Apple hikes UK computer prices by around 20%
Apple has upset customers by raising its computer and laptop prices by around 20%.
In the latest blow to UK shoppers since the decision to leave the European Union saw the pound start to slide, the computer-maker began charging £2,999 for its Mac Pro desktop.
This is an increase of 20% from £2,499 earlier in the week.
The prices were changed as Apple revealed a revamped MacBook Pro on Thursday, adding a fingerprint reader, and replacing function keys with a small touch screen.
The 12in MacBook Air went up by 19% from £1,049 to £1,249, the 13in from £999 to £1,249 and the 15in from £1,599 to £1,899.
On its desktop line, the Mac mini had been £399 before the launch but £479 afterwards – a difference of 20% – while the cheapest iMac 4k went from £1,199 to £1,449 – an increase of 21%.
The pound has dropped around 18% against the US dollar since June’s referendum and inflation is accelerating at the fastest pace seen for two years, with some economists forecasting an annual rate of 3% next year.
The driver behind this is tipped to be goods from abroad being more expensive to import because of sterling’s weakness.
An Apple spokesman said: “Apple suggests product prices internationally on the basis of several factors, including currency exchange rates, local import laws, business practices, taxes and the cost of doing business.
“These factors vary from region to region and over time, such that international prices are not always comparable to US suggested retail prices.”
Apple’s statement suggests the pound factor loomed large in its decision but it is known to set its prices against the dollar, which is historically strong, exacerbating the currency element of the increase.
The company said it had also raised its prices in the US, though that was likely to be by a weaker margin.
Sky News has requested more information from the company on its US and European price increases.
It is not the first price increase seen by Apple consumers since the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.
In August, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were priced at £599 and £719 respectively, increases of 11% and 16% from the previous versions.
Earlier this week, Microsoft announced an increase of up to 22% for business customers of its cloud products, blaming currency changes.
And earlier this month, Tesco and some other supermarkets refused to stock scores of Unilever products after the business was understood to have sought a 10% increase to its wholesale prices.
Analysis has showed that some Apple US pre-tax prices – when compared to those in the UK excluding VAT – are marginally cheaper in this country.
According to listed prices on its US site the MacBook Pro 13in, for example, is 1% cheaper in the UK in GBP terms.