A sore point for Mac enthusiasts in India is the huge price differential between the local price and US price tags of Apple products. I have a feeling that the price gap has reduced over the years.
Here’s an analysis of prices in the US, Europe and Australia. Based on the products in this survey, European consumers pay an average of 18.7% more for their Mac products than US consumers (VAT excluded!). Australians pay a whopping 26.5% more on average for their Macs compared to Americans. So if it costs $1000 in the US, the Aussies shell out an additional $265 – in US dollars!
I have not done a detailed analysis of the US vs. India prices. The Macbook is listed as $1099 (Rs. 47,421 as per today’s conversion rates) in the US store and in the India online store the same model is listed as Rs.49,900 onwards. Not a huge difference, but when you add in the VAT and the levies the difference begins to hurt.
The average PC user, specially in India compares the like-to-like specs of one machine versus the other (you know, 2GB RAM versus 2GB RAM variety) and arrives at a comparative price tag before purchase. Macs suffer badly in such a comparison in India. And then the debates get ugly – Windows users calling Macs over priced, Mac users having a superiority complex and so on. The Apple fanboys will start justifying the price and say why the superior user experience is worth it, etc. Statistics can lie. What you can do with a MAc straight out of the box is way ahead of what is possible with the PC. Without getting into the specifics of the configurations, I can say that even in the US the price differential between a similarly configured PC and a Mac is reducing.
Apple has never played the EDLP game. But when we hear of price differentials of 25% for Mac between 2 different markets, we wonder what the factors are? Local taxes? Freight? Will Apple explain?