May 31, 2010

UK, Europe Paying Higher Price For iPad

A new study has found that Britain and Europe are the world's most expensive places to purchase a new iPad computer from Apple.

Australia's CommSec found that even when properly adjusting exchange rates, the much-hyped tablet is still more expensive for Europeans than the rest of the world.

"In the UK, Germany, France and Italy an iPad costs 20-25 per cent more than in the U.S.," Craig James, chief economist at the CommSec share trading division of Australia's Commonwealth Bank, told Reuters News.

"The question is whether Apple has priced its product too high for the European market, or whether the UK pound and euro need to depreciate further to bring global pricing into line."

The firm's index is a modern variation of the long-running Big Mac index compiled by The Economist magazine and compares the prices of iPads in 10 countries.

In the U.S., the WiFi-only version of the iPad costs $499.  The same version runs $620 in Britain, $520 in Canada, $536 in Japan and $533 in Australia.

CommSec said the tablet device is identical throughout the world, so theoretically the only difference in pricing should be the freight charges and local taxes.

However, national debt troubles in Europe and Britain have rocked the Euro and pound in recent months, throwing global currencies into trouble.

"More generally, the CommSec iPad and CommSec iPod indexes suggest the U.S. dollar needs to lift against major currencies, but more so against the Euro and pound sterling," James told Reuters.

Apple fans throughout Europe and Asia flocked to stores as the device went on sale internationally on Friday. 

The iPad is designed for surfing the Web, watching movies and reading.  It has been claimed by the publishing industry to be a potential life-saver.


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