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 xe.com) 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. 

Advertisement