CHOICE says Apple is once again juicing Australian consumers
CHOICE has analysed Apple’s new MacPro pricing, and found they will cost Australian consumers up to 18% (excluding GST) more than consumers in the United States.
The news comes a month after CHOICE found Apple was slugging Australian consumers with a 14% mark-up on its latest iPhones.
Apple’s price discrimination against Australian consumers continues to fly in the face of the recommendations of the Federal Parliament’s inquiry into IT pricing, which delivered a clear blueprint to reduce the digital price discrimination faced by Australian consumers in July this year.
“While we are pleased to see that the new iPad Airs and new Retina iPad Minis do not include the ‘Australia tax’, it defies logic as to why the MacPro should cost Australian consumers more,” says CHOICE director of campaigns and communications, Matt Levey.
“Previously, Apple’s hardware products have been priced close to parity, which makes these latest price differences particularly disappointing, and hardly an example of forward thinking. It’s small wonder that many consumers will experience of the ‘power of lightness’ when it comes to their hip pockets.”
The following is a price comparison of the new MacPro models between Australia and the United States. The price “difference” is calculated using the Australian price excluding GST compared to the US price converted to Australian dollars at the exchange rate of $1 to US$0.97.
CHOICE provided a detailed submission to the inquiry, analysing more than 200 separate software products, games and music downloads, which showed Australians pay around 50% more for identical goods compared to US consumers.
Read CHOICE’s submission
to the IT pricing inquiry, our take
on the inquiry’s recommendations and our guide for consumers to get around geo-blocking
Tom Godfrey, CHOICE Head of Media – 0430 172 669
Notes to editors:
CHOICE’s research identified some staggering examples of digital price discrimination. For example, for one Microsoft product, it was cheaper to pay someone to fly to the US and back – twice – and buy the product over there, than to pay the inflated local price.
For music downloads, CHOICE highlighted the example of AC/DC, which finally became available on iTunes in late 2012 – with a 54% price difference between the Australian and US prices for an identical selection of songs.
CHOICE’s work on digital price discrimination
May 2008 – CHOICE investigates the high prices of computer products in Australia
May 2011 – CHOICE’s submission to Productivity Commission’s retail review finds unusually high levels of price discrimination on digital products
July 2012 – CHOICE makes a submission to the IT price inquiry, finding price differences of around 50% across many products
August 2012 - CHOICE makes a submission to the Attorney General, calling for reform to laws related to online geo-blocking
October 2012 - CHOICE publishes a guide for consumers to bypass online geo-blocks and access cheaper products from overseas
November 2012 – CHOICE publicly calls for the government to force large tech companies to front the IT inquiry (which they later did)
March 2013 – CHOICE tell consumers what they need to know as Apple, Adobe and Microsoft front the IT inquiry in Canberra
July 2013 – CHOICE reviews options and prices for streaming TV on the internet, and provides tips for consumers to get around TV geo-blocks