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Tariffs hit Apple and other tech companies tomorrow

It will also affect cameras, flash storage and other common tech items.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 31, 2019
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Some of the tech you like is about to get more expensive -- at least for the companies that design them, if not you. True to earlier plans, the Trump administration has formally enacted a new round of tariffs against China-made products that will take effect September 1st. The measures will hit tech companies with 15 percent tariffs on a range of goods, with Apple potentially feeling the pinch harder than most. The hikes will affect AirPods, the Apple Watch, some Beats earphones, the HomePod and iMacs.

The tariffs will also affect a range of components, including cameras, flash storage, optical discs (like Blu-ray and DVD) and lithium-ion batteries. A further wave of tariffs affecting prices for phones, laptops, consoles and other tech is due on December 15th barring negotiation.

It's uncertain if Apple or other companies will raise prices to compensate for the tariffs. Apple has historically maintained its profit margins whenever possible, but it also hasn't had to contend with tariffs like this before. There may be pressure to swallow some or all of the added costs, though. Apple in particular is dealing with slowing revenue growth -- preserving its margins might not help if the higher prices result in fewer buyers.

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