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WSJ: All iMac G5s not made the same

updated 10:10 am EST, Mon January 17, 2005

iMac G5s not made the same

Apple is one of many companies who are in different parts of the world to counter the effects of globalization or simply counter changes in currency valuation. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple's iMac G5, which is less costly in the US than in other countries, "Indeed, Apple shopper Mr. Caine says he felt ripped off. The iMac G5s Apple sells everywhere except the U.S. and Japan are dual voltage, meaning they can cope with the electrical systems in Fiji, Europe and most of Asia, as well as those in Japan and the U.S. Other Apple products including iPods, the new Mac Mini and its laptops are dual-voltage. Ironically, tweaking products for different regions can increase a manufacturer's costs."

by MacNN Staff




  1. madgunde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That does suck

    On the positive side, the iMac G5 is supposed to be user serviceable. Hopefully you could replace the power supply purchased from an Apple authorized service center and swap it out yourself if you move to another country and need to be able to run on 220V.

    On a related note, I just got the Apple international power adapter kit for iPod and iBook/PowerBook. With both myself and my spouse having iPods and her having an iBook and I a PowerBook, this was a good investment since all of the above products have dual voltage power supplies that use the same inter-changeable plug heads.

  1. madgunde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh yeah

    ...and I have an AirPort Express which also takes the same interchangeable plug heads. Hmmm, maybe I need to get another set of two of Apple International adapters...

  1. z10n

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Tell us something

    we don't know.

    Look, Apple isn't some kind of magic company. They cut their costs whenever possible, just like everybody else. I see this more as people trying to beat the system by buying overseas when they obviously know the manufacturer doesn't want them to do that. There are reasons why manufactures charge the prices they do in the regions they do it. I don't presume to know all the reasons, but I imagine it's difficult for a company to maintain price equality while the world economy is constantly shifting and changing. Also, countries impose different taxes, different laws, etc.

    As annoying as it is, the manufacturer has the right to sell their products the way they want to sell them. Personally, I think DVD region encoding is much worse then this, because there you are using technology for the sole purpose of limitation. Apple only neglected to impliment something which would have costed them money, Holywood SPENT money to try to convince travelers to re-buy their DVDs.

  1. sertian

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Makes Sense

    If you travel a lot, buy a laptop and bring your computer along... You don't bring your desktop computer each time you go to another country, or do you?

  1. trbgln

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mac Mini power

    The interesting point is the Mac mini power supply, a rather portable computer. According the the specs on the web site, it's
    110-240, so should be no problem.
    So, either Apple can indeed save money with a 110 only in the USA,
    or they specifically recognize the portability of the Mac Mini,
    and treat it like a laptop (perhaps you can get even the same adaptors).

  1. JTVD

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Regional Costs

    As a UK customer, I am well used to paying through my nose for Apple (and almost everything else).
    I totally refuse to believe that Apple or anyone else charges the prices they do for any other reason than making as much money as possible from a soft target.
    If I as a consumer am able to buy a product at retail price in anothr country and then have it shipped over and pay tax on it and it is STILL a lot cheaper than in my country, I am very obviously being ripped off along the line.
    I can buy a Land Rover in America for a whole lot less than over here in England, where it is made.
    They are also cheaper in Japan.

    What it boild down to is that companies perceive some countries as soft targets and others as tough. The tougher the target (and competition etc), the cheaper the product.

    Everything else is really a smokescreen...

    I buy my Apple stuff mostly in Japan or the US on trips and hey, it saves me often 30% or more.
    I have other products shipped from abroad all the time.

    It is not very practical, but boy is it a lot cheaper...

    Even my first Mac, a PowerMac 8500 came from Germany, saving me 30% over England prices. This was before Internet etc.

  1. hbmnyc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not just our loss ...

    In Dec I bought an iMac G5 for my parents in Denmark. I returned it when I realised that I'd have to buy the euro PSU-module on top of it. Instead I got my parents old Titanium running a bit longer on a new (HP) monitor. I'll probably get them a mini this spring, but for a while they seemed like they would become reverse switchers.

    So apple didn't force me to buy an $1800 iMac in DK. They also lost a $1300 US sale. They may be getting a $500 US sale in the end, but if the markup is even remotely linear, it's pretty obvious that they didn't score big on the power supply stunt.

    I seriously hope they'll reconsider the market-differentiation policy (and the mini suggests that they might have).

  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Too bad...

    Most products are meant to leave the USA anyway.

  1. williamdrover

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You should try living in Bermuda.

    You complain that prices are higher in your country than the US, at least you have access to the products. A higher price is a small price to pay if it means I can actually get something. We're plagued with US companies not shipping to Bermuda, not accepting my credit card, which should be against the law as I can walk in the same store in the US and use my credit card, but it is invalid if I'm in Bermuda shopping online. It's drawn from a US bank and they won't accept it. Stupid.

    As an fyi duty on importing electronics into Bermuda is 33 percent, add shipping which usually has to be Fedex or similar and you've got yourself an expensive hobby.

  1. chadpengar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Macs not much more in UK

    Not significantly. The 17" iMac 1.8ghz G5 is 850.21 quid in the UK without VAT, and $1499 in the US, both from the Apple store. The US store shows the price without the sales tax, which is charged for most states anyway, but not listed until checkout, so it is a valid comparison. (And Apple is not responsible for the high rate of taxation in the UK or Europe).

    Anyway, 850.21 quid is $1582.75 according to today. That is about a 5.5% premium, which is not a lot, and can be accounted for in cost of doing business, currency exchanges and fluctuations, etc. But you cannot buy a Mac in the US, ship it to the UK, pay UK VAT and duties at time of arrival, and be ahead.

    Another example

    The Apple store lists the same iMac at the Denmark store for 9199.20 DKr (before VAT is added). That comes to $1616.53. Slightly higher than the UK, but also not that much more and again the costs of importing into Denmark, currency fluctuations, and costs of doind business there can account for the about 7,8% premium.

    Not at all the discrepancies people are posting here.

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