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Apple Increases Prices of Macs in U.K. By 20 Percent (bloomberg.com)
172 points by antouank on Oct 28, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 274 comments

I'm not one to complain about paying for quality, but their pricing across the board is just getting ridiculous. There's no major innovation here to justify such price hikes. 16GB RAM limits on a $3200 laptop is bewildering to me. If the strategy here is to kill off the Mac brand, while focusing only on the iPhone, then I think they are well on their way.

If it wasn't for the Mac OS, I wouldn't even bother considering their lineup anymore.

Edit: Additional thoughts. That OLED touch bar is going to be the equivalent of force touch on the iPhone. Neat idea, that will be forgotten. Also, whose idea was it to make that track pad ENORMOUS? When has anyone ever wished they had a track pad that took up 2/3 of the palm area? I hope their palm sensing is 100% perfect.

their pricing across the board is just getting ridiculous

This is not really about Apple pricing, since the prices went up by up to 20% for many existing Apple products. This is the result of the post-Brexit vote and its effect on the exchange rate of the pound sterling. I guess the UK will see such price raises across the board.

Of course, it's all good for the UK's export as long as they are still in the single market.

By across the board, I meant in all countries. You're paying A LOT more for a Mac Book Pro now, for essentially nothing more than an incremental hardware update, a light bar, and less ports.

The MacBook Pro 13" without Touch Bar is still the same price as the MacBook Pro 13" was when it was introduced in 2012. Still, it is much lighter, flatter, and has a modern CPU, GPU, SSD, a better screen, etc.

Anyway, my point was that it is weird to complain about Apple prices as a reaction to an article that points out that prices for tech is increasing in the UK as a result of the Brexit.

In the past two months I've been seeing a lot more articles about the outrage about price increases in the U.K due to new FX reality post Brexit.

I'm always surprised when people in the U.K pretend like this came as a surprise and they are outraged. Like... am... guys... you did it to yourselves. Cheers.

Surprised? No.

Pissed off? Yes.

Did it to myself? Not so much. 48% of us didn't, in fact.

(And it's reasonable to assume that some of the remaining 52% didn't specifically vote for "hardest Brexit reasonably possible, please, we don't care about the economy." )

I've not met anyone who voted to leave the EU complaining. We were all aware there would be short term pain for long term gain.

Most of the moaning comes from people who wanted to remain.

The £ was overvalued, this will bring a huge boost to our export industry.

That's a very outdated view. I'm an exporter, selling products manufactured in the UK, and this is nothing but bad news. Leaving the single market will massively increase the pain of exporting to Europe. Also, like most exporters, I sell products that include lots of parts imported from outside the UK. The cost of these inputs has gone up by 20%, and cannot be replaced by alternatives in the UK. It's outdated to think that devaluing the currency automatically makes exports cheaper.

The UK's biggest goods export sector is cars, mostly to the EU. They would be subject to tariffs that far exceed their profit margin. However that pales into insignificance in comparison to trade in services. Financial services are one of the UK's biggest exports, and the biggest contributor to corporation tax receipts. The industry is heavily reliant on access to the EU markets, particularly "passporting" rules. It looks likely they will lose this access, which would be disastrous for the industry, and will cost this country billions.

As for the pound being over-valued: right now it is, aside from a few months in 1985, at its lowest level against the dollar in history.

Exactly. Mostly these days the UK imports, adds value, and exports.

While I was over in the UK enjoying an extremely cheap vacation, some Brexit friends were complaining about the price of a recent holiday in Greece, which they blamed on the EU.

They completely missed the pound is weak connection.

> Most of the moaning comes from people who wanted to remain.

...and this is surprising why? Would UKIP have been all smiles and cheers if the UK and voted to stay in the EU?

"Remoaners" is one of the stupidest political memes to emerge in recent years. People have justified grievances, reducing that to "moaning" helps no-one.

I was under the impression that the UK didn't have almost any manufacturing industry left, only services. I googled and found that I was wrong http://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/gbr/

However the trade balance is negative. A weak pound won't help the industries that import raw material. I won't bet that it's going to be good.

Yes the trade balance at the moment is negative, which is why we need the £ to fall in value, so we can export more and reduce the trade deficit.

Germany loves the Euro for the same reason, it artificially lowers its exchange rate helping it's exports. With the Deutschmark they would be at a significant disadvantage. Remember they were the "sick man of Europe" prior to joining the Euro.

This is at the expense of countries on the periphery of the EU, Greece, Italy etc. They cannot devalue and complete with Germany. Despite this look how Germany treated Greece when it needed help.

The "Sick man of Europe" in 1970s --and most famously-- was the UK, not Germany (which didn't happen until the 1990s and was attributed to re-unification, not any particular issues with manufacturing)

The original "sick man" was the Ottoman Empire, but pretty everyone has been hit with the title at one point.

I sincerely hope that it will work like that for you. There is a long history of currency devaluations. It can help in the short run but the reasons a country was worse off than the others don't go away. Your hypothesis is that the cause is an artificially inflated pound. Some Euro countries have an artificially inflated currency, or Germany and others an artificially deflated one. Those weaker countries are paying for it with higher interest rates on their bonds. We could argue forever if they are masochistic or strong armed into the Euro or if this is really in their best interest. In the case of the UK, what I see from outside is that many people wanted to buy into the UK. See the trajectory of the prices of the houses in London or the number of startups. That naturally inflates a currency. Now the UK is less attractive and the pound lost value. I think that pre Brexit and post Brexit levels of the pound did reflect the actual value of the country in those two moments in time. Don't you?

Germany was a large exporter with a strong currency and it is a strong exporter with a weaker currency. Germnay actuelly prefers a stronger currency. You can see that from DM times. Germany never tried to devalue the DM, just the opposite.

Germany was 'sick' because it had huge problems after the reunification with 1/4 of its people now living in a formerly communist country, whose economy collapsed. This cost a trillion Euro over the years and the east is still behind.

If your idea to be competitive is just to devalue your currency, then you are lost anyway.

Greece wanted to be in the Eurozone. They need to adjust their policy as a member.

>We were all aware there would be short term pain for long term gain

I'm curious as to what you consider "short term" though. I think it will be at least a decade before the UK is likely to see any positive effects of Brexit, if then.

> post Brexit

This should say post Brexit vote, as the UK leaving the EU hasn't been actioned yet.

Am I surprised that prices has increased? Yes and no. Yes in that we haven't actually triggered anything that makes a change to the way we in the UK will trade outside of the EU. No in that currency variance was to be expected.

> we haven't actually triggered anything that makes a change to the way we in the UK will trade outside of the EU

This is actually the scariest proposition. We hope that markets are pricing the current confusion in the same way they will price when things actually change, i.e. they are pessimistic enough. But what if they are actually just middle-of-the-road, or even slightly optimistic? In that case we're in for a world of hurt.

hmm. Some of us didn't ask for it.

Not strange at all, the Apple presentation was yesterday. Everyone is still discussing the new lineup as a whole, and it is directly related to this.

All your points here are simply false. You can buy a better MacBook today than 4 years ago but for the same price in US Dollars as four years ago.

> You can buy a better MacBook today than 4 years ago

Only slightly better (or even worse, at the low end, because of the low-power CPU probably getting throttled more)... but really the point is that 4 years ago there was nothing like the MBPR on the market, similar to when they launched the Air. Today, there actually are alternatives with better specs in similar dimensions, and they are much more reasonably priced.

Clearly there is some merit to this discussion, as it's reached the top of this thread, and every single news outlet is saying the same thing. People are upset about this "update". The Mac Pro desktop is dead, the laptops take years to get any meaningful upgrades, and Apple only cares about their mobile offerings at this point.

The laptop from four years ago was a better value, than what you get comparatively today.

You are responding to one point about price, which I have addressed, with another point entirely. You are not making any coherent sense.

If by modern you mean last gen...

Yup. Microsoft just increased them by 22%. I guess pretty much all tech companies will do that in the UK soon - or just leave altogether.


"This is the result of the post-Brexit vote"

This is nonsense; the pricing of the Macbook Pro rose in every country. Not everything has to be shoehorned into your personal politic viewframe.

> This is nonsense; the pricing of the Macbook Pro rose in every country.

You have said this in 9 different comments in this thread without providing a source.

This news isn't about the MBP anyway. Existing models have increased in price by 20% since last week.

This is not the result of the post-Brexit vote. It is just convenient event to excuse greed.

It's a little of both. It's a simple fact that the pound has plummeted against the dollar. You can claim that has nothing to do with Brexit, but it would be quite a coincidence.

