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Pricing: Apple Defies Australian Government

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the higher-prices-down-under dept.

Australia 440

daria42 writes "This week it was revealed that Apple has still not responded to Australia's Federal Parliament on the issue of why the prices of its products are significantly higher in Australia than they are in the US, five months after the query was first raised by a member of parliament from Australia's governing Labor party. Apple has refused to issue a statement on the matter or even acknowledge the issue. What will it take to get Apple to open up — a national enquiry?"

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440 comments

fp (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138592)

because it can

Re:fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138614)

Non sequitur much?

Re: What will it take to get Apple to open up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138610)

A competitor.

LEONA *FUCKING* HELMSLEY (-1, Offtopic)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138612)

OK, hereâ(TM)s the deal: In 1985, I was 15, *HOT* and had *RAGING* male hormones. Iâ(TM)d had enough of Bum Fuck Arkansas and decided it was time to empty my dadâ(TM)s secret hooker bank account and hop the first Greyhound to NYC. After a few weeks of hanging out on the street making a few bucks sucking the random cock, one day a stretch limo pulled up. I expected some crusty old rich fag to roll the window down and pick me up for a little cock sucking. These rich old fags just fucking LOVE to suck off hot young studs, which is what I was. But guess what? It wasnâ(TM)t some old queen. Well, actually it *WAS* some old queen, it was LEONA HELMSLEY ! The old bitch needed her dried-up snatch stretched out, and I was the lucky guy. I hopped in and the driver spent the next hour or so cruising Manhattan. What blew me away was that this cunt must have been older than dirt, but man she *KNEW THINGS*. So anyway, about an hour later, my Big Ten Inch was raw, and I was $1000 richer. I gave the bitch my pager (no cells in those days, ya know) and once a week would hop in LEONA *FUCKING* HELMSLEYâ(TM)S stretch limo, and pound her twat into shape. Then, about 6 months after it all started (and about 25 grand later), she stopped calling. I figure she found another 15 year old hottie to do the pussy stretchingâ¦

If you don't like it (-1, Troll)

u38cg (607297) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138616)

make your own damned iPad. Apple are free to pick their prices.

Re:If you don't like it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138640)

alternatively, put an embargo on importing the product and restrict the sale to overseas.

That will encourage those late drinking hippies to get out of australia.

Re:If you don't like it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138658)

Normally I'd agree. If people don't like the price being set by Apple they should shop elsewhere. For hardware this does have limitations however as certain sectors 'require' apple products and as such you have to pay an unfair price. If your then running a business out of Australia this makes you less able to compete in a free market.

The simple solution should be to allow purchases of products anywhere in the world at a common price and then you pay the shipping.

The problem with that solution is warranty returns/service.

HOWEVER what mainly started the inquest into the price difference wasn't actually hardware it was itunes and the price of music.

Re:If you don't like it (0)

drnb (2434720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138936)

certain sectors 'require' apple products and as such you have to pay an unfair price. If your then running a business out of Australia this makes you less able to compete in a free market.

I understand being very annoyed at paying a higher price but are you really less able to compete? I would expect the incremental amount being paid is trivial compared to other costs such as labor.

Re:If you don't like it (2)

halowolf (692775) | more than 2 years ago | (#37139062)

If what comes out of this is an investigation by the ACCC then I will be very glad, as Apple and many other companies actively conspire to try to force you to buy from your regions store, rather than the store that has the best price.

Like EAs new Origin store, it forces its localisation on you for your market. I had to Google Cache up the US store just to try and find out what was happening with Star Wars: The Old Republic. Bypassing the localisation added another 5 seconds to my browsing time, not cool.

Re:If you don't like it (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138678)

Oh, hey, yeah.

And while we are at it, lets revoke the licenses for the noise filter tech used in 802.11n (owned by CSIRO, a federally funded research outfit) while we are at it, well, okay, we will revoke it only from apple.

Re:If you don't like it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138794)

Uh apple are not a standard, they are under no obligation to play fair. If your citizens are willing to buy at that price then that is the price apple will sell for.

