Steve Jobs addresses international iPad pricing; Apple lowers 16, 32 GB iPad prices in Germany

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“Apple has lowered its pricing on its 16GB and 32GB iPad models in Germany following a number of complaints from customers,” Charles Starrett reports for iLounge. “iPad pricing for the German market was announced on Friday, with prices running €15 higher across the board than in Italy and France, a difference that Apple CEO Steve Jobs said was due to a new copyright levy on computers in that country. ‘Blame your government,’ Jobs reportedly said in an email response to a concerned customer. ‘Germany just added a new copyright levy for computers.'”

But “the levy in question only included computers with internal storage of 40GB or higher… ‘We found out this weekend that iPad is not subject to a new German copyright tax that we previously thought it was subject to,’ Jobs wrote in [a later] response,” Starrett reports. “As a result, the 16GB and 32GB iPad with Wi-Fi models are now priced at €499 and €599, respectively, in Germany, while 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi + 3G models are priced at a €100 premium; pricing on 64GB models, which are subject to the levy, remained at €714 for Wi-Fi only models and €814 for Wi-Fi + 3G versions.”

Full article, with links, here.

Eric Slivka reports for MacRumors, “With Apple’s announcement on Friday regarding availability of the iPad in nine new countries later this month, a number of potential customers expressed dismay at the apparent higher prices in those countries relative to those in the United States. Several of those customers took the time to email Apple CEO Steve Jobs with complaints on the issue, two of whom shared his identical responses with us. ‘Please educate yourself. UK prices must by law include VAT, which is around 18%. US prices do not include tax.'”

“Value added tax (VAT) is similar to the sales tax that is familiar to most residents of the United States, but is applied uniformly throughout the country for a given type of item and is included in the advertised pricing,” Slivka reports. “Sales tax in the United States is not included in advertised pricing, as it varies significantly by region, even down to the municipality level.”

Slivka reports, “The standard VAT rate in the UK is 17.5%, meaning that the £429 base price for the 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad in the UK is actually only £365 in ‘pre-tax’ pricing. At current exchange rates, this corresponds to approximately $540 in the United States, or an approximately $40 premium for U.K. customers. While the price difference is not insignificant, it is considerably smaller than it might appear at first glance.”

Read more in the full article here.

26 Comments

  1. I see so many complaints on pricing because of the currency exchange.

    Tell me this my friendly Brits, when the table is turned and the dollar becomes strong again, will you demand for Apple to raise your prices to “keep it fair.”

  2. Bob’s right, the currency fluctuations are the biggest problem for Apple (and other), in NZ we have far greater differences in our pricing, but we too have GST (a VAT) & our dollar fluctuates often. So Apple would need to set pricing at some midpoint & then ride out the losses when the NZ$ rises.

  3. @Bob
    when the dollar becomes strong again ? the dollar IS currently strong against the pound, we were getting $2 to £1 but now just $1.5. So to answer your question, when the pound gets stronger – YES – we will want lower prices, thanks. Now go and “educate yourself” – Bob.

  4. So why the big difference in Canada, our tax is not included in the price, our Dollar is virtually the same (3 or 4 cents). I wanted to get the 64GB WiFi & 3G plus a case but the price disadvantage ate up the case.

  5. the (VAT free) difference of a 16GB wifi model between US & UK is £26. HOWEVER, a 64GB 3G model has a £43 premium.
    Septic tanks, work out the dollars for yourselves.

  6. So if the Germans have to pay a copyright levy on computers, that means they get to download whatever they want, right? I mean, they’ve already paid the copyright levy! There’s no way it would just be a government-mandated welfare package to prop up a struggling industry, is there?

  7. @ Jeff

    Please educate yourself re currency changes.

    The Canadian dollar can swing 5% or 10% in a matter of weeks or months.

    For example: the Canada currency was at par with USD a few weeks ago and with the problems in Greece the CAD dropped by almost 5% in days. Now it is going up again. The last time our CAD was actually over par (a few years ago) it dropped 15% to USD because of economic panic and the flight to the “safe” American dollar.

    Apple has to build a currency hedge into the price of their products here in Canada ( as I do in my business ) because an economic problem somewhere else in the world can reduce the value of the CAD almost over night.

    RLG

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