Tempest in a teapot: handful of Europeans petition Apple over Mac mini EU pricing

“Apple Computer’s ‘most affordable’ Mac–the Mac Mini–has drawn a storm of protest from European shoppers, who are petitioning the Mac maker to bring EU pricing better in line with that of the United States,” Jo Best reports for CNET News.

“The online petition states: ‘We’d like to make an appeal to Apple on the pricing of the new Mac Mini in the European Union. Basing on the last long-term rate of exchange of U.S. dollars to euros (and vice versa)–which is 1.3293 on the spot market, so let’s say 1.32–both announced prices of the Mac mini in Europe, 489 euros and 589 euros, respectively, are much too high.’ The petition also states that German users come off particularly badly in the pricing scrap, with an extra 50 euros for the lower spec Mac Mini and 60 euros for the higher spec machine,” Best reports.

“The petition’s writers also claim the higher EU pricing is counterproductive for Apple’s business strategy and would serve to discourage potential PC to Mac switchers,” Best reports. “So far, the petition has attracted more than 2,000 signatures from across the European Union.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: With only 2,000 or so signatures, the “storm of protest” as Best describes it sounds more like a “tempest in a teapot” to us.


  1. I guess these hand full of whiners in Europe don’t understand the concept of taxes. We don’t pay $499 for them here in North America either, it’s more like $540 in some states by the time the government gets their cut. I’m sure there are import/export tariffs and VAT that must be paid in the EU as well and of course that’s going to be passed on to the customer. Sounds like a lot of whining about nothing…

  2. Well, it’s the same for the iPod mini. If you calculate exchange rate and added value tax, the iPod mini is 40 Euros above the American price level. That’s kind of counterproductive if you want to win market share.
    But then, Dell sells the Diemension 5000 for 449 Euros in Germany, that’s 511 USD. Without display. Overpriced by the same margin, roughly.

  3. So, why is Apple charging more than the equivelent to US Dollars? Are distribution costs a lot higher in Europe?

    Brought to you by the magic word “take” as in “taking extra profits?”

  4. RC
    the overpricing is blatant even if you facture in the added value tax. BTW, import tariffs are due on either side of the Atlantic. After all, the Mac mini is manufactured in Taiwan. It has to be imported into the USA as well as into the EU.

  5. If people would compare Apple’s PRE-VAT pricing to the US pricing, there wouldn’t be so much complaining.

    Example: Mac mini: $499 US – £288.51 ($539.37). $40 USD difference.

    France: $499 US – €417.22 ($546.81). $46 USD difference.

    While pricing between the two countries is not ‘on-the-dot’ perfect, it’s pretty darn close. It’s probably slightly different to give them room for fluctuation.

    Don’t blame Apple for a 19.6% VAT (France) or 17.5% (UK) charge. That’s your government’s doing.

  6. Apple’s attitude is hard to understand.
    We, the Apple faithful in Europe, have been paying far too much for our Macs and Apple has scared off loads of potential switchers.
    In general, Apple has very strange ideas of how to make a profit. It’s pricing policies make no sense.
    I, and many, many others – both here and in the rest of the world – would buy all my computers on-line from Apple.
    IF and only IF they’d stop chargeing almost double for RAM memory.
    Why do they do it?
    They only loose in the end.
    I, and all those other countless thousands, go elsewhere. Apple looses our (direct) custom.
    Other firms charge less for their products on-line than in retail shops. And for this very reason, many potential switchers think Apple’s RAM prices are normal – or even cheaper than usual.
    They think this is what RAM costs for Macs!! And they run a mile.
    It’s just very silly.

  7. Tempest in a teapot? I don’t think so. The Mac mini has been out how long?… The tempest in a teapot quip is a little arrogant and not very supportive.

    The complaints are quite valid. The Germans have traditionally been on the short end with Apple’s pricing, too. One of my best friends is German and always wonders why Apple products carry an even greater premium in Germany.

  8. It’s really naive macnut222 to think that ‘people’ in Europe don’t realize that a good part of the difference is VAT or it’s continental equivalents. THEY DO.
    And they take that into consideration.
    The various European Mac magazines, as well, compare the prices AFTER subtracting VAT and the result is always the same:-

    Compared with the US, ALL MACS COST MORE ALL THE TIME.
    And worse: Apple is never prepared to comment on this fact.


  9. Why should we cover the cost of VAT? And in another industry, cameras, why was it that when Leica produced cameras and lenses in their Midland Ontario, Canada plant, that those items sold for more money in Germany than they did in the US?

    Becuase of VAT. That’s why.

  10. If the cost was 1 to 1 the Mini would be about 380 euros and 457 euros. I suspect Apple is dealing with all the taxes and fees the Eurosociolists can possibly assess before the product hits the shelves. It is the nature of doing business in Europe.

  11. Sorry to keep posting, lads and lassies.

    But to change the subject completely:- ever fascinated by the differences in English generally – and those between the US and UK in particular:

    I’ve never heard the expression ‘tempest in a teapot’ before.

    In Britain, it’s ‘storm in a teacup’.

  12. In all of the EU Apple has to give an (effective) 2 year warranty, wich of course must be covered in the price (lots of things can go wrong in that period).
    And there is the sales tax (VAT), different from country to country. Here in Denmark we pay 25%… Our VAT (in part) finances free hospitals, free education, free motorways, excellent unimployment benefits (up to 4 years), pensions and a lot more…

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