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Apple tax on new iMac: fair or foul?

Apple tax on new iMac: fair or foul?

Apple launched a new "budget" iMac overnight, as we've detailed here.

The $US price is $1099 and the $AUD price is $1349.

So let's fire up the old gouge-a-tron and see if us Australians are being worked over again.

Our gouge-a-tron methodology is simple: we take the $US price and add Australia's ten per cent goods and services tax, to reflect the fact that in the land of the free local taxes aren't included in headline prices. Ten per cent is a bit above the average sales tax, but when trying to calculate Australian parity pricing it works as well as any other number.

Once we have the $US price plus ten per cent, we convert it into $AUD at the current rate - $0.94 today - and then subtract that figure from the Australian retail price.

Here's how that pans out:

The new 21.5 inch 1.4GHz iMac sells for $US1099 and $AUD1349. The $US price with GST is $US1208.90, or $AUD1286 on a strict currency conversion for a premium of $AUD62.94.

The 21.5 inch 2.7GHz iMac sells for $US1299 and $AUD1599. The $US price with GST is $US1428.90, or $AUD1520.11 on a strict currency conversion for a premium of $AUD78.89.

The 21.5 inch 2.9 GHz iMac sells for $US1499 and $AUD1849. The US price with GST IS $US1648.90 or $AUD1754.15 for a premium of $AUD94.85.

So it looks like an Apple tax remains in place. Apple says price differences like these come about because of higher transport and local costs.

I've never accepted the transport argument: surely Apple doesn't need to ship from wherever in the far east its kit is made to California and back to Australia? Even taking into account volume discounts, surely it is cheaper to ship on the shorter routes to Australia?

Over to you ...

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Re: Apple tax on new iMac: fair or foul?

My first thoughts:

1. $95 out of $1849 is around 5%, not really gouging. See local retailers for examples of price gouging

2. The price gouge is technically in the headline price to start with rather than the translated one per se.

3. One area they can legitimately claim cost variations is anything that involves humans as Australian minimum wage is multiples of the American version.

4. The AUD is quite volatile and 5% seems acceptable padding.

There are many complaints one could make: shit spec, high base price, virtually unmodifiable, everything glued in place etc.

I think USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt are the greatest things to have happened in computer tech as it means that people can upgrade the main drive in these from slow spinning rust to a 1TB M550 and Apple can't prevent it. Memory is the only hold they really have - Intel already see to it with annual pin variations that CPU upgrades are off the menu.

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