Not that I'm complaining really. I'm a UK citizen but I work remotely for an American company and get paid in dollars. My income has actually increased by a nice amount because of Brexit. I get more pounds for my dollars than I used to.

That's not going to help me buy a new Macbook though, because Apple have raised prices to compensate.

> It's a simple fact that the pound has plummeted against the dollar.

Again, that's market makers want to make money using event as an excuse

Yeah, it's a well know fact that currency traders like to sell currencies they think will rise in value, and buy currencies that won't. Thereby creating the current situation where the pound, which would otherwise have rocketed in value post-Brexit vote, in fact goes down the crapper.

> If it wasn't for the Mac OS, I wouldn't even bother considering their lineup anymore.

Years ago, when I exclusively used Linux even on my local machines, I used to buy Apple computers and replace the OS with Linux. Because they used to build the best damn computers (specially laptops) out there. They were way ahead of the competition.

It’s sad that now we just have to put up with Apple hardware because of software integration, etc. . If I wanted to run Linux or Windows, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to look somewhere else.

The price is roughly the same (inflation adjusted) as the original 2006 Macbook Pro. Things have certainly improved since the original Powerbook, which was around $12k in today's dollars.

My background is in music, where folks routinely pay 10x for an instrument that is 20% better (arbitrary numbers, but I think the point holds). If you're a developer, your laptop is your "axe" that you make money with day in and day out. Does it really matter if it costs $1k or $3k? If it makes an employee half a percent more productive, what is that worth to a business?

Your point on the inflatino-adjusted price is a good one.

I'm less convinced about the other. The difference between a musical instrument and a laptop is that the musical instrument may last 50 years or more. The laptop will be lucky to make five (for professional use).

So yeah... it's worth it to pay for quality tooling to do your job, but depreciation has to be factored in, which is much higher for IT technology than almost anything else.

I really don't think Apple is targeting corporate customers with emoji touch bars. Of course, if you NEED it, you need it. I'm not arguing that. For everyone else, the cost for what you get is not reasonable.

Also, after spending the last fifteen years on the IT side of a large enterprise. No manager on this earth would approve upgrading $3000+ laptops, for a half a percent in theoretical productivity. Business is, and has always been, making the most money, by spending the absolute least money.

Regarding your inflation comment. Yes the price is similar. But the value for what you got in earlier years was MUCH greater, than what you get now. Sure, a 2016 laptop is better than a 2006 laptop. But at the time, the 2006 laptop was amazing, and the 2016 model is nothing special with its dated components.

I have an employer provided top of the line Macbook, as do most (all?) of my developer friends. Random devs at tech meetups mostly have 15" Macbooks. It's typical for recruiter spam emails to mention any computer + monitor you want as part of the standard hiring package.

On a similar note, plenty of tech companies provide Herman Miller chairs, and other perks that don't cost the "absolute least money."

Are you disputing that managers on earth have approved these expenses?

Read what I was responding to. Managers aren't going to spend $3000 on AN UPGRADE machine, to gain .5% productivity. What you're describing is essentially is a sign on bonus, where the company allows you to choose your work environment. Your employer isn't going to refresh your laptop every six months on incremental upgrades. That's just asinine. We have a five year depreciation on all laptops/desktops, and we sure as shit don't upgrade someone because we think it's going to increase their productivity by a half a percent.

Regarding Herman Miller chairs, those last 10-15 years easy. I'm sitting on one just as old right now. I can easily argue the cost/value for proper seating, on employee productivity and well being.

You were responding to me, and I never said anything about six month upgrade cycles. My point in this thread has only been that the price point is nothing new, and lots of companies and individuals can afford it/justify it with no problems.

There's nothing ridiculous going on here.

"My background is in music, where folks routinely pay 10x for an instrument that is 20% better (arbitrary numbers, but I think the point holds). If you're a developer, your laptop is your "axe" that you make money with day in and day out. Does it really matter if it costs $1k or $3k? If it makes an employee half a percent more productive, what is that worth to a business?"

You didn't say six month upgrades, but you're definitely referring to upgrading for minimal gains. This is not how things work in the enterprise, at all. There are typically long life cycles, especially in end user machines, as hardware is depreciated.

I said nothing about what people can afford. I responded to you justifying a .5% productivity increase, for spending $3000 on a new laptop. That DOES NOT happen.

Just the cost of getting some one setup on a new machine, washes out any .5% productivity, as it's wasted getting things configured.

Thank you for explaining to me what I was referring to. Glad to know.

> after spending the last fifteen years on the IT side of a large enterprise. No manager on this earth would approve upgrading $3000+ laptops,

These new MacBooks will probably be available for refreshes in a few months time in a large enterprise. Anywhere offering MacBooks already will be offering these.

Sounds like SV-based white boy. Engineers don't make $100k+ everywhere in the world...

You should move to seattle then. Good bachelors in CS in their first job make $100k+. Interns make 75k.

16 GB RAM limit was already annoying on my 2011-era 12" notebook. And that's flagship now? Wow.

That's quite strange limitation. Is there some technical reason for this? Is the memory soldered in to save space? Do they only have one dimm?

The memory is soldered in to save space, yes. That also means it is not aftermarket upgradeable.

But still, they could have soldered 32 gb on.

It's a CPU limitation when used with LPDDR3 modules. See http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/processors/core/7th-g... (See section, "LPDDR3 supported memory devices")

Memory is soldered, but they could have had a 32gb option regardless -- they still have the 8gb option after all.

The real limitation IMHO is power: to chase thinness, they reduced the battery volume and went for all the low-power options they could find. 32gb would likely not be low-power.

As far as I know, yes the memory is soldered in.

Why is it annoying? I'm genuinely curious: what are you doing that takes that much RAM?

I routinely run: - a virtual box instance set to 8GB ram to run docker containers that comprise our backend services - a VMWare Fusion instance configured with 4GB ram running Windows to run our client apps - an IntelliJ instance that easily hits 2GB ram usage - a smattering of standalone JVMs and other miscellaneous dev things, plus the regular mac os stuff, browsers, skype, slack, mail, etc etc

I can do that easily on my 24GB imac. If that starts to get cramped, I can upgrade it up to 64GB. But I would be SOL on a 16GB macbook pro

You need a machine designed for professional use not a consumer machine. If you look outside the Apple garden, you can have pretty much whatever you want, even 64GB of RAM.

For most people it's running a lot of virtual machines, or compiling large projects.

VM's, development environments, editing photos/video. There are people who do actual work on computers, and yet Apple seems to not acknowledge the ones filling their App Store.

As I read your comment, I have something like 7 JVM's running (mostly in Docker containers) on an 8GB MBA that's not remotely close to hitting swap. You talk about people that 'do actual work on computers'. I get this, but where I start to wonder is that even 8GB represents a _lot_ of capacity for useful work.

(Some of this probably comes from the fact I cut my teeth on machines with 64K RAM... but once machines got past half a gig, the availability of RAM seems to have outpaced the need, at least for me.)

Compiling WebKit takes more than 8 GiB RAM, and even with modern SSDs, you don't really want to swap out. And I'd like to do other things in the mean time (e.g., run 2-3 VMs with 4+ GiB RAM each – no, I can't move Windows 7 in a docker container, yes, I need to test on it).

Moving things in the cloud isn't an option, thanks to internet being too slow and unreliable, and I don't want to be tied to a desktop.

I'm having a hard time seeing photo editing requiring 16GB of ram. For video editing it seems to me most use cases aren't going to have more than a few GB worth of frames at a time required in memory, but I can see the potential for 16GB being a bottleneck in certain applications.

For "actual [computational] work", use a different computer suited for the purpose, not toys marketed to graphics professionals and hipsters.

Right? That's such crap.

> 16GB RAM limits on a $3200 laptop is bewildering to me.


> If it wasn't for the Mac OS, I wouldn't even bother considering their lineup anymore.

Exactly! The only thing that makes me go for them is the macOS. The software seems good for now. But, how long before Microsoft seeps in the general market via their corporate tie ups strategy?

I don't understand the love for OSX/macOS at all anymore. I feel like the last time a release really felt like an improvement was 10.5, with 10.6 being mostly the same, and downhill each release afterward. Earlier this year, after not having used OSX since 10.7 (which I wound up downgrading back to 10.6 after a short time), I bought a Mac Mini running "El Capitan" (whatever version number that is, I don't care anymore).

