Tomorrow, Apple, Microsoft and Adobe face the Federal Australian Parliament inquiry into pricing of IT products. The companies are being asked about why prices for hardware and software Down Under appear to have a noticeable markup compared to those elsewhere in the world. All three companies were asked to voluntarily appear before the inquiry; when they failed to do so, the committee sent a summons to each company forcing them to appear. MacStories' Graham Spencer has prepared a detailed study of exactly how much of a "tax" Aussie Apple fans are paying compared to American customers.
Spencer collected prices from Apple's US and Australian websites, removed the 10 percent GST (goods and services tax), converted the Australian price to US dollars and then calculated the percent markup of the Australian prices based on the original prices in the States.
His findings showed that Macs and iPads have a relatively low markup, with that for the Retina display iPad only around 2 to 3 percent. Likewise, iPod prices generally have a low markup of between 3 and 7 percent depending on the model. iPhones, however, had a "more considerable" markup close to 20 percent with some models, although the iPhone 4 is actually less expensive in Australia.
The largest markups appeared for products in the iTunes Stores, with music marked up about 61 percent over US prices, movies about 33.5 percent and TV shows almost 26 percent. Only apps were "reasonably" marked up by about 10 percent over their US counterparts.
Should readers wish to perform their own analyses of the data, Spencer has made it available for download on the MacStories site.