# Tue, 03 Mar 2009Apple's new iMac and Mac mini price is right

## When you do the maths the pricing structure compares favourably with the US

If you are thinking of buying a new desktop Mac, you might be wishing you’d bought it yesterday. Otherwise it’s likely you’ll have to find another £108 for an entry-level Mac mini, or £167 for an entry-level iMac.

The new specs might make the extra outlay worthwhile, except that in the US the iMac and Mac mini have seen no price increase.

If Apple’s put the prices up in the UK it must be to bring the price into line with the US, now that we can no longer enjoy an exchange rate of 50p for a dollar. The latest exchange rate gives one dollar for 70p.

So how do the prices compare when we convert the US price to UK pounds? Actually, very favourably. In most cases the UK price actually works out slightly better than the converted US price once UK VAT at 15 per cent is added. (The US add sales tax at the point of sale as it depends on the state the consumer is in, hence the US prices do not include tax).

US:
Entry-level Mac mini (2.0GHz, 120GB)
US price = \$599
Converted to GBP = £425 + 15% VAT = £488.75
Actual UK price: £499

Mac mini (2.0GHz, 320GB)
US price \$799
Converted to GBP = £567.58 + 15% VAT = £652.72
Actual UK price £649

Entry-level iMac (20-inch, 2.66GHz)
US price \$1,199
Converted to GBP = £851.17 + 15% VAT = £978.84
Actual UK price £949

iMac (24-inch: 2.66GHz)
US price \$1,499
Converted to GBP = £1,064.23 + 15% VAT = £1,223.86
Actual UK price £1,199

iMac (24-inch, 2.93GHz)
US price \$1,799.00
Converted to GBP = £1,278.61 + 15% VAT = £1470.40
Actual UK price £1,499

iMac (24-inch, 3.06GHz)
US price \$2,199.00
Converted to GBP = £1,563.20 + 15% VAT = £1,797
Actual UK price £1,799

So for once, we can't complain of rip off Britain, other than to lament at the state of our economy.

Drew said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

When we were getting 1:2 on the exchange rate, were Macs half the dollar cost? I don't think so....

Jus said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

I was just doing the maths too. On paper it looks reasonable but when you compare yesterdays price for a 24" 3.06 ghz build to order at just under £1400 its an extra £400 to find for relatively little extras or speed. I suppose that's the recession. I cant see these prices helping Apples sales figures in the UK.

Slinky said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

Actually, we did.

Sorry to break this to you, but Apple consistently adjusts its prices to the dollar (or thereabouts).

Our economy is lousy. That doesn't make it any easier I know. And yes Macs are still expensive (no new there). But they're also expensive in the good old US of A.

TJ said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

It doesn't take into account the VAT reduction - seems like even more money going to Apple. Ridiculous pricing, I wanted to treat myself to a new Mac Pro but my 2006 is higher spec than the baseline £19,000 model.

Adam said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

While it's irritating for UK consumers, anyone who expects Apple to subsidise the pound by not raising prices is a fool.

gregorsamsa said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

I think price increases were generally expected, just not by this much. After all, where were the price concessions over here when £1 ='d over \$2? That said, on reflection, the low-end Mini still seems to offer fairly reasonable value... at least for a new Mac.

gregorsamsa said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

Then again... only 1GB RAM on the low-end Mini (just checked). So not as good as I thought.

Scott said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

Anyone looking for a laptop should buy one soon before the prices go up. At the exchange rates above the base MacBook should cost £820 based on a USA price of \$999, it is still £719 in UK store (today!).

ojk said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

the exchange rate is pretty irrelevant in terms of consumer electronics. We haven't seen the price of HDTV's or Netbooks increasing by a quarter as the entry mac mini just has, despite the exchange rate. No other computer company would get away with increasing prices so much, the inflation rate in the UK just does not reflect this sort of increase. To be clear this is not the same as going to florida and getting less for your pound in Disneyland. Apple UK is a retail company operating in the UK, to base their prices solely on the dollar exchange rate would be to treat them as an exporter to the UK.

greendave said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

Wake up!!! Apple US price does not include sales tax. Steve Jobs explained this during his last visit to the Apple Store in the UK. Why do people constantly blame Apple for the VAT, that goes straight to Gordon Brown. In the US each state charges a different sales tax so all prices are quoted without tax. Plus, if you buy from outside the state you do not pay the sales tax at purchase but are left to declare it on your tax return (!)

ojk said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

The US price is irrelevant to the UK, the new prices are up to 20% more expensive than the old UK ones, including VAT (which has actually gone down). No other major consumer nretail companies in the UK have increased prices by 20% in the last few months.

mv said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

Usual UK rip off prices from apple, marginal spec increase but huge prices increases, and this in a middle of the worst recession in years. Now only retired bankers can afford these!

