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iPad UK Pricing Confirmed; Apple UK Tax Applied 248

Posted by kdawson
from the dig-deep dept.
The iPad will be available in the UK and eight other countries from 28 May 2010; both models will be available for pre-order on 10 May. Reader marcopolo007uk adds a note from iPad-Review.co.uk with pricing: "WiFi Models: 16GB / 32GB / 64GB — £429 / £499 / £599. 3G versions: 16GB / 32GB / 64GB — £529 / £599 / £699. These are a little higher than some had guessed... The Apple Tax stings the UK consumer again." At the current exchange rate, these prices are right around 150% of those offered in the US.
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iPad UK Pricing Confirmed; Apple UK Tax Applied

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  • The OP forgot VAT. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dzimas (547818) on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:49AM (#32127906)
    Someone can't do math. The numbers are actually really close. Let's look at the base 16GB model. It's £429 in the UK, which equals about $630 according to xe.com. Take off the 17.5% VAT, and we get £353.93. That equals $520 US. What's the problem again???
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dunkelfalke (91624)

      How is a difference of £75 ($110) "really close"?

    • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Friday May 07, 2010 @12:02PM (#32128114) Journal

      By replying to your post with a technical correction, I don't doubt that I'm setting myself up to make some obvious mistake, but anyway: the UK prices already include VAT, so by simply subtracting 17.5% of that total you're over counting the tax (as it's 17.5% of the base, untaxed price).

      £429/1.175=£365.11, which is approximately $537.80. The mark up from the US prices seems to be around 8%. It's not terrible, I guess, and it's certainly not as bad as it used to be, but 8% on an already expensive product is still a reasonable chunk of change.

      • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Friday May 07, 2010 @12:10PM (#32128228) Journal

        Also, since the summary presents the UK price as a percentage of the US one, here are the actual figures:

        Wifi
        16GB 32GB 64GB
        108% 104% 107%

        3G
        16GB 32GB 64GB
        105% 103% 106%

      • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday May 07, 2010 @12:22PM (#32128476)

        £429/1.175=£365.11, which is approximately $537.80. The mark up from the US prices seems to be around 8%.

        Unless you factor in that you have to pay sales tax in most places in the U.S - which coincidentally for my area is 8%, so basically the exact same price in the end.

        • by godawful (84526) on Friday May 07, 2010 @12:27PM (#32128544)

          Quite right, my 16GB non 3g after taxes was $550 here in California.

        • by MoonBuggy (611105)

          That's a fair point.

          I always consider sales tax in the US to be a bit of a non-issue on things like this, since (unless I'm mistaken) avoiding it is pretty trivial, by ordering online from a distributor in another state.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by SSpade (549608)

            I always consider sales tax in the US to be a bit of a non-issue on things like this, since (unless I'm mistaken) avoiding it is pretty trivial, by ordering online from a distributor in another state.

            You're not mistaken that avoiding it is pretty trivial, but it's also probably tax fraud.

            Most states require you to pay a "use tax" at the same rate as your state sales tax on anything you order from out of state and don't pay sales tax on. As with any other tax fraud you're fine until you get audited.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by dangitman (862676)

            I always consider sales tax in the US to be a bit of a non-issue on things like this, since (unless I'm mistaken) avoiding it is pretty trivial, by ordering online from a distributor in another state.

            Which is why pricing in the US is such an insidious trap. Displaying shelf prices as tax-free amounts to deception. And the whole "easy to avoid by buying out-of-state" is almost criminally inefficient. It encourages waste by having items shipped across the country for no good reason, resulting in more pollution.

            It would be nice to see some tax reform, but I doubt that will ever happen, as people would rather exploit the loopholes than have an honest system that might cost a few bucks more (but also save a

        • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Friday May 07, 2010 @12:40PM (#32128814) Journal

          Wait, no, I retract my previous reply to you! It's not a fair point!

          I got myself a little confused, but you're comparing apples to oranges (no pun intended!).

          My initial comparison was untaxed price to untaxed price, and the mark up is between 3% and 8% there. You're then talking about adding US sales tax and comparing that taxed price to the untaxed UK price.

      • That's a pretty small markup for a US->Europe product. Of course my only point of comparison is software, which tends to be closer to the 50% mark for MS "productivity" apps.