Re:If you don't like it (0)

mywhitewolf (1923488) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138828)

so apple is fine to make blacks pay extra too then? because apple can set a price at whatever they like right?

Re:If you don't like it (0)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138950)

I'm not a racist, but in a normal (not obsessed with PC) society that would be acceptable. Just like those discos where girls get in free, while guys have to pay.

Re:If you don't like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138954)

If they're from Australia, then yes.

Re:If you don't like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37139052)

Nops.

But they can charge extra for Africa - no matter how people is coloured there. =/

Re:If you don't like it (0)

grizzifus (2021406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138680)

I think there may be the odd patent covering the iPad, and so I don't think things are really that simple.

That said, if companies were free to produce similar products I would agree with you entirely.

Re:If you don't like it (3, Insightful)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138798)

You mean like the Galaxy Tab 10.1? It's barred from import into Australia due to Apple successfully winning an injunction against it due to patent disputes.

Re:If you don't like it (4, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138820)

>>You mean like the Galaxy Tab 10.1? It's barred from import into Australia due to Apple successfully winning an injunction against it due to patent disputes.

And you say iPad prices went up, too??

Man, that's a weird coincidence.

Re:If you don't like it (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138964)

They must make up for all the money they spent bribing the officials. Or did you expect them to pay for bribes out of their own pocket?

Re:If you don't like it (3, Interesting)

mywhitewolf (1923488) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138814)

we should probably just cancel that free trade agreement then, seeings though it appears worthless.

Who mentioned the iPad? (4, Insightful)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138866)

Certainly not TFA. My beef is with the iTunes store - to buy an album here costs AU$17.00 (US$17.63), a huge hike over the $10 price the US enjoys.

If I wanted an iPad, I could always import one from the US, but I can't buy an album from the US iTunes store; they refuse to sell it to me, which is a restriction of trade under Australian law, and something the ACCC has ruled is illegal, at least when applied to physical music media like CDs.

Re:Who mentioned the iPad? (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138996)

Certainly not TFA. My beef is with the iTunes store - to buy an album here costs AU$17.00 (US$17.63), a huge hike over the $10 price the US enjoys.

If I wanted an iPad, I could always import one from the US, but I can't buy an album from the US iTunes store; they refuse to sell it to me, which is a restriction of trade under Australian law, and something the ACCC has ruled is illegal, at least when applied to physical music media like CDs.

Can't you just proxy your connections though the US?

Virtual servers are cheap or you can buy VPN service.

Re:Who mentioned the iPad? (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#37139024)

It sounds like you are confused.

It's not Apple that is setting the prices of music and movies on the iTS. It's the music and movie companies.

Re:Who mentioned the iPad? (1)

rust627 (1072296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37139038)

Or a mac mini US$599 in the good old US of America
Au$699 (US$721:91) in Australia
Does it really cost THAT much more to bring a container load of these into Australia than it does into America ?????

Re:If you don't like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138898)

Sure, they should be free to set their own prices, but should not expect to be free to block competitors from competing.
http://apple.slashdot.org/story/11/08/01/2345249/Apple-Blocks-Sale-of-Galaxy-Tab-101-In-Australia

Re:If you don't like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37139012)

No, Apple can't pick their prices as they want to.
If the Australians decides that Apple has to give away the iPad for free then Apple can choose between giving it away for free, closing the store and go home or breaking the law.
If Apple wants to play in Australia they will have to play by the rules dictated to them.

You might not like how things work but if the alternative is that greedy companies dictates the rules instead of corrupt governments then I take the corrupt governments any day of the week.

Ban further imports (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138618)

Refuse sale and seize all their products under government jurisdiction until they answer. I'm sure that would get their attention.

Re:Ban further imports (3, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#37139008)

Refuse sale and seize all their products under government jurisdiction until they answer. I'm sure that would get their attention.

That might work under a fascist state or even a communist one but last I heard Australia was still capitalist and AFAIK Apple hasn't actually broke any laws doing this.

