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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.

    • 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.

      • 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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