      • by Dzimas (547818)
        Yup, I stand corrected. That's what I get for trying to squeeze in my Slashdot fix before work. Now I'm off to calculate some orbital trajectories. This might not end well...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by evilbessie (873633)
      You might want to do your maths again, as to remove vat you need to multipy by 40/47, which is £365.11, or $537.84 (using 1.4731 as the exchange rate, just retrieved from the beeb).
    • by fermion (181285)
      Agreed. And for the top of the line 3G version the brits seem to be getting a good deal. $829 iPad is around $550-$600 without VAT. With VAT it seems like it should sell for upwards of $650. So, depending on the exchange rate and cost of doing business in Britain, the £699 may actually bring in less money than the $829 in the US.

      In any case, such straight forward calculation are hardly useful. In South America a liter of coke can be bought for a fraction of what it costs in the US, but no one c

  • I like Apple's products but this price is too high for what the iPad is. I recently bought a second hand Tablet PC (a Fujitsu Stylistic) for £180 and shoved Ubuntu Linux and an 8GB SSD in it. Sure, it's bulkier than an iPad but I don't regret my choice now I've seen the UK price. Screw them and their price mark up

  • £429? ... Ouch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Manip (656104) on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:54AM (#32127986)

    Just to put the cheapest one into context:
      * iPod Touch - £189
      * Dell Laptop (Outlet) - £300
      * Acer / Dell Laptops (Retail) - £400-450
      * ePC "Netbook" - £200
      * Dell "Netbook" - £139
      * Sony "Netbook" - £399

    So you could get two iPod Touches, or a Dell Laptop AND Dell Netbook, Sony Netbook, or two ePC Netbooks for this money?

  • Why the flamebait? What they are calling the "apple tax" is really the value add tax, which must be built into the price of all products sold. Why should products be priced identically across all countries anyway? Shouldn't companies maximize their profits by pricing their wares competitively with the local market?
    • "What they are calling the "apple tax" is really the value add tax, which must be built into the price of all products sold."

      For those wondering exactly what value is being added, perhaps having local retailers rather than international shipping / grey market retailer, shipping and distribution? It might not matter to the /. populace, but the punters seem to prefer having a physical shop to go to (and online stores are often fussy about selling internationally).

      I disagree about localized pricing however, because the world is too small for that now. Local pricing only applies to the ignorant who are unable to find the "home market

      • by MoonBuggy (611105)

        For those wondering exactly what value is being added, perhaps having local retailers rather than international shipping / grey market retailer, shipping and distribution?

        Nope. If I order online directly from outside the EU, I'm liable to pay UK VAT on the items I receive as they pass through customs. The threshold value for this to apply is pretty low, too - under £20 if I remember correctly.

        Enforcement is a bit inconsistent, but if customs do slap you with a VAT bill you will then have the added pleasure of the courier company automatically paying it for you and levying a ~£10 fee for the privilege of doing so. They will then hold the parcel until you pay them

        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          "Enforcement is a bit inconsistent, but if customs do slap you with a VAT bill you will then have the added pleasure of the courier company automatically paying it for you and levying a ~£10 fee for the privilege of doing so. They will then hold the parcel until you pay them both the VAT and their added charges."

          So...in your country, they open up your private mail/packages coming in to see what is in it? If not..how else would they know if you have a VAT item or not?

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdotNO@SPAMworf.net> on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:58AM (#32128048)

    Let me guess - in Europe, you'd pay exactly those prices listed? No sales tax added on?

    So you'd pay £429 / £499 / £599 / £529 / £599 / £699 for an iPad and not a penny more in sales/VAT?

    That's one thing we have in North America - the prices listed ($499/$599/$699/$629/$729/$829) are sans sales tax. So add anywhere from 0% (a few states), to 5-10% to the actual price that Americans pay. Or in Canada, anywhere from 5-15% in sales taxes.

    In the UK, the prices tend to be all inclusive - you pay what you see, so all the hidden consumption taxes get built in. VAT of nearly 20%, plus other import taxes and duties and the like. I'm guessing the price gap is a lot smaller than you think.

    It's just that governments have used built-in taxes to hide how much taxes are really on products. Happens on this side of the pond with stuff like gas when you actually break down the price.

    For example, the 16GB WiFi iPad - £429 is around $630 US. $500 US for the same iPad, plus taxes will probably mean one pays $530-$550 in the US. If we assume the total tax load is (VAT+importation taxes plus duties) 20% for the UK, that $500 iPad becomes $600 instantly.

    • by Tim C (15259) on Friday May 07, 2010 @12:16PM (#32128346)

      Let me guess - in Europe, you'd pay exactly those prices listed? No sales tax added on?

      I can't speak for the rest of Europe, but here in the UK you are correct - we pay the list price. Sometimes the price is listed as "ex VAT", so you have to factor in an extra 17.5% on top, but that's almost exclusively done by merchants that are targeting business customers. (And generally the price inclusive of VAT is listed alongside anyway)

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Alnitak73 (739151)

        Sometimes the price is listed as "ex VAT", so you have to factor in an extra 17.5% on top, but that's almost exclusively done by merchants that are targeting business customers.