Compared to my old late-2008 13" Macbook with a Core 2 Duo and 2GB of RAM, this Mini with an i7 and 16 GB of RAM takes longer to boot, feels more sluggish during regular usage, and is noticeably less stable. Launchpad is new and dumb and drives me nuts, but other than that, I don't really see what, if anything, has been added to "justify" such a downgrade in usability. There was a time when OSX was a dream, but today it's akin to Solaris (i.e., Slowlaris) in how it feels slow, buggy, and even outdated to me now.

Nowadays, my primary machine is a Lenovo Ideapad Y410P with an i7 (Haswell) and 8GB of RAM running Slackware. Even with GRUB2 set to wait for 3 seconds and using sysvinit (with the huge kernel, no less, rather than the generic kernel), it takes less time to boot into a functioning desktop. It's far more stable, and feels far snappier. Virtualization works much better. I don't miss OSX at all, and, now that I've gotten the hang of tiling window management, I don't think I'd go back even if Apple managed to restore that Leopard-era quality (awesomewm is practically a killer app for me now, as it's boosted my productivity in a way that nothing else has since I picked up Vim 10 years ago). It's also nice having choice and Freedom again, especially compared to Apple's "walled garden" which has been leaking out of the iPhone and into their PCs in the name of "security"...

tl;dr: Linux rulez, macOS droolz :p

macOS has become a consumption device than a productive workplace. Look at Apple Pay. Really, are people so lazy to be not able to keep their credit card next to them. Imagine apple as a bank. Horror! Horror!

I remember an opening dialog from Woody Allen's comedy movie Whatever Works. He says human civilization has downgraded themselves to the level that they cannot be trusted to flush their toilets once they are done. Apple is being a big catalyst in dumbing down powerful machines. If these high end machines aren't for powerful users than who is the real consumer of it.

Did anyone notice what they done with port? You cannot plugin your USB drive in there anymore. There is no SD card slot for a Photographer. Buying all these dongles will add up to $200. Wow, it has mp3 jack that means I need two separate headphones.


I'm mostly sticking with them for the OS as well.

Why isn't someone grabbing the chance to take a linux distro and polish it to get that audience? I would happily pay for that OS so I can use it with any PC/laptop I want.

Because the moment someone does that, like we have seen before, the voices will rise "why not distribution X?".

Right now I only bother with Ubuntu, because regardless how many in GNU/Linux love to hate them, they are the only ones that seem to bother with a full stack experience.

Still it is quite short of what I enjoy when using either macOS or Windows.

For me being a developer isn't a synonym of UNIX.

Cognitive dissonance is the great problem of UNIX developers. They want a PDP-11 yet don't want a PDP-11.

That's pretty much what ElementaryOS[1] is. It's a polished, simplified fork of Ubuntu complete with a dock and buttons for mix/max/close on the left. But as others have said, UI/polish isn't why linux isn't always a perfect replacement for windows/macos, it's unavailability of major, industry-standard programs.

[1] - https://elementary.io/

Why isn't someone grabbing the chance to take a linux distro and polish it to get that audience? I would happily pay for that OS so I can use it with any PC/laptop I want.

So who is going to ensure a smooth experience when it should support any PC or laptop? Either you have the marketshare of Microsoft and have device vendors care (somewhat) or you can only guarantee a good experience for a relatively small set of hardware (as Apple does).

One thing I thought about an year ago (but I'll never do it myself) is: polishing a distro tailored to 2 or 3 very good PC laptops, the ones people normally praise as good work machines (back in the days before Lenovo screwed up those would be the Thinkpad line or something alike).

People would still have some choice but at least the OS would be almost tailored to those machines, not as good as macOS yet but much easier than trying to make it work for the whole spectrum of shit hardware there's in the PC laptop market.

I agree that driver support is one of the main problems. But someone that will sell the OS can make money to solve that, right?

I'm fine with a small set of HW as well.

Why the OS though? How often do you interact with the operating system compared to the applications? More than half the applications i use most have no alternative on linux. Someone polishing linux is not the bottleneck (for me).

Exactly! The (already quite old) Ubuntu 14.04 that I use is reasonably well polished for me. However some of the apps I use/want are missing.

I don't think I use any macOS specific apps. Browsers, text editors, terminal, email clients, docker etc, all of them exist on Linux.

If that's the case, then Linux is an alternative to you. However a lot of apps people use are Mac OS specific. I know for damn sure I couldn't live without UniBox for email at this point.

what's so greate about it? Can't tell looking at the home page.

Agree. Linux users tend to be more technical though so they are often the most vocal on the internet.

For me its the OS and the apps. I used Linux for years on the desktop, and I loved it, but back then I had time to fiddle with PulseAudio and Nvidia drivers and this and that. Now I'm too busy and when I'm not I really can't be arsed with that sort of thing.

MacOS gets me an environment that requires very little fiddling plus a Unix-y command line environment. I like the hardware too.

I haven't regularly used Windows for a decade and I don't see myself ever going back — so it's the Mac for me.

The new Windows 10 linux-subsystem is really good and getting better with every release.

> Why isn't someone grabbing the chance to take a linux distro and polish it to get that audience?

Isn't that what the elementaryOS [1] [2] developers are trying to do?

[1] https://elementary.io/

[2] https://plus.google.com/communities/104613975513761463450

I wish Adobe would port Lightroom to Linux. I'd jump immediately, at that point.

Side note, I switched to Capture One, love it! Much more intuitive interface over Lightroom, and I think the RAW processing is superior.

I only see Windows and Mac versions on their website. Am I missing something?

Darktable is not there yet but its honestly not bad.

Exactly. Where's Photoshop or Excel for Linux?

LibreOffice is a pretty good competitor to Excel. Photoshop on the other hand, not really (GIMP can do some stuff but nowhere near)

For casual users, maybe. I deal with documents from legal and accounting departments, and it just doesn't cut it. I have to use MS Office.

What about DarkTable instead?

We've been forever waiting for Linux on the desktop! In as much as a very polished desktop distro. Never seems to come along. Even Ubuntu haven't managed it. Given fixed hardware I'm sure it would still be a challenge. Iterations of desktops and window managers pass by, start out glitchy, get polished in time, then are made obsolete. I have seen so many regressions in popular Linux desktops - even core components like panels, and file managers. I'm currently running an older version of Foo, because newer Foo has too many annoying warts. But what I have, just about works. That being said, Windows doesn't seem to progress that much either. Perhaps UI is the hard part. As a dev, I always think that the icing on the cake should be the easy bit. But of course it isn't.

I have two problems with the touch bar, first its so damn small and secondly, its at the top of the keyboard away from the touch pad.

I can almost forgive its location but the size is such you have to focus on it to use it

As for pricing, what about reducing prices on models that are clearly obsolete (Mac Pro)

For me the whole point of having a keyboard with physical keys is that I do not have to look down from the screen!

Placing contextual controls down there seems at odds with the whole idea of the keyboard and trackpad being usable without the need to take my attention away from the screen.

> If it wasn't for the Mac OS, I wouldn't even bother considering their lineup anymore.

It's remarkable that no PC manufacturers over the past 10 to 15 years really embarked on creating their own product line specific Linux distribution to try and counter MS/Apple (besides of course any agreements they had with MS over Windows).

Sure they would have had to take a risk on building software in-house, but they could have at least tried to copy the MacOS model, and use Linux, Mach or whatever as a base, and build something on top that wouldn't necessarily need to be compatible with other Linux distros or OS. That is, build a graphics stack, GUI api, and whatever they wanted to. Target only 2 or 3 proprietary product lines, so testing would be manageable. Sure, Wayland/Mir are already here or on the way, but I'm pointing at a cohesive design of hardware/software balanced balanced with clever choices in off-the-shelf components to keep costs down.

If their OS was good enough and they undercut Apple at least a bit on the pricing side, developers would've showed up and delivered apps on that new "proprietary" platform. Those manufacturers wouldn't have to die off slowly the way a lot of them are now, and they'd at least have a chance at glory in 2016+.

Back in the ~2007 Dell tried to sell Ubuntu PCs to consumers. It was an interesting experiment, but they seemed unable to figure out how to market it (even at a slightly cheaper cost) and discontinued it after a few years.

> If it wasn't for the Mac OS, I wouldn't even bother considering their lineup anymore.

macOS does have costs to develop, too, though--and they only recoup that investment when people buy Macs. There's also these things:

* Unibody case

* Thinness, lightness, aesthetics

* Better keyboard

* Dramatically better trackpad

* Hardware / software integration

* Internet Recovery / Target Disk Mode / Time Machine

* Environmental friendliness

* Resale value

* Lasting 5+ years for even normal consumers

* Apple's Support vs. Dell's or Microsoft's

I'm OK with it. It's fairly common industry knowledge that companies like Dell and Acer barely turn a profit on consumer PCs. It's unreasonable to expect Apple to make such a better computer at the same price.

