZ salaries aren't that high. The buying power of the NZ dollar isn't up to much though I suppose....
  11. ahe macrumors member


    Feb 12, 2003
    just have a look at prices in Spain!!!

    Hi folks...

    ... If you want to blow your mind, just look at the prices of the iPod in the Spanish Apple Store.

    The Prices in the US are $299, $399 and $499

    Well, in Spain (and I believe in the rest of Europe) they are:
    €399, €499, €599.

    C'mon, that's not fair play at all. Specially considering the current strengh of the Euro against the US dollar (exchange rate of 1 Euro = 1.17 US dollars approx.). So now they're making even MORE money, and still the differente is this high!!!
    Let's make a quick calculation. Prices in the US versus prices in Spain for the iPod (in US dollars):


    This really pisses me off. Similar thing happens with Dell products. Now don't tell me about Taiwan import rates, how can they add up so much to the final price?? How do they import these items, using mules or what?

    Just look at the $200 difference of the greater model. Oh, well...

  12. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    Re: just have a look at prices in Spain!!!

    Do the Euro prices include Sales Tax (VAT)? The original poster took off the VAT from the UK prices before converting to US dollars. That may account for some difference - Apple can't be blamed for the high VAT rates in the EU. The UK apparently has one of the lowest VAT rates in the EU at 17.5% - that it is one of the lowest is quite hard to believe.... On the other hand, I am more than willing to believe that a price differential similar to the UK:US one exists for the euro:US prices.
  13. ahe macrumors member


    Feb 12, 2003
    You're right, I did not remove VAT from the spanish prices. In Spain, the VAT applied to computers and luxury items is 16%.
    Anyway, the US prices include whichever taxes that apply, don't they? even if there is no VAT tax in USA (is there?).
  14. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    Nope, sales taxes are added on to the price in the Apple Store. The reason is that 5 states have NO sales tax and in the other 45 states it varies from ~5-~9 %. It depends upon where you live. Yes, I know, it's an effed up system and there is a lot of debate going on about it.
  15. Jaykay macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2002
    Prices in Ireland are pretty strange. Although we have phenomenely high VAT (21%), it seems that the apple store here only quotes the machines being around 4% more expensive than their american counterparts afet VAT, so if we had the same VAT rate as they do in the UK, the machines would be about the same price and if it was the tha same as in spain, it would seem to work out as being cheaper than it is the US (but i suppose apple may have dropped their prices in ireland a bit so that VAT didnt price them out of the market. So there are some advantages to liveing a few miles from an apple manufacturing plant. (these 'observations' were done on the fast and fastest powermacs....)

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