        Prices advertised to consumers must in UK law be the VAT inclusive price. The "ex VAT" price may also be shown, but the total price has to be the headline price.

    • by Jugalator (259273)

      Let me guess - in Europe, you'd pay exactly those prices listed? No sales tax added on?

      So you'd pay £429 / £499 / £599 / £529 / £599 / £699 for an iPad and not a penny more in sales/VAT?

      I'm not sure if it goes for all of Europe, but in Sweden, consumer goods usually already have the VAT added, yes. So like in this case on the UK Apple Store. Not a penny more. However, if the goods are aimed for corporate use which doesn't pay this kind of hefty tax (currently 25% in Sweden IIRC), the store may list non-VAT prices.

    • by myspys (204685)

      It's just that governments have used built-in taxes to hide how much taxes are really on products.

      OR they do it so that it's much easier for the customer to know how much to pay when reaching the check-out.

      I HATE shopping in the US because you can never really know how much you'll end up paying until you reach the check-out.

      • by MBGMorden (803437)

        I HATE shopping in the US because you can never really know how much you'll end up paying until you reach the check-out.

        Unless of course, you can actually do some simple math. Not to mention the face that unless you're close to spending your very last bit of money, the tiny extra that sales tax adds is trivial. If what I have available to spend can't cover an extra 5-6% added onto it then I really should be hanging onto my extra cash.

      • I always round up to the nearest dollar, then add 10% (usually sales tax is a little lower, but it works for estimating).
  • In America the price was more than a netbook but not game breakingly more, in Britain the worst version of the iPad will be twice as expensive as a netbook.
    • In the US an iPad is more than twice as expensive as a netbook. Netbooks start at $230, but the iPad Starts at $500.

      My brother has an iPad, and it is nothing like a netbook, so I don't know why people compare them. Right now the iPad is in a class of it's own. Don't point me to some slate computer with a desktop OS. The iPad is built from the ground up to be what it is. That's true of no other tablet computing product on the market today.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The iPad is built from the ground up to be what it is.

        Yeah! Cummon guys, listen to him! I don't know of any other tablet on the market that was created by making a phone bigger and taking away the phone call capability!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by aztracker1 (702135)
        It's a Giant iPod Touch... it's got the iPod Touch guts, bolted into a big screen.. no ground up here... no ground breaking OS enhancements... I'm not saying it's overpriced, but it was emphatically built to be a large iPod Touch.
  • I'm quite sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spleen_blender (949762) on Friday May 07, 2010 @12:13PM (#32128300)
    Apple is glad to see such free advertising! This is consumerism crap, not slashdot-worthy "stuff that matters" content...
  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Friday May 07, 2010 @12:35PM (#32128700)
    It's not 150%, it's 126%. And the UK price includes 17.5% VAT which Apple would have to send straight to Gordon Brown's tax collectors if he hadn't just been thrown out (I think he is refusing to leave, but thank heavens he will), whereas the US price doesn't include US sales tax.
  • With a round-trip ticket from Heathrow to NYC going for under $500 (Virgin, leaving Heathrow Saturday, returning from NYC on Monday), how many iPads would a Londoner have to buy in the US to cover the airplane ticket with the money saved? Just a handfull or so?

    • by kenh (9056)

      Shame they don't carry these in the duty-free shops in international airports ;^)

  • They also announced the Canadian prices today:

    http://www.apple.com/ca/pr/library/2010/05/07ipad.html [apple.com]

    Looks like we'll be paying $50 more if we want one. On the plus side, the iBook application was also announced for us and up to this point it wasn't clear if we would be getting it.
    • by Magorak (85788) *

      I'm ok with the $549 pricetag. What I want is to be able to get my hands on one before forking out the cash. There are no Apple stores east of Quebec so us in Atlantic Canada are kind of screwed unless they will be selling them at Future Shop.

    • what about the 3g plan prices for Canada? are they listed anywhere?

  • They don't? Round up.

  • So don't %#!$ing buy it.

    If you didn't bend over and keep asking for it, the prices would come down.

    Fanboys (Apple or otherwise) get ripped because they let themselves get ripped. Case closed.

  • Everything is more expensive in the UK than the US. Have you priced out a car there recently? 17.5% VAT is one reason, and a market that is willing to pay more is another. A third (probable) reason is that Apple would want a nice round number, not something like £437.13.
    Funny that Slashdotters can complain about an "Apple Tax" quicker than a real tax.

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