> It's fairly common industry knowledge that companies like Dell and Acer barely turn a profit on consumer PCs. It's unreasonable to expect Apple to make such a better computer at the same price.

The razor-thin margins in PC space force PC manufacturers into making bizarre compromises. I've been looking for a rMBP 15" replacement for about a year now and every alternative seems to have some sort of deal breaker driven by cost cutting. Coil whine on the XPS 15, low-contrast IPS displays on much of HP's lineup, PWM backlights on the T560, 50-60 watt-hour batteries on laptops that aren't any smaller than the rMBP, which packs 100 watt-hours (or used to, grr).

I think the new rMBP 15" is a less good machine than the 2013-2015 model. But there still may be nothing comparable at any price-point.

> the new rMBP 15" is a less good machine than the 2013-2015 model

That's what drives me nuts. It would have taken very little to keep being the best: more ram, refreshed chipsets, refreshed ports. Instead, they went backwards "because 10% thinner", then tacked on the touchbar to distract you from that fact, and increased prices.

Btw, if you are looking for alternatives, there's also the Razer Stealth - especially if you're in the US, where they actually sell the eGPU enclosure. I'm really tempted by the XPS 15 as well, the price is really good and it might get a newer GPU soon.

> I think the new rMBP 15" is a less good machine than the 2013-2015 model.

Could you elaborate on that? I'm debating getting a 2015 refurb, but is there a reason I should get an even older one?

The 2013-2015 models are basically the same machine, except the 2015 has the Force Trackpad. I think the 2016 model is a regression from the previous one.

You forgot 50-60% margins.

> Better keyboard

Apple's keyboard quality has decreased significantly across all products. For example, compare the keyboard on a 2016 12" MacBook to the 2010 17" MBP. Or a 2010 15" MBP to a 2016 15" MBP. Key travel is shallower and there's less physical feedback.

> Key travel is shallower and there's less physical feedback.

I really just can't fathom this. As long as you know you've pressed the key and when you haven't, what's the point of more key travel and feedback? The MB keyboard's trigger mechanism is very precise--you're never wondering whether a key press actually registered.

Half of the typing control system is fixed: proprioception, reflexes for stopping finger extensions when you hit something. Keyboards designed to work well with that system---the hand and brain---let a user type more rapidly and more surely.

What about extra key travel is "designed to work well" with "the hand and brain?" If anything, it's unnecessary work to push the keys any further than you need to after your brain registers the key press.

The company's margins are irrelevant to my purchasing decision.

Kudos to them for putting in the R&D to come up with substantial features that commodity laptop manufacturers (and Microsoft) have failed to replicate for years. That doesn't make any of the things in my list less valuable relative to alternatives.

> Apple's keyboard quality has decreased significantly across all products. For example, compare the keyboard on a 2016 12" MacBook to the 2010 17" MBP. Or a 2010 15" MBP to a 2016 15" MBP. Key travel is shallower and there's less physical feedback.

OK--that one's a little subjective. How about the other dozen or so things in the list? Can you see how they (perhaps) might justify a higher price to some people?

I respect your opinion, however I think you're placing way too much value on features that haven't changed in many generations of this. If you want to argue that they are still recovering R&D costs on unibody cases, a keyboard, and the near abandonment of their desktop hardware AND OS lineup. Then I'm going to bow out gracefully :)

What they're recouping costs on and whether or not the features have changed is irrelevant. What's relevant is whether it's worth buying a Windows laptop instead (or sticking with an existing Mac).

They don't have some moral obligation to have their price in-line with the cheapest thing Dell or Acer can come up with at similar specs. They sell a premium product and those features matter.

No one is arguing that Apple should price their products competitively to commodity Dell and Acer laptops.

Plenty of people are, but your argument is unclear. Prices for things aren't set based on the amount of innovation since the previous release of that thing.

I didn't say pricing was based on the amount of innovation. What's being discussed here is whether the price makes sense to the consumer from a value standpoint.

iPhone sales are down 5% from the previous quarter, and I suspect a lot of it is due to people seeing no value in the upgrade compared to previous iterations. Adding one silly feature, and screwing people over on cheap parts like RAM and storage space, is dissuading consumers from running out and grabbing these "upgrades".

Just look at Apple's revenue reports, down 8%, largely due to less iPhone sales. I suspect they'll see even greater losses in their desktop that received no mention, as well as in the laptop line.

Also, they've always had the best display, and now it's even better. I'm so happy that it turned out that computers aren't as expensive as cars to build because I always feel like I'm getting this super luxury for what is an expensive, but affordable price. Like, Kanye West uses the same computer as me, how cool is that?

Better keyboard? You need to pay less attention to the marketing. The latest MBP keyboard has almost no travel, it's evolving into an iPad.

When has anyone ever wished they had a track pad that took up 2/3 of the palm area? I hope their palm sensing is 100% perfect.

Not to rehash the "PCs have terrible trackpads" thread from a few days ago, but... yes, palm sensing on Apple trackpads is close to perfect.

And I guess I could live with a smaller trackpad, but a nice big one is nicer (when it works well).

I couldn't remember the last time a Mac trackpad had erroneously moved my mouse or clicked in response to my palm.

So I just spent a couple minutes attempting to get it to detect my palms as valid touches and couldn't get it to happen. So at least for my hands, yeah, it seems 100% perfect.

First, $3200 laptop? Where did you get that figure from?

At any rate, the 16GB RAM limit is a limitation of the CPU when used with LPDDR3 memory. See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12817515 for an explanation.

I've been thinking about this lately. Microsoft is doing the same thing if you look at it's enterprise products. Low innovation, high cost seems to be the business model of late. I wonder if it has to do with the founders of the company leaving and the reins being placed in the hands of MBA types. It seems like Bill and Steve weren't as afraid of a bad quarter as the current leadership is and took more risks as such.

Since I swithced to Surface earlier this year I haven't looked back. True, Surface is not as good as Macbook but it does the job and is much lighter to carry around as a full laptop (iPad is not a full laptop). Now with Surface Studio coming out soon it's a real challenger to the iMac. The iPhone is the only remaining reason I want to stay within the Apple ecosystem.

I personally don't buy high end products like the iPhone or Surface. I have used them for work, and pound for pound, I still prefer my Cyanogenmod OnePlus 2 and Chromebook running Debian. I get easily 8+ hours of heavy use out of each (12+ for my chromebook) and I have a far greater level of control over my data. If you look at some of the things coming out of Shenzhen lately they are hitting price points that allow almost everyone to own a relatively high end phone or computer (Remember this is what Microsoft used to be all about, they cut the cost of a PC to a third of what it was before them). That's what innovation looks like to me. Not some feature you will forget about a week after you have the device.

Out of curiosity which Chromebook?

Surface series and the hololens are non-innovative?

I liked the surface better when it was called the iPad. That said I was speaking about software products mainly, what was originally Microsoft's bread and butter. Windows 10 is just Windows 8 that spies on you more and includes advertising. I'll believe hololens when I see it, but that seems to be more of a Xbox product than something I'm going to see in someone's office any time soon.

Are you actually comparing a tablet with a limited and locked OS to a device that can run any consumer OS/Application?

Windows Tablets have existed for a decade. They just did not have the build quality of an iPad. Now they do. I don't call that some major innovation.

Again windows tablets before the iPad weren't tablets, they were Table PC's they were effectively a laptop and so the build quality was what was possible with the hardware limitation of the day. I honestly didn't find the build quality of the iPad's until the Air/Air 2 to be that appealing as far as tablets go, always felt to bulky and heavy for what they were.

I also find it pretty disappointing where people talk about the build quality of Apple devices, it looks great, and feels good, but it doesn't mean it's built great, have you ever tried to take an MBP or an Iphone apart? I love my MBP15 and Iphone but if I need to take one device with me and have my life depend on it it wouldn't be either of those since I would not take a device I cannot disassemble and repair myself without having access to an electronics lab.

The Surface was innovative the pen worked great, the formfactor was pretty amazing for the power in it and the OS was pretty good, the Surface Book was also pretty innovative even tho it wasn't the first detachable screen they really worked on the mechanics, electronics and software to make it as good as it can get, the Surface Studio is also not the first but it looks to be near perfection for content creators of nearly all types and every content creator I know was pretty excited about it.

