From September 26 New Zealanders will able to buy a 16 GB Apple iPhone 6 for $999. That’s what it costs to buy the phone outright. The US headline prices quoted in Apple’s launch presentation were for people buying phones on mobile plans. The US price for a non-plan 16GB iPhone 6 is US$649.
Converting that into New Zealand dollars, then allowing for 15 percent GST — see the table below for details — shows that New Zealanders pay nine percent more than Americans for most models.
Australians call this markup the Apple tax. That’s a tad unfair. Apple charges New Zealanders more than Americans, but other hardware companies often have a larger markup. Samsung charges New Zealand consumers 19 percent more than Americans for the Galaxy S5 smartphone.
Nine percent isn’t enough of a price difference to make jumping on a plane worthwhile. Nor is it worth directly importing a phone. Apart from anything else New Zealanders enjoy better consumer rights than most other countries, frankly, that alone is compensation for any markup. Mind you, I’d happiest if Apple opened a physical store in New Zealand so we could get the same levels of service people get in other countries.