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Bill Bennett


Apple’s modest New Zealand iPhone 6 mark-up

Apple iPhone 6

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.




3 thoughts on “Apple’s modest New Zealand iPhone 6 mark-up

  1. It’s interesting how they’re all 9% (may have been a different % when they decided). It says to me the markup is very intentional rather than trying to position themselves in the market or going off different distribution costs or something.

    1. Well that’s a really good point. I noticed when I did a similar exercise recently that everything Samsung was roughly the same percentage mark-up. At the time it was 22 percent, but the exchange rate has moved since then. I guess its the way companies work these things.

      I think SOME price difference is fair enough. The NZ dollar fluctuates more than many currencies and companies need a buffer to be safe from flipping from profit to loss.

      1. Oh definitely. Not disparaging it at all as long as it doesn’t get ridiculous (and Samsung you’re getting close @ 22%…).

        All countries have different balances on the budget with regards to taxes, consumer guarantees, bureaucracy and the like.

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