The sad part is that for some reason I have a strong suspicion that if there was an Apple logo on the back of the Surface Studio instead of 4 squares some types of people would be drooling all over it even if 99% of what it offers would be utterly useless to them.

>The Surface was innovative the pen worked great

Thank Wacom, not Microsoft. They invented and perfected the tech for that years ago.

>the formfactor was pretty amazing for the power in it

Thank Apple for pushing the envelope on the form factor and Intel for creating the hardware. There isn't anything there that hasn't been done before.

>the OS was pretty good,

I disagree, it is ad supported and spies on users.

>he Surface Book was also pretty innovative even tho it wasn't the first detachable screen they really worked on the mechanics, electronics and software to make it as good as it can get, the Surface Studio is also not the first but it looks to be near perfection for content creators of nearly all types and every content creator I know was pretty excited about it.

That doesn't sound at all innovative. To be honest that sounds like regurgitated marking speak.

>The sad part is that for some reason I have a strong suspicion that if there was an Apple logo on the back of the Surface Studio instead of 4 squares some types of people would be drooling all over it even if 99% of what it offers would be utterly useless to them.

I don't buy either so it doesn't influence me. Innovation looks like what Tesla is doing. Make something great then drive the price down as low as it can go. Microsoft and Apple products seem to cost more and more year on year. Teslas keep getting cheaper.

>Teslas keep getting cheaper.

The Model S costs more with every new model/improvement, the in march this year there was a price hike, and there is another one expected now with the newer hardware platform being ready to ship, the price of the AutoPilot upgrade alone have been increased by over 20% this year.

Sure you can put the Model 3 here and claim victory but this is like saying that because Apple released the iPhone 5C the iPhone 5S overall price was somehow cheaper.

>The Model S costs more with every new model/improvement

The model S is a luxury vehicle. That's how he had to start and that is what a luxury consumer expects. The people buying those want to spend more. That is an entirely different product.

>Sure you can put the Model 3 here and claim victory but this is like saying that because Apple released the iPhone 5C the iPhone 5S overall price was somehow cheaper.

Does the iPhone get cheaper each model that is released? Nope, more expensive. Does Apple try to reach out to the working class consumer? Nope. What's so innovative about that? Rose gold? Fuck outta here.

Plausible. So if that's their intention, open up the OS to be put on ANY hardware, and stop fucking around with your loyal user base. I hate to break it to Apple, but the people making all of those silly apps for their iPhone, aren't developing them on the iPhone!

Using the top range 15" MBP at default specs:

IE - EUR 3,299.00 = 3602.39 USD

DK - DKK 24.599,00 = 3593.48

PL - PLN 13,899.0 = 3501.63 USD

DE - EUR 3.199,00 = 3493.20 USD

FR - EUR 3.199,00 = 3493.20 USD

SE - SEK 31495 = 3488.44 USD

NZ - NZD 4,699.00 = 3352.01 USD

GB - GBP 2,699.00 = 3270.46 USD

AU - AUD 4,249.00 = 3217.66 USD

CH - CHF 3,149.00 = 3167.53 USD

CN - RMB 21,488 = 3167.59 USD

JP - JPY 278800 = 2646.14 USD

CA - CAD 3,499.00 = 2613.99 USD

US Price - 2,799.00 USD.


- Best price is in Canada

- Ireland has the most expensive in the single market

- Cheapest in the EU still is in the UK (don't complain guys)

- Cheapest in the single market in Switzerland.

VAT is already factored into EU prices. Germany and France charge 19% and 20%, respectively -- Ireland charges 23%, which explains a difference of roughly $100.

Switzerland has a lower VAT rate of 8%, so the lower price compared to EU countries is understandable.

Yet the difference is still higher that VAT: 2800 * 1,23 = 3444, which still makes some 158 USD difference.

Not that it would be something new: during times when 1 EUR was more than 1,3 USD, the European prices were higher than or at least equal numerically to USD prices.

And before someone mentions 2 year mandatory warranty in EU: 1) you won't get it as a business, only as an end user, yet you will pay the same and 2) only some EU countries get Apple Stores and Apple support. In all the other countries you get your service through contract service centers that have to wait for everything for Apple, which means that the usual service time is ~30 days.

UK VAT is also 20%. So its not sales tax alone deciding prices.

Be aware that in some countries the sticker price is including VAT/Sales Tax which I think is not the case in the US.

That's why some of us go to New Hampshire to buy our expensive stuff.

Different European countries have different VAT rates. Ireland's is 23%, Germany's 19%, and Switzerland's 8%. The price without VAT is about equal in all three, $2930 (± $6). That's still $130 more than the US price. Can anyone recall how large this gap has been historically?

I have the same figure as well, as If Apple uses certain fix formula to decide on EU price. But it makes it continue to wonder what make the actual EU price $130 higher. While it is only 5% difference, $130 is still quite a lot.

Price in Brazil: R$21.299, which is the same as $6697,80

Note that European prices usually include VAT (sales tax), while in US it is usually added on top of the price.

Yes, but when you go through the checkout process and estimate the tax, then the 15" MacBook Pro still costs only $3050 compared to 3200€ ($3400). It is still quite more expensive in EU, even including the taxes.

EU tax rates are much higher, though. Going the opposite way, in France the price is $2911 before taxes, or only 4% higher than the US price. I would guess that the small remaining difference is due to the recent strong performance of the dollar.

The EU tax rates are not that high, though, as is the difference in prices. There was such a difference even in years, when EUR performed way better than USD.

For the Canadian price you need to add HST (depending on the province).

That's quite a bit more variation than I'd have expected. Almost takes us back to the 90s where it was worth an occasional trip to the US for shopping!

AFAIK, the Irish price difference is due to VAT charged at 23% as opposed to 19% & 20% for DE & FR.

The Ex VAT prices are: IE - €2682 DE - €2688 FR - €2665

Poland also charge VAT @ 23%.


HR - HRK 23,179.00 = 3089.64 EURO = 3369.51 USD 15" top line with defaults in Croatia. "Can't wait" to see prices of new one with OLED bar. I think my next laptop isn't going to be from Apple. It doesn't make sense. Even Macbook is ~2K Euros/$2200.

This is the relevant chart.

The fact is that the U.K. Is pretty cheap and probably will face some inflation if the low pound price persists.

For many the vat / sales tax is a deductible otherwise go to Japan where you will get the sales tax immediately back at purchase upon showing your passport.


Not included is the price for the UAE: AED 11,099.00 = 3022.11 USD.

No tax in UAE and Dubai is such a transit hub that its a pretty good saving if you are going to be passing through soon.

I might consider that myself given lots of flights go through there and i have a trip soon. Do they sell with keyboards where the '@' is on the 2?

Also check the power plug the power adapter comes with.

Are the airport prices similar to the Apple Store prices? I would've thought they'd have a bit of a markup, it was relatively pricey for most things when I was there ~5 years ago

> Best price is in Canada

Huh. That's not something you read every day.

Since beginning of the year, the British Pound has fallen from $1.55 to $1.25. Let's see, what is 1.25/1.55 ?


I think I know where that 20% came from. #Brexit.

Shouldn't they raise their prices by 25% to compensate for that though?

Errrr, UK prices for the Macbook Pro are the cheapest in Europe, even after the worldwide rise of 25%.

So you are incorrect

(a) What worldwide rise?

(b) Since the increase is due to the exchange rate, yes, the relative price compared to other countries doesn't/didn't change. That's kind of how exchange rates work...

The price of the Macbook Pro has risen in every country. This is an Apple price rise, not a UK exchange rate rise.

I'm not sure what else there is to say? You are completely ignoring facts in front of you, and choosing single numbers that fit your pre-defined Brexit narrative. Reasoned debate with you is not possible. Sorry.

The prices in Britain for existing products are around 20% more than they were last week. Mac Pro is now £2,999, up from £2,499. The Mac mini is £479, up from £399. The Macbook Pro is a new model, so comparing the price for that is meaningless. And yes, if you convert all the prices into USD then the UK is cheap. People in the UK aren't paid in USD though, and it's the GBP price that has increased.

I'm confused. The chart says that local sales taxes are included. In the UK, VAT is 20%, so what's so strange about the price being 20% higher than in the US?

Yes, I just checked their example for the MacBook Pro, $1299 in the US, £1249 in the UK which is $1500, the extra is accounted for by 20% VAT which vendors must include in their prices in the UK.

However if I compare prices to the beginning of the year they are about 25% higher, an obvious affect of the currency movements.

