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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > iPod touch - Screwed. Again.

iPod touch - Screwed. Again.
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Koralatov
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Sep 6, 2007, 04:57 PM
 
With the exception of the lack of Mail.app on the new iPod touch, I'm very impressed, and seriously fighting the temptation to get one. When Mail, or a Mail-like client, is released, it will be very difficult for me to resist getting one. However, in buying one, I would totally be getting screwed.

A quick comparison of the prices for the 16GB model reveals that I'm paying a £70/~$140 "Brit tax" for the touch. I realise that things in the UK tend to be more expensive (hence why it's called "Rip-Off Britain"), and that VAT will be playing a part in that, but how can it possibly cost $140 less for the same device across the Pond?

All said, however, it's very likely that I'll just wait for the iPhone to come out over here--it has Mail built-in, and it shouldn't be much more than the touch.
     
maxx9photo
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Sep 6, 2007, 05:02 PM
 
This will be a downfall for Apple, I say bad bad bda marketing strategy, they should just stick with iPhone and improve the storage capacity instead releasing a freakin "iNophone".
     
Cold Warrior
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Sep 6, 2007, 05:21 PM
 
are you two the same person??
     
Koralatov  (op)
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Sep 6, 2007, 06:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
are you two the same person??
Not at all. If you read my first post, I said I was impressed with the iPod touch. What I'm not impressed with is the hefty UK price mark-up. That said, depending on the cost of a contract for the iPhone when it finally arrives in the UK, I may end up getting one of the touches in place of it. Data plans over here are so expensive it's unreal.
     
as2
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Sep 6, 2007, 07:07 PM
 
I'll only be getting one if I purchase it in the states.
[img=http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/1300/desktj.jpg]
     
Sparkletron
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Sep 6, 2007, 07:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Koralatov View Post
I realise that things in the UK tend to be more expensive (hence why it's called "Rip-Off Britain"), and that VAT will be playing a part
It's always difficult objectively determining which country screws its citizenry the most. So much personal bias gets in the way.

-S
     
Koralatov  (op)
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Sep 6, 2007, 07:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sparkletron View Post
It's always difficult objectively determining which country screws its citizenry the most. So much personal bias gets in the way.
There's a lot of truth to that. Sadly, that's little comfort when it comes to paying through the nose for exactly the same product...
     
stuffedmonkey
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Sep 7, 2007, 03:18 PM
 
Yeah - why is that? Do companies just jack the price of everything over there just because they can?

When I used to work in retail I remember lots of UK visitors that would buy tons of stuff from us while on vacation, just being amazed by how much they could get for their converted pounds....
     
as2
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Sep 7, 2007, 09:03 PM
 
Especially at the moment when there are nearly $2 to the £
[img=http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/1300/desktj.jpg]
     
Koralatov  (op)
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Sep 8, 2007, 08:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by stuffedmonkey View Post
Yeah - why is that? Do companies just jack the price of everything over there just because they can?

When I used to work in retail I remember lots of UK visitors that would buy tons of stuff from us while on vacation, just being amazed by how much they could get for their converted pounds....
I'm not entirely sure why everything is so much more expensive over here, but it is. I think it happens because over in the UK, we've kind of accepted that we're going to get totally screwed. As as2 said, the strong pound/weak dollar makes it even more attractive to buy abroad now, as everything is way cheaper (and in many cases, even with postage included it's still significantly cheaper). Such is life, sadly...
     
glideslope
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Sep 8, 2007, 09:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by maxx9photo View Post
This will be a downfall for Apple, I say bad bad bda marketing strategy, they should just stick with iPhone and improve the storage capacity instead releasing a freakin "iNophone".
You must be in a Galaxy, far, far, away.
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.”
Sun Tzu
     
analogika
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Sep 8, 2007, 09:46 AM
 
For some reason, Apple stuff has a 30% markup in the UK, and it's not because of the VAT.

It's like they didn't get the memo or something.

Or it might have to do with not being part of Euroland.
     
Gee4orce
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Sep 8, 2007, 12:09 PM
 
Face it, American's get everything cheaper !

...and they still whine and whinge until they're given $100 back for something they already bought at a fair price. :/

I'm amazed at how much CAR you can get for your money in the USA. It's just not fair
     
analogika
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Sep 8, 2007, 01:25 PM
 
a) all U.S. prices are excluding tax.

b) How much do UK citizens make in relation to US citizens?
     
TETENAL
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Sep 8, 2007, 06:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
How much do UK citizens make in relation to US citizens?
$31,800 vs. $44,000. So it's a little bit harder for Britons to buy Apple stuff. I guess the price is higher because they are used to it.
     
analogika
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Sep 8, 2007, 06:12 PM
 
I'm no economist, but I'm *quite* certain that GDP per capita does NOT equate to "average income".

At all.

The closest I could find in a *really* quick google skim was $46,000 in the United States (~£22,500) and somewhere around £27,000 in the UK.

I'm sure the definite numbers are there, but almost always, cost of living is reflected in income, and where income is high, luxury goods and tech items are expensive.
( Last edited by analogika; Sep 8, 2007 at 06:20 PM. )
     
Koralatov  (op)
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Sep 8, 2007, 06:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
I'm no economist, but I'm *quite* certain that GDP per capita does NOT equate to "average income".
...and you would be right. GDP per capita is the total GDP divided by the number of citizens, and thus reflects the strength of the economy rather than the average earnings.

However, the average UK income is £17.5-18k, which equates to around $35k at current exchange rates. I'm reasonably sure that the average income in the States is higher than that, so TETENAL would be right about we Brits having fewer pennies to spend on Apple's lovely toys. Also, taxation is a bitch in this country: I earn less than the UK average, and as I noted in this thread, I lose almost a third of my income to tax in some form or another. I'm not sure whether you Yanks are hit as badly or not.

