Over the last couple of weeks, I have found my finger hovering over purchase button in the US Apple Store checkout in anticipation of the iPad WiFi + 3G being released at the end of April.
So why would I choose to buy from the US when I could get it locally?
Apple has a habit of adding a mark up on their products in Australia which I find somewhat annoying. Sure, there is the cost of bulk shipments but I would have to think that on a unit basis, Apple would get a far lower shipping price than I would ever hope to secure. Of course, there is also GST to factor in as well.
Let’s do a comparison:
The above chart uses the assumption that AU$1.00 = US$0.90.
As we can see (apart from the Mac Pro which is a high end piece of equipment) the percentage mark up sits around 20%. On this basis, I am going to use that percentage as my expected mark up for the iPad pricing in Australia.
We definitely know the USA pricing, specifically:
Then, we need to convert from US dollars into Australian dollars by using the assumption that AU$1.00 = US$0.90.
Then we add 20% mark up by multiplying by 1.2, resulting in the following:
Now, those prices would have the marketing folk at Apple make blood curdling noises accompanied with some minor complaints that they are melting. So, to make it look nicer, I’ve just used a bit of discretion to come up with the following numbers:
In a nutshell, if you want to double (or redouble) the memory of the base model just add $130. If you want to add 3G, then you’re going to need to lay down another $170.
So how do the numbers stack up against sourcing a unit direct from the USA?
To get around the shipping restrictions, we’d need to use a mail forwarding service such as MyUS (I no longer recommend MyUS as a result of what has been happened in this blog post). We’ll also need an American Express card to get around the restrictions on billing addresses belonging to a particular country.
Using this method, you would need to factor in a 5% sales tax since MyUS is located in Florida plus US$61.71 postage (since the iPad without packaging weights 730 grams).
So the formula we end up with is:
(([US iPad Cost] * [Florida Sales Tax]) + [Shipping]) / [US to AU Currency Conversion]
This results in the below:
So sourcing from the USA will save you between $20 for the cheapest model and $63 for the most expensive model.
Are those savings worth much to you? Is instant gratification a price worth paying for?
You’ll need to answer those questions for yourself but I wouldn’t find it hard to exert some self control to save a bit of dosh (which I could also reinvest in an accessory or two). I also don’t see why Apple would need the extra money anyway if I know I can get it cheaper elsewhere.