Written by: Adam Christianson
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MC20081028.mp3 [78.5MB 01:25:44 128kbps]
A podcast about all things Macintosh. For Mac geeks, by Mac geeks. Show 242. Apple continues to shine in Q4. New Mac vs PC ads jab Microsoft’s ad strategy. What do Mac Mini and Jobs have in common? New Macbook and Macbook Pro reports. Is GPU support for H.264 making an early appearance? Quicktime 7.6 seeded to developers. Subsidized Macbooks in the UK? Aperture 2.1.2 and iPhoto 7.1.5 updates. Off again, on again Airport Extreme update. New iPod Shuffles show their colors. iPod turns 7 years old. First seeds of 10.5.6 show up. Second Snow Leopard build. iPhone 2.2 beta 2 release to developers. A follow-up on archive backups. New Macbooks battery indicator codes. Listener Macbook Questions. Free Codeweavers software on 10/28. OS X keeps asking for your wi-fi password. Unlearn words added to the Dictionary. Listen to iPhone audio via Bluetooth.
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The VAT you mentioned this week (Value Added Tax) is a goods and services tax that is added to all computers in the UK and many other places. It is a type of sales tax. These are added to the costs of the item and the advertised price must include these taxes. The price you see is the price you pay with no extra taxes added at the till. Your bill would show a breakdown between the cost of the item and the taxes, but people here (understandably) think of the cost as the price they pay. There is no getting out of the taxes. It is currently 17.5% in the UK, and varies in other European countries.
As Brian says the VAT is a tax that you must pay on every purchase. VAT values in Germany are 19%.
Back in September 2007 I had done a price comparison (without VAT) for MyMac.com (http://www.mymac.com/showarticle.php?id=2815) for popular Mac products and came out with an Apple Tax of between 10% and 27%) for Apple Products:
“In Germany the MacBook is 11.44% more expensive than in the US, in the UK it is 14.02% more expensive, and yet again it is the Czech Republic where the MacBook costs most, at 26.32% above the US price.”
This is stuck in all our memories, the experience that buying an Apple Product is significantly more expensive than in the US and it has been the case for many years.
However you are absolutely right, if you remove VAT from the equation and at current exchange rates, there is no real proof of an Apple Tax, as a matter of fact MacBook Pro (15° models) are 3.33% cheaper in Germany (net) vs. the US.
Whether it is a change in Exchange Rate or Apple policy, it is hard to tell.
However why did our friends in the UK complain? Mostly since Apple actually raised prices in Pound Sterling when the new models came out. So for the guys in the UK Apple products all the sudden were more expensive than a day before.
As Cnet.UK reports – http://crave.cnet.co.uk/laptops/0,39029450,49299350,00.htm
“…but Apple will continue to sell the existing plastic MacBook, with integrated Intel graphics, at the increased base price of £719 (it was £699).”
Anyhow, you do one of the most interesting Mac-shows and you raise good points. Until you said so I would have maintained Apple products are more expensive in Europe compared to the US, but I now know a new tune to sing ;)
It’s not entirely true that there’s no getting out of playing VAT in the UK; if you’re self employed, and charge VAT to your clients, you don’t pay VAT on work related purchases- or at worst you can claim them back.