Apple's iPad boasts a higher upfront sticker price in some countries than others, thanks to local taxes. That revelation comes as Apple prepares to debut the tablet PC in nine international markets on May 28, including Australia, Japan, Spain and the U.K. In response to an irate U.K. fan, Apple CEO Steve Jobs wrote that U.K. prices include a value-added tax not present for U.S. purchasers. Apple plans to roll out the iPad, which sold 1 million units in the U.S. within a month of its April 3 release, to additional international markets in July.
Jet-setting iPad buyers beware: Where you purchase the device could
determine how much cold, hard cash you plunk down for the privilege. Thanks to
those pesky little things called local taxes, the iPad's upfront sticker cost
ends up being higher in some countries than in others-something with the
potential to throw, say, a British Apple-phile into a minor rage.
That British example may be particularly apt, given that the 16GB, WiFi-only
version of the iPad costs 429 pounds sterling on Apple's
, while the 64GB, 3G-enabled version retails for 699 pounds
sterling. That translates into $637 for the 16GB, WiFi-only version, and $1,038
for the 64GB, 3G-enabled version-or a $138 and $209 premium over those
versions' retail price in the U.S.
The price differential extends to the other side of the Atlantic,
where in Canada
the 16GB, WiFi-only iPad retails for $549 in Canadian dollars, or U.S. $536.
The 64GB, 3G-enabled version costs $879, or $858. That represents a
cross-border premium for both models, which retail for a respective $499 and
$829 in the United States.
According to a May 9 posting on the Apple-centric blog 9to5mac
was supposedly incensed enough over the price differential to send Apple CEO
Steve Jobs an e-mail: "What were sales dept thinking when they agreed to this
price? It's like leeching blood out of our body."
Jobs allegedly replied via a curt e-mail from his iPhone: "Please educate
prices must by law include VAT [Value Added Tax], which is around 18 percent. U.S.
prices do not include tax."
Countries in the European Union, thanks to different tax codes, offer slight
differentials in pricing across the iPad line. Apple announced on May 7 that
the iPad will be available on May 28 in nine international markets: Australia,
the United Kingdom.
Preorders for those nine markets began on May 10, for both WiFi-only and
3G-enabled versions of the device.
July will see the iPad arrive in a new round of countries, including Austria,
Singapore, the Netherlands
and New Zealand.
It will also retail in Hong Kong. Release dates and
preordering for nine other countries are apparently in the works.
Total iPad sales topped 1 million units by the end of April, but the early
sales success in the United States
apparently led to pressures on the supply pipeline and a delay in the
international rollout. Apple indicated in a May 7 statement that some 12
million apps and 1.5 million ebooks have been downloaded by iPad owners.
numbers have led to optimistic projections on the part of some industry
. Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall recently increased his
calendar year 2010 revenue estimates for Apple from $57.9 billion to $62.6
billion, writing: "Once again, we highlight our view that Apple remains the
best technology company on the planet with numerous catalysts on the
horizon-e.g., international iPhone ramp, iPad ramp, emerging recurring revenue
stream, etc.-and no business model issues."