Sad part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138620)

The sad part is this does not only apply to apple, most US resellers have huge price gouging in Australia specially when it comes to video games.

Retail Shipping... (1, Insightful)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138630)

Because even the inflated prices are still cheaper than buying from a foreign country and having it shipped?
And Apple very cleverly takes advantage of that fact?

Re:Retail Shipping... (2)

Llian (615902) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138770)

Wrong. I can buy in the US and get it shipped here and still save anywhere from 10-30%.
go back and try again.

The reason they charge it is because they CAN charge it. It is called the Apple tax on top of the Better Beaches'n'beer tax.

Re:Retail Shipping... (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138792)

The reason they charge it is because they CAN charge it.

OMG capitalism!

Re:Retail Shipping... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138908)

Excuse me, if you like anal shafting, then go ahead, be my guest.

Just remember, some of us don't.

Re:Retail Shipping... (1)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37139002)

Wrong. I can buy in the US and get it shipped here and still save anywhere from 10-30%. go back and try again.

Ok... it's because you are willing to pay more to buy the stuff in Australia rather than have it shipped from overseas.

Re:Retail Shipping... (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#37139026)

Wrong. I can buy in the US and get it shipped here and still save anywhere from 10-30%.
go back and try again.

1. Buy ipads from newegg.com
2. Get them shipped to Auz.
3. Sell them
4. Profit!

If you can make a profit doing that you should be doing it.

Re:Retail Shipping... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 2 years ago | (#37139058)

Are you sure it isn't differences in licensing agreements from the RIAA's of the world?

Apple fought tooth and nail to keep US prices low. But somehow I suspect that their deal mainly covers US sales and AU sales might even pass through another copyright royalties board before they can sell to you. This is different then buying in the US and shipping it because the sale is happening in the US in that case where it's happening in AU in the other.

Re:Retail Shipping... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138822)

We can buy the product in the EU or US and have it shipped here for less than the AUS street price.

Ignoring that, you clearly seem to be forgetting a few things:

  • iThingies are made in China.
  • The cost of shipping a quantity of iThingies from China to the US is the same as the cost of shipping the same quantity of iThingies from China to Australia.
  • The Australian dollar is worth more than the US dollar.
  • Ever since Scully had a hand in running Apple they've been a pack of assholes.

Re:Retail Shipping... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37139006)

Partly that (which is fine!), partly other costs. They sure as hell price in warranty costs, and they probably also manage to differentiate marketing / administrative overhead and product localization costs.

Well of course products in Oz are more expensive (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138632)

Wouldn't you raise the price of your products if you had to sell each and every one of them with a Velcro pad to hang upside down?

Re:Well of course products in Oz are more expensiv (1)

ben_kelley (234423) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138894)

Note that "industry standard" Velcro doesn't stick as well with Macs. You want go get the special Mac-compatible Velcro that you can buy from the Apple Store. Sure it costs a bit more, but you're protecting your investment. (Well at least that's what the guy told me when I bought mine.)

Re:Well of course products in Oz are more expensiv (1)

MrMatto (2429900) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138994)

The Mac-compatible Velcro is better because It Just Works!(TM)

National Enquiry? (1)

mattydont (849321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138634)

I will be very sadden to see a national inquirer in to this pass vs say..... Scientology, which didnt. The Australian public (those who i am friends with at least) are still blinded mostly by marketing from apple and see it as a trendy thing.

Increased costs (5, Funny)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138636)

It costs Apple extra money to prepare products for the Australian market by turning everything umop apisdn.

Re:Increased costs (4, Interesting)

BeaverCleaver (673164) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138728)

That's very clever to have done that upside down thing with plain text.

There are many products that are overly expensive in Australia compared with other countries. A few example based on the US market, which I'm most familiar with. I can buy a Leatherman at Walmart for about $60, or from a retailer in Australia for more like $200. A $25 cheap rifle scope from Walmart retails for about $60 in .au. Similar markups apply for other consumer optics - binoculars, small telescopes etc. Software, books, music, all these cost more in AUD than the equivalent in USD on the US market, even though the AUD is worth more.

