Whenever Apple introduces new products fresh cries of "rip-off Britain" usually follow. The first reader comments on Macworld last night, shortly after stories of new iPods and an Apple TV went live concerned pricing.
This one, despite the length, is worth repeating.
"I've just had a long online conversation with an Apple sales person, trying to find out why the new Apple TV is priced identically in USD and GBP," Macworld reader Neil Hardie said. The new look Apple TV costs $99/£99.
"She spun a lot of tosh about my having to remember about import duties and VAT, during which I pointed out repeatedly that every other Apple product, including the newly announced iPods, is at least priced in dollar-sterling proportion (although not without a major element of currency-exchange profiteering)."
"She then tried the line that US prices don't include sales taxes, whereas UK prices do. This is true, except that in virtually all states, ordering online from out of state, as most consumers do, does not attract retail sales taxes. The base price is what mail-order US consumers pay."
"The bottom line, of course, is that the UK is being ripped off royally once again, at which point she typed: "It has been a privilege helping you today. Is there any other question I can help you with before you proceed?" In other words, Foxtrot Oscar."
Macworld staff received a EMEiA Price List at last night's London Apple event showing the price of new iPods and the Apple TV is 16 countries, showing not only the price but the amount of tax charged.
The Apple Store now also lists next to the price the amount of VAT charged. For example, the new 8GB iPod nano at £129, shows: "includes £25 VAT, duty and levies.*" The * reads "An approximation. VAT, duty and levies may vary over time."
UK VAT will increase to 20 per cent in January 2010.
UK Apple pricing is more often compared to US pricing, so here are how the two Apple Stores compare.
Apple TV - £99/$99
($99 = £64 + 17.5% = £75.20 - The Apple TV was previously priced at £223/$229)
Movie rentals - £TBC although 'Love Happens' HD is displayed at £2.49/SD rentals start at $2.99, HD rentals start at $3.99
TV rentals - £TBC/$0.99
Apple iPod touch
($229 = £149 + 17.5% = £175)
($299 = £194 + 17.5% = £227)
($399 = £259 + 17.5% = £304)
Apple iPod nano
($149 = £96 + 17.5% = £112)
($179 = £116 + 17.5% = £136)
Apple iPod shuffle
($49 = £31 + + 17.5% = £36)