The Apple iPad 2 costs more in the UK than the iPad Air does in the US

Thanks a lot, exchange rates and VAT.

Despite having been released in March 2011, the iPad 2 is still being sold on Apple's website for £329. Meanwhile, in America, the iPad Air - which packs a 64-bit processor and four times as many pixels into a much lighter, thinner body - costs US$499.

Translate that into Sterling using current market rates (we used and it costs £307.26, making the venerable iPad 2 as expensive as an iPad Air and a trip to a name-brand cinema to see a 3D film where you have to pay for the glasses.   

It's a demonstration of how much the cost of Apple products can vary across the globe, differences that are created by local taxes (the UK's 20% VAT is what bumps up the price here), warranties (Europe demands more stringent warranties than other parts of the world, which also increases the price) and the exchange rate. Americans buying an iPad Air will have to pay a state-specific sales tax, but at a much lower rate - typically around 5%.

Also, how many units of the iPad 2 did Apple make that they're still selling those things? Is there a hollowed-out volcano full of near-obsolete tablets underneath Tim Cook's house? Almost certainly, but we expect the more recent, Retina display model to take its place on the Apple website fairly soon. 


Why do governments always take the blame for expensive tech, it's simply not always true, if Apple were a customer friendly / focussed company then they would work on a much smaller mark-up from cost of manufacture to retailing the finished product, simply changing the currency symbol in front of the price is a practice that is wearing thin.

Thet decided many years ago to be ignorant to the rest of the market by going it alone, expensive rents and rates to support it's retail offering, only recently taking on retail partners, they should have done that years ago, the same as mobile phone manufacturers did, or, they could use some of their tax free billions in subsidising their products, OR, actually developing some tech that is cutting edge and works in the real world.

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