Confused said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

Why are you adding 15% to the converted rate. US dont pay 15% yet alone the 17.5% we will go back up to at some point??

US Sales tax is probably an average of about 8%. Do the math again!

Drew said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

Plus don't count on these things going down again when the exchange rate improves.

Slinky said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

Should we count on you jumping all over this site, with APPLE CUTS PRICES TO MATCH US PRICES when/if the exchange rate changes? Because that's what they did a few years ago. Every time a new product is launched the prices are adjusted.

Or do you just rant when prices go up like some self appointed gobs***e? FFS, this isn't HYS or the Daily Mail board. P**s off elsewhere with your Rip Off Britain BS! Everyone else A) saw this coming and B) understands it.

Whether you buy a Mac or not is a different matter, of course. Macs aren't cheap - or is this also SHOCKING NEWS in the world of Drew?

Don't bother buying one then, or wait till the economy picks up again.

@confused. Sorry if you don't understand the concept here. Apple is a US company so the UK price is historically linked to the US price (quoted without tax) converted by the US/GBP dollar rate at the current conversion (1.4/1) plus the UK tax rate (which is currently 15 per cent).

gregorsamsa said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

I doubt exchange rates will improve anytime soon. They'll probably get worse over the next year or so. I think Apple will make price-cuts if Mac desktop sales continue declining to unacceptable levels. The way the economy's going, I wouldn't bet against it.

Tomskey said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

Don't like it? Don't buy it - I won't!!

Slinky said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

@Scott

Good to see somebody else around here with a clue. Good call on the white MacBook too, I hadn't noticed that price discepency.

Seriously. If anybody wants a MacBook get a white one ASAP because I can't imagine that staying at £719 for long either.

Bloody Sterling!

Chris said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

Prices were not half a year ago when 50p was \$1 dollar. I find this price increase during a recession ridiculous and offensive. People buy Apple not because they have to but rather because there is a good relationship between the company and the customer, with this price hike they will alienate their audience. Starting with me!!! *what I find stupid on about previous comments are that so called Apple costumers seem to be defending price increases! Maybe they are being paid paid to do so (food for thought - PR stunt)*

Haku said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

It doesn't matter if it's Apple's fault or not, higher prices will equal fewer sales. It's a real shame.

Chris said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

Prices were not half a year ago when 50p was \$1 dollar. I find this price increase during a recession ridiculous and offensive. People buy Apple not because they have to but rather because there is a good relationship between the company and the customer, with this price hike they will alienate their audience. Starting with me!!! *what I find stupid on about previous comments are that so called Apple costumers seem to be defending price increases! Maybe they are being paid paid to do so (food for thought - PR stunt)*

Ben said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

I don't understand how people can not understand something relatively simple like this!?!?

Maybe it will help if you do the sums the other way around, eg take the VAT off the UK price then convert it to dollars:

Entry iMac = £949 of which VAT = £141

£949 - £141 = £808

£808 @ today's exchange rate = \$1137

US price of entry iMac = \$1199

The simple fact is that Apple charge less for an iMac in the UK than the US!!!!

Ascylto said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

I went to my local Apple Store and bought a 24" top spec iMac. I had budgeted for about £200 cheaper thinking they's be introduced at MacWorld. I'm just transferring data from my MacBook with about 2 and a half hours to go.

Nearly two grand on a desktop! Look carefully at the £1200 first 24" iMac ... it seems very good value for the spec.

Bozo said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

Prices for Macs have actually increased by up to 33% (mid-range iMac 24"). While exchange rates are probably the main reason for Apple's price increases, these products don't just exist in an Apple utopia. Comparing it to Apple's prices in the US is just one indicator of the inequality. It's simply ridiculous in the current UK marketplace to increase prices by up to 33%. Is Dell, HP, Sony, or anyone else increasing their UK retail prices by 33%? This makes Apple's products less attractive in an already stagnant retail market.

crazytrain said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

Simple fact is, I was planning on getting a Mac Mini and with the new prices, now I'm not. You can "justify" the increase with the current exchange rate, however I don't see huge price hikes by other computer manufacturers and that is what Apple is up against. Also, I didn't see us benefitting fully from the previous \$2 for £1 rate that we had previously. I can't see Apple expanding their market share with these updates. Its not a case of asking them to "subsidise" the UK, its a case of looking at the current global financial situation and thinking that maybe they could take a slight hit on their margins. They are indeed a US based company, but these things are assembled in the Far East using parts that are predominantly made out there so how reliant on the US\$ are the prices (genuine question - I don't know the answer)?

sip said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

Nikon put up prices twice this year alone -- January & March -- due to weak Sterling (is this now a misnomer?).