I support a general inquiry into price gouging like this, but limiting the inquiry specifically to Apple products seems like publicity whoring, or a ploy to make the problem sound more isolated than it really is.

Re:Increased costs (1)

Joshua Fan (1733100) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138764)

The main component that runs up costs is the necessary flux inverter to spin electrons back in the right direction.

Everything costs more in Australia (3, Insightful)

cactopus (166601) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138652)

Why attack Apple for pricing products so they make the same profit in every market per person? There's no reason why a $39,000 Nissan 350Z (I had a 2008GT) should cost $67,000 AUD. Everything costs more over here. This is made worse now that the USD is less valuable then the AUD.

I'd say the Australian government should be going after the automotive industry and many others to lower their prices and cost of living substantially. It doesn't cost that much to put a car on a boat and ship it. Japan to the US? (Low US price). Japan to Australia (shorter distance) (price almost double US model)

Re:Everything costs more in Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138672)

The automotive industry is affected by huge taxes and shipping costs so don't fool yourself

Re:Everything costs more in Australia (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138688)

Not to mention ARIA and their cd price fixing in Australia.

Maybe throw in the computer game industry and their insistence that top shelf games in Australia must cost $89 ($91USD).

Re:Everything costs more in Australia (1)

DavidRawling (864446) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138852)

And the rest - often-times games are marked at $109 or even $119 for the first few weeks. Exclusivity "tax" I suppose. Worse is Steam and the like, with price differentials despite no difference in the cost of sale.

Re:Everything costs more in Australia (1)

Tomato42 (2416694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138918)

The cost of sale is different, you don't want to download 20GB from US servers...

Re:Everything costs more in Australia (3, Informative)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138850)

If it makes you feel better, you're not alone in the price gouging stupidity.

2011 Camaro 2SS MSRP:
USA: $34,420
CAN: $42,035 -> Adjusted: $42,437 USD
Difference: $8000
The kicker: The car is assembled in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.

So don't feel too bad, my upside-down friend. Us stupid Canucks can't even get shit we build in our own backyard for the same price as the Americans.
All hail globalization... or whatever.

Re:Everything costs more in Australia (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37139048)

In Australia, a 2010 Camaro SS with 2,900km on it is $118,000 (USD=$123,000)

2011 SS starts at $127,500 AUD.

Re:Everything costs more in Australia (1, Troll)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 2 years ago | (#37139016)

It's quite simple. The companies want to ship directly from China to Australia. However, the cheap Chinese workes only see "ship to AUS" and read that as "American United States". So every component has to go to America first. Once there, expensive, inefficient and union-protected workers have to unload it, load it again and finally ship it to Australia.

It's not just apple (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138674)

It's not just apple that have significantly higher prices in Australia. I would love to buy an Alienware M17x laptop.

Price in AUD $2499 (inc GST) = $2250 ex GST. Price in the US $1499. Given that the exchange rate is about 1 AUD = 0.97 US the comparison is ridiculous.

The cost difference is about $800, I can fly from Sydney to LA for about a thousand.

It's not just technology either - A Triumph Thunderbird Storm motorbike would be in my garage now if I could get one at a comparable US price. The US one is about ~$15,000, the AUS one ~$22,000.

Levi 501 Jeans, US ~$40, AUD ~$100.

Australians are paying through the nose for most goods. I don't understand why - it can't be more expensive to ship China -> AUS than China -> US.

Sales tax (3, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138684)

In the UK, a huge price difference can be explained by 20% VAT added to the price, and cost of better consumer laws. Australia seems to have 10% sales tax and someone who knows might comment on consumer protection.

And if one product is too expensive, people are free to buy from competitors.

Re:Sales tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138874)

Ah yes. The ever-wise reminder that no one is forcing you to buy the overpriced products.

Let me be clear: the choice is to pay 60% (for example) too much to the company who sells the product you're in the market for, or go without it entirely.

