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.