I had to pay nearly £80 more for a D90 body only compared to 2008 prices.

Jas said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

£949 without 15% VAT = £825, not £808.

Scott said on Tue, 03 Mar 2009

Just have a look at all the UK MacBook and MacBook Pro prices compared to the states.

Those poor Americans are getting ripped off big time by Apple. For example entry level MacBook Pro is \$1999 which is the equivalent of £1642 incl VAT at current exchange rate while in the UK it is only £1369, the equivalent UK price for the 17" is £2299 while it is only £1949.

Working with any exchange rate is a major headache for any company, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. A company cannot fix a product price to the exchange rate, it would change every day. Apple have been taking a major hit on these products ever since the £ went south just as they gained when the pound was high. That is the one attraction of the single currency.

They have to take a long term view which is, incidentally, that the BoE will be forced to print extra sterling and drive the pound even lower.

Dell, Spny etc will raise their prices, just as Ford and BMW have done even though sales are way down.

Drew said on Wed, 04 Mar 2009

@Slinky - Fanboy! Can you tell me the last time Apple CUT prices (of existing models) then 'cause I can't remember. Sometimes the launch new hardware at a lower price point (and lower spec) by the iMac is £949 expect it to stay there

@Ben said on Wed, 04 Mar 2009

@Ben. You've got your math wrong. You're subtracting 15 per cent from the total including VAT, rather than adding 15 per cent to the base price without VAT.

It gives too different numbers. Because 15 per cent of £825 and 15 per cent of £949 are different amounts.

Slinky said on Wed, 04 Mar 2009

@Drew! I may be a fanboy but at least I've got some semblance of perspective. you just come across as a rapid troll.

I just used Google on your behalf, here's a couple of stories

Back three or four years ago when the exhcange rate went from £1.6/\$1 to £2/\$1 Apple cut prices (and consistently matched them. Now the exchange has fallen down to £1.4/\$1 Apple is having to put prices up.

Rick Truth said on Wed, 04 Mar 2009

Considering that Macworld's website, magazine and therefore entire business depends on healthy Apple Mac sales, anyone who reads your opinion and treats it as an unbiased view is sadly mistaken.

I suggest people should look elsewhere for a balanced opinion. Anyone can massage figures and bring up exchange rates and micro-economics to support whatever conclusion they wish to reach.

I say this as a 15 year Mac enthusiast and professional - The fact is that practically all Macs have always been overpriced or at the very least at the top end of the envelope that people are able to pay for such a product. Then comes a financial crisis and it pushes them over the edge for most people.

Mark said on Wed, 04 Mar 2009

I was planning to buy a 3.06Ghz iMac this month, but the price increase has put me off for now - I'll just wait.

At the end of the day if prices are pushed up because of the poor economy and a weak GBP then you just have to accept that - it's business and basic economics.

If you are off on holiday to somewhere like Spain this year you will be paying roughly £1 more for every beer even though they haven't put the prices up.

You have to either accept that or stay at home.

Guy said on Wed, 04 Mar 2009

Why are people getting lost in a tizzy about the exchange rate? Two main things are being ignored;
1) We're in a recession. Why is Apple releasing revised models at higher prices? They should have kept their previous entry price points so as not to exclude those who are looking to join the Mac community or upgrade. When times are hard you want to encourage more sales with lower margins rather that fewer sales with fatter margins. Apple may be a premium product but for all of those who want to buy the entry cost in now exponentially further out of reach than it was 24-48 hours ago. Very bad strategy.
2) Yearly we expect rollouts of products with RAM, HD, CPU & GPU performance increases but NOT to be paying more for it. It's called progress! HDs and RAM are forever increasing in size and speed BUT at the same price point. There are a lot of comments sighting Intel's new chips as the cause of the hikes, but I didn't notice Dell, HP, Fujitsu's et al's prices going up like that!

Guy said on Wed, 04 Mar 2009

see previous

When you compare the White MacBook to a Mac mini with a keyboard, mouse and screen you might just start scratching your head, especially as it's so easy to upgrade the RAM and HD in minutes in the MacBook with nothing more than a 2 pence piece and a standard small philips screwdriver (ok so the mini might be faster but we're talking about the entry point here).

Oh Apple what have you done? I was hoping that you would release a Mac Pro mini a quarter of the size of a Pro case based on a MacBook motherboard with two easy pull out 2.5" SATA drives and one PCI-x slot for £799-£999. That would probably sell bucket loads. Another messed up missed oportunity...