Yes, there are a few other options, like getting a third party to buy it for you in some other country and ship it to you. But they're not really practical in most cases.

Re:Sales tax (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138880)

The US isn't sales tax free. Many states have their own sales taxes layered on as well.

Re:Sales tax (2)

lynnae (2439544) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138914)

In the US, sales taxes are mostly not shown in the advertised price. Whereas VAT is mostly always already included in the advertised price.

A $200 item in the states, purchased in a shop or online from a website with a B&M in the state you're shipping to, will cost $200 +x%

A £300 item in the UK will cost... £300

Re:Sales tax (2)

Tomato42 (2416694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138930)

But it's not shown in advertising. While in Britain (and most of EU AFAIK) price in advertising must include sales tax.

Re:Sales tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138890)

We have a Quango called the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that has almost no regulatory powers and writes mildly demanding letters.

Re:Sales tax (2)

JTL21 (190706) | more than 2 years ago | (#37139004)

Additional to VAT there are also import duties on many products being brought into Europe. The rate depends on type of product.

  I never see anyone factoring in import duty differences between US and Europe.

It's all tech companies, not just Apple (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138690)

From an article linked higher up in these comments:

Ed Husic, the member for Chifley, called out Apple in parliament this week and demanded a broader inquiry by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission into rampant price discrimination by technology companies in Australia.

Video games are regularly 60 per cent more expensive in Australia, while we also pay hundreds of dollars more for laptops and in some cases almost double what Americans pay for software from companies like Adobe and Microsoft.

Re:It's all tech companies, not just Apple (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138722)

Also, why the heck is the Slashdot icon for stories involving Australia apparently Crocodile Dundee's hat? Isn't there something a bit more current Slashdot could use (or at least less stereotypical)?

If you don't like it here then you can leave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138696)

If Australians think Apple's are too expensive, then just buy something else. It's not like Australians are living in a penal colony or anything.

Re:If you don't like it here then you can leave (1)

smash (1351) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138972)

because everytihng is the same sort of markup here. i'm not sure why apple have been singled out (perhaps because they're a high profile target).

Do they ship to Australia from the US or China? (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138698)

Do Apple products go through the US to go to Australia, or are they shipped directly from Hon Hai in Shenzen, where they're made?

Re:Do they ship to Australia from the US or China? (1)

smash (1351) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138986)

my new macbook pro came direct from china (high res screen so online order only).

Consumer protection laws? (1, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138700)

It seems that Apple usually prices in the local consumer protection laws when pricing their models abroad. For instance, the US, Japan, and Hong Kong dont have any forced warranties of sorts, and all those prices are, when taking taxes and whatnot into account, about the same. However, in places like Europe and Australia where the government pretty much forces companies to provide multi-year warranties with their products companies have to price that into their products. Those laws are nice, but stop pretending they are free. Personally I would rather have the option of either buying the warranty OR taking a chance on my product not breaking(the vast, vast majority of them dont) instead of the government essentially forcing me to buy an extended warranty whether I want it or not. But of course maybe that is just me.

Re:Consumer protection laws? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138870)

What legislated multi-year warranties? I see exactly the same one year warranty and optional 3-year Apple Care for Australia same as the US.
http://store.apple.com/au/browse/home/shop_mac/family/macbook_pro?mco=MTAyNTQzMjc

Re:Consumer protection laws? (3, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138916)

They sell those, but apparently the law has a different view of what the warranty should be, from the Australian Government [wa.gov.au]

A consumer buys a plasma television for $6000. It stops working two years later. The supplier tells the consumer they have no rights to repairs or another remedy as the television was only under the manufacturerâ(TM)s warranty for 12 months. The supplier says the consumer should have bought an extended warranty, which would have given five yearsâ(TM) cover. A reasonable consumer would expect more than two yearsâ(TM) use from a $6000 television. Under the consumer guarantees, the consumer therefore has a statutory right to a remedy on the basis that the television is not of acceptable quality.

The supplier must provide a remedy free of charge. This may also amount to misleading a consumer about their rights.