Except it's not because it rose 25% in all countries. Sorry.

What rose 25% in all countries since the beginning of the year?

The entry level macbook pro (ignoring "legacy" models) is 15% more expensive than the previous model in the US, 20% more expensive in Switzerland, 45% more expensive in the UK.

Bingo. Many of us here in Australia complain about the prices being exorbitant - the same Apple computer that's marketed as $1,799 USD sells for $2,699 AUD. Take off the GST and you get $2,453 AUD.

1 USD = 1.32 AUD, and 1.32 * $1,799 = $2,374.

So that's a $79 AUD markup on the product applied on Apple's part for buying it in Australia (with the rest being tax that's out of Apple's hands). Yes it's a non-zero markup but the AUD/USD isn't exactly a stable exchange rate so it makes sense that Apple won't align it to exactly the same amount.

Consider that at the start of this year the US pricing of the MBP would have been equivalent to $2,621 AUD, and that in May it would have only been $2,302 AUD. Also consider that this time 4 years ago, the same $1,799 USD would have been $1,741 AUD. If you're a company that doesn't want to change its prices daily, it's hard to set a perfect price in international markets.

And keep in mind that most US states have sales tax which is not included in Apple's price. For example, that $1,799 computer would actually cost me $1,906.94, unless I cheated the system by buying from out of state and not reporting it. (Which is easy, and common, but technically illegal.)

I'm also confused. Maybe it's an old chart?

They say they 'raised' prices by 20%, and that VAT is included. Based on the chart, a MacBook is $38.80 cheaper in the UK than in the US (excluding VAT).

So the real story is "Apple no longer gives 20% discount to the UK"

The point being is that some models that didn't get an update yesterday had their price increased. For example, the Mac Mini range increased by between 15% and 16%.

Given that the pound has dropped almost 20% against the dollar, an increase of merely 16% is a pretty good deal.

Not being funny, but do Apple pay VAT or do they have some Double Irish tax dodge for that?

Totally right. The iPhone is even cheaper accounting for VAT. US (no tax) is 649$, UK (20% VAT) is £599=728$ compared to 649*1.2=778.8.

VAT is always included in prices shown in Europe unless stated otherwise.

It was just changed to the new lower pound.

And so do Microsoft and others as the article states. As others have pointed out[1], if you add the UK sales tax and account for the exchange rate, Brits are paying virtually the same as north Americans.

The real news is that the result of the Brexit and the GBPs 31-year low are now felt.

[1] https://twitter.com/alexhern/status/791713383422697472

When your currency goes down, expect import prices to rise. It's really that simple

When prices for imported electronic goods go up by 20% across the board, I'll agree that this is due purely to the currency shift. I don't see that happening.

That may depend when suppliers' contracts on currency hedges come to an end.

The fact is the currency is down about 20% +/- so it's only a matter of time before that starts to filter through to prices on the high street. Apple are the first to move in this sector but I don't think they'll be the last.

This is why all the talk of the economy "booming" (here I quote The Daily Express's headline from, I think, this morning) infuriates me. We haven't seen that much in the way of price rises yet but, when we do, consumer spending may well take a hit, and at that point the growth may begin to look less healthy (1).

(And if that happens the same goldfish-memoried newspapers will bleat about how the economy's taking a beating, as if the signs aren't already there.)

(1) Or perhaps it will balance out as exports remain strong due to the weak pound. Economics is hard.

>This is why all the talk of the economy "booming" (here I quote The Daily Express's headline from, I think, this morning) infuriates me.

All the talk of a cataclysmic economic disaster and paternalistic sarcasm about not listening to economic "experts" (those same people blindsided by every crisis) before the vote was just as infuriating. Especially since a lot of it was in response to a panic over the potential of rising wages.

Plus, those people don't seem to realize that there's basically a two tier economy in the UK. The macbook buying, riviera-holidaying, large-retirment portfolio economy in the South and then the North of the M25 economy where people have jobs and make things for export and vacation in the UK.

The former has been booming for years and is suddenly infuriated. The latter has been in recession and ignored for years and will likely be seeing the majority of the upside from Brexit.

Again, it's not quite that simple though, is it? If you're working class, or even "lower middle class" (man, but I hate this kind of terminology) and live in the south, especially if you weren't lucky enough to be the right age in the 90s to buy a house, then it's pretty damn hard to make ends meet.

Even more annoying, whilst I grew up working class, I'd now consider myself middle class and in a decent earning position, and yet I still cannot afford to move back to Dorset where I grew up.

Not when the cost of food, petrol, and heating goes up they wont.

Wages and employment going up will cushion that blow, as will (to a certain extent), import substitution.

There are no local sources for Macbook Pros that you can shift your consumption towards but there are local sources of groceries, and a more competitive export sector will mean more jobs and higher paid jobs.

Lol you know wages have been flat since 2008

We've had a huge trade deficit too. Things are gonna change.

>consumer spending may well take a hit //

As a non-economist I imagine that spending would remain similar, just it's going to buy far less. Which should mean retail layoffs.

Re your footnote we seem to have a massive trade deficit, that's got to make the massive shift in the pound pretty apocalyptic for the UK economy.

The news reports that say "see everything's fine post-Brexit" are terribly foreboding as they seem to be carefully gauged propaganda, and we've not even left Europe yet and as someone noted currency hedges have protected us from major price shifts so far. To me that says someone is petrified about what's going to happen when the public notice how desperately bad this all is.

Whoever is pulling Theresa May's strings just needs to keep the lid on for a couple more months; I wonder it they can do it.

> keep the lid on for a couple more months

I'm starting to believe the lid will stay on indefinitely. The news about Nissan to me says they will drag their feet as much as they can, and all the "hard brexit" noise was simply for tabloids to build some political capital May didn't have.

After the vote, I was bullish that they wouldn't actually dare break away; then all the noise about hard brexit scared me; but now I'm going back to the original idea that nothing will actually happen, we'll just keep on arguing for decades until "old brexiteers" give up or die a natural death.

If the currency falls by 20%, while the prices of imported goods will rise, it's unlikely that they will rise by 20%. A big part of the cost is local (e.g. internal shipping, running UK-based warehouses, tax), so remain unaffected.

In other words, the fall in the value of the pound has not suddenly pushed Apple's costs up by more than £300 per laptop.

> A big part of the cost is local (e.g. internal shipping, running UK-based warehouses, tax), so remain unaffected.

It really isn't: http://fitsmallbusiness.com/order-fulfillment-costs/

Also, Apple's costs (in USD) haven't increased. It's just that they get fewer dollars for a fixed amount of British pounds. To keep the USD they receive constant, they have to increase the price in GBP.

The laptop used to be £1600, so removing the sales tax, Apple UK received £1300. So Apple UK has UK costs, let's say they are 15% of the laptop so around £200 per laptop, and Apple US receives the remaining £1100.

If the pound weakens against the dollar by 20%, that £1100 is now worth about £920. So if they put the price up to £1100, then the value that the UK company needs to submit to the US company is now £1300, and the high-street price should rise to around £1800 (£1300 + 15% UK costs + 20% tax). But the price has actually increased to £1900.

What's more, this all assumes that Apple can maintain exactly the same profit margins with increasing prices, which they can only do when there is insufficient competition. Also, if Apple were paying UK corporate taxes, their UK costs would be higher, so the currency change would have even less impact.

I'm no economist or accountant, so there's a good chance I've got something totally wrong, but on the face of it, this looks like Apple sneaking in a big price rise by abusing their dominant position. In markets where there is more competition, I expect I won't see the same kind of price rises, because the manufacturers will be forced to absorb some of the increased prices. Some price rises yes, but not 20%.

I just gave you a link that shows that the costs of warehousing and shipping are much closer to £20 than £200. The cost for their retail stores may have decreased, but even then it's certainly not £200 per device.

I don't work for Apple, so I have no idea of their costs. I did however work for a medium-sized company with a similar business model (design in US, build in China, drop-ship worldwide).

While they were nowhere near the size of Apple (total market cap was about $2 billion) their costs of operating in the UK were certainly a lot higher than 1% per unit - they were typically around 20%. I realise that Apple has astronomically large economies of scale, but they also do a lot of UK advertising and have a lot of physical stores. A lot of the costs for the firm I was working for were on things like customer service, wastage (as in fixing and replacing broken units), rates (UK local government tax on commercial properties), etc.

A big part of the cost is local (e.g. internal shipping, running UK-based warehouses, tax), so remain unaffected.