Originally Posted by analogika View Post
The closest I could find in a *really* quick google skim was $46,000 in the United States (~£22,500) and somewhere around £27,000 in the UK.

I'm sure the definite numbers are there, but almost always, cost of living is reflected in income, and where income is high, luxury goods and tech items are expensive.
It should be noted that the figure supplied there is average income per household, whereas mine was per person. Also, the cost of living in the UK generally is quite high: food especially is ridiculously expensive over here thanks to the Common Agricultural Policy. When I was in Canada a few years back, most things cost about half what they did in the UK, sometimes less. That was back when the Canadian dollar was worth about half the pound, much as the US dollar is now.
( Last edited by Koralatov; Sep 8, 2007 at 06:36 PM. Reason: analogika beat me to it)
     
analogika
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Sep 8, 2007, 06:46 PM
 
I see.

two notes though:

a) I'm not a Yank.

b) The dollar has been very weak these past few years
     
Simon
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Sep 9, 2007, 02:59 AM
 
I'm always quite amazed by the Brits. You guys live in one hell of an expensive country. Life there doesn't seem a lot cheaper than in countries like Switzerland or Norway - but in comparison your chocolate sucks and you don't have much oil either.

And even though life in Britain is so expensive your salaries are rock bottom. Whenever I see openings for faculty positions in the UK I'm baffled by how low the salaries are. How do you people afford life in Britain? I guess with that disparity between wages and the cost of living there would have been a revolution long ago in any southern European country. Not in Britain.

But back to the issue the OP brought up, the iPhone touch 16 GB is £229 not including VAT. In the US it's $399. That puts the £ at $1.74. IOW Apple's having you pay a 16% markup. I can only think of one thing (apart from greed) that could make up for the difference: Do you guys have something like an intellectual property tax that you pay for audio devices? I know there are other European countries that have some kind of IP tax on MP3 players which supposedly reimburses artists in order to compensate for piracy. For example in Switzerland Apple jacked up the iPod touch price by ~ $68 because that's the tax for 16 GB of flash memory in digital audio devices.
( Last edited by Simon; Sep 9, 2007 at 03:16 AM. Reason: spelling)
     
Koralatov  (op)
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Sep 9, 2007, 08:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
a) I'm not a Yank.
My apologies. I was addressing the majority forum membership in general, and not you specifically.

Originally Posted by analogika View Post
b) The dollar has been very weak these past few years
Quite true. However, it seems to have been especially weak this past year. I remember when the rule of thumb £1 = ~$1.60 applied pretty accurately, but that was a while ago. On the plus side, the weak dollar does make my overseas shopping dirt-cheap.

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
I'm always quite amazed by the Brits. You guys live in one hell of an expensive country. Life there doesn't seem a lot cheaper than in countries like Switzerland or Norway - but in comparison your chocolate sucks and you don't have much oil either.

And even though life in Britain is so expensive your salaries are rock bottom. Whenever I see openings for faculty positions in the UK I'm baffled by how low the salaries are. How do you people afford life in Britain? I guess with that disparity between wages and the cost of living there would have been a revolution long ago in any southern European country. Not in Britain.
Positions in academia are notoriously badly paid in Britain, which is part of the reason I decided to give it a miss and work elsewhere. That said, I think there's just a mass acceptance of crap wages and high cost of living; we're inured to it, and the vast majority probably don't even realise quite how badly we get screwed.

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
But back to the issue the OP brought up, the iPhone touch 16 GB is £229 not including VAT. In the US it's $399. That puts the £ at $1.74. IOW Apple's having you pay a 16% markup. I can only think of one thing (apart from greed) that could make up for the difference: Do you guys have something like an intellectual property tax that you pay for audio devices? I know there are other European countries that have some kind of IP tax on MP3 players which supposedly reimburses artists in order to compensate for piracy. For example in Switzerland Apple jacked up the iPod touch price by ~ $68 because that's the tax for 16 GB of flash memory in digital audio devices.
To be honest, I know that such a tax exists elsewhere in Europe, but to the best of my knowledge it doesn't exist here. I could be wrong, but I'm reasonably sure it doesn't. In Apple's defence, if everyone else gets away with marking prices up for Brits, why shouldn't they get a piece of that pie too? Especially as most people won't even notice...
     
Parky
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Sep 10, 2007, 02:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Koralatov View Post
With the exception of the lack of Mail.app on the new iPod touch, I'm very impressed, and seriously fighting the temptation to get one. When Mail, or a Mail-like client, is released, it will be very difficult for me to resist getting one. However, in buying one, I would totally be getting screwed.

A quick comparison of the prices for the 16GB model reveals that I'm paying a £70/~$140 "Brit tax" for the touch. I realise that things in the UK tend to be more expensive (hence why it's called "Rip-Off Britain"), and that VAT will be playing a part in that, but how can it possibly cost $140 less for the same device across the Pond?

All said, however, it's very likely that I'll just wait for the iPhone to come out over here--it has Mail built-in, and it shouldn't be much more than the touch.
Actually you are only paying about £30 more for the iPod touch.

The UK price includes VAT while the USA price does not include US sales tax.

If you remove the VAT from the UK price to make things even (£269 - VAT= £228), converted to $ = $456, which is $57 more than the UK price, or around £30.

Bearing in mind the poor $ to £ rate at the moment. If the dollar gains some value, even to just $1.80 = £1.00 then the iPod touch would be virtually the same price.
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