"Oh great! A new tech thing has been announced in America for a surprisingly affordable price! Can't wait to... oh"
That's our usual chain of thought in the aftermath of big, global tech events like yesterday's unveiling of Amazon's latest Kindle range, which saw the US price of the updated basic Kindle model pegged at $79.
Admittedly, that US price is for a bundle which includes "offers"--Amazon's polite way of describing adverts--but still. Our only choice is to pay £89 for the same model, a massive mark-up on the US price, with even the non-ads US version coming in at $109. Which converts to £69.
A company with the global reach of Amazon shouldn't be pretending it costs more to sell a product in Europe. But then again, it's nothing new. We've been paying over the odds for years...
Bose will direct-sell American audio enthusiasts a pair of its Quiet Comfort headphones for $299, which converts to £192 at today's rates. Here, we get charged £279. Even allowing for a rough 10 per cent US sales tax, that's a big random Euro tax.
In America, Apple fans can spend $99 (£63) on an Apple TV. Over here we can spend... £101 on an Apple TV, plus Apple's UK site even has the cheek to claim we can spend "just £101" on the thing, too. "Just loads more," more like.
When this launched in the US, they got it for $299, which converted, at the time, to around £190. Our launch price was £249. Good job we're not a nation of complainers, eh?
HTC's nice little 7" Android tablet launched in the UK for £479 if you fancied the Wi-Fi version--US buyers can currently pick up the same model for $499. That's not how exchange rates are supposed to work, HTC!