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[_] rip-off Britain?

Tom Gidden tom at
Tue Apr 5 12:30:28 BST 2011

On 5 Apr 2011, at 11:50, Chris Frewin wrote:

> On 5 April 2011 11:33, Hamish Atkinson <hamish.atkinson at> wrote:
>> If not, it could help offset rip-off Britain, like the iPad being a full
>> £100 cheaper in the States
> I thought that US prices were advertised without Sales Tax?
> If you compare the US price to the pre-VAT cost they're a lot closer.

Three factors involved with Apple's foreign pricing, as far as I can tell:

1. Sales Tax;
2. A pessimistic-but-realistic prediction of exchange rate;
3. Rounding up to a neat pricing boundary.

(2) is so they don't have to reprice the stock unless the exchange rate changes drastically within the expected shelf life of the product. They don't want to ever have to *increase* the sticker price.

Once all three factors are taken into account, Apple pricing is fairly reasonable. Hamish's point still stands though, but it's the EU and the UK government to blame for having VAT as high as it is.

If you want to get angry about international pricing, check out Adobe's pricing:

Adobe Creative Suite 5 Web Premium:  US $1799 (ex tax) -v- UK £1429 (ex VAT) ie. $2286.

So, assuming you want to kit out your small band of designers with CS5, it's almost viable to fly to NYC, take in dinner and a show, buy a few copies of CS5 and fly home, even if you declare them at Customs.

I just can't see any justification for it. I'm tempted to create a calculator web page just to make the point... totting up cheapest flight+hotel and daily exchange rate against a matrix of Adobe products and quantities.


Tom Gidden