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UK iPad prices: another great rip-off

Apple iPad

By Barry Collins

Posted on 7 May 2010 at 14:25

Apple has announced the UK prices for its iPad tablet, and once again British buyers are being forced to pay a hefty premium.

It also appears that customers who pay for the 3G models will get no discount on the hardware, even when they pay for expensive monthly tariffs.

The cheapest iPad, the 16GB Wi-Fi-only model, will cost £429 inc VAT. That same model is on sale in the US for $499, which is only £340 at today's exchange rate.

The most expensive model, the 64GB Wi-Fi and 3G iPad, will set British buyers back £699 inc VAT. In the US, that top-of-the-range model costs only $829 - £564 on a straight dollar conversion. That means British buyers are being asked to pay almost a quarter more for the same product. All figures exclude US sales tax, which ranges from zero to 11.5% depending on the state.

The UK prices put a £100 premium on the 3G-enabled iPads, which also include assisted GPS.

The iPads will be available for order from the Apple UK website from Monday, although they won't actually arrive with customers until 28 May.

Mobile data deals

Orange has also become the first British network to break cover on mobile price plans for the 3G versions of the iPad. The network will offer "iPad bundles", the most expensive of which costs £25 per month for 10GB of data and unlimited browsing at Wi-Fi hotspots. However, there will be no discount on the hardware for anyone paying for the monthly package, in stark contrast to the normal mobile phone model of subsidised hardware.

It's particularly disappointing when Apple is offering US customers (through its partner, AT&T) an all-you-can-eat data deal for just $24.99.

Orange is also offering a pay-as-you-go data deal, which costs a staggering 5p per MB or £50 per GB. Orange has imposed an upper limit of £40 per month for customers on the pay-as-you-go deal to prevent customers running up horrendous bills.

The Orange deals appear to be poor value when compared to 3G plans for the iPhone. O2, for example, offers a £25 per month deal with "unlimited" data and a discount on the iPhone hardware, albeit on 18- or 24-month contracts.

Apple UK iPad prices (all inc VAT)

Wi-Fi only

16GB £429

32GB £499

64GB £599

Wi-Fi and 3G

16GB £529

32GB £599

64GB £699

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User comments

Apple charge these exorbitant UK prices prices because clearly they think they can get away with it. Only not buying the product will prove them wrong.

By JohnGray7581 on 7 May 2010

US list prices don’t include tax; UK prices do. In fact, if you exclude VAT, UK prices aren’t that much higher: http://yfrog.com/2mc3qp

And for the two 32Gb models the difference is only $20 - negligible.

By SAughton on 7 May 2010

Come on, Barry — at least stick to the facts:

"The cheapest iPad, the 16GB Wi-Fi only model will cost £429 inc VAT. That same model is on sale in the US for $499, which is only £340 at today's exchange rate."

That's £340 + VAT, or £399 at the time of writing. So the UK is paying £30 more for the base model. Rip-off..? Really?

By Rex_Kipper on 7 May 2010

then don't buy one!

Clearly Apple beleive their customers are i-diots who will buy any old overpriced pile of i-tat.
Hmmm...

By darkhairedlord on 7 May 2010

VAT vs. US Sales Tax

The disparity in after tax price is not quite what the author claims. One has to remember that in the UK, VAT is included in the retail price whereas in the US, the Retail Sale Tax ("US VAT") is added at the till, or AFTER the price. So, the $499 USD price is before tax, one adds the Retail Sales Tax (varies by state, average is 9%) 499 + 44.91 = 543.91 USD or about 365.04 GPB. So, at a retail price of 399 GBP after VAT is added (UK VAT is higher than 9%) the price difference is really a matter of the difference in tax rates; the net sales price paid to Apple in the UK is on par with the priced paid to Apple in the US.

By Okeefenokee on 7 May 2010

I get mine via NHS Discounts and save 18% of all thing apple

Mark

By mprltd on 7 May 2010

Regardless

I'm stunned that Apple have sold so many. £500-£600 for the only one worth getting is just plain ridiculous.

I'm sure I must be missing something?

By JStairmand on 7 May 2010

@Rex_Kipper

I hadn't spotted the small print on the US Apple store. But then that's why it is in small print.

The US Price is $499 (£340) ex VAT
The UK Price £429 (£365.11 ex VAT)
roughly a 7.4% price increase.

The question is, for what?

You are okay with a random amount being added to the price of the goods you buy?

It's not like the iPad is "made in the USA". It's made in China and we are nearer to China...

By cheysuli on 7 May 2010

If you think it's expensive now, just wait until VAT goes up to 20+%....

By Noghar on 7 May 2010

Take a leaf out of Hong Kong's book

The UK should take a leaf out of Hong Kong's book.

1) Under HK law any product that is available for sale anywhere in the world can be imported and sold regardless of the wishes of the company involved (EG, Gray market products are sold openly in stores and are not considered to be any different from regular products) unless it contravenes safety laws.

2) If the company refuses to sell it to you at a reasonable price, buy the knockoff version from China.

By Perfectblue97 on 7 May 2010

Stop moaning

Booo hooody hoo.

When are PC Pro and the moaners in general going to get over it? It's not only VAT but also import duty and all sorts of other things, that any business trading in the UK has to contend with.

