Hey Apple, where's our parity?

Is Apple unaware of the Aussie dollar's strength?
(Credit: CBSi)

Commentary In all the glitz and glamour of the launch of the "revolutionary" Mac App Store by Apple this morning, the company could have corrected the US-Australian price disparity.

The Australian and US dollars have been floating around parity for the past few months and yet Apple has been silent about any possibility of bringing Australian prices in line with those of the US. The launch of a brand new product with brand new apps would have been a chance for the company to make good on keeping prices relatively fair between the two countries.

But, rather unsurprisingly, I discovered they didn't. For instance Apple's photography application Aperture 3, one of the more expensive apps available to consumers is priced in the US at US$79.99. For Australians, the app costs an additional $20, making it $99.99.

At the current conversion rate, US$79.99 translates to roughly $80.46 Australian at the time of writing. If we take into account the very controversial 10 per cent GST, it puts the cost at around $88. That means Apple is still gouging around $11 from Australian consumers just for this one app.

In this one example we can see the exact reason why so many people have been up in arms over Australian retailers' complaints about consumers buying products overseas that are not subject to the GST.

Leaving aside the fact that applying GST to every DVD, pair of jeans or little trinket bought overseas would be a nightmare for Customs to enforce, it was never about applying GST to goods bought online to make it fairer for Australian retailers, it was about not taking for granted that customers didn't know any better. Australian retailers have been using dollar disparity with the US to their advantage for decades to charge consumers for goods excessively over the top of the conversion rate and the additional GST.

But thanks to the fluctuating US economy, the wonders of the internet and the rise of online shopping, consumers have caught up and have recognised that things aren't equal, which is why they're buying online rather than going back to the overpriced bricks-and-mortar stores.

In Apple's refusal to adjust the cost of apps, songs, TV shows and other products it offers between its US and Australian online stores, we can see exactly how much Australian consumers are being ripped off. And just as the retailers complain, consumers are finding ways to avoid Apple's own gouging by buying US iTunes cards and buying direct from Apple's US store at the lower price.

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Dunno posted a comment   

I think the price disparity is unreasonable & not justifiable!

I would rather itunes sell music etc at US prices, but simply pay using aussie dollars (at the current exchange rate)! Even ignoring the current 'advantageous' exchange rate, we have always been "ripped off"!

Thanks ;(

P.S. I like the idea (Jeremy @ 07/01/11 14:05) of signing up to the US iTunes store using an American address!

 

AlexK12 posted a comment   
Australia

It's really not that bad.
And it's not just Apple.

 

Boda posted a comment   

Playback the distributor of Sonos in Oz are worse! The S5 is $699 here and $399 in the US. That's $300 more!
The CR200 are $599 here and I bought one in NYC for $360 Inc tax. When you ring and ask Playback why the price difference they will tell you that the ones sold in the US won't work here. Absolute BS!I can tell you the I have at least 5 pieces of Sonos equipment including US bought items and they work fine together..

 

ashtad posted a comment   

If the price disparity also applies to ipad 2, I may choose one of the Android tablets.

 

Daryl posted a comment   

It's not just Apple.
The trend is to charge Australians 40% more and disparities like this happen all over the world.
I understand a similar disparity occurs between US Nd UK

 

bobR posted a comment   

This is the reason I will never buy an ap0ple product.

 

Jeremy posted a comment   

I have noticed this too, thats why many Australians have been signing up using an American adress, even apple's own address to sign up and get the cheaper prices. Really funny I think.

Anyways from what I can see on the Mac App Store is that everything is very expensive at the moment and when there is more competition on there everything should start coming down (except Apple software). EA I'm waiting for you to make some games for the new platform or even bring NOVA to the Mac, I think it would be a very good investment.




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