The last time I ordered a non-base spec Mac from Apple, it was shipped directly from China. Same for Apple stuff ordered by friends/colleagues.

True, but even then, they have to pay UK taxes, someone in the UK to ship it to your door, a UK-based accounting firm for filing accounts, etc. Plus, they have UK warehouses for their UK shops, and those costs are spread across online and offline sales.

Prices have went up about by 15-20% across the board just not overnight. Look at the PC hardware prices over the past ~2 years since the GBP started falling pretty steeply after the post financial crisis plateau. Large companies like MSFT and Apple just bite the bullet and not change prices every time there is a shift in the currency but they usually do large adjustment every 1-2 years if things don't bounce back or it's unlikely that they would.

According to the ONS, prices on most electronic goods have actually fallen over the last couple of years. Apple also put UK prices up a bit last year. With inflation running <1%, it's hard to see why it would suddenly rise this year by 20%.


The CPI for this year on electronic appliances has an increase of 1-2% month to month for the past 12 months, with a similar trend in 2015. And this is on goods which tend to be more resilient, travel, various insurance and thing that rely on currency exchange at the point of transaction have increased by 11-20% (depending on the destination due to EUR/USD adjustments) especially things like air travel. If you are buying PC parts from local stores in the UK you can see the change in prices over the past 2 years, and yes these are at nearly 20%, other things like Laptops have also went up by 10% or more, Dell, HP, and the rest have increased their prices earlier this year http://www.techradar.com/news/computing/pc/hp-follows-dell-w....

Here are a few good examples of prices before and after the referendum as far as computer hardware goes:

[0]Intel 6700K: -April 2016: 290 GBP -August 2016: 305 -Oct 2016: 329 GBP (which is more than price in Dec of 2015 when the CPU was new, before the price drop and above MSRP due to demand)

[1]WD Black WD5001FZWX 5TB: -Jan 2016: 195 -Oct 2016: 230

[2]WD Blue WD40EZRZ 4TB: -Jan 2016: 110 -Oct 2016: 130

[3]Dell 2715U: -March 2016: 379 -Oct 2016: 388

And we can go on an on, yes these are just a few examples form a single retailer, but prices have went up, and on those that haven't simply staggered even tho there were MSRP price reductions in the US or elsewhere. You are more than welcomed to chose other local retailers and see a similar thing happening.

Also while the CPI does track electronics sales it's not a good indicator, it doesn't track the prices of everything and more people are going to buy TVs or fridges which could've been in stock or on paid order for 18 months than GPU's and new laptops.

Overall if you want to see the price hikes look at things that are moderately to fairly expensive and are sold at low (compared to other goods) consumer volume, and are usually not protected by tons of regulation, huge dealerships and backlogged inventory.

[0] https://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i7-6700k-s-1151-s... [0] https://web.archive.org/web/20160806041018/https://www.scan.... [0] https://web.archive.org/web/20160408110152/https://www.scan....

[1] https://www.scan.co.uk/products/5tb-wd-black-wd5001fzwx-desk... [1] https://web.archive.org/web/20160115001838/http://www.scan.c...

[2] https://www.scan.co.uk/products/4tb-western-digital-wd40ezrz... [2] https://web.archive.org/web/20160113024836/http://www.scan.c...

[3] https://web.archive.org/web/20151229234616/http://www.scan.c... [3] https://www.scan.co.uk/products/27-dell-u2715h-monitor-ips-p...

I just bought a new Dell XPS 13, which is now cheaper in the UK than the US (I can't recall that ever being the case in the past).

It's a great time to buy in the UK, sure the prices may creep up to compensate over time, not sure Apple is doing this because of currency exchange rates.

UK pricing for new Macbook Pro is cheapest in Europe.

It's in inconvenient fact, but this seems to have become a political issue, where everyone wants to prove that their opinion about Brexit is correct. Therefore factual accuracy seem to have been thrown out the window.

I think the point in the article is that if your income in GBP remained stable since June 23rd, Macs in the UK have become less affordable. That is, they're the cheapest in Europe in October 28th pounds sterling, but not in June 23rd pounds sterling.

Now that may or may not be entirely due to Brexit, but price inflation is a real thing nonetheless right now in the UK, and signs are it's about to get a whole lot bigger.

But it's not due to Brexit because the prices rose in every country.

I'm unsure why people are unable to grasp this simple fact.

You political opinion is that the UK has an inflation shock coming, but it has no basis in facts in terms of Macbook Pro pricing.

A base spec 13" MacBook Pro (Retina) was £999 in the UK on Wednesday. It's now £1249.

A base spec 13" MacBook Pro (Retina) was $1299 in the US on Wednesday. It's now $1299.

And the price rose in every other country too.

It's baffling how people are unable to grasp this.

The price of the machine I'm speaking about rose by £250 in the UK.

It rose by $0 in the US.

And our economy grows slightly as we shift more stuff outside UK because the pricing becomes more attractive. Second order effect of course.

Unless you have a negative trade balance. In that case your import prices rise more in absolute terms than your export prices.

UK has a negative trade balance of 5bn GBP


Until/unless the UK is removed from the single EU market.

Thing is when it goes up they take an awful long time to adjust it.

Don't I know it. The prices for the specs are stupid and this is coming from someone with a 13" MBA for a personal machine and a 15" MBP for a work one.

I can see myself ending up with a Dell XPS 13 or similar to replace the MBA and maybe a Lenovo P50 for a work machine. Win 10 isn't a bad OS especially with a native Bash terminal now!

I like the native Linux support on the XPS 13 but it too tops out at 16GB of RAM with a 512GB SSD (Order Code cax15w10ph1603m). With all the VMs you can spin up playing with Docker, Kubernetes, etc the more RAM the better, man.

If I configure nearly equal systems - i7 with 16 GB of memory and 512GB SSD, the premium for an Apple system stands at $700 ($1,799 versus $2,499 prior to a Dell 10% discount offered on their website.) I say "nearly equal" because the processor on Dell is quoted as "up to 3.5 GHz" and Apple's is 3.3GHz. The 16GB limitation is disappointing because according to Intel's ARK for the quoted Dell part (i7550u), max memory is 32 GB. http://ark.intel.com/products/95451/Intel-Core-i7-7500U-Proc...

Edit: According to wikipedia the top-end 13" MBP sports a i5-6567U but the apple configurator will let you select a 3.3 GHz i7 part. No idea which actual part it is. Anyone know?

The XPS 13 is a really nice machine - I use one full-time for work, although with Linux (Fedora) rather than Windows, and it's fantastic.

Flagged, article has a misleading headline that is largely debunked in the comments (e.g. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12815204) showing that by and large the difference in price tracks extremely closely with the difference in sales tax in differing regions, despite the additional regulatory costs involved in doing business in those regions.

How is it misleading that some Macs in the UK have increased since this time yesterday, despite not getting any updates?

It's misleading because the Mac pricing has risen in EVERY country.

HackerNews tends towards fact-based information, not politically biased stuff. The article was laughably trying to shoehorn in a Brexit narrative. And I'm already seeing the article being shared on Facebook. When it comes to Brexit, facts become irrelevant it seems.

Just checked the Wayback Machine for other few random countries (US, France) and the prices for the Mac Mini did not change yesterday evening, whilst in the UK the 3 Mac Mini options rose by between 15-16%.

How do you explain this?

Neither the title of this thread nor the article linked touch on this subject.

If only companies were as quick to cut prices when a currency equally gains. They do not.

It's a phenomenon I've noticed with gas prices. When the price of oil goes up, gas provides immediately follow. When the price of oil goes down, the price reduction seems to lag a bit.

Maybe I'm imagining things, but that's the gist I got in the mid-2000s.

UK people stop complaining. I can still fly from Berlin to London, buy the Mac there, fly back and still get kinda wasted on the amount I saved.

13 " TouchBar MacBook base Price is 1999 € in Berlin and 1749 £ (currently about 1952 €) in London. Maybe you will find a flight and manage to get wasted for 47 EUR in Berlin, but transfer from Southend to the next Apple Store will wreck your calculation.

I just checked, I can get from my place to central London and back for 47.80€ (so no savings). The cheapest flight to London from where I live is 26€ return (with Ryanair, to Stansted). Train to/from the airport here is 10.60€ , and from £10 (11.2€) for the bus into London and back. That's so cheap it's almost scary.

hmm maybe fly to Basel? I think Swiss Apple store prices are not much above the US.

But then I'd have to avoid customs or pay an additional 15%.