IANAL, but this seems pretty cut and dry to me, if an expensive computer "breaks"(even if it is the fault of the user), then the company is responsible for replacing it, even if the original warranty has run out.

Re:Consumer protection laws? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138920)

A surprising number of products in AU have "extended warranties" available as a high-priced option, including Apple's. I have personal experience of Apple weaselling out of an extended warranty because they themselves got a single digit of the serial number wrong on the warranty card. Don't kid yourself into thinking that mandatory warranties are the issue.

Re:Consumer protection laws? (1)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138952)

I can tell that for Greece, part of the EU with the 2-year mandatory warranties, Apple DOES NOT give you a second year. Yes, it is illegal, yes people have managed to fix their products by taking them to court, yes Apple products are more expensive here anyway. And yes, I am sure Apple is betting on fan loyalty to get away with this.
If you can read Greek, for example you can see the 1 year warranty clearly stated e.g. here: http://www.plaisio.gr/Laptop-Netbook-GPS/Notebook/Laptop/Apple-Macbook-Pro-MC700GR.htm [plaisio.gr]. There is a 23% tax included, so the base model price is 1016 euro before taxes, or $1455 which is not a bad over-charge for an apple product ($1199 on apple.com) compared to others I've seen...

Re:Consumer protection laws? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138976)

Australian consumer protection laws are not particularly strong, they are much more limited than European ones. Notably Apple also engages in price gouging on products where consumer protection laws don't make sense, eg, digital downloads.

Re:Consumer protection laws? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37139020)

what sort of warranty do you think these 'merchantable quality' laws give you when downloading music from iTunes? that's right, jack shit.

and yet in .au, itunes music is on average 70% higher than in the US. from what i've read, in Switzerland the price is more than 80% over the US baseline.

things are moving in the right direction though: for a good couple of years an the itunes store didn't even exist in Australia, and the Swiss were paying more than double the US price.

business 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138704)

charge what the market can bear.... jesus if people stop buying, they will lower the price.. if not, gouge what you can.
SIMPLE

Canucks & kiwis get price gouged as well. (1)

ad454 (325846) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138710)

Price gouging in Canada is not as bad as our southern friends, since it is a short drive to the USA border, but is still significant. My favourite gouge are recently printed books and magazines that show both the American and Canadian prices, with the Canadian prices 25-40% higher in dollar values, even through the Canadian dollar has been worth more than an American dollar for some time.

It is justified, because Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have "small" markets, so they have to charge a premium for distribution, advertising, etc. (It's not true, but that is their excuse.)

Re:Canucks & kiwis get price gouged as well. (5, Insightful)

xav_jones (612754) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138830)

Part of the problem is that they are small markets and as such have less competition. All the people erroneously claiming shipping costs, government taxes and consumer protection laws just don't seem to have a clue about how companies fix their pricing based on what the market will bear (i.e. what they can get away with). And of course, this is the essence of capitalism. In the case of Australia, since the market is smaller there is less competition and some companies -- I'm looking at you Canon -- go to great lengths to keep their fat profit margins that they cannot sustain in other markets.

Case in point, "the average price of a movie ticket in Australia for 2010 was AUD$12.98. In the United States, though, the average ticket cost just $US7.89 (approximately AUD$7.40)" [1]

Having said all that, I don't mind the government looking out for it's people who are being priced gouged.

Oh, and any American who thinks this kind of complaint seems a bit whiny (and are under the delusion that there is much a consumer can do about it) you all squealed like stuck pigs when your gasoline hit $4 a gallon for goodness sakes.

[1] http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/money/shopping-and-legal/shopping/cinema-rip-offs/page/do-the-math.aspx [choice.com.au]

Re:Canucks & kiwis get price gouged as well. (2)

black3d (1648913) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138886)

Indeed, the same extends to most markets. Even for digital-only distribution items. It's not uncommon to see software in Aus/NZ priced at 3-4x the American cost, taking into account currency differences. Take the EA Origin store for example. Almost any software on it costs 3x as much to buy "down under", on the equivalent store (eg, EA Origin NZ store vs EA Origin US store).

