AMITIAE - Wednesday 14 January 2015
An Anniversary; and Price Comparisons for Apple Devices between USA and Thailand (Bangkok Post, Life)
By Graham K. Rogers
One of the most exciting points of the keynote speech was the realisation - there was a ripple through the audience - that the touchscreen iPod, the mobile phone and the breakthrough internet device were not three products, but a single device. Few appreciated then the effect that the last of these - the Internet device - was to have.
The VAT rate in the UK started at 10% (1973), rose through 15%, 17.5% and is now a serious 20%. In the UK, like many countries, including Singapore and Thailand, prices displayed on goods must include the tax.
That is not the case in the USA where Apple is based and always quotes its prices with no tax included, like all companies there. There are so many rates in the USA (perhaps city and state in some locations). For this reason, the prices in some countries for Apple products appear to be higher than those charged in America.
With recent changes in mind, I used the Apple online store for USA (store.apple.com) and the English language online store for Thailand (store.apple.com/th-en), converting the dollar price to baht, then adding 7% to the figure, to compare with the prices charged here. The Thai site (both English and Thai) shows the amount of VAT included within the price.
There are four options for the MacBook Air on sale here: 11" and 13" (128GB and 256GB). The 11" options are priced at $899 and $1089; the 13" at $999 and $1199. These convert to 29514, 35751, 32797 and 39363 baht respectively. Adding 7% VAT gives 31580, 38254, 35093 and 42118 baht. The prices quoted in the online store are 30900, 37900, 34,900 and 41,900 baht, so all of the models are a couple of hundred baht cheaper. This is the same currently for all the products I compared.
There are four MacBook Pro 13" models, priced at $1099, $1299, $1499 and $1799: 36079, 42645, 49211 and 59060 baht respectively. With VAT these US prices are 38,605, 45631, 52656 and 63194.
The prices for the same models in the Apple Online Store for Thailand are 37,900, 43,900, 49,900 and 59,900 making all of these cheaper than the US. I double-checked these to make sure. Comparisons for the two 15" MacBook Pro computers may be seen in the table that accompanies the column this week or on my site.
As the iMac is also a popular device here, I looked at the price differences, using the same calculations. There are 6 models: 3 with 21.5" screens and 3 with 27" screens, one of which has the Retina 5K display.
The 21.5" models were priced at $1099, $1299 and $1499: the same as for three of the MacBook Pro 13" models. Adding 7% gives 38605, 45631 and 52656 baht. In the Thai store, these models are all priced less at 37900, 44900 and 51900 baht. The larger 27" models are compared in the table.
Likewise the iPad mini 3 with Wi-Fi (16GB) is $399 in the US online store (13099 baht). With VAT this is 14016 baht. More information (and other details) are shown in the chart.
Apps in the iTunes App Store and the Mac App Store are quoted in dollars, so the amounts charged to a user take account of any currency fluctuations.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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