Come on Apple, wake up and smell the recession.

Guy said on Wed, 04 Mar 2009

see previous

When you compare the White MacBook to a Mac mini with a keyboard, mouse and screen you might just start scratching your head, especially as it's so easy to upgrade the RAM and HD in minutes in the MacBook with nothing more than a 2 pence piece and a standard small philips screwdriver (ok so the mini might be faster but we're talking about the entry point here).

Oh Apple what have you done? I was hoping that you would release a Mac Pro mini a quarter of the size of a Pro case based on a MacBook motherboard with two easy pull out 2.5" SATA drives and one PCI-x slot for £799-£999. That would probably sell bucket loads. Another messed up missed oportunity...

Come on Apple, wake up and smell the recession.

Matt P said on Wed, 04 Mar 2009

Oh no, not this argument again... Let's just say in the UK we end up paying what the exchange rate dictates to us, Apple do not make more money selling into the UK than back at home (well, not because of the exchange rates at least)

Matt

Kurien said on Wed, 04 Mar 2009

Atleast Apple should also smell recession and Gartner report on fall in It spends

Rick Truth said on Wed, 04 Mar 2009

Considering that Macworld's website, magazine and therefore entire business depends on healthy Apple Mac sales, anyone who reads your opinion and treats it as an unbiased view is sadly mistaken.

I suggest people should look elsewhere for a balanced opinion. Anyone can massage figures and bring up exchange rates and micro-economics to support whatever conclusion they wish to reach.

I say this as a 15 year Mac enthusiast and professional - The fact is that practically all Macs have always been overpriced or at the very least at the top end of the envelope that people are able to pay for such a product. Then comes a financial crisis and it pushes them over the edge for most people.

Guy said on Wed, 04 Mar 2009

Matt P

I know the figures show we're paying the same as in the US (so there's no saving if a mate is flying out to the states (unless you want an Apple TV)), that's not my point. My point was the cheapest Mac desktop is £499 and is 'non-user' upgradable. Unthinkable in the non Mac world and quite frankly is not acceptable in the Mac world either. That's pitiful. As for the iMac at almost £1K that's a lot of doe! £799 was acceptable and a lot more accessible. Watch Apple's market share shrink back down to 2-3% in the next couple of years (and that's globally speaking) unless they produce an affordable upgradable Mac.

Matt P said on Thu, 05 Mar 2009

Hello Guy,

Yes, Macs are more expensive than other brands of computers and I guess it's up to everybody to make the cost/benefit judgement for themselves. Almost every time the prices are adjusted or new models are launched at a higher price than some would like we go through this argument. And still, somehow, Apple manages to keep growing their market share. They must be doing something right. As we can see there are people willing to pay the extra premium for design and function. Each to his own I guess.

Matt

Tony V said on Thu, 05 Mar 2009

"As we can see there are people willing to pay the extra premium for design and function." - that number is not increasing though.

They keep re-hashing the same tired designs and pushing up the prices. I have purchased my last Apple product.

Matt P said on Thu, 05 Mar 2009

Hello Tony V,

Yep, that's market economy for you. Some people have had enough and will walk away and some have just discovered the product and will buy it and be happy with it. Guess you could apply it to apples as well as bananas and any other exotic fruit on sale. Once the price pain threshold has been met sales will slump and the vendor has to decide what to do next, no sign of that happening with Apple just yet though.

Cheers,
Matt

Lee said on Fri, 06 Mar 2009

I will be new to the Mac World soon as I walked into the Mac Store in Trafford Center (Manchester) and got 12% student discount on the old £782 entry level Imac price. The store manager has honoured the price at £688.16! So this piece of paper is, now, even more valuable! Lucky me! Im going back in store next week to purchase my £949 mac for £688! haha (Lucky me eh?)

Eric said on Fri, 06 Mar 2009

Good bye Apple!

They charge unfair prices
new prices (in whole Europe) are ridiculous. If you are a
happy Linux user like me, so your most important applications are Firefox, OpenOffice, Thunderbird, and VLC media player, get some nice mini-PCs like Acer's models L5100/L3600/X1700 which offer far more value for less money.
Be nasty, run Linux on
the hardware yourself (memory, HDD)!

Lee said on Mon, 09 Mar 2009

Just addition to my previous post...I picked it up Saturday 7th..and they honoured it! Its my 1st Mac..and still learning about them really..but love it. so far so good! But I must admit, I wouldnt have been able to pay the £949 price.

Cheers.

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