The common hillbilly reply to this situation is "well if you don't like it then make your own software!" Really? A company whose entire population is less than an average sized US city should be producing AAA software titles as well as taking care of all other sectors? Actually, NZ (and Aus) does produce software - they just don't charge Americans more to use it. ;) I understand completely that, in the example above, EA has every right to charge whatever they want to. But pricing gamers out of the store only discourages purchasing and encourages piracy.

If Dead Space 2 costs NZD$23 on the US store, and NZD$89 on the NZ store, for digital-only copies, it's price gouging. No (sane) person would pay $89 for that game, so they now have three choices - buy a physical retail copy (cheaper), buy it from a competing online service (eg, Direct2Drive, Steam, etc, which sell EAs own games cheaper), or pirating it. By the actions taken, EA has guaranteed the one choice people won't make, is to actually buy it directly from EA, the method by which EA would make the most profit even if priced at the same level as competing online services.

Anyhow, I'm getting off-topic. This behaviour is fairly common. Apple used to charge approx 4x as much for songs on the Aus iTunes store to the US version, even when the AUS$ was at parity or even worth more. Songs which cost 99c on the US store cost $3.99 on the Aus store. Thankfully they've largely brought this under control (because most folks took option 3 - just continue pirating songs rather than buying single songs at exorbitant prices). The sooner producers realise the more in-line prices are internationally, the more people will buy them. If Origin set its store prices the same for overseas customers as domestic customers, more overseas customers would use it. Apple saw the logic in this (although hasn't yet in their hardware department). More manufacturers need to follow suit.

Who cares about the cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138726)

Lets talk about the racism on the Internet - unless you are a Yank, you cannot view even half the content that is advertised.

The number of times I have been referred to a US site from an Australian partner site only to be presented with a page stating that the content I am trying to view is not available in my country.

You want to solve piracy, then think globally. The US of A is not the center of the universe, and the sooner you dumb Yanks realise that the sooner people will start to cooperate with you.

Re:Who cares about the cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138968)

Lets talk about the racism on the Internet - unless you are a Yank, you cannot view even half the content that is advertised.

The number of times I have been referred to a US site from an Australian partner site only to be presented with a page stating that the content I am trying to view is not available in my country.

That's not because you're Australian. It's because you're black.

What's Apple's justification? (1)

enter to exit (1049190) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138734)

How do they explain the price difference? It should be cheaper here anyhow, our dollar is worth more than the US and we are geographically closer to the Chinese factories.

Re:What's Apple's justification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138808)

People buy the products at the price Apple sets. What other justification would a for-profit enterprise need?

Ditto in India. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138806)

iPad 2 (16gb, wifi only) is $499 before taxes in USA and it Rs. 29500 ($650 before taxes) in India.
One can return the item if disliked in USA, maybe with a restocking fee. One can not return in India.

Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138834)

The thing about Apple products is that you pay more, but you get a more expensive toy. If they made them cheaper, people wouldn't feel as superior, and might actually start comparing features, build quality, compatibility, extensibility, originality, and so on. As long as Apple distinguishes itself from the competition based on price, iDiots who buy their products can rest secure in the knowledge that they have a much more expensive device than their neighbour. Apple understands this very well.

Free Market? (0)

espiesp (1251084) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138846)

Is Australia not a free market? If people are willing to pay the premium price, then Apple has priced appropriately!

Lots of Australian Whining. Why don't you guys try making your own shit domestically? Or buy items abroad and import them?

Oh, it's a pain and expensive to import stuff? No kidding.

Re:Free Market? (5, Insightful)

XDirtypunkX (1290358) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138932)

Actually, many Australians do import from Hong Kong and it is relatively painless as long as you make sure you are using a reputable importer. Even with the cost of shipping from Hong Kong and the importer's mark up, you still often only pay 2/3rds of what it would cost from an Australian retailer.

