See here's one main issue that is over-looked. We DO NOT live in a "Free Trade World"!!!
Various countries have:
- import fees/taxes
- export fees/taxes
- VAT (like in the UK)
* Some countries tax imported goods as a way to "protect" domestic industries...this is called a "protectionist economic policy". If this wasn't done (in some countries)...whole domestic industries would fail...and 10's of thousands of people would be out of work.
* Some countries "manipulate" their currency...so that favorable exchange rates can be attained...or that import/export trade balances for an individual country are "politically correct. An example of this is China. China has been accused by the United States of manipulating their currency...which effects:
- monetary exchange rates
- financial market valuations for stocks, bonds, etc.
- import/export trade balances
The bottom line is...we DO NOT live in a "Free Trade World"
. We have NEVER lived in a "Free Trade World"...and at least for the predictable future...we never will!
Now more specifically to Apple computers. If an iMac 27" (i5 model) sells for $1697 in the United States...what we don't know is...what does Apple charge each country (before any import taxes/import fees/VAT). There are probably fees/taxes (in some countries) that may be specifically targeted towards electronic goods that may not even be known by the general public.
So the question would be...If a Macintosh computer costs more in other countries (compared to the US)...how much of that higher cost is due to:
- Apple charging higher prices
- each individual country adding fees/taxes/VAT that increases the price to what is seen at each countries Apple Store
...maybe it's a combination of both.
Here's an article regarding international pricing of iPad 2's:
iPad Gets Backlash Over International Pricing | PCWorld
Here's a quote from the article...where Steve Jobs responds to complaints about international pricing:
"Steve Jobs Replies:
With angry customers e-mailing him over the U.S.-international price differences, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has once again taken to his iPhone to respond to complaints. Jobs reportedly said in an e-mail to an obfuscated U.K. customer that he needs to educate himself, explaining that U.K. prices must by law include VAT (17.5 percent), while U.S. price do not include tax -- hence the difference.
In another case, in Germany, where users discovered that iPad prices are higher than in other European countries, Jobs reportedly told a disgruntled customer to blame his government, as Germany just added a new copyright levy for computers. Jobs later revealed in an e-mail that the German iPad won't be more expensive than in France or Italy, after he found out the tablet is not subject to the German copyright tax."
One last final example...regarding the pricing of goods & services in various countries. Oil. The price of crude oil (a commodity) is a world wide price. If all country's in the world "theoretically" can pay the same price for a barrel of crude oil...why do prices for gasoline vary so much from country to country???
Some of the price differences are due to:
- Volume purchased. The more barrels of oil you buy...you get a small volume discount.
- Cost to ship the oil to various countries. If a country is located close/far to an oil producing country...there may be lower/higher transportation costs.
- an oil purchasing country may not have oil refining capabilities...so they pay a higher price for gasoline because someone else (another country) needs to refine the oil into gasoline for them/
But the MAJOR
reason gasoline costs are so different in various countries is...each country has different ways that they tax a gallon or liter of gasoline. Some countries more...some countries less.
The same thing applies to Apple computers. It's possible that Apple charges most or all countries around the world about the same price for an iMac, a MacBook, or a Mac Pro. Where the major differences occur...may be due to the taxes/fee's that each country adds to these imports...which makes them much more expensive than in the United States.
Sorry for the extremely long post!,