The UK "Apple Tax"

I was tempted by an m2 Mac Air to test the arm64 Apple Silicon emulators we’ve been building at Snapp Automotive. To make sure I was being charged a reasonable price I decided to do a little maths and found out the m2 MBA is 8% more expensive, after taxes and foreign exchange rates, in the UK than in the US.

Here’s my calculation;

USD MBA Starting Price: US$1199
USD/GBP Converstion Rate: 1.25 USD to 1 GBP
GBP "Sales Tax" (VAT): 20%
Total via conversion: (1199/1.25) * 1.20 = £1151

Apple GBP MBA Price: £1249
Apples UK Markup: ~8%

For £1249 to map to a US$1199 price the exchange rate would need to be 1.15 USD/GBP. The only time it’s been at those levels were the first three months of 1985. Even during the pandemic it bottomed out just above 1.16.

And that’s an m2 special, for the m1;

USD m1 MBA Price: US$999
Total via converstion: (999/1.25)*1.2 = $959

Apple GBP m1 MBA Price: $999
Apples UK Markup: ~4%

Still not great, but the GBP markup for a m1 MBA is half that of an m2 MBA.

After some digging around I managed to find a special offer which priced an m1 Mac Mini at 10% below Apples list price, so I’ve ended up with that.