Re:Free Market? (1)

smash (1351) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138998)

That doesn't explain why they're cheaper in the US, when they're made in CHINA.

What business of the governments what I charge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138868)

I'm no fan of Apple, but what business is it of the governments what price I put on my goods. If people don't like my price, they're free to buy someone else's.

I kind of wonder if the Aussie government is putting a tax on Apples goods and expects Apple to just absorb the extra cost and keep the price the same.

Re:What business of the governments what I charge? (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#37139000)

I'm no fan of Apple, but what business is it of the governments what price I put on my goods. If people don't like my price, they're free to buy someone else's.

"Maximized profit" isn't a human right. Also, governments are supposed to look out for the people of their country as well as the best interests of the country. If a foreign company is adding 30-50% to the price of their products exported to your country just for the hell of it then this would be bad in the eyes of most people and politicians.

There are lots of silly things like this, I remember a couple of years ago when I was looking to purchase a new copy of Adobe Photoshop. The English-language version when purchased directly from Adobe's Swedish website cost a lot more than it did when purchased from the US store (and this was not including shipping). Even after discounting sales tax there was a pretty damn big price difference. If it was the Swedish-language version I would've been more forgiving since translation costs money but this was the US English version, the Swedish version cost even more...

Also, here in Sweden there even used to be a joke among mac users that the "Apple dollar" exchange rate was fixed at 15 SEK for one "Apple dollar" (while the actual exchange rate was closer to 7 SEK for 1 USD). When the Macbook Pro first came out there was one guy on a forum that I used to visit who simply paid for a ticket to NYC and a night in a hotel and purchased his Macbook Pro there, it was still cheaper than buying it in Sweden.

Basically, a lot of companies do this and if you're on the receiving end it really sucks because your money isn't worth as much as the other guy's money.

Price Discrimination (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 2 years ago | (#37138938)

It's called price discrimination [wikipedia.org]. It means people who have more elasticity of demand pay a lower price than people who have less elasticity.

This is how cars are priced differently through the negotiation process, why people pay different amounts for airline tickets, and until the recent advent of mass pricing, almost every transaction in the marketplace was a haggle.

Price discrimination helps to maximize seller's surplus, thus making it profitable to serve those with more elastic demand with lower prices. This is especially true of pharmaceuticals that are very expensive in rich countries and cheaper in poor countries. Without price discrimination, they may only be profitable in rich countries at a single price.

australians are lazy idiots (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37138982)

I'm Australian. Unfortunately we're a bunch of whiners here with an over inflated sense of entitlement; a mentality bred by our incredibly socialistic governments. Our government is completely arrogant, not in the way yours is. Yours is more live and let live; look after yourselves and we'll look after ourselves. Survival of the fittest, work for what you want and shut-up about what we have - nobody cares. But not Australians! Stuff is too expensive. I can't afford my new house and two cars, so people complain that the government needs to spend more tax dollars with subsidies, health care, stupid services like child care. So much of that shit goes to the fat lazy middle class, because that is where the votes are. And they aren't only fat and lazy, they're incredibly stupid. Luckily, they're also spendthrifts, so at least the smart people can make money from them to make up for the tax they have to pay to support their sloth.

Product pricing is very easy. If you think it is too expensive here, buy it somewhere else. Nothing stops us from importing goods. I've bought plenty of apple items overseas. Hell, I buy most of my items overseas because our local prices are way too high because all the workers expect $20 an hour minimum salary. And those outstanding americans even offer us extremely cheap services to help us buy from there. We can get credit cards that are localised for america so they will work in iTunes or amazon etc. Amercans will even buy locally for us and ship them items to us for a very, VERY reasonable fee. The international shipping costs are always lower than say the cost of posting something to my relatives in another state, amazing huh? Go America. You get my money, because australian businesses target the fat and the lazy and so their prices are too high for me. *shrug*

Aren't Apple prices everywhere higher than in US? (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 2 years ago | (#37139022)

Looking at europe prices are roughly 25% above the US prices.

However I did not check recently as currency fluctuations may change this difference significantly.

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