Apple is Screwing us Brits on the Price Way More Than Normal

By Tom Pritchard on at

Despite showing off all sorts of things about its new products, Apple wasn't too keen on giving us any pricing that wasn't in US dollars. Which is annoying, because we can't always work out what the conversion rate is going to be. Tech companies are notoriously fickle about how much £1 costs compared to a $1, but this time it looks like we're really getting shafted.

Allow me to explain.

Let's start off with the iPhone 11, which is the 'cheap' iPhone much like the XR was last year. Over in the US it costs $699, which is £566. Add 20% on for VAT and that would be £679. Instead the base model starts off at £729, and minus VAT that's £583. In other words £17 more than it would cost someone in the US before taxes.

Now to the first 'flagship', the iPhone 11 Pro. In the US the base model costs $999, which works out to £809. Add 20% VAT and you have £970. According to the Apple website, the base model iPhone 11 Pro is going to cost £1,049. Minus 20% sales and we're paying £30 more than the US equivalent.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at $1,099, which is £890. Add 20% for VAT and that works out at £1,068. Instead the 11 Pro Max starts at £1,149 here in the UK, and minus the 20% for VAT we're paying £919. £29 more than the US equivalent.

The brand new 10.2-inch iPad is going to cost a chunk more than its predecessor, and if you want one you'll have to cough up at least £349 compared to a $329 US price. The US price is £266.40, and plus VAT you wind up with just shy of £320. Minus VAT the UK price is £279, which is £13 more than the Americans would have to pay.

The Apple Watch is less of an issue, since Apple seems to have gone for a £1=$1 ratio. Or at least that's the case for the base aluminium model with the sports band. It's $399 in the US, which works out to £323. Add VAT and that is just shy of £388. £399 minus VAT is £319, £4 less than the US pre-tax equivalent. So not a huge deal there, but still annoying nonetheless.

So Apple is screwing us. Not by a whole lot, but we're still paying more money than our US counterparts are - even when you take the fact our prices include taxes and the American ones do not. Who can we blame? Maybe Apple, but Apple is a business and the pound has not been in a good place recently.

In fact just a few weeks ago it was the lowest it's been compared to the Euro for a decade. Things have improved since, but things have not been looking good. And Apple obviously noticed and priced its products accordingly.

But hey, it's still really frustrating for this to happen, and even the non-Apple buying people will be complaining.