Buyer's Guide for Brits. Possible price rises and falls.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by BlizzardBomb, May 12, 2009.

  1. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030


    Jun 15, 2005
    The last revision of iMac and Mac mini saw huge price rises in the UK (about £150 for the iMac). Now, if you've been following Apple for a while, this is because their prices, while stable in the US, in the UK depend on the $ -> £ exchange rate. £ is strong, goods are (slightly) cheaper, £ is weak, goods are so expensive it makes you want to cry. So if you plan on buying anything Apple in the UK and you are waiting for a revision, the exchange rate is a quite reliable predictor of prices. Currently, on the exchange rate front, there is some good news and some bad news:

    Good news: The iMac and Mac mini (Mar '09) were introduced when £1 -> $1.40. Now it's £1 -> $1.52,
    Bad news: The MacBook family (Oct '08) was introduced when £1 -> $1.74. The exchange rate at the moment is weaker than that (again £1 -> $1.52).

    So let's look at the good news. The 24" 2.66 GHz iMac was launched for a pre-tax price of £1,042.67 while it sold in the US for $1,499. At launch, UK sales gave Apple $1,459 per unit (so they were making a small loss, how kind). Now, thanks to a stronger £, it's giving Apple $1,585 per unit sold. That's just one example, but for the whole iMac and Mac mini line-up it's the same story. What does this mean? Well if we are to get an update any time before 2010, given a stable £ (it's been slowly but reliably climbing for over a month), we could see a small price drop on the Mac mini (£50), and the iMac (£50 - £100). Of course, there are rumours of price drops in the US so if that happens, we could be in for a bigger price drop.

    On the flipside, you have the MacBook family. These guys are much more likely to get updated sooner, maybe even as soon as next month, so if you're readying your cards, here's what to expect. The 15" 2.66 GHz MBP is at a pre-tax price of £1,488.70, while US retail is $2,499. At launch, UK sales generated $2,590 per unit. Now its $2,263 per unit. This means Apple is making far less than they used to (and less compared to US units sold) per UK MB, MBP, MBA sold. Sadly, this means we could see a price rise of around £50 on the MB and anything around £100 on the MBP and MBA. The silver lining, is that again, there are rumours of price drops (possibly stopping any price rise) and Apple's MacBooks are quite popular so they wouldn't be too keen on raising prices.

    Also, VAT rises from 15% back to 17.5% at the end of the year, so if you want to save around £30 on a new machine, buy before year end. On a final note, I know I haven't talked about Apple's shipping costs, extra hidden costs for Apple etc. but I have taken that into account with my drops/ rises predictions.

    EDIT: Since posting, the £ has gotten a lot stronger, even hitting £1 -> $1.60. Whether it will be able to maintain this amount is unknown, but if it does it would mean drops and rises predicted here could be slightly off.
  2. Poncho macrumors 6502


    Jun 15, 2007
    I too did a lot of number crunching like that and, as a result, bought a refurb iMac from the 2008 line-up. My reasoning was that I was getting it at a price set when the £ was strong against the dollar and was therefore enjoying the best value for money.

    That's the thing with the Brits. We want the best value for money. The Americans simply want the best.
  3. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    This likely only applies to the current notebooks. The +VAT desktop prices will remain the same as they are now and the new notebooks are likely to have prices the same as they will be after VAT goes back up.
  4. The SpinDoctor macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2008
    Thanks for the valuable information.

    I think it should be Stickyed.

    It is still annoying as the earliest I could get a MBP would be September; but I have to wait for Nehalem.


    Intel and Apple really should push for a Q3 launch, but obviously that isn't going to happen.
  5. BlizzardBomb thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jun 15, 2005
    Hmm... I think they would increase it back for all then round off for the next update. That, or if the £ is a little bit stronger, they'll probably just absorb the rise.
  6. BBC B 32k macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2005

    MacBook prices were set when the £ was already weak and clearly only going to get weaker. As such a new design in style and technology (but not software :() Apple knew that they could command a premium price. As the economy has progressed it is apparent that to achieve greater sales the price point needs to be lower.

    This thought process excludes the current white MacBook which seems to only be there to clear out excess stock plastic cases :D

    Soon enough all MacBooks will be aluminum at the current price points. In effect a price drop. The iMacs on the other hand seem to be a fair price as they are IMHO.

  7. G4DP macrumors 65816

    Mar 28, 2007
    Prices will not come down.

    Even when it was $2 per £1 we were still getting reemed.

    The days of Europe and UK getting a reasonable price for an Apple product have gone for a long time.
  8. LAS.mac macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2009
    Almost the same price ratio here in Mexico. At the current rate exchange between USD and mexican peso, without considering VAT (15% here too), mexican prices are about 40 to 60 USD higher than in US for laptops, and about 200-250 USD higher for imacs. That's clearly due to the different weigh and transport costs.
    Slightly lower is the education discount here in Mexico, though, if compared with UK. Here ii's about 5% of the price, whereas as I readed in other posts, is as high as 15 % in UK. is that true?
    Oh, and here in Mexico Apple does not have a refurbished store.
  9. throttlemeister macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2009
    And if you are living mainland Europe, you see the pound worth close to nothing and buy your Mac at discounts not even imaginable. ;)

    I saved myself about 500 euro aka £445 aka $675 by ordering in the UK, and have a collegue driving it back to me.
  10. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud
    Yep- did the same. Saved a fortune. I just hope when I need to buy again that the same things apply.
  11. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...unfortunatly, they are more expensive here in Japan as well...
  12. BlizzardBomb thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jun 15, 2005
    Yes we were still getting ripped off when it was £1 -> $2, but before the £ got that strong, they were lowering the price (not as much as they should've done though) to accommodate as it got stronger.

    I think that iMac and mini sales would have suffered a bit for the rises imposed on them, and Apple will want to bring them down when they can.
  13. BlizzardBomb thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jun 15, 2005
    Well the first price rise has hit the White MacBook (£719 -> £749), with no sign of a US price drop yet. Here's the maths behind it.

    Pre-VAT = £625.22 * 1.59 (the USD exchange rate) = $994
    So even before what it costs to ship the products and pay any random taxes, increased cost of business over here that they may face, Apple was losing $5 per MacBook sold (not much I know, but hey, this is Apple!).

    Pre-VAT = £651.30 * 1.59 = $1035.57
    Giving Apple reasonable breathing room and extra space if sterling collapses.

    It is worth noting that the £ has got much stronger since the original post (even hitting £1 -> $1.60), but this will still mean MacBook price rises unless there is a US price drop.
  14. RSA.JULIUS macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2008
    London, UK
    So what most of you are saying on this thread is to purchase a MB now because the prices will definitely be going up with new releases.

    I was holding out to see what updates will be released after 8 June. I was going to get the mid ranged UMB but now that the white MB has better specs Im not sure.

    Any thoughts should I hold out or just go and purchase a MB or UMB?

Share This Page