Buying a MBP in America with an Italian keyboard: how does it work?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by PoianaNana, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. PoianaNana macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2010
    First of all let me say I'm sorry: I searched mroogle for answers to my questions with almost no luck, but I'm sure it will not take a lot before someone better than me will post links to threads with the information I'm seeking... :rolleyes:

    I just realized that this post will be long so I will underline my question to ease your reading...

    I'm planning to buy my first Mac (a base MacBook Pro 15" with Hi-Res display) and my question, in short, is whether I can buy it with an Italian keyboard ( or not since next summer I'll spend a few weeks in the USA.

    If I buy such a machine and a DVI adaptor here in Italy, I'm going to spend € 1,868.00. Since I'm eligible of educational discount, the price lowers to € 1,681.20.
    If I buy the same articles in the USA, I'm going to spend $ 1,928.00 which becomes € 1,460.61 according to today's USD/EUR change (1.32). If I apply my educational discount, it is further reduced to € 1,314.55!
    So, does my educational discount apply in America too?

    There is no Apple Store in my nearby so I cannot check it out by myself, but in the online Apple Store I prove my affiliation by filling a form with my institutional email address & password. Is it the same?
    What have I to do to prove my affiliation when I step into an Apple Store?

    According to what I have read in a post of a Dutch guy who is going to buy his MacBook Pro in Japan, presenting his passport to the Apple Store will grant him a further 5% discount (I guess it is a refund for VAT or something like that).
    So far as I know, VAT in America is 6%. If so, it would leat to an amazing price of € 1,235.67 (the same price of a base 13" MBP and a DVI Adaptor in Italy)...
    So, can I claim the refund of VAT in the USA too?

    According to what I have read mroogling around, there is no way to get an Italian keyboard in the USA.
    Did anyone manage to get a foreign keyboard instead? If so, how?

    Not being able to type blindly, buying the US keyboard and assigning it the Italian layout by software is not an option, nevertheless I have read that is it possible to make an Apple Point replace it for me once I get home.
    How much is the replacement (possibly in EUR)?
    I have found a few "guesstimations" but no real price so far.

    That's all!
    Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any advice,
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    There's a lot of debate about this. For some people it's applied, for others it's not. Credentials from a US institution work for the education discount in Europe, and the language of the Terms and Conditions doesn't seem to exclude foreign institutional credentials.

    I've used an ID card with my university's name on it. Other people have gotten by with less.

    I've never actually heard of that.

    Stores in the US will only have the US qwerty layout. To switch physical layouts in the future you have to replace the top case.

    No idea. In the US, top case replacement (keyboard replacement) runs around $200 or so.
  3. bkap16 macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2009
    It might. We do get the educational discount over here, I don't know how they handle international schools though

    Do you have a school ID? Otherwise, email and password probably still works. Last time I went in though, they didn't even bother checking for me

    We don't have a VAT in the US. We have a sales tax. A sales tax (which isn't included in the listed price- it's 6-8% extra depending on the state) is applied to the buyer, not the seller. So you still have to pay.
    Online at least, we have the option of getting the Western Spanish, French, and Japanese keyboards. So you might be able to ask for an Italian keyboard.
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Only way you can get Italian KB is to call to the store where you're going to buy it and ask if they could order one for you. You can't buy from US online store as that requires US credit card. As miles stated, there's a lot debate on can foreign student buy from US with discount and so far there is no official information. Oh and stores don't carry the base 15" hi res, so...

    IMO sounds very complicated, so either get a stock model or buy from Italy (or UK due exchange rate)
  5. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    Apple doesn't sell the Italian keyboard in the USA. I've asked Apple about other keyboards was told that if it's not available as an option from the online store, it's not available at all from Apple.

    The Hi-Res display is a built-to-order option so as soon as you want one, you're no longer talking about a "base" model. That means you'll have to order it in advance.

    As others have said, there's no VAT here and so there's no way to get it back. Be sure you include the cost of sales tax in your calculations.
  6. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I don't know how they check for student ID in Europe, but in the US, you have to prove your student eligibility and then they choose your school by entering a US zip-code (postal code); furthermore they require a state ID like a driver's license.

    And stores do not sell international layouts. You can't even order it. I have tried that already. You will probably need to take it back to Italy and have them do it there; then the extra cost will not be worthwhile.
  7. PoianaNana thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2010
    Too bad they were not the answers I would have loved to hear!
    Anyway thank you all for your kind replies!

    By the way, do the Accademic Discount applies to iPhone too?
    Setting up the iPhone as a Wi-Fi Access Point would be great... ;)
  8. jzuena macrumors 6502a


    Feb 21, 2007
    Lexington, MA, USA
    Just to expand on the VAT/sales tax issue, US prices are quoted BEFORE any sales tax, not including it (as VAT is in the EU). Sales tax rates vary by state and some cities like New York City also levy a city sales tax. State sales taxes vary anywhere from 0% (New Hampshire is one state without sales tax) to at least 8%.

    I don't think there is any provision for non-US residents to get a sales tax refund the way non-EU residents can get a VAT refund. Your best bet would be to research the sales tax rates in the various locations you plan to visit and buy wherever the tax is lowest. As I said earlier, New Hampshire is one state with no sales tax at all, and they have two Apple stores in-state (Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, NH and Rockingham Park Mall in Salem, NH).

    It doesn't look like there are discounts for iPhone or iPad from the University I am affiliated with. Don't know if others do have them.

Share This Page