The US price without VAT is not much different to the UK price. If you really feel that offended by the disparity, let stick it to the man by keeping your money in your wallet.

Alternatively buy one in the US.

By SirRoderickSpode on 7 May 2010

If you think it's expensive now, just wait until VAT goes up to 20+%....

By Noghar on 7 May 2010

_________

The usual £ for $ switcheroo style rip-off.

By Lacrobat on 7 May 2010

Timing

Apple announces this on the day that the pound plummets amidst election uncertainty.

However, I have a feeling this PC Pro article had been prepared some time ago under the 'rip off Britain' banner.

By Stiggy on 7 May 2010

Not as expensive as I was expecting.

I was expecting the usual replace the $ with a £ sign. Of course it's still a lot more than other devices which do the same sort of thing. Gotta wait for some nice Android tablets or WebOS.

By windywoo on 7 May 2010

Rather then focusing on the difference between the UK/US price, I think the more pressing question is whether an Ipad is actually worth its RRP, I don't think so.

By m_walsh on 7 May 2010

As best I remember if you order from an out of state store in the US you don't pay any sales tax.

Unless you really want one, wait a year for the second version and wait and see what the competition has to offer.

Now - where is the queue for the iPhone 4 ??

By bigrob14 on 7 May 2010

As best I remember if you order from an out of state store in the US you don't pay any sales tax.

Unless you really want one, wait a year for the second version and wait and see what the competition has to offer.

Now - where is the queue for the iPhone 4 ??

By bigrob14 on 7 May 2010

US Vs USA pricing - real calculations!

Hi all,
I'm going to post up the real figures and you'll all see, that the 'great british rip off' does actually exist, although to a lesser extent than years gone by and dependant on currency exchange rates.

Let's compare like for like - A consumer in the USA, and one in the UK. $499 plus approx US sales tax which varies from 7-9% approximately. I'll choose 8% for this example. Customer in the US will walk out of an Apple store after paying $538.32 USD. At Todays currency exchange rate -approx £1=$1.46USD thats a direct conversion to £369.12. So that becomes a difference of £59 cheaper to buy the exact same product in the USA. Still a 'substantial wedge' but not as different as electronics used to be. I remember buying a Nokia 8890 mobile phone in the USA when in the UK people were paying £900 for one 'offline' - I got mine in NYC in USD for the equivalent of about £390 i think way back in 2000.

Now, usually, the UK pound Vs US Dollar exchange rate is about £1 = $1.6 USD, when the markets aren't so jittery of course. I'll do that calculation again and the UK equivalent price now becomes £336. Now that's a difference of £93. That's a subtantial wedge indeed! those kinds of pricing differentials means plenty of people (including me!) often pickup electronics whilst Stateside.

Overall, Yes, the UK pricing for the EXACT same product, when bought at retail pricing like this, is always higher. Some will say go to a discounter, yes of course you can (not sure if Apple products can be discounted like this) but then when you go to US discounter's you often gasp even more!

The iPad is a very expensive product when put next to a normal much more capable laptop - £700 buys a machine thats much more powerful and versatile. However 'miniaturising' always costs more, however Apple do of course, give you less whilst charging you more on the premise it 'looks' nice. Granted the actual O/S apparently is easy to use etc as well, but it's outlook is to position itself as a company that provides really nice well made products at the higher end of the price range.

I'm lucky in that I was at the CES show in Las Vegas ( I didnt know the PC Pro guys were there too - else would've met up with them!) and there are other alternatives out there ! ;)

Cheers!

By acschnitzer on 7 May 2010

Rather then focusing on the difference between the UK/US price, I think the more pressing question is whether an Ipad is actually worth its RRP, I don't think so.

By m_walsh on 7 May 2010

Other Factor

Even in the US it is a rip off since when they broke down how much it costs Apple to have made the figure was something like $240.

By Embattled on 7 May 2010

Lots of False Logic

There is some very dodgy logic presented in some of the pricing arguments. Firstly the only meaningful comparison is the pre-tax price in each geography. Secondly China exports products at dollar pricing so the US markup is direct but every other country has to pay currency conversion and hedging costs -for which you need to allow 2%-3%.
Thirdly shipping costs to Europe are higher than to the US, by ship it is twice the distance! Finally each geography has local sales and marketing costs which vary from country to country.
The average price differential for all 6 products at Friday's conversion rate is 5%. Allowing 2% for currency costs and 2% for local marketing this is hardly rip-off territory.

By milliganp on 9 May 2010

Sales Tax

As mentioned earlier, US Sales tax is not included in the $499 price, take 17.5% off the UK price and the difference isn't much.

By lukemcurley on 9 May 2010

US PC Pro prices, another great rip-off.

If I wanted to subscribe to PC Pro magazine (DVD edition) I would pay £39.99 for a 12 month subscription.

However, If I wanted to subscribe to the same magazine in the US, I would pay £90 for a 12 month subsciption.

That is a 44% increase over the UK price.

Such an exorbitant price for something that you can listen to in a free weekly podcast.

By geoffjanes on 10 May 2010

And my maths is wrong...

Sorry, a little bit of incorrect maths there...

PC Pro's own markup to US customers is 125%

OUCH.

(remind me not to post at 1.42 AM).

By geoffjanes on 10 May 2010

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