Originally Posted by saarek
Health care in the UK is not free, I have to pay for it in a special tax called national insurance and so does every other working person, we pay tax and then we also pay national insurance.
Now back to the Mac, the system is built in China and shipped directly to the country which it's sold so there are no additional shipping costs.
Now lets allow for fluctuating currencies higher petrol costs etc which probably are a factor.
For a basis, lets run off the new Apple TV which has a $99 US Price which is of course before any tax.
Now $99 is £61.80. UK VAT stands at 17.5% so £61.80 + 17.5% = £72.61.
Now out of fairness Apple probably does have to spend a little bit more to deal in the UK, I'm not an economist but surely it can't be more than 5%? For arguments sake let's go with 10%.
So £72.61 + 10% = £79.87 that means that even on a generous 10% mark up on the US price Brits have got to pay an additional £20 or $32.03 over an American customer which surely any reasonable person here will agree is wrong, we pay it because we have no choice if you want an Apple product you have to pay their extortionate prices.
Now perhaps you feel I am being unreasonable, but I don't think I am.
I call that profiteering, feel free to correct me with hard facts and I will happily bow to superior evidence and logic.
Look in your own backyard.
Compared to the US, your fuel is 2-3 times higher, cost of living is higher, minimum wages are double, rent is higher, taxes are higher, etc. Virtually everything in the UK is higher period!
Unfortunately, I can't find the import tariffs, if there are any on electronics. However, there is a cost in freight forwarding, import registrations, etc., on everything coming into the UK.
Clearly the advantages in the US is the lack of a federal sales tax and the exclusion of state and local taxes. For example, in California, "At 8.25%, California has the highest state sales tax in the United States, which can total up to 10.75% with local sales tax included."*
In all fairness, if we were to add a VAT to the US prices, the list price would jump to $118. And add the exchange rate, which is a highly fluxing figure and the differences dwindle significantly.
Obviously, Apples declared gross profit margins are a determining factor is setting prices. As such, Apple fiduciary responsibilities will help dictate just how much they can price their goods at. And are open for inspection every time they submit their obligatory financial reports.
* ^ a b Equalization California Board of (July 2009). "Publication 71, California City and County Sales and Use Tax Rates, April 1, 2009 Edition" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-09-26.