Reuters columnist pens holiday hit piece: The ‘Apple Tax,’ America’s costly obsession

“With the ‘fiscal cliff’ looming, taxpayers are wringing their hands about all sorts of things. Income taxes might rise, dividends might get walloped, lifetime gift-tax exemptions might get slashed,” Chris Taylor writes for Reuters. “But when it comes to immediate impact on their wallets, maybe they should be thinking about something else entirely: The Apple tax.”

“Americans are shelling out big bucks annually to outfit the entire household with Apple products. And they are spending hundreds – if not thousands of dollars – more each year for the unexpected Apple “taxes” — add-ons that lock them into the Apple system: iTunes downloads for music, movies and games, along with subscriptions and accessories,” Taylor writes. “Then there are the replacement costs for lost or broken equipment. For a family with multiple children, each with their own technological needs, the total annual bill can get downright ugly — like going over a familial ‘fiscal cliff.'”

“In 2011, the average amount U.S. households spent on Apple products was $444, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. That figure has been rising smartly every year. In 2010 it was $295. Back in 2007, it was only $150,” Taylor writes. “And we might only be seeing the beginning. If Apple rolls out its own HDTV, as expected, Huberty sees annual Apple spending by households doubling, to $888 by 2015… Remember, this is not something that consumers are being forced to pay. They are dipping willingly into their own pockets, because they’re essentially slaves to the devices.”

Full article – Think Before You Click™here.

MacDailyNews Take: How much did Apple’s competitors pay for this pile of crap?

Yes, let’s all stop buying from Apple Inc. The 598,500 U.S. jobs that Apple has created/supported can just evaporate – that’ll be just great for this (or any) U.S. economy. Everyone can just spend the money they save not buying Apple products on providing assistance to the former Apple/Apple-supported unemployed. (But, oh, that’ll cost you about fifty times more – have a nice day!)

Newsflash: Some people actually use Apple products to – gasp! – make money. Imagine that. Most of our Apple devices are our very stylish slaves, minimalist minions that generate many times more than they cost upfront or to maintain (right around $0). Other Apple devices that we have mostly for our own enjoyment (Apple TV, iPods, iPad mini, etc.) deliver high quality and value for the money.

Here’s a shocker: If you can’t afford something, don’t buy it. Don’t blame Apple for making world-beating products for which people line up around the block. People blow a lot more money each year on shit that offers nothing in return or even costs them more money, time and/or good health.


  1. After years of buying junk..and replacing said junk with more junk..people are finding value in going with a solid product. A solid product, the way, has a much higher resale value.

    Resale value is often overlooked by these buffoons.

    My core 2 duo 24 inch iMac is worth more than a year old Dell T5500.

  2. This is a total hit piece! I’m going to buy tons of Apple stuff just to spite this dingbat! I wish we could get back to real journalism and ditch this crap that’s spewed out to gain clicks!

  3. Knock that stock down, baby. Knock it down good (rubs hands together).

    Because when 2013 comes (and the sunrise with it) Apple’s going to explode back to $700 and beyond. Look at all needless, pointless negativity surrounding Apple . . . it’s a buying opportunity courtesy of Reuters and all the analysts who are really just mouthpieces for unethical day traders.

  4. For the love of gawd, are there any editors out there these days?

    1-Apple music is sold without DRM attached- only embedded data of the account that purchased it id’s it.
    2-Applications sold by Apple are no more a lock-in than Android apps sold by Google’s play or Amazon’s stores. Same for the Windows afflicted on the new Microsoft app store.
    3-Limited point concerning iTunes Video and Motion Picture content as it still has FairPlay DRM attached. Nothing, however, is stopping end users from buying DVDs and ripping them for personal use. Then there is no DRM issue.

    1. Adding to number 2. Applications sold by Apple are available universally across all Apple products with the caveat of some touch controls not being supported by iMacs & Mac Laptops touch pads. Swipe to turn a page as an example.
      The other competitors? Apps available only to the hardware downloaded on. I have no experience in Amazon’s hardware so cannot comment on that.

      1. The Betamax Decision covers the private duplication of copyrighted works for your private use. The DMCA is unenforceable nonsense and a great mistake to have even considered. The copy protection key built into DVDs is such a joke that it has been sold on T-shirts.

  5. I was locked into the Microsoft ecosystem and paid the Microsoft tax in lost productivity, frustrating user experience, crappy hardware from HP, Dell & Acer and a myriad of other unquantifiable problems. That, my friends, is the true tax. A tax on your patience and sanity. How much is peace of mind worth?

    Let me give you an example. You could live in sludge in a sewer farm for free and pay for it through high hospitalisation bills or pay to live in a duplex apartment in a salubrious gated community and get rewarded by peace of mind and a relaxed working environment.

    Perhaps the Reuters correspondent prefers living in filth.

    1. Exactly. I don’t understand the anti-success mentality in Western culture. Who is teaching this crap economics? Are we supposed to reward companies who make crappy products that no one wants?

  6. I wonder what the writer thinks of people who buy those premium turbocharged, liquid-cooled, rocket-fueled, room-warming, blinking, glowing gaming PCs? Or what about someone who buys an old MG with the intent of keeping it on the road, or a boat?

    It amazes me that a mainstream media columnist must generate hits by attacking one of our country’s main economic engines at the current time. That seems neither productive, nor smart.

  7. Apple Tax is a whole lot better than Microsoft tax, Dell tax, HP tax, and those android Google ,Samsung, Motorola, HTC tax. so do
    Amazon tax too. Blind media pundits.

  8. Seems more like a technology tax to me. People are buying more tech and all the problems the author tries to make specific to Apple are true of every tech vendor. The others may be cheaper, but Apple hardware tends to last longer.

  9. “They are dipping willingly into their own pockets, because they’re essentially slaves to the devices.”

    If they’re dipping WILLINGLY into their own pockets then they can’t really be SLAVES to the devices, now can they, Mr. I-Flunked-Writing-101?

  10. The US constitution entrenches the right to lie. Many journalists take the opportunity to do so, or at least (as in this case) to mislead. Any rigorous analysis here would show that his central point is deeply flawed. While you would expect junior high schoolers to use this style of argument to support an emotionally-derived view, we surely expect adult Americans, who find themselves in a position of influence, to frame their arguments in logic and fact. Fact: an iMac works very well with google docs, mail and calendar. So does an iPhone (as 3G owners have discovered). Music is widely available on Amazon, Google and other sites, as well as in retail stores on CDs. Movies and games are available for Apple devices via a plethora of channels. Perhaps his silliest argument is the “tax” involved in replacing broken Apple products. If this is truly a tax, then it applies equally to the replacement of any broken product. An iPhone customer can buy a Samsung as a replacement – and some do. He is really just repeating the mantra that Apple customers are somehow so bewitched by the Apple brand that they are behaving irrationally as a result. In my experience, the irrational purchasers are those who refuse to buy Apple because they want to demonstrate that they don’t run with the crowd. It is they who, with little or no experience of Apple products, mistakenly believe that Apple’s success is not related, in any way, to the competence of their products.

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