I've often wondered. How effective is customs at actually collecting on things like that? I mean, if you come in with 3 or 4 laptops in the boxes, sure. But, using my girlfriend's situation as an example: She lives in Buenos Aires, iPhones and iPads are more expensive than in the US. If she travels here, picks up an iPhone and starts using it, how are they to know when she gets to customs that she bought it here and wasn't already traveling with it? They don't have a database of everything you left with. And she's already traveling with two phones (work and personal) most of the time anyways.

In theory, you have to "declare" the phone at the Customs Office when you leave Buenos Aires so that you can enter it back. They give you some kind of evidence that you can present when returning. Since I have never done it, I don't know if it is a sticker on the phone, or just an official form with the phone's serial number.

In practice, your pockets are generally not checked when you enter the country.

Based on the serial number they can see the manufacturing date. And because each market has a different model number (due to things such as power plug, wifi frequency restrictions, keyboard layout and such) it's easy to spot a "USA" model versus a "South American" model.

Ok, that's reasonable. That still leaves the possibility that you declared it before which would imply needing to keep a record of the original customs declaration every time you travel?

Are you really going to declare your laptop and tell them you bought it in Switzerland? Avoiding customs with something like this seems effortless

Do you transport your laptop in it's original packaging?

Not declaring is "Steuerhinterziehung", which is the one crime the state really does care about and which is punished comparatively to second-degree murder in Germany.

You better declare. And if you cross the border with something even remotely newish-ly looking, you better have an invoice for that.

Wait? Is it Switzerland enforcing this? Why should Switzerland care if you buy something there and dont pay taxes for it when you get to Britain? No I don't leave items bought abroad in their originally packaging. That would be counter productive of me if I was trying to avoid being taxed

Bringing anything into my country is taxable also. See that nice outfit in your suitcase? It's taxable. Laptops are very taxable but I just leave it in my backpack since customs would not normally check my "personal bags"(hand bags and small backpacks) coming into my country. If you did not declare it and they find it they levy an additional charge on top of the taxes.

Nope, target country enforces this. Which is a lot worse, because you usually have to live there.

> Bringing anything into my country is taxable also. See that nice outfit in your suitcase? It's taxable

Admitting to TAX EVASION on the net with a somewhat traceable account is probably a bad idea if you are living in a Country that actually operates on tax income (which some countries do not, Brunei comes to mind...)

> If you did not declare it and they find it they levy an additional charge on top of the taxes.

Actually, in the western world, you get put into prison for a few years.

I do live in the "western world" if you term the Americas that. My country isn't going to waste resources to hunt me down to get a couple dollars worth in taxes and they certainly aren't sending me to prison either ;)

> if you term the Americas that

Hardly so. "The Americas" indicate some second-world middle-American Country, which more often than not is in the process of failing (because of - amongst other things - tax Evasion).

> "Steuerhinterziehung", which is the one crime the state really does care about and which is punished comparatively to second-degree murder in Germany

It's quite staggering how different Switzerland works in that regard. It's not even a crime there, i.e. not regulated by criminal law, and the penalty ranges from one fifth to three times the amount you gained.


There's always a risk of getting caught doing that though. For example: it's attractive to fly to Switzerland to buy an expensive mechanical watch to avoid VAT and save 20-25%+ on the purchase price. If you get caught however, the fines can be huge. Risk vs reward..

Say, if you buy a laptop from Switzerland and don't unbox it in Switzerland, getting caught might be an issue. If you buy one in Switzerland, unpack it there (maybe log into it for the first time etc.) and then there is virtually no risk of getting caught. I mean, if you didn't declare that and customs find it, is the customs office go through all your credit card purchases or something(assuming that you didn't use cash)?

Interestingly, if you move to Switzerland, for most household items they can demand you prove you've owned it for at least 6 months and that it's not been bought elsewhere and you've avoided paying local VAT on it. So although not the same direct situation, shows that they're pretty hot on cross border purchases, even if you unwrap it and say it's a used good.

I know for watches (e.g. you buy one + put it on), customs can ask to supply them with the original purchase invoice or some sort of transaction statement. It's probably easier with a laptop because you can put it in a bag, but nevertheless, it's not completely safe to do.

VAT is Switzerland is around 8%, in Germany it's 19% - buying electronics in Switzerland is not a good idea for Germans.

Has this changed recently? I remember Swiss prices being pretty high than that of the US.

Switzerland has high prices in general, but as far as I can remember never for electronics.

MacBook prices went up in all of Europe, just like the iPhones went up in price. I feel a lot less bad about getting an "old" MacBook 2015 last year for the old prices.

I think a lot of people would like to see the UK crash and burn because of their audacity to get out of the EU, but I don't think there will be much of a negative impact.

If you see the kind of treaties the EU likes to sign with Canada or the US they absolute have no problems to follow the money eventually. It goes above all principles really. They will figure something out, the real problem is the EU doesn't want to make getting out of the EU look like an appealing idea so in the short run you will hear a lot of these negative stories.

I had my credit card ready before the presentation to buy a MBPr13 to replace my slow Macbook Air 11.

The new prices are laughable. Let's have a look at the Macbook compared to the Dell XPS 13 (9350-4891).

Both have fast 512GB SSDs, 16GB RAM, backlit keyboards, all-day battery life

  Macbook Pro 13"              Dell XPS 13 9350-4891
  i5 2.9Ghz                    i7-6500U 2.5Ghz
  Iris Graphics 550            Iris Graphics 520
  2560x1600 13.3"              3200x1800 13.3" slim bezel
  1.37kg                       1.29kg
  4x TB 3                      1x TB 3, 2x USB 3.0, SD
  Bluetooth 4.2                Bluetooth 4.1
  AirPlay                      MiraCast
  54Wh battery                 56Wh battery
  2439€                        1428€
The price difference is more than 1000€! Also the Dell can be ordered with Linux instead of Windows 10 which means it will have good driver support there as well. It can even be used as a Hackintosh!

Finally, the XPS 13 is also available with 7th generation i7 CPUs (with HD 620 gfx).

A common mistake when determining the value of a depreciating asset is to value the asset on the sale price instead of the depreciation. For example, if the following are true:

* Resale price of the MBP after 1 year: 2000€

* Resale price of the XPS after 1 year: 700€

Then the MBP is a better value, because you've spent ~400€ for a 1-year use of it, vs. ~700€ for a 1-year use of the XPS.

Why would he want to sell it after only 1 year? Both machines will depreciate rapidly. The Mac probably having the shortest lifespan in terms of how long Apple will support it with OS and security updates.

There's never been a laptop younger than 7 years that Apple stopped supporting with a new OS release.

That's certainly something to consider, however I plan to use it for three years at least. At that point they both have lost a lot of value but the difference will be less than 1000€ for sure.

If you get more than 3 years' worth of operating life out of a Dell XPS that gets significant mobile use, I will be very surprised.

Is that an anecdote or do you have a reference? My Thinkpad is certainly tougher than my wife's Mac, the first power cable only lasted a year, luckily it was in warranty as its £85 for a new one!

It's an anecdote based on personal experience. Besides, a Thinkpad (depending on the specific model) is a beast of a different color.

Modern Mac power cables are also far more durable than the earlier models.

Go for it. Windows 10 is pretty good, feels more "professional" than OS X. The Linux-subsystem (Ubuntu on Windows) is also really promising, with a big update due soon.

I did. I plan on getting a different Wifi card for it to get macOS to run nicely as well as described at https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/guide-dell-xps-13-9350-si...

This headline is misleading/disingenuous.

They are taking the difference between the base price in the US excluding taxes and the UK price including VAT to calculate the difference, rather than the difference between the NY price - which includes local sales taxes and is therefore a more accurate comparison.

In which case the price increase is 'only' about 10% - which is still quite a bit but not what the headline would have you believe.

Actually, the prices have been increased here in the UK.

Example, the iMac model went up some £300 for no reason. The Mac Mini increased all models within the range by around 16%.

Yes, but the prices in the US have increased too. But in the table in the article, they are showing a 22% difference in price between US and UK for the Macbook Pro, which is not true.

The pound has devalued against the dollar due to the Brexit.

Apple records revenue in dollars so you need more pounds to buy the same kit so they can convert those pounds into their base currency.

The good news is, if you're planning a trip to London from abroad then for a while consumer electronics are pretty cheap. i.e. Sony cameras etc.

Nothing to do with the 20% drop in the pound vs the dollar. Why won't Apple subsidize Brexit?

UK pricing for new Macbook Pro is cheapest in Europe. Sorry, what were you saying?

I'm sorry, I don't understand.

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